For the final EthNoise of the quarter, we are excited to welcome back history PhD candidate Jun Lee to present “Dual History of Utagoe: The Cases of Utagoe Kissa, 1995 to the Present.” Jun will be presenting the introduction to the final section of his dissertation, and will discuss the link between Utagoe, a mass singing movement in post-War Japan, and commercial coffeehouses that provide a space to perform this movement’s repertoire. The chapter he is presenting can be found here. The password is Utagoe.
Jun Hee Lee is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History at the University of Chicago. His doctoral dissertation, titled “A Singing Voice for Our Times: the Utagoe Movement in Postwar Japan and Processes of History-Making,” follows two musical phenomena in post-World War II Japan: Nihon no Utagoe (Singing Voice of Japan), a singing movement that has maintained varying degrees of relationship with the Japan Communist Party, labor unions, socialist states, and musical professionals; utagoe kissa (“singing voice café”), a singing venue where patrons could sing songs together with instrumental accompaniment, whose repertoire included songs born from or introduced by the Utagoe movement.