Maxwell, Marconi, and Sarnoff

Who was Suwa Nejiko?

    I am illiterate in music. I cannot make sense out of those bean sprouts spread over five horizontal lines. Yet, I can put up good music talks when I meet professional singers and players. How is it possible?. Until 1954, I used my shortwave radio to listen to the world. Japan's NHK from Tokyo was my favorite station.

    My Japanese friends become impressed when I tell them about their Suwa Nejiko. Miss Suwa's childhood tutor was a Russian lady who fled to Japan after the Bolshevik revolution. This tutor recommended Nejiko to her Russian colleagues in Paris. While studying there, German troops occupied Paris in 1940. Since Japan and German were allies at that time, there were no reasons for her to be against Germany.

    In fact, she worked for German government and was awarded a violin of historical significance in 1943 by Joseph Goebbels (Hitler's propaganda man) . After the war, she came back to her country. However, Japan was under American occupation, and he Nazi collaboration was not a good personaly history. After the peace treaty of 1952, she became the music star admired by every Japanese, and some Koreans including myself.

Y. S. Kim (October 2002).
Modified as needed, and last modified December 2010.