People

Chieko Nakamura ×Chisako Takashima

GINZA CONNECTIVE VOL.39

Chieko Nakamura ×Chisako Takashima

2014.12.04

An interview series featuring Ginza people in conversation with violinist Chisako Takashima. With a special fondness for Ginza, where she has many memories from both her professional and private life, Takashima explores Ginza from various dimensions with her guests. In this volume, she welcomes Ms. Chieko Nakamura CEO of Ginza Jujiya, a retailer of western musical instruments established in the Meji era.

First established as a bookstore, Ginza Jujiya proudly celebrates 140 years of history

Takashima
May I ask when Ginza Jujiya was first established?
Nakamura
Ginza Jujiya was established in Meiji 7 (1874). This year, we are celebrating 140 years of business here in Ginza San-chome. We originally started out as a bookstore that sold bibles and hymn books.
Takashima
Really!
Nakamura
The lifting of the ban on Christianity in Meiji 6 (1873) enabled us to openly promulgate our faith. The bible and hymns were essential in our promulgation activities and hence, we sold them at our store.
Takashima
I see. Then, the name Jujiya must come from…
Nakamura
The name Jujiya comes from the Christian jujika (=cross). We eventually came to sell organs, which are essential to singing hymns. Later, we imported accordions, mandolins, harmonicas and other musical instruments that were not yet widely available in Japan.
Takashima
So, you were constantly introducing new things.
Nakamura
Yes, we were. I have been told that when we displayed the first jukebox in Japan, people formed long queues outside our store.

We organize lessons and concerts in an effort to share the beauty of the harp, a healing instrument

Takashima
I have heard that Ginza Jujiya is currently very focused on the harp.
Nakamura
Yes. In an era when various things have become widespread, I felt that people were not yet familiar with the harp. In an effort to invite more people to play the instrument, we have been giving harp lessons for almost 60 years now, but when we renewed our music classes eight years ago, we decided to enhance our focus on the harp.
Takashima
Do you also take harp lessons?
Nakamura
I have taken a few lessons in the past because I love listening to harp music and I wanted to learn to play.
Takashima
What do you think are the most fascinating features of the harp?
Nakamura
The harp has a beautiful form and an elegant sound. When you play the harp, you let it rest on your shoulder, which allows you to feel its beautiful sound pleasantly vibrate through your entire body. I believe it to be a healing instrument.
Takashima
You also offer free admission to your weekly concerts, held on Wednesdays, in order to share the beauty of the harp with a wide audience.
Nakamura
Yes, I’m very pleased to say that we have held over 400 concerts. We have arranged a diversity of harp concerts in many different styles, including duets with other instruments, such as the flute and violin. Welcoming a wide range of musicians – from young to experienced artists – all of our concerts have been very successful. Through our concerts, I hope to further acquaint our audience with harp music.
Takashima
I just recalled the first time I heard live harp music. It was when I was in second grade and I had been invited to dinner at my friend’s house. Her mother was playing the harp slowly….and we had waffles for dessert. Waffles, as we listened to harp music … I was simply amazed. As a child, I remember thinking, “What is going on here?” (laughs)
Nakamura
The music must have beautiful. (laughs)
Takashima
What are your ambitions for the future?
Nakamura
I would like to have more and more people get to know the harp, and so I am inspired to expand my activities outward. We currently offer harp classes at some schools, and give concerts at nursing homes as well as mini concerts at restaurants. I believe we have been successful in offering more opportunities than people have had in the past to listen to harp music.

All List

銀座千疋屋/Hatsukoマロニエゲート銀座
三井住友銀行 銀座支店/GINZA(株)天賞堂/
銀座 らん月/ギンザのサヱグサ/三笠会館本店/
みずほ銀行 銀座通支店/西銀座駐車場/

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