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In Memoriam

Mitsuru Yuge

July 26,1933 - February 14, 1991

From the Spring/Summer 1991 Ethnomusicology Newsletter

The Department of Ethnomusicology and Systematic Musicology is sad to announce the loss of one of its members - a friend, colleague and fellow musican - Mitsuru Yuge, who passed away unexpectedly after surgery on February 14, 1991. For the past 29 years Mitsuru was a quiet but undeniable presence in the ethnomusicology program, teaching, playing, and supporting the two Japanese ensembles. Mitsuru met his wife, Ikuko, also on the performanc faculty in ethnomusicology, when both were undergraduates at UCLA. At the time, Mitsuru had been recruited to play ryuteki by Robert Garfias when the UCLA Gagaku began. Appropriately, that gagaku played at Mitsuru's and Ikuko's wedding when they married in 1959. It was shortly thereafter that the Yuges traveled to Japan to study shakuhachi and koto, the two instrumental traditions that they would come back to Los Angeles to teach for years to come. Mitsuru received his teaching credential in 1961 from Notomi Judo, a noted shakuhachi master in Tokyo. Upon returning from Japan in the fall of 1962, Mantle Hood asked the Yuges to teach sankyoku at the then Institute of Ethnomusicology. Mitsuru's shakuhachi and the accomplished playing of the students he taught so patiently became one of the mainstays of the annual Ethnomusicology Spring Concerts.

Fitting to the way he lived his life, the UCLA Gagaku, with the Tenrikyo Church, Senshin Buddhist Church, and New York Center gagaku groups, played at Mitsuru's final tribute. The Senshin Buddhist Gagaku also performed in the Japanese Spring Festival Concert dedicated to Mitsuru. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.