The music history of Koriyama, Fukushima. Why Is it called ‘‘The City of Music’’? ~Showa era~ Vol.2

The music history of Koriyama, Fukushima. Why Is it called ‘‘The City of Music’’? ~Showa era~ Vol.1

The music history of Koriyama, Fukushima
Why Is it called ‘‘The City of Music’’? ~Showa era~ Vol.2

It all began from here…the legendary rock festival!


What is the One Step Festival?

The rock festival was held on August 4th to 5th and 8th to 10th, 1974 With the theme “Nature for the city! Open space for youth! Big dreams for everyone!” at the general athletics stadium in Kaiseizan Park, Koriyama City. It was produced by Yuya Uchida and Keiichi Ishizaka.
39 groups of Japanese musicians, and Yoko Ono from the US performed. It was called Japan’s largest rock festival in history.

■Performing artists
USA ~ Yoko Ono & Plastic Ono Super Band, Hiro Tsunoda & Space Band, Kenji Sawada & Takayuki Inoue Band, Mickey Yoshino Group, Kazuhiko Kato & Sadistic Mika Band, YELLOW, Yonin Bayashi, Gedo, etc.

Saburo Sato

Saburo Sato

One Step Festival (1974)

One Step Festival (1974), Saburo Sato

Poster of One Step Festival

Poster of One Step Festival, Saburo Sato

Interview about One Step Festival

We visited “OLD SHEP” in Doumae-cho, Koriyama City. The owner, Mr. Ito, participated in the “One Step Festival” as a part-timer when he was a student back then.
We interviewed him with a Fukushima city based singer-songwriter, MANAMI.



Q You have been going to Tokyo since you were 18 years old. Did you go to the One Step Festival when you were still studying in Tokyo?

Ito: That was 74 years ago wasn’t it? I remember I was in my 3rd year of university. I knew a guy from a small label in Tokyo who asked me to come and help for the festival for some extra money. So, I agreed. I was going there from Miharu-cho every day. Other workers who came from Tokyo stayed at a church or hotel. We worked for a week.
They gave us different conditions than local workers with us wearing different coloured t-shirts. Only us could sneak backstage,so It was pretty fun. However, we didn’t get paid at the end.

Interviewer: No Way!

Ito: After the festival, I complained about the payment to Saburo Sato, the chairman. Anyway, I really enjoyed seeing all the artists.
There were a lot of famous artists. I remember that Kenji Sawada, Carole and Yoko Ono were very popular. Kris Kristofferson & Rita Coolidge were attracting the crowd too. Yoko Ono seemed like a VIP.

Q I heard that Tatsuro Yamashita was there too?

Ito: Yes, he was there. His band ‘Sugar Babe’ was interesting. They performed very well. Actually, they all did great.

Q It is known as the origin of outdoor festivals. Do you think it is true?

Ito: There weren’t many big events up until then. I’m pretty sure that they set the trend.



Owner: Mr.Ito
Adress: 10-15 Katano Building 2F, Domae-machi, Koriyama, Fukushima.
Tel: 024-938-2203

A cafe run by a music-loving owner. You can enjoy coffee and alcohol whilst listening to music from his precious vinyl collection. He also invites a variety of artists to perform live here.

Toughts from MANAMI

It was a great opportunity to learn and talk about the legendary festival. I really enjoyed watching the film ‘’Hyakuman nin no dai gasshou’’ which I have never watched before and It is even older than me. Now I’m more familiar with the music history of Koriyama, I am more proud to be from here.
People from here still enjoy the music at the live house in front of the station, even though It is difficult to hold big events like music festivals in the city due to the current situation.
It is important for people to support the local musical activities such as choirs, brass bands and more to keep our great tradition going.



The music history of Koriyama, Fukushima. Why Is it called ‘‘The City of Music’’? ~Showa era~ Vol.1