Discussion – Beethoven in Japan

Mahou Tofu

Here’s another one of those copy-paste school papers of mine. Since I wrote this for a music class, I didn’t really get to mention any of the Beethoven references in anime. Which is a shame because there are a crap ton.

Dec.26-photo-Japan

In recent years, the performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony has become a surprisingly popular Japanese New Year’s tradition. Every year, thousands of Japanese people, ranging from musicians to normal music lovers alike, attend these massive concerts to ring in the New Year with perhaps the biggest monument to Western music. While it may seem strange that the world’s largest performances of the most famous symphony of all time take place in Japan, the country’s obsession with Beethoven is a product of its history with Western music stemming from its introduction in the Meiji Era (beginning around the mid-19th century).

Unlike many Asian nations, Japan was never colonized by a…

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