Sixth Asian Studies Conference Japan
    Saturday and Sunday, June 22-23
    Ichigaya Campus of Sophia University


last update 2002/03/09

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Contact the organizers: Asian Studies Conference (ASCJ) c/o Institute of Asian Cultural Studies, International Christian University 3-10-2 Osawa, Mitaka-shi, Tokyo 181


Session 22
Discourses on Music and Musicians during the Japanese Occupation in the Philippines (1941-1945)
Organizer/Chair: Julie Ann Hallazgo, University of Santo Tomas

Not much has been written about music in the Philippines during the Japanese period (1941-1945). Perhaps the bitterness and animosity associated with the said regime had prevented musical historians from pursuing research along this area. Even though the economic and political issues of the era had been dealt with sufficiently, the cultural aspect of this period has remained relatively unexplored. The papers in this panel constitute efforts to provide information on the cultural and musical activities of the time. The first paper entitled, "Church Music in the Philippines during the Japanese Occupation," gives an overview of the prevailing conditions of church music in the country during the period. It has been found that religion and music played a vital role in the Japanese propaganda movement, which aimed to enlist the support of the Filipino people. Another paper, "Filipino Concert Artists during the Second World War: An Account of their Triumphs and Tribulations," consists of narrative accounts of the lives of Filipino concert artists and how their careers flourished or floundered during the war. The paper recalls the determination with which the country's concert artists armed themselves in such difficult times, risking life and limb while remaining dedicated to their art. The third paper, "Musical Theatre and Other Related forms of Entertainment in Manila during the Japanese Occupation," surveys the development of musical theatre and other musical forms of entertainment in Manila during the said period. It attempts to provide a glimpse of the theatrical milieu in Manila as well as evaluate musical forms and genres that were popular during the era.

1) Alexandra Inigo Chua, University of Santo Tomas. "Church Music in the Philippines during the Japanese Occupation"

The Paper provides us with an overview of the condition of the church and its music during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines from the year 1941 to 1945. It will examine the role that the so-called "Catholic Unit" of the Japanese Military administration played in propagating the cause of the Imperial government. As a propaganda arm of the Japanese army, this bureau used religion and music to win the support and goodwill of the Filipino People. We will look into the activities of the members of this sector who were priests, seminarians, and lay people brought to Manila to advocate its objectives. Together with Bishop Paul Yoshigoro Taguchi of Osaka, they promoted the memory of Lord Ukon Takayama, as a symbol of the shared Christian heritage of the Filipino and Japanese people to reach out to the Catholics of the country. Takayama, an illustrious and noble Japanese Catholic martyr, was exiled in Manila in the 17th century for refusing to abjure and renounce his faith./ He died in the country in 1615. The study looks at the music of the various church related activities and events participated in by the "Catholic unit," such as a mass celebrated in honor of Takayama. Information on the kind of musical repertoire that were performed and sung will shed light into the religious musical practices of this period.

2) Julie Ann Hallazgo, University of Santo Tomas. "Filipino Concert Artists during the Second World War: An Account of their Triumphs and Tribulations"

The paper consists of a compendium of narrative accounts of how some of the finest Filipino concert artists survived or succumbed to the rigors of the Second World War as it was waged by the American and Japanese forces in the Philippines. It salutes the courage and tenacity of those who managed to continue honing their skills even in wartime darkness as well as those who were able to perform publicly in spite of the times. The exploits of a few who spent the war years abroad are also mentioned, but most of all it pays tribute to at least a couple of legends who perished in the Philippines during this era.

3) Eugene de los Santos, University of Santo Tomas. "Musical Theatre and Other Related Forms of Entertainment in Manila during the Japanese Occupation"

The paper is an account of the musical theatre and other related forms of entertainment during the Japanese occupation. Contrary to popular belief that the cultural and musical practices of the country were suppressed, zarzuelas, vaudevilles, and other stage shows, as well as classical concerts continued to be presented by local artists and were even attended by high-ranking Japanese officials stationed in Manila then. Oral and written accounts prove that the Japanese themselves were musically inclined and even promoted the music of their country in the Philippines. The musical account of the three-year occupation of the Japanese in the Philippines has not been scholarly established and written. This study attempts to survey the implications of the development of the musical theatre during this particular period.

Discussant: Takefumi Terada, Sophia University


list of panels