Know-how to introduce Japanese traditional musical instruments into game music

On September 2~4, conference event for game developers of the biggest in Japan "CEDEC 2014" was held in Yokohama, Kanagawa. Japanese game media 4Gamer reports an interesting lecture held in it. About Japanese traditional musical instruments and the game music.

Now, Japanese game industry has a lot of many games about the Sengoku era(戦国時代: age of civil strife) and the Japanese-style fantasy. and there are examples to fuse in Japanese tradition music, traditional musical instrument and game music. However, as for them, various problems and trouble occur because they have a totally different characteristic with European music and the musical instrument. In CEDEC 2014, game developers and the musician of the Japanese musical instrument talked about them.

At first, how many Japanese traditional musical instruments do you know?

With a flute made of the bamboo, keys are different by length. Because the score of the shakuhachi is not staff notation, you must transfer score written in staff notation to the sheet of music of the shakuhachi before the play.

The flute which painted small kind of bamboo with Urushiol and finished. It has various kinds and must use it properly by kind of melody.

The bamboo transverse flute which high pitched. It is commonly used in traditional Imperial Noh and Kabuki theatre. It does not have absolute musical scales, because composer cannot reproduce a melody on score.

Japanese short-necked fretted lute. There are four string types and five string type. Of course sounds are different each.

Tsugaru Shamisen(津軽三味線)
Genre of Shamisen(Stringed instrument of 3 strings) music originating in Aomori prefecture. It is today performed throughout Japan, though associations with the Tsugaru area of Aomori remain strong. The samisen has a variety of kinds. Composer must select carefully which samisen they should use by a difference of the number.

13 stringed musical instrument. However, there is the bass type of 17 strings, too. Form of the pick and performance-styleis are different by Ryūha(流派: School).

Small hand drum. The player can change a tone by regulating a string putting leather on.

Big hand drum. The player must warm the leather before playing it. The time required is about two hours. Furthermore, the leather is worn out by six times of play.

Cappa(ちゃっぱ) and Atarigane(当たり鉦)
Metal percussion instrument. they are used in not only the traditional music but also a folk songs and the festival tunes.

In addition, there is a various kinds of Japanese traditional musical instruments and they have a characteristic each. Composer and the sound producer understand all of them and must choose these appropriately.

The player of a Japanese traditional musical instrument says, "We are said to the people of the game industry, -Are players of the Japanese traditional musical instrument strict people?-". Of course it is prejudice. All are openhearted and are gentle, and there are the many young people.

There is the problem only by Japanese traditional musical instruments. These weak points are "modulations". These are not suitable for a performance with many modulations structurally. However, Gazan Watanabe of the shakuhachi player says, "The modulation is surely difficult. However, good number is born from a difficult play. The consideration of the composer is nice, but I do not want them to avoid composition of number with the modulation". Watanabe told that it was important that they talked about how they should overcome it together for difficulty.

Watanabe played BGM of "Samurai Warriors(戦国無双 Sengoku Musō)" series, the consoles game of Tecmo Koei Games. At the time of game release of 2004, even a producer of the game music did not understand how they should use the Japanese traditional musical instruments. Therefore Watanabe supervised the music as well as play.

It may be surely difficult to manage Japanese traditional musical instruments. However, Watanabe said that game developers do not have to read several textbooks and to learn strictly traditional music. He suggests that they listen to traditional music than it. he said "Anyone has a taste of the Japanese traditional music as far as we are brought up in Japan. It is a start if you write score without your deleting the its taste".

The Japanese game music has begun to introduce Japanese traditional musical instruments from the just the 21st century. At that time, Japanese game industry began to think about a world advance in earnest at last(It was too slow!). Afterwards, Japanese game companies performed various global expansion, but those most failed. And the shown lesson was this "We must make works of distinctive of Japan". Japanese game music noticed it quickly and emphasized a quality of Japanese. It's important that we must make original works of oneself before localization. It's similar by not only the game but also all contents and culture.

via http://www.4gamer.net/games/252/G025263/20140911136/


The chef of the soba restaurant of Okinawa cooked dessert of Ingress

Japanese players of Ingress seem to do interesting play a bit than players of other countries.

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This chef of soba restaurant is the one of them, too. The Chef owner of Komehati soba(米八そば) of a Soba restaurant in Okinawa has become crazy about Ingress. Therefore he cooked the dessert which reproduced portal of Ingress. the name is "Ingress Zenzai(Ingressぜんざい)".

Zenzai is a traditional Japanese dessert. It is a sweet porridge of Azuki beans boiled and served in a bowl with shiratama-dango(白玉団子: Japanese dumpling).

He said, "shiratama may look like a power cube".

He rode shaved ice on Zenzai and expressed portal. Originally this type of Zenzai was popular dessert of Okinawa as ice Zenzai(氷ぜんざい). Okinawa is a prefecture of the everlasting summer by the only tropical climate in Japan. So the people like cold desserts. He expressed Resistance and Enlightened by color syrup. This is 300 yen each, but is not included on the official menu. However, you can order it for the staff.

via http://komehatisoba.jimdo.com/2014/09/05/%E3%82%A4%E3%83%B3%E3%82%B0%E3%83%AC%E3%82%B9%E3%81%9C%E3%82%93%E3%81%96%E3%81%84%E5%A7%8B%E3%82%81%E3%81%BE%E3%81%97%E3%81%9F/

The Japanese personifies everything, even cars

Battleships, Japanese swords, castles, Sushi, heavy equipments... every thing are personified in Japan.

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The Japanese personifies everything, even heavy equipment
The Japanese personifies everything, even sushi
The Japanese personifies everything, even samurai's castles

Yesterday, Japanese car information site Autoc-one announced that they released the game apps for smartphones "Syanago collection(車なごコレクション)" in this autumn.

Syanago collection is a race game of the Sugoroku(双六: Traditional Japanese board game played with dice. Wikipedia) which personified existing cars. "Syanago" is the coined word that combined "Sya" with "Onago". "Sya" is the Chinese‐style reading(On-yomi: 音読み) of "車" of the kanji to mean a car. (Most of kanji have two different readings of On-yomi and Kun-yomi, which are reflected of sound and meaning. On-yomi is originally from Chinese pronunciation, and Kun-yomi is the translation into Japanese native word). Onago is a Japanese archaic word meaning  women. Players collect the attractive Syanago which personified actual cars, and compete with other players in the race of the sugoroku type.

Interestingly, many Japanese car companies cooperate with this game officially. HONDA, NISSAN, Mazda and MITSUBISHI supervise designs of Syanago.

Of course a lot of other Syanago comes up in this game. I think if overseas car companies participate in this, it will become more fun.


The curious Japanese already got "Apple" Watch

Apple Watch becomes the topic all over the world. Natural Japan is no exception. Surprisingly, a certain Japanese guy already got it!

Unfortunately this Watch does not convey time exactly, but has overwhelming advantage. Well...WE CAN EAT THIS!

"The hand on the watch which does not work at all and the fresh fruit juice which drips. The device which spoils a sleeve of your brand-new shirt..."

By nice workmanship and a cool visual and explanation, this Tweet became popular in Japan. Now, this is retweeted more than 40,000 times. Let's praise his humor and fast work!


Let's touch girl's tits in the virtual world!---When Japanese hentai has technology...

Oculus Rift is very popular among Japanese Tech geeks. They are not satisfied only by trying a demo and make use of the idea only by the Japanese and develop original application.
One day, Japanese developer Ryuto worried, "Even if we go to the virtual world using Oculus Rift, we cannot do naughty things with a sense of reality". Therefore he combined various gadgets with Oculus Rift and developed such a system.

He combined LeapMotion, pressure sensor, Arduino, camera, speaker and real size tits mouse pad(Well' it's the real product which is sold in Japan) with Oculus Rift.

The reaction of the virtual girl is fast. She screams as soon as touched her tits. Do you want to touch virtual girl's tits? There is a good news! This is exhibited by Ocu-Fes(Oculus Rift festival) held in Nagoya-shi, Aichi on September 14. You can watch the unique works of Japanese Oculus Rift developers.