JDF JapanDefenseFocus No.80

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MSDF Tokyo Band Takes Part in Basel Tattoo in Switzerland

MSDF Tokyo Band Takes Part in Basel Tattoo in Switzerland

The MSDF Tokyo Band appeared in Basel Tattoo, which was held in Basel, Switzerland from July 21st to July 30th. Basel Tattoo is the world’s second largest military band festival. It is held every year in Basel, Switzerland from the middle to end of July and is held under the patronage of the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport of Switzerland. Top-tier military bands from around the world and civilian music groups perform for audiences.

MSDF Tokyo Band Takes Part in Basel Tattoo in Switzerland

Performances at this year’s Tattoo began on July 21st and continued until July 30th. The MSDF Tokyo Band performed at a total of 13 shows during this time. The MSDF Tokyo Band’s solo performance rang out loudly, starting with the Tokyo Olympic March 1964, followed by Furusato, a song about the heart of the Japanese people, sung by PO3 Yukari Miyake who wore a traditional Japanese garment kimono. This was followed by a reverberating performance of taiko, traditional Japanese drum. Next, the Japanese folk song Yagibushi was performed passionately with the powerful rhythm of the Japanese musical instruments. Finally, the MSDF Tokyo Band capped off its performance with a march song called Gunkan, which is an official march song used by the MSDF.

In addition, the MSDF Tokyo Band took part in a joint performance of Shudan Kodo from the Nippon Sport Science University. A highlight of the show was the joint performance featuring PO3 Yukari Miyake singing Amazing Grace with the Kaserne (a historical barracks) in the background with music by the MSDF Tokyo Band and the UK’s Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines.

The MSDF Tokyo Band appeared in Basel Tattoo in Concert held on July 17th prior to Basel Tattoo, where it performed together with the Royal Marines Band. In addition, the Band participated in the Basel Tattoo Parade through the city center of Basel on July 23rd, where they were warmly welcomed by local residents. On the final day, the Band took part in Children’s Day festivities held with local children and their families, allowing children to try their hand at playing instruments, and then the Band performed a bright and cheery piece in a mini band format for all to enjoy.

MSDF Tokyo Band Takes Part in Basel Tattoo in Switzerland
MSDF Tokyo Band Takes Part in Basel Tattoo in Switzerland
MSDF Tokyo Band Takes Part in Basel Tattoo in Switzerland
MSDF Tokyo Band Takes Part in Basel Tattoo in Switzerland

Interview with Mr. Erik Julliard, the Producer of Basel Tattoo

MSDF Tokyo Band Takes Part in Basel Tattoo in Switzerland

Mr. Julliard is also a founding member of the Top Secret Drum Corps, which is a world-renowned drum group from Basel, Switzerland. The Top Secret Jubilee Corps was created to mark the group’s 25th anniversary and it performed at this year’s Basel Tattoo. The spectators were mesmerized by their fantastic performance.

Q1. Why did the Basel Tattoo invite the MSDF Tokyo Band to the Basel Tattoo?

MSDF Tokyo Band Takes Part in Basel Tattoo in Switzerland

A1. I saw the Japanese Self-Defense Force Tokyo Band in Norway when they performed at the fantastic Military Tattoo, and their performance was very impressive. Their discipline, their striking uniforms, their fantastic drill, but also the beautiful mix of Japanese culture with Japanese military music was very special and so I decided to invite them to Basel, Switzerland.

Q2. How did the MSDF Tokyo Band contribute to success of the Basel Tattoo?

MSDF Tokyo Band Takes Part in Basel Tattoo in Switzerland

A2. The Tokyo Band did a lot for this year’s Tattoo, not only showing their beautiful own music and their excellent drill, but also bringing some Japanese culture into this show. But more than that, not only did they perform so well on their own, they also performed together with the Royal Marines from Great Britain, a unit from the Ministry of Defence from Great Britain, and then they also appeared together with all the other participating bands in the grand finale.

Q3. Would you please share your impression on the performance of the MSDF Tokyo Band in Basel?

A3. My personal opinion is that it is absolutely wonderful how the Tokyo Band mixes everything which we asked for: they brought in a beautiful band with fantastic uniforms, but they also presented the Japanese culture. The moment when the singer came onto the field in the beautiful Japanese kimono and started to sing was an absolutely stunning moment in the arena for all the audience and the people loved it.

MSDF Tokyo Band Takes Part in Basel Tattoo in Switzerland

MSDF Tokyo Band Takes Part in Basel Tattoo in Switzerland

MSDF Tokyo Band Takes Part in Basel Tattoo in Switzerland

MSDF Tokyo Band Takes Part in Basel Tattoo in Switzerland

MSDF Tokyo Band Takes Part in Basel Tattoo in Switzerland

MSDF Tokyo Band Takes Part in Basel Tattoo in Switzerland

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