Makoto Harris Takao

Makoto was appointed Assistant Professor of Musicology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, commencing August 2019. He commenced a research fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, in September 2016, following the submission of his PhD at The University of Western Australia (graduated April 2017), with support from a Top-Up scholarship from the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions. His PhD dissertation, The Glocal Mirror: The Role of the Performing Arts in Japan's Christian Century and Its Reflection in Early Modern Europe, 1549–1783, sought to bring attention to the truly bidirectional nature of the intercultural exchange that occurred between Europe and Japan in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The first half of the dissertation (‘The Object’) looks to the performative practices of conversion employed by Jesuit missionaries in Japan. In analysing how music and theatre were practised and experienced in these local contexts, examples of performative syncretism are explored. The second half of the dissertation (‘The Reflection’) demonstrates how globalisation in this period entailed both a 'real and imagined defiance of geography'. In this way, the ‘Glocal Mirror' not only relayed a re-imagined image of Japan across Catholic Europe, but it also served as a way for continental Jesuits to see an exemplary reflection of their own faith in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Three case studies of differing compositional genres (melodrama, oratorio and tragedy) in Europe are analysed as to how and why Japan’s Christian Century was interpreted and re-interpreted over space and time. The ‘object’ and its ‘reflection’ are two halves of a whole that have yet to be considered in the same space. Indeed, Makoto’s dissertation argues that these examples of European ‘Japanese plays’ were part of a broader process of glocal exchange whereby the Jesuit mission affected mutual developments in the performing arts.


Yasmin Haskell



Jesuit Emotions

Selected Publications

Takao, M. H. ‘Tokugawa Confucian Sermons as Popular Emotional Education: The Moral and Pedagogical Philosophy of Hosoi Heishū’. Journal of Religious History (2021). First published online 24 January 2021.

Takao, M. H. ‘“In what storms of blood from Christ’s flock is Japan swimming?” Gratia Hosokawa and the Performative Representation of Japanese Martyrdom in Mulier Fortis (1698)’. In Changing Hearts: Performing Jesuit Emotions between Europe, Asia and the Americas, edited by Y. Haskell and R. Garrod. Leiden: Brill, 2019.

Takao, M. H. ‘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 3.3 (2016): 451–74.

Selected Presentations

Takao, M. H. ‘The Masculine Discourse of Tears: A Theoretical Approach to Emotional Habitus and Religious Conversion in Early-Modern Japan’, Comité International des Sciences Historiques (International Committee of the Historical Sciences) (CISH/ICHS) Historicizing Emotions Theme Day, Jinan, China, 23–29 August 2015.

Takao, M. H. 'The Jesuit Stage as a Site of Intercultural Exchange, Moral Didacticism, and Historical Re-imagination: An Analysis of Johann Baptist Adolph and Johann Bernhard Staudt’s Mulier Fortis (1698)', Early Modern Conversions project workshop  'Theatres of Conversion: Early Modern Cities, Courts, and Playhouses', Victoria University, Toronto, Canada, 2425 October 2014. 

Takao, M. H. '“In what waves of Christian blood now swim the Japanese?”: Performative Representations of the Japanese Female Martyr in Johann Baptist Adolph and Johann Bernhard Staudt’s Mulier Fortis', Changing Hearts Symposium: Performing Jesuit Emotions Between Europe, Asia and The Americas, Trinity College Cambridge, 7–8 March 2014.