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New Interventions in Japanese Studies

Part of the UC Press Luminos program (, New Interventions in Japanese Studies is designed to publish books that employ cutting edge theoretical frameworks emerging from history, anthropology, literature, visual culture, theater, and religion. Books in the series shall ask new questions with the aim of shifting the parameters of debates, broadening the frame of analysis, traversing conventional boundaries of periodization, discipline, and methodology, and productively engaging Japanese sources and scholarship.

The University of California Press gratefully acknowledges Professor Anne Walthall for the generous support of this series.

Books in the series will be made available as free e-books as well as a paperback edition

General Editor

Sabine Frühstück is a Professor of modern Japanese Cultural Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara. She has published extensively on the ageing of society, gender and sexuality, military, war and violence, and childhood and play in modern and contemporary Japan. A former member of the University of California Press editorial committee, she is the author of Colonizing Sex: Sexology and Social Control in Modern JapanUneasy Warriors: Gender, Memory and Popular Culture in the Japanese Army, and Playing War: Children and the Modern Paradoxes of Militarism in Modern. She is currently writing a modern history of gender and sexuality for Cambridge University Press.

Editorial Board

Daniel Botsman is Professor of History at Yale University.  He is interested in all aspects of the history of Japan, with a particular focus on the critical transformations of the 19th century. In English, his publications include Punishment and Power in the Making of Modern Japan, a translation of the memoirs of post-World War II foreign minister, Okita Saburō, a co-edited volume of essays on pre-modern Japanese manuscripts, and articles on issues of caste, discrimination, urban society, and historiography. He has also published regularly in Japanese historical journals, and is currently working on a biography of the pioneering Japanese medievalist, Kan’ichi Asakawa, as well as a monograph on untouchability and liberalism in 19th century Japan.

Michael K. Bourdaghs is the Robert S. Ingersoll Professor in East Asian Languages and Civilizations and the College at the University of Chicago. His scholarship focuses on modern Japanese literature, culture, and literary theory. Major publications include Sayonara Amerika, Sayonara Nippon: A Geopolitical Pre-History of J-Pop and The Dawn That Never Comes: Shimazaki Toson and Japanese Nationalism. He is also a prolific translator of Japanese literature and critical theory. 

David L. Howell is Professor of Japanese History at Harvard University and Editor of the Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies. Howell is the author of Capitalism from Within: Economy, Society, and the State in a Japanese Fishery and Geographies of Identity in Nineteenth-Century Japan as well as numerous articles. His research focuses on the social history of Japan in the Tokugawa (1603–1868) and Meiji (1868–1912) periods. He is particularly interested in the ways changing political and economic institutions affected the lives and livelihoods of ordinary people over the course of the nineteenth century. 

Susan Blakeley Klein is Professor of Japanese Literature and Culture and Director of Religious Studies at the University of California, Irvine. Her research interests and publications include Japanese theater, film, and dance; medieval commentaries and literature; Japanese and Asian religions; New Historicism and feminist critical theory. Her books include an introduction to the Japanese postmodern dance form Butoh (Ankoku Butō: The Premodern and Postmodern Influences on the Dance of Utter Darkness); Allegories of Desire: The Esoteric Literary Commentaries of Medieval Japan, on the development of a group of secret medieval literary commentaries influenced by esoteric Shingon Buddhism. Her most recent book, Dancing the Dharma: Religious and Political Allegory in Medieval Noh Theater, is forthcoming from Harvard East Asia Center. Her next project is on changing constructions of gender and subjectivity in Japanese literature and theater, using the historical development of Japanese ghosts as a locus for analysis.

Fabio Rambelli is a Professor of Japanese Religions and Cultural History and ISF Endowed Chair in Shinto Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His numerous publications address the semiotics of Japanese Esoteric Buddhism, the history of the Shinto tradition, and various topics of cultural semiotics and cultural identity. A current member of the University of California Press editorial committee, he is the general editor of the Bloomsbury Shinto Study Series and the DeGruyter series on the Semiotics of Religion. His books include: Vegetal BuddhasBuddhas and Kami in JapanBuddhist MaterialityBuddhism and Iconoclasm in East AsiaA Buddhist Theory of Semiotics, and The Sea and the Sacred in Japan.

Jennifer Robertson is Professor of Anthropology and the History of Art at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She has non-budgeted appointments in the Women's Studies, the School of Art and Design, and is an affiliate in the Robotics Institute, Anthropology/ History Program, and STS Program. Robertson’s major fellowships include a Guggenheim; ACLS; NEH; Invited Fellow, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin; Fulbright; Japan Foundation; SSRC; Wenner-Gren; and others. She created and edited Colonialisms, a book series (now ended) from the University of California Press and is a co-editor of Critical Asian Studies. Among her books are three published by the University of California Press: Native and Newcomer: Making and Remaking a Japanese City, Takarazuka: Sexual Politics and Popular Culture in Modern Japan, and Robo sapiens japanicus: Robots, Gender, Family, and the Japanese Nation

Julia Adeney Thomas teaches at the University of Notre Dame and writes about Japanese political thought, the environment, and photography.  Her publications include the prize-winning Reconfiguring Modernity: Concepts of Nature in Japanese Political Ideology and co-edited books Japan at Nature’s Edge (with Brett Walker and Ian Miller), Rethinking Historical Distance (with Mark Salber Phillips and Barbara Caine), and Visualizing Fascism: The Twentieth-Century Rise of the Global Right (with Geoff Eley, under review) as well as more than forty articles. She is currently at work on The Historian’s Task in the Anthropocene and Ever So Real: Photography’s Politics in Japan, 1940-60

Gennifer Weisenfeld, Professor in the Department of Art, Art History, and Visual Studies and Dean of the Humanities at Duke University, received her Ph.D. from Princeton University. Her field of research is modern and contemporary Japanese art history, design, and visual culture. Her first book Mavo: Japanese Artists and the Avant-Garde, 1905-1931 addresses the relationship between high art and mass culture in the aesthetic politics of the avant-garde in 1920s Japan. And her most recent book Imaging Disaster: Tokyo and the Visual Culture of Japan’s Great Earthquake of 1923 examines how visual culture has mediated the historical understanding of Japan’s worst national disaster of the twentieth century. She is currently working on two new book projects, one titled The Fine Art of Persuasion: Corporate Advertising Design, Nation, and Empire in Modern Japan, and the other, Protect the Skies! Visualizing Civil Air Defense in Wartime Japan.

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