Imperial Palace Closing Announcement

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  • Imperial Palace Closing Announcement 00:00
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This is a sound recording of an announcement broadcasted through horn loud speaker inside the Tokyo Imperial Palace area on 3rd April 2019, in spring, when the sakura blossoms had reached its peak in this city. The information was that the Tokyo Imperial Palace that had opened for public since morning will be closed and visitors were asked to leave the premises. The verbal announcement was conveyed in three languages, japanese, english, and chinese, because visitors of the Tokyo Imperial Palace weren’t just Japanese, but also tourists from foreign countries. The information was transmitted through sounds. Along with the announcement, people who were crowding the Tokyo Imperial Citadel’s garden to see the beauty of the sakura flowers (hanami) had started to go home. The sound of their footsteps could also be heard in the recording. I recorded these sounds around 2 in the afternoon.

Newsflash, the Tokyo Imperial Palace was built on what was used to be the Edo Castle which was the headquarter of the Tokugawa shogunate who ruled Japan in 1603-1867. In 1868 when the shogun era ended and the capital city of Japan moved from Kyoto to Tokyo, the construction of the Imperial Palace started. The construction of the Tokyo Imperial Palace was finished in 1888, and then it experienced major damage during World War II before it was eventually renovated to the architectural structure we see now.
In Japan, parks are public spaces that are important and alive. Amidst the modern lives in the city of Tokyo, we could easily find parks to see the sakura flowers in spring. We could still hear the hustle and bustle of the people during the hanami. Such a typical Japanese soundscape during spring.

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