In the early years of the Showa Period (1926–1989), new media brought a greater range of music to a broader audience—radio broadcasts had begun in 1925, records had become popular a decade earlier, and the first talkie movies hit the cinemas soon after Showa started. Classic fans emerged, listening to records of top Western performers, and movie theme songs became hit records. But the sound of marching boots came closer, and after the Mukden Incident in 1931, Japan was at war.
The wartime government actively promoted patriotic songs and militaristic songs. In addition, attempting to mould the morals of society into a form suitable for wartime, it broadcast programmes such as Kokumin Kayo (Songs for the Public) that were consciously designed to provide popular songs that could be sung in wholesome family homes. Music took on an overall wartime tint.
Richard Strauss’s Japanese Festival Music 1940
TOYAMA Kazuyuki Memorial Archives of Modern Japanese Music
Armband of Ongaku Hokoku Teishintai 1943