My book manuscript, Empire by Design: Tokyo and the Building of Japanese Modernity, 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."
In 2017-2018, I organized and hosted the UBC Meiji at 150 Project with the collaboration of colleagues in the Centre for Japanese Research, Department of Asian Studies, the Department of Art History, Visual Art & Theory, the Museum of Anthropology, and the Asian Library.
As part of this project I co-curated, edited, and constructed the Meiji at 150 Digital Teaching Resource, compiling over a dozen visual essays by scholars from Japan and North America highlighting digitized materials related to Japanese history at UBC.
I also host and produce the ongoing Meiji at 150 Podcast, featuring interviews with prominent scholars of Japanese history, literature, and cultural studies from around the globe.
In 2018W, the topic for HIST 105B is Pacific War in History and Film. This course interrogates Japanese Pacific War films to contemplate how Japan's contemporary history has been shaped by, and shapes, the presentation and memory of World War II in the Pacific. A particular emphasis will be on how the war was presented during wartime and has been remembered on film thereafter.
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.
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.