This chapter discusses Japanese cultural identity and musical modernity. While musics may develop through hybridization throughout the world, this process has particular meaning within the context of Japan. From early court orchestra (gagaku) to modern popular song (enka), Japanese have adopted and adapted sounds, instruments and bodily practices from abroad, which initially complicate the ability to identify uniquely Japanese qualities. Japanese cultural identity is juxtapositions of symbolic images of the past with the present that help exemplify a culture that so often displays contiguous identity as part of East Asia on the one hand and the West on the other. The positioning of tradition as something old and fixed in the history of Japanese music is troubling.