- Born: 1728
- Died: 1774
- Other Names: 魏皓 (Gi Kou / C: Wèi Hào), 鉅鹿民部 (Ôga Minbu)
- Japanese/Chinese: 魏 子明 (Gi Shimei / Wèi Zimíng)
Gi Shimei was a musician and artist of Fujianese descent who played a notable role in spreading Ming Dynasty music in mid-Edo period Kyoto. He is known in particular for having compiled the Gi-shi gakufu, a 1768 publication of many of the Ming musical pieces passed down within his family. This was published widely in woodblock-printed form and was intended as a text from which others could study and practice Chinese music; today, it is a valuable source for scholars seeking to research the presence and practice of Chinese music in Edo period Japan.
Shimei was a great-grandson of Gi Shien, who came to Japan from Fujian in the 1660s, fleeing the Manchu conquest of China. Gi Shien settled in Nagasaki in 1672, and was naturalized (became recognized as "Japanese") in 1679, taking on the new surname Ôga.
Shimei made a name for himself in Kyoto as both a musician, and as a painter in the style of the Nanpin school. He is listed as a painter in the 1768 Heian jinbutsu shi ("Book of People of Kyoto"), alongside such names as Itô Jakuchû, Ike no Taiga, Maruyama Ôkyo, and Yosa Buson. According to one of his pupils, Tsutsui Keishû, there were over one hundred people who had studied Ming music under Shimei. Further, he and his students were invited from time to time to perform at the mansions of court nobles and other elites of the city.
- Nakao Yukari 中尾友香梨, "Nihon ni okeru Mingaku no juyô" 「日本における明楽の受容」, in Kojima Yasunori 小島康敬 (ed.), Reigaku bunka 礼楽文化, Tokyo: Pelican-sha (2013), 343-344.