Junichi Miyazawa, PhD, Prolific Scholar on Glenn Gould, Marshall McLuhan & Much Else


 Junichi Miyazawa

I had heard of Junichi Miyazawa, a Japanese academic who had written a book about Marshall McLuhan, several years ago but didn’t have any detailed information. This past September I had the good fortune of unexpectedly meeting him at the Many McLuhans Symposium at the Fisher Library in the University of Toronto. I learned that he is a visiting scholar for a year at the University of Toronto and in residence as a Senior Fellow at Massey College, my former college. He is also a Visiting Professor at the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies, York University, where he is cross-appointed. His scholarly accomplishments are impressive and we are fortunate at the University of Toronto to have him in our community.

There is an online account of Junichi’s extensive cultural interests and accomplishments in literature, music, film and the arts in general which can be found here  https://goo.gl/9a78Ba). The following segments are selectively extracted from that account.


Junichi Miyazawa, a 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 world’s 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).

Breadth of Interests

He is recognized as one of the world’s leading Glenn Gould scholars. His Guren Gurudo ron (Glenn Gould: A Perspective, Tokyo, 2004) was awarded the Yoshida-Hidekazu-Sho, Japan’s highest prize for music writing. Along with academic papers, Miyazawa has contributed numerous notes to Japanese releases of Glenn Gould’s CDs and DVDs, including two compilation albums of Ryuichi Sakamoto Selections. Miyazawa is also a prolific translator: he has translated into Japanese fifteen books from English and Russian, including literature by or about Glenn Gould, the materials of Andrey Tarkovsky’s film The Mirror, and Timothy Findley’s novel The Wars. Another book he authored is Makuruhan no Kokei (McLuhan in-Sight, Tokyo, 2007). (Source https://goo.gl/2au5AB)

Dr. Miyazawa sent the following comments to me about his McLuhan book: “My McLuhan’s book might be interesting. It is a three-lecture style to introduce McLuhan’s idea to Japanese high school students, starting with a perusal of “The Agenbite of Outwit”(1963). I particularly chose “Agenbite” because it is the very article John Cage repeatedly praised. So in the 3rd “lecture” in the book, I discussed the idea of the global village, and clarified the reason why John Cage loved the text. I also have 15 translations, including Glenn Gould literature and Terence Gordon’s “McLuhan for Beginners”. Readers unfamiliar with McLuhan’s “The Agenbite of Outwit” can read the text here: https://goo.gl/H4D8gb.

Research on Marshall McLuhan

The focus of Junichi Miyazawa’s research in the Exchange Program (Canada-Japan Peace and Friendship Exchange Program, 1999) 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 McLuhan’s 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, McLuhan’s 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.

Junichi Miyazawa’s Makuruhan no kokei (McLuhan in-Sight) (photo by Paolo Granata)

One Response to “Junichi Miyazawa, PhD, Prolific Scholar on Glenn Gould, Marshall McLuhan & Much Else”

  1. 1 Michael Edmunds

    In my exploration of music I shared many of Junichi’s thoughts on Gould.

    “Flip-Side Overlap”: The Medium is the Music.


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