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JSDF Central Army Band at the JSDF Festival 2012.

The Music Corps (Japanese language: 音楽隊 ) is a department of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force that is tasked with presiding over military bands in the JGSDF. Similarly, the Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Air Self Defense Force each have a music corps. JGSDF military bands regularly participate in international festivals and take part in national and branch-related events. It is roughly the equivalent to the Corps of Army Music (CAMUS) in the British Army and the Music Branch (Canadian Forces).

Purpose and Traditions[edit | edit source]

The JGSDF adopted a more western style military band, which originated in Japan during the Meiji Restoration, which saw the reform of the armed forces to the standards of Western armed services. The JGSDF's bands also carry on the practice of bugle call playing, with bugle platoons present in every unit in the JGSDF using G major bugles. As a JSDF military band, the JGSDF Central Band frequently renders honors in national and local performances, including events for honoured imperial guests and official dignitaries.[1][2] It is the main sponsor for the JSDF Marching Festival.

JGSDF Central Band[edit | edit source]

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Central Band
JGSDF Central band.jpg
The JGSDF Band at Camp Narashino in 2008
Active June 1951 – present
Country  Japan
Branch  Japan Army
Type Military band
Size About 100 personnel
Garrison/HQ Camp Asaka, Nerima, Tokyo
Colonel Takahiro Higuchi[3][4]

The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Central Band (陸上自衛隊中央音楽隊 (Rikujō Jieitai Chūō Ongakutai)) or JGSDF Central Band is the premier military band of the Japan Self-Defense Forces. Its more senior activities consist of national ceremonies, military parades, and symphonic concerts taking place in the capital of Tokyo Metropolis. It also performs at events that also includes joint service concerts alongside other Japanese military bands such as the Maritime and Air Self-Defense Forces Central Bands. The Central Band also presides over all military bands of the Ground Self-Defense Force and is modeled on its military counterparts in the United States and the United Kingdom. The band is a directly reporting unit of the Ministry of Defense.

History[edit | edit source]

The band in Russia in 2019.

The JGSDF Band was created in the summer of 1951 under the as part of the National Police Reserve (formerly the National Safety Force), the predecessor agency of the JGSDF. With the NPR only being an armed national police force rather than a national military, the JGSDF Band was the first military band to form in modern Japan. Its history is rooted in the long heritage of Japanese military music, and more specifically the Imperial Japanese Army Band beginning in the 1880s. In the last half-century, the JGSDF Band has gained the nobility of being the senior most ground force and self-defence force wind band, serving as one of many ceremonial military and paramilitary units that serve the Emperor and the Imperial Family during state visits and other official functions.[5] Musicians of the band have since 2015 taught personnel of the Papua New Guinea Defence Forces Band.[6]

Awards and Honours[edit | edit source]

Organization of the JGSDF Ground Forces Bands[edit | edit source]

The JGSDF Central Band, as the premier band of the service, is also the principal ensemble of the Ground Forces Bands Service, which is modeled on the United States Army Bands and the British Army Corps of Army Music. The other bands that compose the service are:

Army Bands[edit | edit source]

Division Bands and Brigade Bands[edit | edit source]

JGSDF 15th Band and the USMC III MEF Band

Gallery of bands[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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