Beginning January 1, 2015, the Min-On Music Museum at the Min-On Culture Center in Shinanomachi, Tokyo, has been hosting a special exhibition entitled Vibrant Rhythm and Lively Melody—Argentine Tango.
Tango has become extremely popular both in Japan and around the world as a symbol of Latin passion and sensation, especially after the tradition of Argentinian and Uruguayan tango was included in UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list in 2009. Yet the exact origins of the music, the dance, and even of the word tango are unclear due to a lack of historical documentation. It is generally thought that tango developed in the late 19th century in urban working-class neighborhoods of Buenos Aires in Argentina, and in Montevideo, Uruguay. The evolution of tango with its distinctive music and dance was derived from the intermixing of European immigrant laborers, descendants of African slaves, and the indigenous people of the region known as criollos. Tango reflects a profound sense of loss and longing for their native culture.
This special exhibition showcases over 130 years of tango history through panel displays, original items given to Min-On by legendary tango maestros attending the Min-On Tango Series, and Min-On’s collection of bandoneons and other instruments. Also, in cooperation with Argentina’s National Tango Academy, the World Tango Museum in Buenos Aires has lent seven pieces from their precious collection of historical reference materials and costumes worn by legendary tango artists. Visitors to the Min-On Music Museum can enjoy a touch of Buenos Aires at the special exhibition Vibrant Rhythm and Lively Melody—Argentine Tango through July 12, 2015.