About Makoto Harris Takao
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, a music drama about a Japanese Christian noblewoman composed by Johann Bernhard Staudt in 1698.
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: methodologies for the field of global music history; inter/intra-Asian pop music diplomacy in the early twenty-first century; music and nostalgia.
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
Research and publications
Ongoing and upcoming research
Research and Supervisory Interests
- Music and/in Global History (“Global Music History”)
- Music and the history of emotions
- 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
“Global Music History,” in Oxford Bibliographies in Music, ed. Kate van Orden (New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming)
"Beyond Nostalgia and the Prison of English: Positioning Japan in a Global History of Emotions," Zeithistorische Forschungen/Studies in Contemporary History 18 (2021): 21-43. [Recipient of an honorable mention, Prize for Research in the Humanities awarded by the Humanities Research Institute at UIUC]
"Tokugawa Confucian Sermons as Popular Emotional Education: The Moral and Pedagogical Philosophy of Hosoi Heishū," Journal of Religious History 45 (2021): 50–67 [Winner of the Bruce Mansfield Prize in Religious History]
"The Concept of 'Religion' in Meiji Popular Discourse: An Analysis of the Newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun," Contributions to the History of Concepts 16 (2021): 40–62
"'In Their Own Way': Contrafactal Practices in Japanese Christian Communities During the 16th Century," Early Music 47 (2019): 183–198