The Viola da Gamba Society of Japan - Who Are We ?

    The Viola da Gamba Society of Japan (the Society) was founded in 1973 for the purposes of spreading the viola da gamba (viol) and its music, promoting and enhancing playing, research, exchanging information, and fostering friendship among its members. The Viola da Gamba Society of Japan is the third oldest Viola da Gamba Society in the world after the UK and the USA.
    The Society has around 250 registered members, including amateur and professional players, instrument makers, composers, and musicologists.

General Informtion

Events Schedule 2018

Handbook for the Viola da Gamba (VdGSJ Journal Committee) New!

Viols in Japan in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (Kambe, Yukimi)

On-line Services

<General Information>

[Main Activities]
  • The publication of a quarterly magazine.
  • The organisation and support of viol-related events.
[Events organized by the Society]
  • An annual viol summer course.
  • An annual autumn consort weekend.
  • Other meetings as arranged.
  • From time to time the Society also organises and supports open-to-the-public lessons, lectures and concerts related to the viol, such as those listed below:
  • 1990: M. Hirao lecture on “Trattado de Glosas by D. Ortiz”;
    1991: W. Kuijken solo recital;
    1991: A. Crum lesson (open to the public);
    1992: J. Savall lesson (open to the public);
    1997: Chelys Consort of Viols lecture concert 'History of the In Nomine' ;
    2001: P. Pandolfo lesson (open to the public).
[Services to Members]
  • A quarterly magazine - the only publication dedicated to viols in Japan.
  • A membership list - useful when looking for consort members to play with.
  • A scholarly journal (issued on an irregular basis).
  • A reduction to Society-organized events, such as the viol summer course.
  • Members’ discounts available at the following co-operating stores:
    • Academia Music Ltd.
    • Casa de la Guitarra S. A.
    • Shimokura Musical Instruments Co., Ltd.
  • A members’ mailing list.
[Membership Type]

Individual Membership: For individuals.
Student Membership:For students.
Family Membership: Available to those who live at the same address. Only one copy of each bulletin is provided to the registered address. Other services are provided as for individual members.
Corporate Members: For corporations and societies.

[Annual Fees]
  • Individual Membership: 4,000 JPY
  • Student Membership: 2,000 JPY
  • Family Membership: 4,500 JPY
  • Corporate Membership: 8,000 JPY
[How to contact us]

<Please change * to @ when you use.>

<Events Schedule 2018>

[The 44th Summer Course]

Saturday, August 4 - Monday, August 6, 2018

The 44th Summer Course will be held from 4th to 6th August in Shonan Village Center. Join our summer course to have amazing three days of music-making!

Shonan Village Center
1560-39 Kamiyamaguchi Hayama Miura-gun, Kanagawa 240-0198 JAPAN
Motomi Igarashi (viola da gamba),
Reiko Ichise (viola da gamba)
JPY45,000 (members of VdGSJ) JPY35,000(student members)
JPY49,000 (non-members) JPY37,000(student non-members)
JPY6,000 (a personal lesson for 50 minutes)

[Application deadline: June 25th, 2018]

How to apply:
Please first contact us to request an application form, then fill it out and send it back to us via email. Alternatively you may print out the application form and send it by post. (Please ask our postal address by email.)
gamba-event* (replace the * with @)

Past Events

<Viols in Japan in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries>
Kambe, Yukimi

    Japan shared the European vogue of viols through Portugal in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. An examination of bowed string instruments’ terms in archival documents, called Kirishitan monjo, demonstrates that Jesuit missionaries, then active in Japan, employed viols in both religious and secular ceremonies. Christians played a set of viols for polyphonic music. Japanese envoys* who visited the Iberian Peninsula and Italy from 1584 to 1586 brought a small viola da braccio to Japan. The following terms are found: viola(s) de arco, violoni, viola da gamba, viola, rabequinha and viola semplice. (from RILM abstract)

*  "Tenshô ken'ô shisetsu" (Japanese envoys in Europe 1582-90)
The original article: Journal of the Viola da Gamba Society of America Volume vol. 37, 2000, pp. 31-67.

<On-line Services>

[Free on-line printed music]