My current research charts the respacing of the built environment of Tokyo under the process of Japanese state-formation and empire-building. My most recent publication is "Paving Power: Western Urban Planning and Imperial Space from the Streets of Meiji Tokyo to Colonial Seoul" published in the Journal of Urban History in 2016. Other publications include "Trains, Modernity, and State-Formation in Meiji Japan" and "A Re-examination of the 'Shock of Hiroshima': The Japanese Bomb Projects and the Surrender Decision."
Click here to learn about the Meiji at 150 Project, which I co-organized in 2017-2018 with colleages in the Centre for Japanese Research, Department of Asian Studies, the Department of Art History, Visual Art & Theory, the Museum of Anthropology, and the Asia. Library.
Click here to access the Meiji at 150 Digital Teaching Resource.
Click here to listen to my Meiji at 150 Podcast.
Are you interested in how history is presented on film? Have you ever wondered whether film reflects or shapes society's views of historical events, or maybe if it does both? This course examines the interplay between cultural production and conventional memory. In other words, how and why has the popular understanding of historical events changed over time, and how can we trace that shift?
To examine this question, we will focus on one medium (Japanese films) and one historical topic (Japan's invovlement in the Pacific War, 1937-1945). Our material will be films about the Pacific War made by some of Japan's most celebrated directors -- from classic auteurs Kurosawa, Mizoguchi, Ozu, and Kinoshita in the 1940s-1950s, to lesser-known iconoclasts Suzuki Seijun, Kobayashi Masaki, Masumura Yasuzo, Shinoda Masahiro, and Imamura Shohei in the 1950s-1960s, to household names like Ghibli animators Miyazaki Hayao and Takahata Isao today. Viewing these films, the class will ask how the historical narrative of Japan's role in the Pacific War was presented during the conflict and how it has changed since then alongside contemporary developments in Japan's postwar history.
The class consists of Wednesday evening lectures/film screenings, along with Friday morning or afternoon tutorials. Students must select one tutorial when registering for the course.
Thematic study of comparisons and relations between Japan and the world outside (primarily Europe and China). Commercial expansion, systems of world order, social institutions, religious and ideological expression, and state organization. HIST 271 will introduce students to the methods of historical practice, including primary-source analysis, historical writing, library and research skills, and public history.
The building of a modern state, its crisis in the 1930s, and its postwar recovery; topics include business institutions, politics, imperialism, intellectual syncretism, social change, and Japan's growing influence in the world.