about Junichi Miyazawa

Junichi Miyazawa, Ph.D.: Highlights in Achievements
profile in Japanese

0. Summary
1. Academic Background: Russian Literature
2. Focus in Musicology and Canadian Studies: Glenn Gould
3. Work in Progress: Marshall McLuhan
4. Translation as a Research Process: An Academic Practice

0. Summary:

Junichi Miyazawa, professor at Aoyama Gakuin University (School of Cultural and Creative Studies), Tokyo, is an accomplished researcher and writer in the areas of literature, arts and media, with a special interest in Canadian studies.  He has developed a reputation as one of the worldfs leading Glenn Gould scholars.  Having started with an academic background in Russian literature, Junichi Miyazawa has written numerous papers and articles on various aspects of music and literature. He has also lectured extensively around the world at various events, including international symposia and conferences.  Junichi Miyazawa is also a prolific translator in several languages.  Most notably he has translated from English, Russian and French more than 10 published books on music, film and literature.  With his unique profile and exceptional talent, Junichi Miyazawa is regarded as one of the most remarkable interdisciplinarians in Japan or anywhere.  Junichi Miyazawa holds a Ph.D. from the University of Tokyo (2007).


1. Academic Background: Russian Literature

Junichi Miyazawa completed an undergraduate degree in international political science and economics, combined with intensive English language training, at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. With this training in the social sciences he transferred to Waseda University, Tokyo, and undertook graduate studies in literature and arts, focusing on literary criticism and Russian literature, particularly that of the early twentieth century.  At the masterfs level his research topic was the life and work of Soviet novelist/playwright Mikhail Bulgakov (1891-1940). Junichi Miyazawafs 1988 master's dissertation was entitled "The Creating Process and the World of Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita." This was a comprehensive analysis of Bulgakov's masterpiece, which bears a large-scale double construction in time/space of modern Moscow and ancient Jerusalem.

Junichi Miyazawafs interests expanded beyond Russian language and letters into comparative literature and culture, history, religion and arts.  For example, his masterfs dissertation was an integrated result of research and analysis in comparative literature, history, religion and literary theory.  This led to individual articles in academic journals in both Japanese and in English, such as "A Mephistopheles in the Evangel: Another Devil in Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita"(1989 Association prize-winner) and "The Narrative Time of the Reconstructed Gospel: A Structural Analysis of Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita" (1992). (In 2010, Junichi Miyazawa published Selected Works of Mikhail Bulgakov, co-translated with Masako Omori and Norie Sugitani.)

In addition to his Bulgakov studies, Junichi Miyazawa co-edited with Hironobu Baba a book on Russian film director Andrei Tarkovsky (1932-1986). This collection of materials (i.e. scenarios, original stories, working notebooks, etc.) on his monumental film The Mirror was released in 1994. It was regarded as unprecedented in content and scholarly methodology.Junichi Miyazawa finished his doctoral course work at Waseda University (1991-1995) except for a dissertation.  This is to be completed in the future in the area of literary theory, comprising his interdisciplinary research and methods.


2. Focus in Musicology and Canadian Studies:
Glenn Gould

As an undergraduate, Junichi Miyazawa started displaying expertise in the field of music. He began publishing writings on music, particularly on the literature regarding Canadian pianist/thinker Glenn Gould (1932-1982).  Junichi Miyazawafs work on Gould is known internationally and in Japan. Junichi Miyazawafs first full-scale work in the field was as editor of a book of writings by and about Glenn Gould (1988), to which he also contributed writings and translations.  Since then, Junichi Miyazawa pursued his efforts to introduce and explain the enigmatic pianist to Japanese and international audiences. His papers, articles, reviews and liner notes include translations mainly from French: Glenn Gould, pluriel (1991), and English: Glenn Gould: A Life and Variations (1992; reprint, 2002); Glenn (1995); Glenn Gould: Portraits of the Artist as a Young Man (1995); Glenn Gould: The Ecstasy and Tragedy of Genius (2000), Glenn Gould, Music and Mind (2007), Conversations with Glenn Gould (2010), etc.  In recognition of both Junichi Miyazawa's contribution to the literature on and awareness of Glenn Gould in Japan, as well as his lecture "Understanding Glenn: A Canadian Hero" dealing with Glenn Gould's Canadian identity, delivered at the 1999 Glenn Gould Gathering in Toronto, Junichi Miyazawa was awarded the "Glenn Gould Foundation Honours" prize.

Junichi Miyazawafs Gould studies culminated in the Japanese edition of Glenn Gould: Selected Letters (1999). Using both the English and the French editions as a beginning, Miyazawa added footnotes to all 214 letters, as well as 18 additional Japan-related letters to the thick volume.  The Selected Letters won appreciation not only from musicologists, but also from scholars in Canadian studies. As a result Junichi Miyazawa was selected by the Japanese Association for Canadian Studies as Japanese representative for the Canada-Japan Peace and Friendship Exchange Program 1999 (supported by Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs).  He was granted the post of Visiting Professor at the University of Toronto and Senior Resident at Massey College (University of Toronto) in January-March 2000.  The research and lecture from this period have led to papers that was finally integrated into a single volume under the title Guren gurudo ron (English title: Glenn Gould: A Perspective; Tokyo: Shunjusha, December 2004).  It is an outstanding achievement in musicology, comparative literature, and cultural studies.


3. Work in Progress: Marshall McLuhan

The focus of Junichi Miyazawafs research on the Exchange Program was Glenn Gould's cultural influences, and in particular the influence of his contemporary, Canadian media thinker Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980).  In the course of his research in Canada, including access to McLuhanfs personal papers at the National Archive of Canada, Junichi Miyazawa found McLuhan to be a fertile topic of study in his own right.  The author of The Gutenberg Galaxy and Understanding Media was not so much a sociologist as a literary scholar, who observed all the "media" (i.e. any extension of human beings) as metaphors.  In Japan, McLuhanfs works have not been widely studied and appreciated from this literary perspective. Junichi Miyazawa, therefore, decided to incorporate McLuhan into his work and retrieve the media thinker's fertile imagination into the world of human science. His recent book is entitled Makuruhan no kokei (McLuhan in-Sight), a book on his consideration of the media guru, starting with a meticulous analysis of "Agenbite of Outwit"(1963).   

The first McLuhanian effort by Junichi Miyazawa is the Japanese edition of W. Terrence Gordon's McLuhan for Beginners, with a chronology and extended bibliography by Junichi Miyazawa  (2001).  Further works on McLuhan will appear in papers, lectures and translations.


4. Translation as a Research Process:
An Academic Practice

The translations published by Junichi Miyazawa are unique and significant features of his accomplishments.  Aside from the books by and about Glenn Gould, Tarkovsky and McLuhan, Junichi Miyazawa has published such translations as Richard J. Wingell's introductory guide for students Writing about Music (co-translation with Mari Ogura; with an added style manual by Junichi Miyazawa, 1994) and Timothy Findley's The Wars (2002), the outstanding contemporary novel which promotes understanding of Canadian literature, culture, and the Canadian people.

As an experienced translator, Junichi Miyazawa demonstrates that translation is not only a craft, but also a critical and academic process of research combined with the practice of information literacy.  Good translation in any genre cannot be achieved without full-scaled academic research.  Junichi Miyazawafs work in translation aims for a high level of professionalism.  It is the work of a scholar interested not only in doing his own research but also in sharing the results with the public and students in enlightening and educating ways.

(May 2002; revised March 2005; August 2006; March 2007;
July 2009; January 2011; April 2011) 

Yoshida Hidekazu Award (2005) and Ph.D.(2007)
Junichi Miyazawa won the Yoshida Hidekazu Award (Yoshida Hidekazu Sho) for 2005 for his book Guren gurudo ron (Glenn Gould: A Perspective). This award, named after the leading critic in Japan, is a prestigious prize granted annually to the best published Japanese criticism on music and arts, for the year preceding the award. It is the fifteenth year awarded, and the first win for a book in the field of Canadian studies. The award ceremony was held at Mito Arts Founation, Mito City, in November 2005.
Later, Guren gurudo ron was examined as a doctoral dissertation at the University of Tokyo. Junichi Miyazawa successfully defended it on December 26, 2006.  A Ph.D. was conferred on him on February 28, 2007.

Junichi Miyazawa wishes to thank Ron D. Davis for his help in the preparation of this page.

click here to read a synopsis of
Junichi Miyazawa's book,
Glenn Gould: A Perspective

all rights reserved 1997-2011 (c) Junichi Miyazawa

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