In this episode, Dr. Aso reconstructs representations of Japanese modernity in imperial museums from the early Meiji Period, noting the influence of international expositions and imperialist expansion. We then discuss Dr. Aso’s more recent research on wartime consumerism and department store advertising before talking about her classroom teaching on gender in East Asia.
In this episode, Dr. Kerim Yasar notes how the introduction of technologies of sound production and reproduction impacted Japanese daily life during the Meiji period. We touch on the ability of informative technologies like the telegraph and the telephone to spread ideas and tie the nation together, before discussing the spread of popular culture, such as Naniwa Bushi and other performative arts, through the gramophone, radio, and film.
In this episode, Dr. Siniawer reconsiders the big questions of politics during the Meiji Period, touching on major developments including the construction of the Meiji state, divides within the Meiji ruling regime, samurai rebellions, and the Seikanron ("Punish Korea") debates. We discuss the radical reforms of the Caretaker Government in the early 1870s, along with the political goals of protestors and violence in the Freedom and People's Rights Movement, before talking about Dr. Siniawer's more recent research on waste in postwar Japan. (Transcript here).
In this episode, Dr. Brian McVeigh investigates the development of the social sciences in Japan during the Meiji period, with an emphasis on the study of psychology. We discuss the place of the social sciences in the Japanese education and imperial university system, position Japan within global psychology practice, and map changes to the psychology profession over the course of Japanese history before contrasting ideas of the Self in the Meiji period and today.
In this episode, Dr. Merry White recasts Japan as a coffee country, emphasizing the popularity of coffee and coffee shops in Japanese society dating to the Meiji Period. We discuss multiple waves of coffee popularity in Japan, trends in different kinds of coffee shops, the prevalence of specialized coffee craft and techniques in Japanese cafes, and the view of Japanese society we get from the coffee shop, before comparing notes on our own favorite Tokyo cafes and obsessive coffee habits. (Transcript here).
In this episode, Dr. Marco Tinello traces the origins of "Ryūkyū Shobun" and the Japanese colonization of the Ryūkyū Kingdom in the 1870s to Ryūkyūan embassies sent to Edo during the early modern period. We discuss the political importance of these embassies for the Tokugawa, the Ryūkyūs, and Satsuma, re-position the embassies in the complicated politics of Bakumatsu, and reinsert Ryūkyū into diplomatic negotiations with the Western powers from the 1850s.
In this episode, Dr. Loo recounts the incorporation of the Ryūkyū Kingdom into Japan and the establishment of Okinawa Prefecture in 1879 as one example of Japanese territorial expansion following the Meiji Restoration. We discuss Meiji state policies towards the Ryūkyūs, the reactions of Ryūkyūan elites, local protest movements, comparisons to the colonization of Hokkaidō and Taiwan, and the legacies of this history for Okinawan identity and culture today.
In this episode, Dr. Mark McNally revisits the history of nativism and anti-foreignism during the years leading up to the Meiji Restoration, finding the late-Tokugawa period far more cosmopolitan than expected. We discuss early modern Japanese relations with the Ryūkyū kingdom, the conversion of Ryūkyū into Okinawa, and the history of Japanese emigration to Hawaii.
In this episode, Dr. Weisenfeld depicts how Japanese avant-garde artists responded to the structures and institutions of modern art constructed during the Meiji Period, as well as their destruction in the 1923 Great Kantō Earthquake. We discuss artistic reactions to modernity, the visual culture of civil air defense in wartime Japan, ties between visual culture and the nation-state, and the graphic design of Japanese corporate advertising. (Transcript here).
In this episode, Dr. Oharazeki details the lives of Ameyuki-san, Japanese women who traveled to North America in the late Meiji period to work as prostitutes. We discuss the reasons these women left Japan and compare them to Karayuki-san who went to China before talking about the conditions these women faced in North America, how local communities responded, and what impact these experiences had on anti-prostitution movements in Japan and the United States. (Transcript here).
In this episode, Dr. Louise Young de-centers Japanese modernization during the Meiji Period by re-orienting our attention to Japan's peripheral "second cities," including Niigata, Okayama, Kanazawa, and Sapporo. We discuss uneven power relations between the center and periphery, trace the circulation of ideas of urban life between domestic and colonial cities, and link imperialism to the rise of a culture of popular Japanese fascism in the 1930s before retracing historiographical shifts in scholarship on the Restoration. (Transcript here).
In this episode, Dr. Garrett Washington reinserts Christianity into the history of the Meiji Restoration, detailing the activities of early missionaries to proselytize while promoting Japanese modernization. We discuss the illegality of Christianity and the Hidden Christians in Nagasaki in the early Meiji Period, the impact of Christian values on Japanese women, and the hybridized worship spaces constructed by Japanese Christian congregations.
In this episode, Dr. Andrew Gordon compares approaches to studying the Meiji Restoration in Japanese and Anglophone scholarship, tracing recent historiographical shifts in scholarship on modern Japan as seen through editions of his textbook. We discuss Dr. Gordon's efforts to "de-exoticize" Japan in the classroom, to disseminate historical understandings of Japan to the general public, and to digitally document Japan's present for future historians before talking about his recent seminar on Dark Tourism in Japan. (Transcript here).
In this episode, Dr. Timothy Brook reviews the Meiji Restoration from the perspective of Chinese history, reconsidering historical narratives comparing Chinese and Japanese responses to Western imperialism and detailing how the Restoration impacted China and Japan's positions in the region. We discuss how nationalism shaped reactions to the West, the origins of Japanese imperialist expansion in East Asia, and the legacies and lessons of the Meiji Restoration for Sino-Japanese diplomatic relations today. (Transcript here).
In this episode, Dr. Indra Levy underlines the importance of translation in Meiji-period transformations in Japanese language, literature, and culture. We discuss the role of literature in the modern nation-state, literary characters as allegories for the nation, and the politics of humour in literature before contrasting the relationship between composition and translation in Japan and the US. (Transcript here).
In this episode, Dr. Anne Giblin Gedacht reviews the "Meiji Revolution" from the peripheral Tōhoku region, tracing the formation of regional identity in the Japanese borderlands and tracking the mobility of Japanese migrants to Tōhoku and overseas. We locate Tōhoku in spatial conceptualizations of "Japan" during the Tokugawa period, place Tōhoku within Meiji programs of nation-building, and compare the settlement of Tōhoku to the history of settler colonialism in Hokkaidō and of Japanese overseas migration.
In this episode, Dr. Andrew Bernstein charts both the modernization of death practices and the nationalization of Mt. Fuji from the Meiji Period to today. After discussing the invention of Shinto funerals, the Meiji government's short-lived ban on cremation, and the impact of street traffic on funeral processions, we turn to the emergence of Fuji as a national symbol and then to the development of military training grounds at its base. Dr. Bernstein also briefly describes an interdisciplinary Mt. Fuji study program that he led in 2014 and 2017.
In this episode, Dr. Maren Ehlers re-examines social relations in rural communities in central Japan in the years leading up to the Meiji Restoration, centering on poverty and poor relief programs for marginalized groups such as beggars and outcastes. We discuss the impacts of severe famine on rural villagers, changing expectations of benevolent government in the Tokugawa moral economy, and the increase of internal unrest and rural upheaval from the 1850s. (Transcript here).
In this episode, Dr. Fred Dickinson argues for the significance of the Meiji Restoration in global history, challenging narratives of the "rise of the West" and emphasizing the impacts of Japanese-empire building on the 19th century world. We discuss the effects of the Sino-Japanese War on Western imperialism, documentary sources for placing Japan in global history, and the lessons of Meiji Japan for the world today. (Transcript here).
In this episode, Dr. Alice Tseng reconstructs the Western foundations of Meiji period architecture along with government attempts to mediate Japanese modernization in built form. We discuss the politics of building design, representations of Japan at international expositions, and the reactions of foreign visitors to Tokyo before relocating our conversation to the development and urban design of modern Kyoto.
In this episode, Dr. Sidney Lu tracks Japanese migrants overseas to the Americas during the Meiji Period, denoting discursive ties between trans-Pacific migration and Japanese colonial expansion. We discuss the ideas and rhetoric of settler colonial promoters including Fukuzawa Yukichi, compare and contrast Japanese settler colonialism in Hokkaidō, Korea, and the United States, and reflect on how trans-Pacific migration transcends nation-centric histories.
In this episode, Dr. Laura Nenzi retells the story of the Edo-Meiji transition through a micro-history of Kurosawa Tokiko, a rural schoolteacher and soothsayer who was arrested by the Tokugawa Bakufu for her political activities prior to 1868. We discuss Tokiko’s attempts to preserve her identity amidst change, the micro-history methodology and how it changes our view of the Restoration, and conflict and resistance in the Meiji Period, before comparing notes on teaching, and living in, Tokyo. (Transcript here).
In this episode, Dr. Eric Han recreates the scene of a gruesome murder in 1899 Yokohama to call on the history of treaty ports and extraterritoriality in the years leading up to and after the Meiji Restoration. We discuss the politics of treaty port selection and treaty revision, map the hybridized international culture of foreign settlements, complicate memories of foreign settlements as spaces of Westernization, and revisit the origins and communities of Yokohama's vibrant Chinatown.
In this episode, Dr. Jakobina Arch recasts our perspective of the Meiji Restoration and of Japan out to sea by charting the history of Japanese whaling. We question the sustainability of premodern whaling, discuss changes in whaling practices during the Meiji Period, interrogate the lack of attention to the oceans and to whaling in Japanese history, and navigate debates over Japanese whaling today.
In this episode, Dr. Nick Kapur resituates the 100th anniversary of the Meiji Restoration into the global revolution of 1968, retracing government designs for the ceremony and outlining the opposition of academic historians. We discuss the context of public protest in postwar Japan, popular reactions to shifting geopolitics, and the actions and motivations of student protestors before comparing the making and meaning of the 100th anniversary to the 150th.
In this episode, Dr. Sarah Thal revisits the political history of the 1890s to reconstruct the foundations of Bushidō as a gendered code of Japanese popular ethics and morals. We discuss Bushidō in the context of the Meiji Civil Code, question Bushidō as a proxy national religion for ideological unification, and place Bushidō in the growing conservatism and nationalism of the mid-Meiji Period.
In this episode, Dr. Takashi Fujitani traces the origins of Japanese nationalism and imperialism to the Meiji Period and delineates the impacts of nationalism on historical memory in Japan and the United States. We discuss shifts in nationalism in prewar Japan, accusations of contemporary Japanese neo-nationalism, and the regional significance of the Meiji Restoration. (Transcript here).
In this episode, Prof. Tessa Morris-Suzuki de-centers the history of the Meiji Restoration by refocusing our attention on the territorial incorporation of Japan’s frontier areas: Ezo, Sakhalin, the Ryūkyūs, Tsushima, and the Bōnin Islands. We discuss Japanese proto-colonialism prior to 1868, continuities in colonialist expansion into Hokkaidō and Korea, and changing conceptions of Japan’s position in the world in response to western imperialism as seen in mid-19th century maps. (Transcript here).
In this episode, Dr. Timothy David Amos discusses the impacts of the Meiji Restoration on Japan's Burakumin outcaste communities, detailing continuities in discrimination alongside the positive and negative effects of emancipation. We discuss the lineage of Buraku communities, their racialization and discrimination, commoners' resistance to emancipation, and challenges facing Buraku communities today.
In this episode, Dr. Anne Walthall repopulates the history of the Meiji Restoration with the villagers, farmers, and laborers who carried out mass movements and popular protests in the years leading up to 1868. We discuss the agency of those commoners who were, and were not, directly involved in mass movements, bottom-up aspects of the Restoration, and Dr. Walthall's recent textbook on politics and society in the Meiji Period. (Transcript here).
In this episode, Dr. Robert Hellyer (Wake Forest University) tracks the export of Japanese green tea to North America as an example of how global trade and commodity flows contributed to Japanese industrialization in the Meiji Period. We discuss efforts to promote the tea trade at both the state and local-levels, the push and pull factors of tea as a commodity in the North American market, and the place of Japan in the world economy before talking about Wake Forest's own conference commemorating the Meiji Restoration.
In this episode, Dr. Annette Skovsted Hansen transcribes the codification of Japanese National Language (Kokugo) in the Meiji Period, underlining the role of dictionaries and language teachers in Hokkaidō and Okinawa. We discuss the role of Meiji state intellectuals in language education, the origins of Japanese hyōjungo (common language) as well as Dr. Hansen's more recent work on Japanese overseas development assistance.
In this episode, Dr. Katsuya Hirano (UCLA) recounts Japanese settler colonization of Hokkaidō during the Meiji Period, underlining the racialization and dispossession of indigenous Ainu inhabitants. We discuss the role of capitalism and infrastructural development in Japanese imperial expansion, the impacts of the Meiji Restoration on the Ainu population, conditions for Ainu today, and the challenges of cultural commodification. (Transcript here).
In this episode, Dr. Melek Ortabasi retells the story of folklore focusing on the works of Yanagita Kunio, and gives a comparative look at children's literature in the Meiji Period. We discuss folklore themes in Japanese popular culture today, Meiji children's education, and a comparative approach to teaching the Meiji Period.
In this episode, Dr. Hiromu Nagahara (MIT) charts the popular music of the Meiji, Taishō, and Shōwa eras, noting the politics of music and sounding the potential of songs to voice popular discontent. We discuss the formation of national music in the Meiji Period, the spread of protest tunes in the Popular Rights Movement, the lingering popularity of wartime propaganda anthems, and the counterculture sentiments of postwar jazz standards and Enka ballads.
In this episode, Dr. Betsy Lublin (Wayne State University) outlines moral reform campaigns carried out by women in the WCTU during the Meiji Period as they sought to redefine civic morality and good citizenship. We discuss campaigns against prostitution, drinking, and smoking, the increasing prevalence of tobacco in Japan during the Meiji and Taishō Periods, and societal views of smoking.
In this episode, Dr. Daniel Botsman (Yale) stresses the ruptures in Japanese society caused by the Meiji Restoration, especially as seen in the Meiji penal system, new conceptions of freedom during the Freedom and Popular Rights Movement, and the emancipation of Outcaste communities. We discuss the emancipatory proposals of Ōe Taku, peasant protests, notable connections between Yale and Meiji-period Japan, and the politics of commemorating the anniversary of the Meiji Restoration. (Transcript here).
In this episode, Dr. Alisa Freedman (Oregon) charts the urban space and lived experiences of Tokyo during the late-Meiji, Taishō, and Shōwa Periods as represented in literature, film, and popular culture. We discuss train culture both then and today -- touching on Tayama Katai, Densha Otoko (Train Man), "cell phone novels," and Kawabata Yasunari -- before talking about "modern girls" going around the world, from Hato bus guides in Tokyo to language teachers in North America.
In this episode, Dr. Masao Nakamura (UBC) discloses the impacts of the Meiji Period on Japanese business and financial practices, investing importance in the close relationship between the state and the public sector. We discuss how the Restoration affected family-based merchant firms like Mitsui and Sumitomo, question the success of Meiji "big push" economic policies, locate the origins of prewar Zaibatsu in Meiji-era financial practices, and speculate on the problems facing Japanese commerce today. (Transcript here).
In this episode, Dr. Hardacre recenters religion in Japanese society in the Tokugawa and Meiji periods, laying the pre-1868 groundwork for the embracing of kami-workship after the Restoration and tracing the importance of religion in everyday life. We also discuss the meaning of Meiji at 150 along with future directions for the study of the Meiji Period. (Transcript here).
In this episode, Dr. Richard John Lynn reviews Japanese relations with China during the Meiji Period through the person of Chinese poet and diplomat Huang Zunxian. We discuss the Kanji culture of East Asian diplomacy and Sino-Japanese literary circles, changing Chinese views of the Meiji Restoration and Meiji-era progress, the possibility of a "Meiji model" for Chinese reform, and the retention of tradition in the face of modernization in both countries.
In this episode, Dr. Lisa Yoshikawa chronicles how professional historians in the Meiji and Taisho Periods legitimized imperialism as they attempted to elevate the discipline of history within Japanese academia. We discuss the mobilization of history and myth to justify colonialism, the development of academic history in the Meiji period, and scholars' complicity with interwar illiberalism before considering the politics of historical memory along with legacies for Japanese historians and historiographies in the postwar and today. (Transcript here).
In this episode, Dr. Trent Maxey proclaims the history of early Meiji Government policies regarding religion in the context of national unification. We discuss the secularity of the Meiji state, the origins of State Shinto, reactions to "Hidden" Christians in the early Meiji Period, and anti-foreignism in the Tokugawa and Meiji periods before talking about Dr. Maxey's more recent work on automobiles in Tokyo.
In the Meiji at 150 Student Podcast, UBC students discuss aspects of Japanese culture they research in class. In this episode, two students travel the Tōkaidō Road between Kyōto and Edo during the Tokugawa Period, stopping along the way at several towns, rest stops, and post stations.
In the Meiji at 150 Student Podcast, UBC students discuss aspects of Japanese culture they research in class. In this episode, a group of students lead a tour of towns, rest stops, and post stations along the Tōkaidō Road between Kyōto and Edo during the Tokugawa Period.
In this episode, Dr. Rebecca Corbett (USC) infuses tea into the history of the Meiji Restoration, noting links between tea practice and the cultivation of femininity in the Edo and Meiji periods. We discuss changes in tea practice over the Edo and Meiji periods, the association of tea with Japanese "tradition," and dilute essentialist ideas of the "Japanese-ness" of tea ceremony.
In the Meiji at 150 Student Podcast, UBC students discuss aspects of Japanese culture they research in class. In this episode, two students introduce research they conducted on a Japanese-owned business damaged in the 1907 Vancouver Anti-Asian riots.
In the Meiji at 150 Student Podcast, UBC students discuss aspects of Japanese culture they research in class. In this episode, a student introduces research she conducted on a Japanese-owned business damaged in the 1907 Vancouver Anti-Asian riots.
In this episode, Dr. Michael Wert (Marquette University) re-enacts the violence of the Meiji Restoration, combatting historiographical narratives of the Restoration as a "non-violent" or "bloodless" revolution. We discuss what happens to the losers of the Restoration, the post-1868 activities and status of ex-Bakufu officials, and the "Long Meiji Restoration" before reflecting on the politics of historical memory and commemoration today.
In the Meiji at 150 Student Podcast, UBC students discuss aspects of Japanese culture they research in class. In this episode, a student sketches the work of famous Edo-period woodblock artist Utagawa Hiroshige, focusing on the print "Fireworks at Ryōgoku Bridge" from the One Hundred Views of Edo series.