JDF JapanDefenseFocus No.93

SPECIAL FEATURE  SPECIAL FEATURE

JGSDF Central Band Performs at The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

JGSDF Central Band Performs at The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
JGSDF Central Band Performs at The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, an international military band festival was held from August 4th to August 26th in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo has been held from 1950, and this year marks the 68th event. Top-quality military bands selected from the world gathered at the tattoo. This year, in addition to the military bands from the UK, the JGSDF Central Band participated in this event for the first time from Japan along with the military bands from France, the US, India and Principality of Monaco.

During the 25 performances, the JGSDF Central Band entertained a live audience of 220,000 by its stunning rendition incorporated Japanese traditional culture, such as wadaiko (Japanese drum) performance and shell horn blowing as well as sword-fighting demonstration by the samurai-armored JGSDF personnel. Overwhelming sound and beautiful formation triggered a thunderous applause, and at the finale, the entire audience was enchanted by the angelic voice of breathtaking soloist in kimono, Leading Private (LPT) Matsunaga.

Furthermore, “the Pooley Sword of Honour” was awarded to the JGSDF Central Band for its outstanding performance and rendition. It is the only award given to a band in the tattoo and the award started in 2011. The winner is chosen by votes of the entire cast of 1,200 performers. Colonel (COL) Higuchi, Commander of the band, was granted an honorable prize of “Sword of Honour” from the Governor of Edinburgh Castle.

Interview with Brigadier David Allfrey, the Chief Executive and Producer

JGSDF Central Band Performs at The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Q1: Would you please share your impression on the performance of the JGSDF Central Band?

A1: My impression on Self-Defense Force Band is extraordinary. The quality of music, the gravity, the elegance of the soldiers is fantastic. The music has a sublime quality to it.

They deliver a very accomplished performance, and everybody on the cast has said so.

Q2: How would you think the JGSDF Central Band contributes to success of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo?

A2: Above all, I am delighted to welcome Japan for the first time to the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. As everybody will see their performance is fantastic, it is world class. We are very privileged to have them here.

Interview with COL Higuchi and LPT Matsunaga

Q: Could you tell us how you feel after finishing the event?

A: COL Higuchi

I believe that JGSDF Central Band made a remarkable progress by participating in this famous tattoo. The reception of “the Pooley Sword of Honour” at the finale became the brightest moment in the 66-years history of the Band. The Band could made such a wonderful achievement thanks to all personnel who never gave up and never stop pursuing their best in their performance.

JGSDF Central Band Performs at The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

A: LPT Matsunaga

At the Edinburgh Tattoo, communicating with members of foreign tattoos was a very exciting experience. Though I usually sing in JSDF uniform, this time I wore kimono in order to represent Japanese culture. I was very tense everyday, but praises for our performance from audience and performers encouraged me.

I got a chance to sing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” at the finale. A lot of audience turned on light with their cellphone, and it was like I sang under the night sky full of stars. Participating in this tattoo became one of the most wonderful experiences in my life.

JGSDF Central Band Performs at The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
JGSDF Central Band Performs at The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
JGSDF Central Band Performs at The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
JGSDF Central Band Performs at The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
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