Jiuta, which developed in Kyoto and Osaka in the early Edo period, is the classical performing art with the longest history as music for shamisen. The creation and performance of Jiuta and Sōkyoku flourished under blind musicians, and it has been handed down through generations of performing artists over more than three centuries. Marking the 150th year of the signing of the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation between Japan and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, this “Jiuta Hungary Tour” was conducted under invitation from concert halls in Hungarian cities. In addition to representative Jiuta and Sōkyoku pieces the concerts also included solo shakuhachi performances, all performed by the musician-inheritors of these classical arts in a total of four cities including the capital Budapest. There were also workshops before and after the concert on the day of each performance which introduced the sounds, playing techniques and functions of traditional Japanese musical instruments such as sangen, shakuhachi and koto. Accompanying the performances were pamphlets with an English explanation on the history, songs, and performers of Jiuta and Sōkyoku, which served to enhance audiences’ understanding of Jiuta.
Akiko Fujimoto, the foremost performer of jiuta and sōkyoku, is daughter of the renowned Ningen Kokuhō (Living National Treasure) Kunie Fujii. Her family has passed on this historically influential and artistic music which has survived over 300 years, and her highly artistic style of singing embodies the world of jiuta. Her haunting voice has achieved acclaim both in Japan and abroad. She had performed in many countries, including the USA, Canada, Germany, France, the UK, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Switzerland and Australia. She has received a number of awards, including “Musician of a new generation” from the Agency of Cultural Affairs, special recognition from the Japan Traditional Cultures Foundation and Pola Traditional Cultures Foundation.
Jiuta Sokyoku Performer
3-10-13, Himonya, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 150-0003 Japan
Concert 1. Gúnár Event House (Kecskemét, Hungary)
Concert 2. BÓBITA BÁBSZÍNHÁZ (Pécs, Hungary)
Concert 3. Füleky Tokaj Estate (Tokaj, Hungary)
Concert 4. LAUREL Budapest Restaurant (Budapest, Hungary)