The Music, Language, and Culture Workshop

Jun Lee presents on post-War Japanese singing traditions on Nov. 21


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.

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