Fifers

Discussions on all aspects of the Japanese Empire, from the capture of Taiwan until the end of the Second World War.
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matthew hainer
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Fifers

Postby matthew hainer » 28 May 2011 00:37

Hello,

My question involves fifers during the Boshin War. I realize this is before 1895, however, I feel this is the best place to get a answer.

I am a Fife player, and i'm wondering if the Shogunate Troops or the Imperial Troops had any soldiers who played the fife, and if so what music did they play specificly?

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hisashi
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Re: Fifers

Postby hisashi » 28 May 2011 01:06

From ancient era Japan had a kind of fife, Ryuteki.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ry%C5%ABteki

Formally military musical band began in 1871 but several old recall mention of Western style marching band in 1860s. We must rely on imagination how they were. Here is an example movie, perhaps prepared for a karaoke background movie.


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matthew hainer
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Re: Fifers

Postby matthew hainer » 28 May 2011 02:18

Thanks Hisashi.

I have seen some paintings of Shogunate troops with drums:
http://i53.tinypic.com/2ni5dag.jpg
( my other photo is not uploading for whatever reason )
I have not seen any paintings of Fife players, but a drum during this time period would generally indicate a fife player.

I know there was a elite unit in the Bakufu Army that was trained by French Military Advisors at the time. Is it possible they would have had Fifers in a european fashion?

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hisashi
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Re: Fifers

Postby hisashi » 28 May 2011 13:57

Not only because this is a little off-topic, but also because here is not a place for pure guesswork, I shut my mouth here.

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matthew hainer
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Re: Fifers

Postby matthew hainer » 28 May 2011 18:28

I apologize for wasting your time Hisashi.

I am looking for specific facts, because of my lack of resources ( actually almost none at all ) "guesswork" is all I can do.

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hisashi
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Re: Fifers

Postby hisashi » 31 May 2011 02:29

I found some more facts.

Takashima Shūhan(1798–1866) was a leading figure for western armory and training for Tokugawa Shogunate.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Takashima_Sh%C5%ABhan

He supervised the publication of 歩操新式 (hoso shinshiki = new infantry drill) in 1864-1865. This is a multi-volume drill manual for infantry, based on infantry drill manual of Dutch army. In this manual, drum corps was introduced. Here is a part of it, showing drum scores.
http://www.ndl.go.jp/nichiran/data/L/142/142-005l.html

This manual influenced many westernized troops. For example, Yamaguni-tai, a pro-emperor farmer/hunter unit raised nearby Kyoto, learned military drum corps from samurai in Kyoto. Part of Yamaguni-tai fought in Boshin Senso as a part of pro-emperor Tottori-Han samurais. Here is their band today, in Jidai Matsuri. perhaps nearest to the military bands in Boshin Senso era.
http://id.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jidai_Matsuri


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