Kikuko Kanai

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Kikuko Kanai
Kikuko Kanai.jpg
Born(1911-03-13)13 March 1911
 Japan Okinawa, Miyako-jima
Died17 February 1986(1986-02-17) (aged 74)
Other names金井 喜久子

Kikuko Kanai (金井 喜久子, Kanai Kikuko, née Kawahira, 13 March 1911 – 17 February 1986) was a Japanese composer.


Kikuko Kawahira was born on the Ryukyu island of Miyako-jima, Okinawa, and studied voice at the Nihon Music School and composition at the Tokyo Academy of Music with Kanichi Shimofusa and Kishio Hirao. Working as a composer, she produced songs and orchestral music using the Ryukyuan pentatonic scale.

In 1954 she studied the dodecaphonic method in Brazil with Hans-Joachim Koellreutter, and incorporated atonal composition into her work.[1][2] She was awarded the Mainichi Prize for Cultural Publication in 1955, and a prize by the Okinawan government for her opera Okinawa monogatari in 1968. She died in Tokyo.[3]


Selected works include:

  • Ryūkyū no min’yō (‘Folksongs of Ryūkyū’) 1954
  • Okinawa monogatari opera
  • Miyako-jima engi (Legend of Miyako Island) (ballet), 1949
  • Ryūkyū hiwa (A Hidden Story of Ryūkyū) (jazz ballet), 1951
  • Hiren Karafune (Love Tragedy on Tang Boat) (op, 4, Kanai and K. Yano), 1960
  • Okinawa monogatari (Tale of Okinawa), 1997
  • Symphony, no.1, 1938
  • Okinawa buyō kumikyoku (Okinawan Dance Suite): no.1, 1940, no.2, 1946
  • Ryūkyū kyōsōkyoku (Ryūkyū Rhapsody) no.1, 1946
  • Symphony, no.2, 1946
  • Uruma no shi (Poem on Uruma), 1952
  • Festival Overture ‘Hishō’, 1972
  • Ryūkyū kyōsōkyoku no.2, pianoforte octet, 1950
  • Ryūkyū Ballade, pianoforte, 1951
  • Sonata, violin, pianoforte, 1952
  • Brazil Rhapsody, pianoforte, 1955
  • Hamachidori hensōkyoku (Variations on Hamachidori), koto, Electone, percussion, 1970
  • Okinawa min'yō niyoru gasshōkyoku-shū (Choral Pieces on Okinawan Folksongs), 1953–60
  • Haha to ko no Okinawa no uta (Okinawan Songs for a Mother and Children), 1965

Her work has been recorded and issued on CD, including:

  • Just For Me - Noriko Ogawa plays Japanese piano music (1997) BIS
  • Bridges to Japan Audio CD (17 October 2000) Bis, ASIN: B0000508RU


  1. ^ Tyrrell, John (2001). The new Grove dictionary of music and musicians: Volume 13.
  2. ^ Katayama, Motohide (1997). Just For Me - Noriko Ogawa plays Japanese piano music (CD booklet).
  3. ^ Kanazawa, Masakata. "Kanai (née Kawahira), Kikuko". Retrieved 22 December 2010.[permanent dead link]