Current Activities

Individuality in Early Modern Japan
Thinking for Oneself

Individuality in Early Modern Japan: Thinking for Oneself

Cover of the Japanese Translation of Individuality in Early Modern Japan: Thinking for Oneself

Values, Identity, and Equality in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Japan

Values, Identity, and Equality in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Japan    Values, Identity, and Equality in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Japan

Dissent on Core Beliefs: Religious and Secular Perspectives

Dissent on Core Beliefs

Research interests

I study the intellectual and social history of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Japan, with published work on Confucianism, nativism, popular culture, underground religious movements, and most recently public sphere.

Educational Background

Columbia University BA Oriental Studies 1971

University of Cambridge BA Japanese Studies 1973

University of Cambridge MA (honorary) 1977

Columbia University PhD Japanese Thought 1978

Major publications

(Trans.) Some Final Words of Advice (Saikaku oritome) by Ihara Saikaku (1642-93), (Rutland VT and Tokyo: Charles E. Tuttle, 1980).

(Ed.) Confucianism and Tokugawa Culture. Second (revised) edition (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1996.)

Remembering Paradise: Nativism and Nostalgia in 18th-Century Japan, Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph Series (Cambridge, Mass., and London: Council on East Asian Studies, Harvard University, 1990).

(Ed.) Japanese Identity: Cultural Analyses (Denver: Center for Japan Studies [distributed by University of California Press], 1997).

Edo shakai to kokugaku: gengô e no kaiki, tr. William Steele, Kojima Yasunari, et al., (Tokyo: Perikansha, 1999)

(Co-guest editor with Mark R. Mullins) Special issue of Japanese Journal of Religious Studies (34:1) on the theme of Christians in Japan (2007).

Most recent Publications

 Nihon no Tokugawa jidai ni okeru shoki kindaisei: shudanteki aidentitei oyobi kojinshugi (“Early Modernity in Japan’s Tokugawa Period: Collective Identity and Individuality”), in 21 Seiki paradaimu shifuto—Nihon no kokoro to katachi no kensho to kozo, Tokyo: Toji Shobo 2007.

 “Buddhist Perspectives on the Globalization of Ethics,” Ch. 5 (pp. 75-92) in William M. Sullivan, ed., The Globalization of Ethics, Ethikon Series in Comparative Ethics (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press 2007)

 “Intellectual Change in Early Modern Japan,” Ch. 6  (pp. 101-116) in William Tsutsui, ed., Blackwell Companion to Japanese History (2007).

“The Experiences of Christians during the Underground Years and Thereafter,”  pp. 85-98 in The Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 34:1 (2007)

“Confucian Perspectives on Poverty and Morality,” Ch. 6 (pp. 115-33) in Peter Hoffenberg and William Galston, eds., Poverty and Morality, Ethikon Series in Comparative Ethics, Cambridge Univ. Press, 2010.

“The History of Confucianism in Japan,” Ch. 3 (pp. 53-66) in Wonsuk Chang and Leah Kalmanson, eds. Confucianism in Context: Classic Philosophy and Contemporary Issues, East Asian and Beyond, SUNY Press’ series in Chinese Philosophy and Culture, 2010.

I study the intellectual and social history of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Japan, with published work on Confucianism, nativism, popular culture, underground religious movements, and most recently public sphere.

Current research

Concentrates on the construction of individuality and individual identity during the early modern Tokugawa period.

Winter 2018

ASIA314 Premodern Japan Sections

Japanese history (political, economic, social and cultural) to 1600.

Winter 2018

ASIA315 Japan from Feudal to Modern State Sections

Japanese history from 1600 to the Meiji Restoration. Political, economic, social and cultural forces which were involved in transforming Japan.

Winter 2018

ASIA490B Asian Classics - Fourth Year Seminar - ASIA CLSSCS SEM Sections

Focus changes from year to year. Prerequisite: Permission of Instructor and fourth-year standing.

Winter 2018

ASIA499 Honours Thesis Sections

Restricted to fourth-year students admitted to the Honours Program in Asian Studies.

Winter 2018

ASIA570A Approaches to Asian Literature - APPR TO ASIA LIT Sections

Winter 2018

ASIA580A Directed Readings - DIRECTED READING Sections