Margaret Mehl

Published On


Page Range

pp. 243–292


  • English

Print Length

50 pages

9. Local Pioneers and the Beginnings of Western Music in Sendai

Nevertheless, as Chapter 9, ‘Local Pioneers’, demonstrates, the decisive initiatives to promote music in general, and to disseminate Western music in particular came from determined individuals, including Shikama Totsuji and his brother Jinji. Having received a minimum of musical training in the capital, they taught music, wrote songs, helped establish local associations for the promotion of music, and organized concerts. The early concerts featured predominantly Japanese music. Concerts of Western music did not happen regularly until after the founding of a music club at the Second High School in 1902.


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.