B.A. (Japanese Studies); B.A. Hons (Asian Studies); Ph.D. (History and Musicology), University of Western Australia
Affiliated Faculty: Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, Center for Global Studies
Trained as a historian of religion and emotion, Makoto Harris Takao's approach to music is interdisciplinary, reflected in his historical and contemporary work on Japan’s relationship with Europe, North America, and Australia. As a player of the viol, Takao's work has also informed a number of performance projects both in Australia and Europe, including the Australian and UK premiere revivals of Mulier fortis (1698), a musical drama about the life of Hosokawa Tama (1563–1600) by Johann Bernhard Staudt.
As a doctoral fellow with the Australian Research Council Centre for the History of Emotions, Takao completed a joint PhD in history and musicology at the University of Western Australia. Prior to his appointment at UIUC, he was based in Berlin where he held a postdoctoral position and later a research fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development (Center for the History of Emotions) and was a core faculty member of the Master’s program in Global History at the Freie Universität.
His current book project, Of Mission and Music: Japanese Christianity and Its Reflection in Early Modern Europe, examines local syncretisms in religious music, drama, and dance that arose from cultural exchanges kindled by Jesuit missionaries in 16th-century Japan. It also analyzes how these exchanges were represented in European musical drama of the early modern period. His present projects include research in relation to: problematizing "nostalgia" from the perspective of Japanese Studies in a global history of emotion (and how this shapes application to music studies); methodologies for global music history; the role of music in Australian-Japanese diplomacy before 1945; the role of colonial networks throughout Asia in the mobility of the early music revival during the 1930s.
Research and Supervisory Interests
- Music and/in Global History ("Global Music History")
- The history of emotions
- Music and "nostalgia" (historical and contemporary perspectives)
- Music and global Christian missions (especially of the Jesuits in Asia)
- Historical and contemporary approaches to Japanese music studies
- Conceptual history (especially of music, religion, and emotion)
- Music and theater in sixteenth- to eighteenth-century Europe
- Colonial alterity and the early music revival
"Francis Xavier at the Court of Ōtomo Yoshishige: Representations of Religious Disputation between Jesuits and Buddhists in La conversione alla santa fede del re di Bungo giaponese (1703)," Journal of Jesuit Studies 3 (2016): 451–474