Date of this Version
At the turn of the twentieth century, Toru Takemitsu (1930-1996) was regarded both domestically and internationally as a representative Japanese composer. He used elements of Japanese culture– music, gardens, and philosophy – in his music. Ironically, Takemitsu‟s interest in Japanese music and culture was the result of an encounter with American composer John Cage (1912-1992). In turn, Cage‟s unique musical philosophy was influenced by Japanese culture. This document takes a look at the effects of “Cage Shock” on Japanese composers, especially Takemitsu. In addition to presenting both composers‟ incorporation of Japanese elements in their compositions, particularly Japanese Gardens, it also briefly discusses the history of Western music in Japan.