Report on the successful integration of the Hiroshima-Koto into a lecture on ethnomusicology at the Institute of Folk Music Research and Ethnomusicology at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna
The wonderful instrument which was presented to the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna in 2011 was now used for teaching students for the first time since 2011.
Due to the initiative of Mr. Totsuka, a Japanese student of Music pedagogy, Japanese music became the topic of one lecture in ethnomusicology. Ao.Univ.Prof.Dr. Ursula Hemetek knew about the Koto and tried to integrate the instrument into this lecture by contacting Dr. Hitomi Mori, a musicologist living in Vienna, in order to have someone to introduce and play the instrument.
The introduction of this instrument with its touching history (the instrument was used for teaching students before World War II in Hiroshima and survived the atomic bomb explosion) was very impressive for the students as well as the staff of the institute. Dr. Hitomi Mori first introduced the background of Koto, historically as well as technically, and then played for the audience. Afterwards students had the opportunity to ask detailed questions and to try to play.
After this successful presentation the institute will try to develop further models how to make use of this wonderful instrument in teaching and performance contexts.
The institute is very happy to have the opportunity to use this instrument also as a tool of peace education.