This project considers in concrete terms the nature and multifaceted significance of musical activity in two apparently unrelated settings: Japan today, among a range of ‘new’ ethnic and cultural minorities, and prewar Australia, among Japanese who lived there under diverse circumstances. The Australian historical case serves to highlight by contrast the extent to which in C21st Japan minorities’ engagement in the arts takes place in a setting shaped by ideas of tabunka kyousei 多文化共生. (literally, ‘cultures living together’). Researchers will undertake both ethnographic and historical case studies to produce practically-oriented understandings of two processes and issues: music-making in the shaping and consolidation of minority group identities, in particular among Japan’s ‘new’ ethnic and cultural minorities; and music’s significance for opening paths to intercultural understanding.

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