Photo by Kiyoshi Togashi
For its inaugural concert, which took place on March 11th 1975, Music From Japan, then called the Society of Contemporary Music From Japan, presented five pieces written by Japanese composers and performed by American musicians at Japan House in New York City. The compositions were written by Sesshu Kai, Joji Yuasa, Roh Ogura, Kenjiro Urata, and Teruyuki Noda. In a note in the program, Artistic Director Naoyuki Miura describes his commitment to presenting contemporary music on Western instruments by Japanese composers, a type of music quite underrepresented in the US at that time.
Music From Japan quickly followed up with a second concert on November 4th of 1975. This concert took place at Lincoln Center in Alice Tully Hall and included four American premieres. Composers Hikaru Hayashi, Ichiro Higo, Michio Kitazume, and Ryohei Hirose were all featured. Hayashi and Higo wrote pieces for three flutes and a String Quartet, respectively; both pieces were favorably reviewed in the New York Times. The young Michio Kitazume wrote a piece for percussion ensemble that used spacialization as an element of performance, drawing on work from Stockhausen.