Margaret Mehl

Published On


Page Range

pp. 87–124


  • English

Print Length

38 pages

3. The Case of Japan

Chapter 3, ‘The Case of Japan’ briefly outlines the process that led to Japan’s extreme course is outlined briefly in The main intention with this chapter is to position Japan in the wider field of musical encounters, and to provide readers unfamiliar with Japan with the necessary context for what follows in the other parts of the book. No comprehensive survey is attempted, as this would fill a book in its own right (although the chapter includes a brief survey of developments after the period treated in the book). Particular attention is given to effects of the social transformations after 1868 on indigenous musics and the relationship between Japanese and Western music.


Margaret Mehl

Associate Professor at University of Copenhagen

Margaret Mehl is a historian of modern Japan with a special interest in musical culture. She is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Copenhagen, having previously held appointments at the universities of Cambridge, Edinburgh, Stirling, and Berlin. As well as a doctorate from the University of Bonn, Margaret Mehl holds a Dr. Phil. (Habilitation) from the University of Copenhagen. She has lived and worked in Japan as a researcher on several occasions, where she has had affiliations with the University of Tokyo, and with Waseda University. Margaret Mehl has published widely on the history of historiography, education, and music in modern Japan. Her previous books include History and the State in Nineteenth-Century Japan (which has been translated into Japanese), Private Academies of Chinese Learning in Meiji Japan: The Decline and Transformation of the Kangaku Juku, and Not by Love Alone: The Violin in Japan, 1850–2010. When she is not reading, writing or teaching, Margaret Mehl enjoys playing her violin and has performed in amateur orchestras and chamber ensembles in several countries.