Around 1937, when the Sino-Japanese War began, the proportion of wartime and military songs increased, and Bon dances were affected by these songs. Ondo (songs) for (chants of national pride) are performed, and consolatory visits are also held. During the war, the performance of Bon Dancing was suppressed. After the war, until 1952, Japan was under the rule of GHQ, and Bon Dancing resumed during this period.
After the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War, censorship and other restrictions were tightened, and some music was banned. (For example, Noriko Awaya’s “Farewell Blues” was banned on the grounds that it was sentimental, did not inspire the people, and was not in keeping with the times.) Then, in 1941, the Pacific War broke out and restrictions became increasingly severe, including a ban on hostile language. As the war situation worsened, a series of air raids were carried out across the country from 1944 to 1945, and the war came to an end on August 15, 1945.
While suffering from starvation and other problems under the rule of the Allied Powers, the banned culture was gradually liberated, while prewar education such as Shushin (moral training) and history were denied. The country then achieved re-establishment of independence through the promulgation of the Constitution of Japan and the San Francisco Peace Treaty.
1937-45: Sino-Japanese War
1941-45: The Pacific War
August 15, 1945: Acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration
1945-1952: GHQ takes over
May 3, 1947: Japanese Constitution enacted
1952 San Francisco Peace Treaty
Population: Approx. 80 million Decrease due to war, increase due to return from overseas
Attribute type: women’s suffrage in postwar democratization
Life expectancy: about 50 years
Famine and disaster conditions: Damage due to war. Food shortages
Media of transmission: Written media, radio
Territorial system: Individuals, landowners holding land
Clothing of the common people: National dress, simple clothing
Food of the common people:Period of poverty, cereal rice, potatoes, etc.
Dwelling of the common people: Wooden Japanese houses, large families
Entertainment opportunities for the common people: Controlled during the war, gradually liberated after the war. Poverty limited entertainment opportunities.
Bon Odori: Events of the time
World War II: Life-or-death crisis
Bon dance incorporated into the wartime regime
Use for national prestige
Since the Sino-Japanese War of 1937, censorship has been tightened and the number of works with a strong wartime/military flavor has increased.
Gujo Dance: Conducting consolations for troops and factories
Military-related heroic tales are sung as stories
The Three Braves of the Bullet
The Sixth Submarine, etc.
Ondo and Bon Odori in wartime songs
Reference: From the CD “Minna wa ni nare gunkoku ondo no sekai
1939: Senjo Bon Dancing, Gunkoku Bon Dancing (released by Polydor)
1940 Kenkoku Ondo (Victor)
1941 Sangoku Ondo: Celebrating the Tripartite Pact of Japan, Germany and Italy
1943 – Zosan Ondo, Kessen Bon Odori (Bon dance)
1941-1945: Wartime results of the Pacific War
Prohibition of amusement. They stopped dancing Bon dances amid the stream of the times
Loss of young people who were the bearers of festivals
2.3 million military-related war dead from the Sino-Japanese War to the Pacific War, including 800,000 civilians
Among them, the festival is allowed to be held on a limited basis in the sense that it is a requiem for the dead of the Bon Season
Gujo Odori Dance
Allowed to be held only on August 15 and also on the day the war ended.
Niino Bon Dance
Held during and after the war
“Local Dancing and Bon Dancing,” by Yukichi Kodera, 1941
For the first time, he conducted a comprehensive study of Bon Dancing and compiled it into a book. Published in 1941, during the Sino-Japanese War and on the eve of the Pacific War.
The collection of min’yo (folk song) by Kasho Machida continued even under wartime conditions until 1944, and on July 20, 1944, “Nihon min’yo taikan(Grand view on folk song) , Kanto version” was published.
However, due to wartime illness, Shimizu Fujii and Yukichi Kodera, who had been involved in the editing process, died.
End of the War and Bon Dancing
With the end of the war, there was an immediate revival of Bon Dancing in many places. 1946 – 1948: Many groups were born in Awa.
After the rule of GHQ, Bon Dancing was liberated.
Bon Dancing in the Tokyo area under GHQ rule in 1946
From the Photo Encyclopedia: History of the Occupation of Japan
Mid summer Mass Dance Party in appreciation of General MacArthur’s sincere Aid for Japan’s Food Crisis
A banner reading “Mid summer Mass Dance Party in appreciation of General MacArthur’s sincere aid for Japan’s Food Crisis” was hung on the tower. And many people are enjoying the dance.
(This is said to be July 19, 1946, in the suburbs of Tokyo.
1947: Events begin to resume in earnest
The New Year’s Ceremony in the plaza in front of the Imperial Palace, a concert of Japanese musical instruments at the Kyoritsu Auditorium, a beauty contest, etc.
1948: Tankobushi recordings
A record of Tankobushi sung by Koume Akasaka was released. It became popular nationwide.
Minyo-kyoku collection by Keiko Machida resumed in 1948.
National folk song contest in 1949 → Local folk song boom
Local folk songs and Bon dances were created for town revitalization and postwar reconstruction.
The 1st Kohaku Uta Gassen in 1951
Koume Akasaka sang Miike Tankobushi and Masao Suzuki sang Tokiwa Tankobushi among the 14 contestant singers
- 0-1 The History of Uraabon
- 0-2 Ancient Japanese customs of the common people (not documented)
- 0-3 Late Heian Period, just before the birth of Bon Dancing
- 1.Kamakura Period Birth of Dancing Nembutsu
- 10.Heisei Reiwa: From Stagnation to the Birth of a New Axis
- 2.Birth of Bon no Furyu Odori (Bon Dance) in the mid-Muromachi Period
- 3.Late Muromachi – Sengoku – Azuchi-Momoyama Rise of Fuuryu Odori and Regional Expansion
- 4.Early Edo Period Establishment of Bon Dancing
- 5.Mid to Late Edo Period Bon Dancing takes root and matures
- 6.Meiji: A Turning Point for Bon Dancing
- 7.Taisho Era – Early Showa Era Revival of Bon Dancing
- 8.Before and After the War Wartime Response, Suspension and Resumption
- 9.Late mid-Showa period Nationwide expansion of Ondo and Minyo (folk songs)