- 東京女子大学比較文化研究所紀要 (ISSN:05638186)
- vol.72, pp.17-30, 2011
This paper is a comparative discussion based on Clara's Meiji Diary of how non-Japanese people,with different values and beliefs,took to and understood gagaku,especially, bugaku, which has one of the richest histories of any part of Japanese culture.Clara Whitney,an American girl,came to Japan because of her father's work in 1875(8th year of Meiji), a time when Eastern and Western cultures were coming into contact. She saw ancient Japanese bugaku and tried to understand its cultural world,so completely different from the Western one she knew, with curiosity and passion.I tried to trace which bugaku pieces Clara watched at the beginning of the Meiji Era using evidence from the official Gagakuroku (Musical Activities of the Gagaku Department, Bureau of Ceremonies, Imperial Household Agency), and musicians' diaries. I discovered that the pieces performed in the gagaku rehearsal room between 1878 and 1879 were Manzairaku, Kitoku, Tagyuraku, Bairo and Rakuson. By reviewing Gagakuroku and Clara's Meiji Diary, I have discovered what gagaku was like in the early Meiji era and sensed how the Gagaku Department was trying to spread the cultures of the Japan and West with the aim of promoting exchanges and interactions between Eastern and Western cultures.Clara Whitney was a part of a historic period in the early Meiji era when gagaku underwent a significant transformation and played a role in making the culture known overseas.