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A Ministry of Education and Science directive that takes effect next spring will require public schools to teach a Japanese instrument in junior-high-school music classes; up to now the focus has been entirely on Western music.

An article from Kyodo News that appeared in The Japan Times Sept. 4, “Traditional music industry looks to schools,” reported on the rush to develop user-friendly koto, shakuhachi, taiko drums, fue flutes and shamisen for school children to learn. The hogaku festival held recently at the Yoyogi Olympic Youth Center (see Aug. 12 column) exhibited and demonstrated many of these newly developed instruments.

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