edited by Hugh De Ferranti, Michiyo Yoneno-Reyes and Masaya Shishikura
National University of Singapore Press, 2023
Paper: 978-981-325-236-3 | eISBN: 978-981-325-237-0

An analysis of the role of music in Japanese migrant communities.

This collection of essays on the music of migrant minorities in and from Japan examines the central role music plays in the ongoing adjustment, conciliation, and transformation of newcomers and “hosts” alike. It is the first academic text to address musical activities across a range of migrant groups in Japan––particularly those of Tokyo and its neighboring areas and the first to juxtapose such communities with those of Japanese emigrants as ethnic minorities elsewhere. It presents both archival and fieldwork-based case studies that highlight music in the dynamics of encounter and attempted identity-making, under a unifying framework of migration.

The 2019 introduction of a new “Specified Skilled Worker” visa category marked the beginning of Japan’s “new immigration era,” led by the slogan of tabunka kyosei, or “multicultural coexistence.” The contributors to this volume analyze the concept itself and the many problems around realizing this ideal through ethnographic accounts of current minorities, including South Indians, Brazilians, Nepalis, Filipinos, Iranians, and Ainu domestic migrants. This volume will be of interest to ethnomusicologists, students of the cultures of migrant communities, and those engaged with cultural change and diversity in Japan and East Asia.