We have received the following from Mari Itoh, President of IAML Japan:
We have to announce another sad piece of news less than six months after Dr. Kishimoto's passing. Emeritus professor Noriko Murai of Ferris University passed away on December 17, 2020.
She studied at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music (TUA) after graduating from Tsuda Juku Senmon Gakko (today Tsuda University) and received a Rockefeller Foundation scholarship to study musicology at Harvard University from 1958 to 1960. She was the second graduate of TUA and one of very few musicologists at that time. She taught Western music history for many years at several music schools. Among her accomplishments in music education in Japan was working with colleagues to translate basic music literature into Japanese, including the Prentice-Hall History of Music Series.
Prof. Murai realized the significance of music library services, the professionalism of music librarians, and the importance of exchanging information with colleagues internationally while studying abroad. She became a IAML member in 1962. She made a great contribution to the establishment of the Japanese branch with her proficient English skills, to such an extent that she devoted herself to surmounting financial difficulties of the branch. She became the first Secretary-General of the branch and later the vice president. She frequently attended annual meetings as a delegate of the branch between 1972 and 1993. Her last appearance at the branch was at its 30th anniversary symposium in 2009 as a panelist.
Prof. Murai's latest book was just published with Dr. Saori Nakanishi in February of this year. The book is an autobiographical work telling her background, research activities, and contribution to the IAML Japanese branch. We will not forget her boundless energy, nobility and kindness, and her passion for musicology and music libraries.