Associate Professor of Asian Studies
Director of Asian Studies Program
38 College Street - 202
An examination of representations of samurai in historical, literary, and filmic texts from the twelfth to the twentieth century. Topics include the changing understanding of the way of the warrior, the influence of warrior culture on the arts in medieval Japan, and the modern appropriation of the martial arts. Analyzes the romanticizing of samurai ethos in wartime writings and the nostalgic longing for a heroic past in contemporary films. Focus on the reimagining of the samurai as a cultural icon throughout Japanese history and the relationship of these discourses to gender, class, and nationalism. Readings include the “Tale of the Heike,” “Legends of the Samurai,” “Hagakure and Bushido: The Soul of Japan.” Films may include “Genroku Chushingura,” Akira Kurosawa’s “Seven Samurai,” and the animation series “Samurai 7.”
An intermediate course in modern Japanese language, with introduction of advanced grammatical structures, vocabulary, and characters. Continuing emphasis on acquisition of well-balanced language skills based on an understanding of the actual use of the language in the Japanese sociocultural context. Introduces an additional 100 kanji.
『平家物語』に見られる背景としての飢饉』―木曾狼藉と猫間殿供応・頼朝饗宴の場面を通して― 『文化現象としての源平盛衰記―文芸・本文・言語・絵画・歴史―』 (Forthcoming from Kasama Shoin)
“The Sword Trope and the Birth of the Shogunate: Historical Metaphors in Muromachi Japan,” Japanese Language and Literature 43 (2009)
Reprinted, by invitation, in Nihon Bungaku kara no hihyôron (Criticism from Japanese Literature), Kasama Shoin, 2009.
換喩から提喩へ：「剣の巻」における歴史の形象 (From Metonymy to Synechdoche: Tropes of History in the Tsurugi no maki) ," Kokubungaku 52, no. 15 (2007).
Co-editor Nihon bungaku rubitsuki sôsho (Japanese Short Stories Library), a compilation of annotated literary texts for advanced learners of Japanese. Under compilation by editor before submission to Cornell University East Asia Series.
“Event as metaphor: Two narratives of Yoritomo in the fourteenth century,” Proceedings of the Association for Japanese Literary Studies , West Lafayette, IN: AJLS, 2005.
Translation and Commentary: Ogino Anna, “My Momma Drinks Tea” in More Stories by Japanese Women Writers: An Anthology, eds. Noriko Mizuta and Kyoko Selden, ( Armonk, N.Y: M.E. Sharpe, 2011)
Translation: Iwasaki Minoru, “On Memory and History—The Tokyo Exhibit of ‘Representing Japanese, Dutch, and Indonesians—Memories of the Japanese Occupation of Indonesia (Dutch East Indies)’ and its issues,” Nederlanders Japanners Indonesiërs Een opmerkelijke Tentoonstelling, Amsterdam : Nederlands Instituut voor Oorlogsdocumentatie, 2002. (Co-translated with Izumi Nakayama)
"War 'ritualized, aestheticized and subjected to rules' : The disavowal of violence in the Heike monogatari," European Association of Japanese Studies, August 2014.
“Authorizing the Shogunate: War, Violence, and Narrative in Medieval Japan.” Workshop on “New Directions in Medieval and Early Japan Studies,” University of Southern California, April 4, 2014.
Invited talk: “War, Violence, and Narrative in Medieval Japan.” University of California, Irvine, April 3, 2014.
“Blood, Death and Pollution in the Heike Monogatari.” Roundtable on “Revisiting the Female Body in Medieval Japan: Textual, Religious, Historical, and Scholarly Configurations of Corporality “ at Annual Conference of the Association of Asian Studies, Philadelphia, March 27-30, 2014.
Invited talk: 母として、巫女としての建礼門院の六道語り(Kenreimon’in’s rokudō gatari as mother and as medium) Kokugakuin University, Tokyo, July 2013.
“Envisioning Female Salvation: Dream Revelation, Virtual Travel, and Karmic Overcoming in the Heike Monogatari’s Kanjō no maki,” Annual Conference of the Association of Asian Studies, San Diego, March 2013.
Invited talk: “The Fables of Warrior Power in the Heike monogatari,” University of Massachusetts, Boston, November 2012.
Roundtable Presenter, “Traditions of Contestation in Pre-modern Japan.” State University of New York, New Paltz, September 28, 2012.
Invited talk: 馬が表象する「平家物語」(Horses and the domestication of warrior power of the Heike monogatari), Kokugakuin University, Tokyo, February 2012.
“The Father-Lord-Son Plot in the Noh play Shichi-ki ochi: The littoral chronotope in Noh Drama” European Association of Japanese Studies, Tallinn, August 2011
Invited talk: “『剣巻』の方法：武威の創出に伴う辺境の読み替え、過去の置き換 え( Discursive construction in the Tsurugi no maki),” Kokugakuin University, Tokyo, June 2010.
Roundtable Presenter, "Medieval War Tales and their Reception," Asian Studies Conference in Japan, Tokyo, June 2010.
Panel Organizer and Presenter: “Parodies of Power: Comic play and hidden politics in narratives of Kiso no Yoshinaka,” Annual Conference of the Association of Asian Studies, Chicago, March 2009.
“Deciphering a meal: Culinary hospitality and warrior power in the Heike monogatari,” Tales of the Heike: Variation, Canonization, Translation and “Japan’s Epic (Conference at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), November 2009.
“食う義仲と食われる義仲：読み本系平家物語諸本における義仲の蜂起を形象する飲食 の比喩 (The alimentary domination of the ravenous Yoshinaka: The topos of food in the yomi-hon texts of the Heike monogatari) ” New Research into the Genpei jôsuiki, Kokugakuin University, October 2009. (Invited lecture)
“From Metonymy to Synecdoche: Tropes of history in the Tsurugi no maki,” Harvard-Yenching Institute Workshop, Harvard University, August 2007
“The Minamoto Clan as Sacred Sword: Myths of War-Making in the Muromachi Period,” Annual Meeting of the Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs,” University of Wisconsin-Madison, October 2006
“History and Narrative,” Interdisciplinary Roundtable “Lost and Found in Translation,” Cornell University Society for the Humanities, Ithaca, November 2004.
“Shifting Ground: Bandô in the Narrative Topography of the Heike Corpus,” Panel: “A Sense of Place: Medieval visions of Kamakura,” Thirteen Annual Meeting of the Association for Japanese Literary Studies, University of Washington, Seattle, October 2004.
“Kenreimon’in and Performance in the Heike monogatari,” Panel: “Women, Religion, and Performance in Japan,” Asian Studies Conference Japan, Sophia University, Tokyo, June 2004.
“Salvation and the Figuration of Kenreimon’in in the Heike Corpus,” American Academy of Religion/Eastern International Meeting, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, April 2004.