Jazz legend Yamashita reprises 1969 ‘gate-crash’ concert at Waseda University

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Haruki Murakami, left, and Yosuke Yamashita pose for photos in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo, on Tuesday after the “Sai-rannyu Live” concert.

Jazz pianist Yosuke Yamashita performed at Waseda University on Tuesday, reprising a concert he gave there during a student riot in July 1969.

Novelist Haruki Murakami organized the Tuesday concert at the university’s Okuma Auditorium in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo. The reprise was titled “Sai-rannyu Live” (Another gate-crash concert) after the 1969 concert, which was dubbed the “Rannyu Live” (Gate-crash concert).

Tuesday’s event was organized by Tokyo FM and the university’s Waseda International House of Literature (The Haruki Murakami Library), which was converted from Building 4, the venue of the 1969 concert by a jazz trio led by Yamashita.

In 1969, Yamashita played a piano that students had brought without permission to Building 4 from the Okuma Auditorium. Murakami was a student at the university when the riot occurred.

At the concert on Tuesday, Murakami served as an emcee together with musician Miu Sakamoto. The concert was joined by Yamashita’s trio and members of the university’s modern jazz society, performing in front of an audience of about 1,100 people.

Murakami is a big fan of jazz.

“At the time, idealism to make the world a better place spread all over the world, and the power of music helped the movement. I think that Mr. Yamashita’s concert was a part of that,” Murakami said.