The Beginnings of Western Music in Meiji Era Japan

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This investigation into the introduction of Western music into the educational system of Japan reveals the existence of conflicting tendencies within both the Early Meiji period and then again in the Late Meiji period. While the acceptance of other Western cultural values in Japan, such as philosophy, the arts, natural sciences, and many more, have been studied extensively, this book contributes on a subject not treated in great detail until now.


". . . his careful exploration of historical materials and analysis of school songs and songbooks provides intriguing evidence that early and late Meiji represented different eras in the way music was perceived and utilized. The contribution of this study therefore goes beyond the field of music and reinforces the growing perception that there were, in fact, two Meiji Japans. . . . while it concentrates on the issues of music and music education, on the way songs were structured, and how a synthesis between Western and Japanese music was constructed, it also provides significant insights into the way the ideological struggle functioned." - Journal of Japanese Studies

"This is a short but important monograph . . . . While arguing a new approach to song books of the Meiji era, Eppstein offers much historical detail and corrects several errors. . . . good and generous use of primary sources, and his scale analyses of songs are generally on the mark. In addition, this book provides meticulously accurate translations of many important primary sources." - Monumenta Nipponica

The value of the book is that it examines and sums up an interesting phenomenon, while also paving the way to further research. Eppstein does an excellent job of combining scholarly and literary writing. Since the book is written clearly and contains a wealth of quotations. . . . even readers who have not studied music can enjoy it." - The Jerusalem Post Literary Supplement

"This is an excellent book that discusses the roles of Isawa Shuji and Luther Whiting Mason in introducing Western music to Japan. Eppstein's knowledge of Japanese has enabled him to make use of sources in the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music. . .

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