Vienna as a romantic place of desire and longing for young Japanese
If one is a more or less regular visitor of classical concerts and operas in Vienna, they have surely caught one’s eye: Japanese tourists, who make out a significant amount of the audience. Vienna is being marketed in Japan as the “Ongaku no Miyako” – the capital of music. It is, of course, no wonder that Viennese clichés are at the center of the marketing strategy; that’s simply how most of tourist marketing is being done. Vienna’s image of the world’s music capital is visible, if one looks at the city’s music academies. There, a high number of mainly female Japanese students is enrolled. For some of those schools, the admission of Japanese students has become such a big economic factor that even Japanese translators are being employed in order to secure smooth education.
Gregor Wakounig has interviewed Japanese students of different ages who came to study music in the “Ongaku no Miyako”. How much of the romanticized clichés of the music capital come true after settling in Vienna? How do Ottakring and Favoriten fit into this romantic image? And is it really music that’s in the centre of their lives after having lived in Vienna for a few years?