It is over 3:00 pm. Tsubune is changing audio CDs in a break. He has to
be with background classical music most of the time.
He fell in love with classical music when he visited Ueno Culture Hall
and listened to Beethoven's Symphony 9 "Choral" at the end of
the year he entered the university. It was undoubtedly a new world to the
young guy from a remote local area famous for Kumano Ancient Roads and
a folk song of "Kushimoto-bushi."
Since then during the college days he was a lover of classical music, listening
to LPs borrowed from the town library in the room of the boarding house.
Symphonies, instrumental works, sonatas, ... every music was OK to him.
With friends sharing the same interests he spent hours at a cafe by a cup
He, at the age of 55, is now an enthusiast of such music, too. His tastes
have been changed in various ways, but the exceptions are Beethoven, Mozart,
Schubert and piano music of Chopin.
His next choice is d'Indy's "Symphony on a Fresh Mountain Air."
It is played by Boston Symphoy Orchestra with Charles Munch, a French conductor.
The music starts with a magnificent melody played by the English horn.
It is the part he, a frequent hiker, hums while in the low mountains around
Oku-Tama and Oku-Musashi.
"Well, did you select this music because you love it as a hiker?"
"Yeah, you are right."
The mountain-hiker answers proudly for Eriko's asking with a clear dimple.
He suffered from brain infarction ten years ago, though it was slight.
He began hiking in the low mountains for rehabilitation after that, and
has got hooked.
"What a fresh music! I like it, too."
Eriko seems glad of the stereo sound.
All of the four are relaxed sipping Japanese tea Mari just poured.
Eriko begins her talk.
"I am a little surprised, ... Beginning from Eiichi Shibusawa, accompanied
to the Tokugawa Shogunate mission to Paris Expo in 1867 late Edo period,
to the eight professors of Berlin Declaration in 1901, most of the characters
during these thirty and several years were familiar with Europe, right?
Over there in the art field at that time the schools like Romanticism,
Realism and Impressionism were jumbled together, which was considered as
the rebirth of the Renaissance art. The music field was also about the
same like the modern classical music, wasn't it? I suppose this music by
d'Indy was among the then music."
Tsubune answers quickly in a little loud voice, seeing the album.
"Quite true! This music had its first play by Concerts Lamoureux in
Paris in 1887."
Eriko is pleased and continues her talk.
"Therefore such big cities in Europe as Berlin, Paris, Rome and London
must have been packed with concerts and exhibitions, and the professors
studied there must surely have appreciated the then European culture not
only of art but thought, literature and every field."
Elderly Suga joins in the talk.
"Until the time in Japan Tokugawa Shogunate era had cut off the oversea
trade due to its national isolation policy for more than 200 years. It
finally ended when the Shogunate concluded the friendship treaty with the
US in 1858, Ansei era. The mission to Paris Expo was ten years later, when
Japan was still like a frog in a well for the world. We can never imagine
the culture shock Shibusawa experienced there. The mission had to return
to Japan after nearly two years on the way of work by the order of the
Meiji Restoration Government which defeated Tokugawa Shogunate. But I am
sure Shibusawa acquired European culture as much as possible."
Tsubune cannot keep silent. He tries to explain his understanding, seeing
the chronological table.
"It was a couple of years before his return that Kaishu Katsu, Yukichi
Fukuzawa and others crossed the Pacific Ocean all the way to the United
States of America by the ship Kanrin-maru. So, such characters who appreciated
the cultures of the West formed the subsequent Japan."
Suga agrees, saying,
"Handmade, feeling their own way in a short period."
And continues, mainly toward Tsubune.
"The characters who led Japan to Meiji era had heated discussions,
bunched together for impossible matters, ... Bloody incidents occurred
one after another. In such a situation the development of culture as well
as politics and economy mostly depended upon them. Those times were inherited
to the study boom staying in the West, and among them, Zensaku Sano, Tokuzo
Fukuda and such professors stayed for years in Europe from Tokyo High Commercial.
They surely returned to Japan fully with the civilization and culture over
there, and there must have been good preparations to some extent in Japan,
The talk on the cultural enlightenment does not stop. Mari is also eager
of this topic.
The subject has been more than a tea talk before they know it. Suga moves
it to the main theme with breathing a little.
"Shinyu Case occurred eight years after the Berlin Declaration that
Tokuzo Fukuda and the professors made a strong appeal for the foundation
of a commercial university. Could you explain the contents as you know
about it well?"
"Don't be silly, sir!"
Tsubune looks serious.
"In case by chance, ..."
Suga is shrewd. He hands out his document to the three.
"I would like to proceed this with Mr. Tsubune's help of reading the
key parts. This case occurred from Meiji 41 (1908), the year of the Monkey
(Shin), to Meiji 42 (1909), the year of the Rooster (Yu) in the old calender,
so it is called Shin-yu Case. If I played the one-man show, only the name
of Shinyu might get out of control, and the contents must not be understood.
Therefore I proceed this matter together with Mr. Tsubune. It was truly
the social event at that time and had a serious influence on the afterward
of the school."
Tsubune is now not easygoing, consulting the document. He says,
"I'll do my best. It must surely be helpful to my understanding."
"You are going to be a successor of your senior."
Mari makes fun of him.