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Michiko Urita


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Ph.D., Ethnomusicology, University of Washington, 2017
M.A. Ethnomusicology, University of Washington
B.A. Sociology, Sophia University, Japan

Michiko Urita is a doctoral candidate in ethnomusicology at the University of Washington.  Her dissertation focuses on the Shinto (Japanese indigenous religion) ritual music of gagaku called mikagura no gi and the secret song performed at the Imperial Palace Shrine and Ise Grand Shrine in Japan.  She explores this ritual in the contexts of ethnomusicology, religious studies, and traditional performing arts, based on the primary sources and rare ethnographic data that she collected during the sixty-second rite of reconstruction at Ise Grand Shrine in 2013.  Besides Shinto ritual music, in a previous project, Michiko has researched North Indian classical music, in particular the ancient vocal genre called dhrupad.  She is honored to have received six FLAS (Foreign Language and Area Studies) fellowships from the UW South Asian Center, Fritz and Boeing Graduate Fellowship for International Research and Study, and Presidential Dissertation Fellowship.  Her topical interests include sacred sound and irenic scholarship.  Michiko organized a series of gagaku events as a project director at the UW and other venues in Seattle in early May 2015.