Minoru Takano is a PhD candidate under the supervision of Dr. Bruce Rusk, studying the cultural history and literature of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). Minoru was born in Gifu 岐阜, Japan, and went to Waseda 早稲田 University for his undergraduate studies (2008-2011) majoring in modern Japanese literature. He then recieved his MA degree on early Modern Japanese intellectual history of the Edo period (1603-1867) under the supervision of Dr. Peter Nosco also at UBC (2012-2014).


I study the philological cultural history of the relationship between place and literati in the late imperial China by relying on concepts of identity of place and place-identity formed in the fields of phenomenological geography and environmental psychology. My dissertation focuses particularly on a Ming dynasty (1368-1644) figure, Li Dongyang 李東陽 (1447-1516), who was born and lived physically in Peking for almost entire life with deep attachment, but simultaneously defined himself confidently as a person of his ancestral hometown, Changsha 長沙/Chaling 茶陵. I am curious of the mechanism of his mentality in which physical and imagined places coexisted to form his self-identity. I also trace history through the Qing dynasty (1644-1611) to the Republic of China (1912-1949) that the later literati associated Li with particular locations, and argue that varied images of Li as a “person of X” depended on how a particular literatus defined certain places for the sake of his own place-identity. General works on the history of Beijing, local gazetteers, jottings, essays, and collections of poems and writings of myriad literati are my main sources for the study.