Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington catalogs rare Japanese 78 rpm records

A collection of old Japanese 78 RPM records offers a window into the musical interests of early Japanese-American immigrants in Seattle. Local artist Paul Kikuchi is cataloging and digitizing a rare collection of Japanese 78 RPM records at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington(JCCCW), and is comprised of records originally published in Japan between 1900 and the 1950s. Over time, the records have been donated to JCCCW by the Japanese-immigrant community and their descendants in the Seattle area.

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Some of the records in the collect go all the way back to fro, about 1910, encased in shellac. Lots of them are artifacts that had to be given up during the internment, as shellac is heavy. The earliest wave of Japanese immigrants were likely bringing these records first with them, or have records sent by family members in Japan.

Kikuchi also serves as a board member at JCCCW, volunteering to digitize the music, creating a database for researchers that are interested in learning about the musical interests of early Japanese immigrants in America.

Check it the video here:

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