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Mia Nakamura Last modified date:2024.03.04

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Mia Nakamura's Lab .
Research initiative on "Arts and Design for a Diverse and Inclusive Society" (December 2020) .
Academic Degree
Ph.D. (Tokyo University of the Arts, Japan), M.A.(University of Michigan, USA)
Country of degree conferring institution (Overseas)
Yes Master
Field of Specialization
Cultural Policy and Arts Management
Total Priod of education and research career in the foreign country
Outline Activities
I am engaged in interdisciplinary study of the processes and mechanisms that inform how the arts and culture make a difference to individuals and societies. I am particularly interested in arts in care settings, arts facilitation, and arts evaluation. I also study diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), as well as gender and sexuality.
Research Interests
  • Arts and culture in dementia care
    keyword : arts, care, culture, dementia
  • The value of arts and culture
    keyword : arts, culture, values
  • Art and social inclusion
    keyword : art, arts management, cultural policy, diversity, social inclusion
  • Group creativity (co-creativity) and facilitation
    keyword : body, co-creativity, experience, facilitation, group creativity
  • Socially engaged art
    keyword : arts, arts management, care, cultural policy, music, social engagement
  • Interdisciplinary study of arts: sociology and cognitive science
    keyword : arts, cognitive science, music, neuroscience, sociology
Academic Activities
1. Mia Nakamura, "Artistic facilitation strategy for conviviality in Sapporo Collective Orchestra" in Connection, Empathy, and the Performing Arts (tentative),, edited by Deborah Wong and Yoshitaka Terada, in process.
2. The Agency for Cultural Affairs & Kyushu University Joint Research Team, The Social Inclusion Through Culture and the Arts Handbook Series: [Vol.1] A Handbook for Beginners / [Vol.2] A Handbook for Evaluation / [Vol. 3] A Practical Evaluation Handbook, Social Art Lab, affiliated with the Faculty of Design, Kyushu University, Japan, 2022.10, [URL].
3. Mia Nakamura, "Reconsidering the power of music: Recovery concerts and songs after the 2011 Japan Earthquake" in Music and Marginalization: Beyond the Minority-Majority Paradigm, edited by Ursula Hemetek, Inna Naroditskaya, and Yoshitaka Terada, National Museum of Ethnology, 63-77, 2021.03, [URL].
4. Mia Nakamura, "Music sociology meets neuroscience" in The Oxford Handbook on Music and the Body, edited by Sander Gilman and Youn Kim, Oxford University Press, 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190636234.013.6, 127-142, 2019.10, [URL], “The power of music” has been a controversial term in recent discussions regarding music and social issues. Instead of avoiding use of the term, this chapter attempts to explain the mechanism of musical effects through interdisciplinary considerations of sociology and neuroscience. The first three sections of the chapter provide an overview of intersections between sociology and cognitive science, addressing their shared interest in mediation-based and human-centered approaches. The last two sections reanalyze ethnographic findings from neuroscientific perspectives, showing why the sensitive use of music may become an effective tool for empowerment. It also suggests that musical retelling allows us to believe that we are connected to others both in the present and the past..
5. Mia Nakamura, Hazuki Kosaka, "Facilitation-based distributed creativity: The Inari Chorus performance at the Itoshima International Art Festival" in Creativity in Music Education, edited by Yukiko Tsubonou, Ai-Girl Tan, and Mayumi Oie, Springer,, 137-150, 2019.01, [URL], Facilitation-based distributed creativity refers to a responsible leader who facilitates a group in its creative activities and integrates members’ ideas and capacities into a final output. This article examines facilitation-based distributed creativity, focusing on the Inari Chorus performance at the 2014 Itoshima International Art Festival. The Inari Chorus, an amateur group of nine adults and three children, cocreated an original work, Song of Inari, which includes singing, ritualistic gestures, hand-clapping games, recitations, dance performances, and improvisation. The authors discuss its creativity in the representational and performing contexts, introducing two kinds of distributed creativity: challenge-based and voluntary-based. Although this article does not deal directly with educational issues, it offers a new perspective on musical education through sociological and musicological investigations of unique creative practices..
1. Mia Nakamura, Musical conviviality in the otto & orabu Ensemble, MINPAKU Anthropology Newsletter, 49, 3-5, 2020.04, [URL].
2. Mia Nakamura, Retelling, memory-work, and metanarrative: Two musical-artistic mediations for sexual minorities and majorities in Tokyo, Music and Arts in Action, 4, 2, 3-23, 2014.04, [URL], Music is not only something to play, but it is also a way to produce a new sharable metanarrative through musical practice, which could represent a renewed set of social values in which people of diverse backgrounds are appreciated. The present paper explores this aspect of music, examining two musical activities held in Tokyo, Japan. One is “Prelude”, an annual music festival for music circles of sexual minorities and their supporters, and the other is “Living Together Lounge”, a monthly club event for those who are both HIV-positive and negative. These activities aim to create community empowerment and social transformation among minority and majority groups. While those involved are aware of musical aspects being an integral part of the events, the ways in which music plays a central role has not been well articulated. This is partly because the declared mission of each event has no overt connection to music, but more significantly because there has been no proper way, either commonly or academically, available to describe what is happening performatively in the practices of these events. The present study thus attempts to examine the unuttered aspects of these practices through ethnographic and interdisciplinary investigations. It reveals that the musical practices with various artistic engagements represent tangible memory-work in which participants are enabled to retell existing musical works in their own ways, producing a new sharable metanarrative and acquiring an acknowledgement of the retelling in public. Creating this musico-ritualistic practice is itself a work of art, which eventually becomes a life resource for those who take part in the events and a means of transforming a social situtation of conflict..
3. Mia Nakamura, Authenticating the female gidayū: Gender, modernization, and nationalism in Japanese performing arts, Musicology (The Musicological Society of Japan), 51, 2, 94-110, 2006.02, Using ethnographic and genealogical approaches to analyze the process of “authentification” of joryu gidayū, this paper will point out that while the process of authentification required the transformation of joryu gidayū from a popular art form to a more sophisticated one in the Western sense, the nationalistic policy of protecting traditional arts forced it to accept a more traditional perspective on gender.
4. Mia Nakamura, Searching for the meta-narrative of Das Lied von der Erde: Narrativity and "melancholic dialectic", Musicology (The Musicological Society of Japan), 45, 1, 42-66, Published under the name of "Kiwamu Nakamura", 1999.11, By focusing on the latent narrativity (the capability of a particular text of a musical work to make the listener feel as if the music is telling a story) of Mahler's "Das Lied von Erde," this paper reveals how this piece has a "melancholy dialectic" meta-narrative..
1. Mia Nakamura, Co-Creative Arts Programs for People with Dementia and their Carers: Carers’ Attitude Change and the Role of Artists, International Conference on Cultural Policy Research, 2022.09.
2. Mia Nakamura, How to conduct a music workshop for diversity and inclusion, Performing Arts and Conviviality, 2021.06, [URL].
3. Mia Nakamura, The real root of evaluation problems, The 11th International Conference on Cultural Policy Research (ICCPR 2020), 2021.03, [URL].
4. Mia Nakamura, Yukiyo Sugiyama, Facilitator roles and strategies for social inclusion workshops, Social Impact of Making Music, The 5th International SIMM-posium, 2021.02, [URL].
5. Mia Nakamura, Musical cocreation for diverse participants: How could it be both artistic and inclusive, Special Research Project, Performing Arts and Conviviality, Preparatory Session, 2019.08.
6. Mia Nakamura, Dual assessment for collaborative artistic activities fostering inclusive culture, International Conference on Cultural Policy Research, 2018.08, [URL].
7. Mia Nakamura, Articulating the processes and social effects brought forth by socially engaged music-making projects: A case of the Ensembles Asia Orchestra, Social Impact of Making Music, The 2nd International SIMM-posium, 2017.07, [URL].
8. Mia Nakamura, The Otto & Orabu Ensemble: Facilitation-based distributed creativity in Japan, Music Composition as Interdisciplinary Practice, 2016.06.
9. Mia Nakamura, The 2011 Japan Earthquake and music: “The Power of Music” and recovery songs, International Council for Traditional Music, Study Group on Music and Minorities, 2014.07, In the aftermath of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake “the power of music” received remarkable attention. Not only various musical performances within and outside the country were consciously devoted to the disaster victims, but also many musical activities in the disaster area took place to encourage people, hoping for fast recovery. While mass media frequently used the phrase “the power of music” for any musical activity without reservation, sincere musicians confronted the question of what music could do for the crisis, exploring the potential of musical mediation.

I have been conducting research on the musical activities during the disaster recovery, funded by Japan Society for the Promotions of Science. The research project consists of three parts: 1) textual analyses of newspaper articles regarding musical activities after the 2011 earthquake, 2) ethnographical studies of particular musical activities in the disaster areas, and 3) interdisciplinary investigation of musical effect on human beings in time of crisis.

For the ICTM conference in particular, I will discuss the use of music among different groups of people, which the disaster abruptly divided: those who live in the disaster area (i.e. the newly formed minority group), and those who do not (i.e. the majority). Are there differences in the use of music between the minority and the majority groups? How could these different positioned people be bridged through musical activities? What are common in the musical practices of the aftermath regardless of the people’s positions? And above all, what can we learn about “the power of music” through the experience of the earthquake?.
10. Mia Nakamura, Musical experience as embodied memory-work: Linking sociological findings to neuroscientific explanations, International Conference on “Music and the Body" (University of Hong Kong, 香港大学), 2012.03, Department of Music and the Centre for the Humanities and Medicine, The University of Hong Kong 主催のシンポジウムでの発表。事例研究を通じて明らかになった「音楽と記憶」に関する知見と神経学的議論との接合をはかる。著書『音楽をひらく』第3〜5章に発展する内容。.
11. Mia Nakamura, The Living Together Lounge for people who are both HIV-positive and HIV-negative: A monthly live music event as "ritualistic art" in Tokyo, SocArts Symposium 2010 on "Music-Conflict-Transformation" (University of Exeter, イギリス), 2011.05, SocArts (Sociology of the Arts Group at Exeter University, 代表:Tia DeNora) 主催のシンポジウムでの発表。著書『音楽をひらく』第5章、および論文 "Retelling, Memory-work, and Metanarrative" に発展。.
12. Mia Nakamura, Authenticating the female gidayū: Gender, westernization and governmental policy in Japanese performing arts, 44th Annual Meeting, The Society for Ethnomusicology (Austin, アメリカ), 1999.11, アメリカ民族音楽学会全国大会での発表。論文 "Authenticating the Female Gidayū" に発展。.
Membership in Academic Society
  • The Japan Evaluation Society
  • Japan Association for Media
  • Society for Cocreationology
  • Japan Association for Arts Management
  • Art Meets Care Society
  • Japan Association for Cultural Policy Research
Educational Activities
I teach how the arts and culture make a difference to individuals and societies.
Other Educational Activities
  • 2018.07.