Gunnar Linder

Associate professor

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Works at Department of Asian, Middle Eastern and Turkish Studies
Telephone 08-16 37 88
Visiting address Kräftriket 4A
Room 246
Postal address Japanska 106 91 Stockholm

About me

I am an Associate Professor (Senior Lecturer) in Japanese Language and Culture at the Department of Asian, Middle Eastern and Turkish Studies.

I have an MA degree in the Japanese bamboo flute shakuhachi (performing arts) from Tokyo National University of the Arts (Tokyo Geidai, 1997), and I have lived in Japan for about 20 years (1985-2005). After graduating from Geidai, I worked in Japan as a freelancing lecturer, translator/interpreter, shakuhachi performer, as well as teacher of this instrument.

I have been teaching and conducting research at Stockholm University since my return to Sweden in 2005.


I teach classes in Japanese grammar, kanji and reading on basic and up to intermediate level. I also teach courses on Japanese Stage Arts, Japanese History, as well as Contemporary Society.

Apart from lectures and seminars, I also supervise both Bachelor and Master theses, and I am also appointed supervisor for one of our PhD students.

At present I am involved both in the PhD program as Director of Doctoral Studies, as well as in a general pedagogic development plan as Educational Director of Studies from undergraduate level and up. Therefore, my teaching is recently more focused on content courses (Stage Arts) and BA theses.


My PhD thesis, Deconstructing Tradition in Japanese Music (2012), centered around the concepts tradition and transmission, and how a tradition can be and still often is being constructed. As material I used a traditional music genre and its instrument, the bamboo flute shakuhachi, which is also the instrument I perform as an artist. The thesis is downloadable through the digital archive (DiVA) of Stockholm University (available through the link below).

My MA thesis in shakuhachi as performing art was about ornamental techniques used in ensemble playing with the string instruments shamisen and koto. The thesis is in Japanese, but I have included some of the results of this research in a guide for players of the solo repertoire of shakuhachi, Notes on Kinko-ryū Shakuhachi Honkyoku, published in 2011.

Presently I am involved in two research projects. One is about the Floating World, the entertainment district Yoshiwara in Edo. I am writing one chapter about the music that relates to this subculture. This book should be published within this year (2018), and it will be published in two separate editions in Swedish and in English. The other one is directed towards a music genre of popular songs from the Muromachi period, that developed into an art music form during the Edo period, the jiuta-sōkyoku. Yet another project is to finish the second volume of an instruction book, relating to the esoteric genre of solo music for the shakuhachi. I published the first volume in 2011, containing explanations and recordings of 11 of the 36 pieces in the repertoire. The second volumen will contain an additional 13 pieces.

Click here to see my publications in the Digital Archive DiVA.

Last updated: November 25, 2020

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