- Henry Johnson
(b Sannomiya, Kobe, Japan, April 7, 1894; d Kariya, Aichi prefecture, Japan, June 25, 1956).Japanese musician and developer of new koto-type instruments. He was part of a modernist movement that incorporated many ideas from Western music, including instrument innovations. Miyagi, blind by the age of eight, learned a number of instruments, including koto, shamisen, kokyū, and shakuhachi. He also learned the organ and violin. As a koto performer he was given the title kengyō (master) in 1912 and dai-kengyō (grand master) in 1916. In 1925 Miyagi appeared as a koto performer on the first test radio broadcast in Japan. From 1930 he taught at Tokyo College of Music (now Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music), becoming professor in 1937. In 1950 he received the first NHK (Nippon Hōsō Kyōkai: Japan Broadcasting Corporation) Broadcast Cultural Award. He made only one overseas visit: in 1953 he recorded one of his compositions for the BBC, and represented Japan at the International Folk Dance Music Festival in Biarritz and Pamplona....