I must say I'm surprised and heartened by the fact
that there's even an
interest in old Japanese recordings, and I'm not sure
how, I've managed to
create the impression that I was looking to dispose of
my collection.  Quite
to the contrary, I'm still very interested and don't
intend to relinquish it
without putting up a good fight!  :-)

What I was hoping to point up was the fact that there
must be many
recordings out there languishing, as I found them, in
basements and storage
rooms in all sorts of places, because of lack of
resources, interest, etc.,
that if brought to the attention of collectors and
enthusiasts, might
actually be put in hands of those who could actually
do something with them,
even if it's to file away in their own collections.
At least then, should
someone inquire about such recordings in forums like
these, someone else
could actually respond coherently and with additional
information as gleaned
from the recordings in their possession.

As far as it being open, meaning to the public, no,
but I'd be more than
happy to at least attempt to answer any questions.
I'm in the outskirts of
Los Angeles, CA.  Being a third generation Angeleno,
my Japanese is a bit
quaint (my Japanese school teachers were blue-haired
ladies who were old
enough to be able to recite the Emperor Meiji's "Edict
on Education" from
memory) but with my trusty character dictionary, I get
by.  "Tough to
survey" is an understatement.  If ever I'd run into a
cold, stony wall, it
was when I attempted to contact several what I
presumed to be notable
scholars of Japanese popular music who had posted
quite a bit of information
on the Internet, complete with e-mail contact
information.  Surely an
invitation for inquiries, right?  Wrong.  Not even a
"sorry, can't help you"
or a "your Japanese is horrific and unintelligible."
Then perhaps (though I
doubt it), I just haven't hit on the right "expert."

I know the website that Steve refers went dark
within weeks of my
having discovered it.  If only I'd known...  I have
managed to snag a
handful of mp3s of 78-era Japanese pop music, the
source of which shall
remain nameless.  There is an elderly gentleman in his
mid-80's in Japan who
had been trying with little success to post mp3s or
midis of older Japanese
recordings on his website, but after running into so
many copyright
roadblocks, has pretty much conceded defeat.
Unfortunately, his entire
website is in Japanese, but he gives a biography
including his time in the
Japanese military during WWII, and a rather
comprehensive discography of
pre-war popular recordings he painstakingly
key-punched from handwritten
notes.  Almost 20,000 lines and eight fields across,
by no means a small
feat.  On top of that, he claims to have handwritten
notes for post-war
popular recordings as well, but feels he's too old to
even begin attempting
to key-punch them in their entirety and to his

Mark Takasugi

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of steven austin
Sent: Friday, February 25, 2005 10:07 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] A scenario for bequests

Many here are administers of private archives, and
these surely must be
accessible to scholars and enthusiasts after a bit of
Some collections have limited access simply because
they are stand-alones
and private passions. Sad to say, there is no single
source or network for
all recorded music. However...

On-line accessibility of collections is simply the
best-ever innovation.
No more trudging across the country to some library to
sit in a nasty
listening booth...only to find the material is not
where it should be.
That quality of access is still available, but for
most listeners, the
effort is forbidding.

I'm yearning for the day when everyone posts their
collections as MP3s (and
for video, a single adequate file format, instead of
the dozens of fussy
little incompatible file types we see today).

And, yes, I'm talking through my hat" I don't have a
single file posted.

So, Mark...where are you, and is your collection open?
I find Japanese pop
and enka very enjoyable, but tough to survey. There
use to be a nice
selection of pop hits from the 20s forward online, but
it finally went dark.

Steven Austin

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Mark Takasugi
Sent: Friday, February 25, 2005 9:36 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] A scenario for bequests

I got started on an ethnic Japanese recordings
collection by discovering a
stash of 78s in the bowels of a local Japanese
retirement home while a
volunteer during junior high school.  Well-meaning
donors had gifted the
home with the recordings, thinking the "older folks"
would enjoy the older
music.  The institution, of course, lacked the
know-how and resources to
create any kind of meaningful circulation system, and
rather than refuse
such donations, accepted them and quietly relegated
them to a basement store
room, where I found them.  Legalities aside (this was
almost thirty years
ago), the director of the home was more than happy to
have me cart them
away.  It took quite a few bus trips to get them home.
 Would they be of
interest to an institution or collector?  I don't
know.  Some labels and
artists are so obscure that I can't find mention of
them even in the
"uber-documentation" on the Internet in Japanese, let
alone in English.

I'm not familiar with the legal obligations associated
with bequests, or the
capacity of institutions to manage disposition, if you
will, of "unwanted"
material, but surely a way can be found to make them
available to
individuals or other institutions that may be looking
for them and indeed
offer, as Steve indicates, a cozy home?

Mark Takasugi

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of steven austin
Sent: Friday, February 25, 2005 7:28 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] A scenario for bequests

May I be the first to offer a cozy home to private
collections that are
refused on the basis of being a preservation burden?

Steven Austin

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of George
Sent: Friday, February 25, 2005 4:49 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [ARSCLIST] A scenario for bequests

From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad

In the mood of the scenario that I posted about
earlier today (but which has
not appeared as I write, because " ARSCLIST list is
held") I am considering
the following:

Some private collections are donated to public
collections, generating tax
deductions in the process. It also generates work for
valuers to find out
what these deductions might be. However, if receiving
a collection puts a
burden on the receiving agency to digitize and
maintain the collection, I
would expect that the deduction should properly be
converted into a
supplementary tax burden on the donor. In other words,
if the collection
does not come with the money to preserve it, then it
could potentially be

In a similar vein, the materials that could be
privately inherited from a
"modern" collector could potentially be a payment of,
say, ten years of
professional maintenance of the backup of the sounds
he has collected.
payments could also be put up for public auction
(similar to works of art
today). This message will self-destruct in 315,619,200
sucks. Or it certainly will, at some point in our

Kind regards,


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