It is said that Gagaku/雅楽 in Japan has been preserving one of the oldest dance styles in the world.
I think that we have two important conditions at least in order to preserve the cultural objects from generations to generations.
First is the political, historical and cultural stability. In the areas where political disturbances have often happened or where the dynasties have changed frequently, it is difficult to hand down traditional cultures to the future.
Second is the mentality or the philosophy of the handlers of the culture to think it is important to maintain the original forms and traditional factors. Performers who tend to think the changing traditions to their own ways is precious for them might refuse the performance styles of their masters’.
However, traditionally most Japanese strongly believe that to preserve the tradition is to copy the movement of our teacher as if we act wearing the skin of our teacher.
Furthermore, Japanese Gagaku has been preserved in very advantageous environment to maintain a tradition.
Gagaku have continued being staged in regular ceremonies of a Shinto shrine and the chaitya and annual functions of the Imperial Court over and over again every year.
Repeating the performance in short term in this way is very useful for the performers to remember the movement and music.
I think that has encouraged Gagaku in Japan to be able to survive its long life.
The dance of Japanese Gagaku can be divided into three groups.
The first is the Japanese native dance performed to the vocal music which are called“Kuniburi-no-Utamai/国風歌舞”
The second is Toh-gaku/唐楽 or left-side-dance tunes that were imported via ancient China. This group includes the programs from Vietnam, India, Persia etc.
The last is the Koma-gaku/高麗楽 or right-side-dance tunes that were imported via ancient Korean peninsula.
Fortunately we have succeeded in preserving GAGAKU or the ancient Asian performing arts instead of our colleagues in Asia. It is not only for Japanese but also for all Asian people.
Now is the time for us to enjoy and share GAGAKU, the treasure of whole Asia. And let's hand it down to our future together.
Presider of Mita Noriaki GAGAKU Academy
Started to learn Hichiriki(篳篥) at the age of 9. Studying Hitiriki, Gaku-soh (筝) and U-mai (右舞) under Mr.Abe Suemasa(Ex-chief master of court music of Imperial Household Agency, department of music and dance). Learning dance of Sa-mai(左舞) such as "Ranryo-Oh(蘭陵王)" under Mr.Anzai Shogo on the other hand.
Danced "Nasori" at the National Theater of Japan, and other various stages, as a member of Tokyo Gakuso which had been led by Mr.Ohno Tadamaro.
Many great players taught Noriaki how to perform Gagaku and how Gagaku should be. That has become the most precious treasure of his.
From 2000, Mita Noriaki started the project “Gagaku, Returning to Asia” together with musicians, dancers and researchers in China, Korea, Vietnam and Taiwan. And he and his colleagues have been visiting each other in order to have various events such as conferences, workshops and concerts.
Graduated of Department of Literature at Gakushuin University
Graduated the master's program (Study of Literature) at the Gakushuin University graduate school of Literature
Master of Abe-ryu GAGAKU
Shanghai Theater Academy, Visiting Professor
Beijing Dance Academy, Adviser (Tang Dance)
Korean National University of Arts Visiting professor
Hangzhou Normal University, Visiting Adviser (Tang Dance)
Seoul International Dance Competition Judge of Ethnic Dance part(2005-06)