PAN IN JAPAN: CULTURAL ADOPTION AND ADAPTION OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO’S NATIONAL INSTRUMENT
” The steelpan was invented in the late 1930s, became the national instrument of Trinidad and Tobago by mid-century, and now enjoys international popularity, especially in countries with large populations of Trinidadian immigrants. However, in Japan, a country with few Trinidadian immigrants, pan constitutes a thriving niche market for music and musicians. Over thirty steelbands have been established since the instrument first made an appearance here in 1960. Notably, some of these groups were formed in the 1990s, during a “Golden Age” of pan in Japan, but many were created at the turn of the new century as well. In this dissertation, I examine the history of pan in Japan from the pre-pan decade (1950s) through the Golden Age (1990s), and then explore the Japanese steelpan culture from 2000 to present. To construct this timeline, I have drawn from interviews conducted with both Japanese pannists and Trinidadian musicians living in Japan, examined the creation and significance of several major Japanese steelband festivals, and surveyed the ways pan is and has been used for educational purposes. Additionally, I discuss patterns of cultural exchange between Japanese pannists and Trinidadian players during the annual, national Panorama competition in Trinidad and Tobago, including the impact of the murder of Japanese pannist Asami Nagakiya during the 2016 Carnival season. In order to highlight its uniqueness, I propose and present analyses of six important issues related to Japanese steelband culture and its history: gender relations, economic structures, rehearsal spaces, pan tuning, iitoko-dori, and improvisation. Throughout the dissertation, I use iitoko-dori – the tradition of adopting elements from abroad and using them within a Japanese cultural context – as a tool for understanding how the steelpan has been adopted from Trinidad and Tobago and adapted for use within Japanese steelband communities. ” Quote of ‘Abstract’ from the Full Text.