UW Japan Studies Newsletters

Autumn 2016 Newsletter

New Fellowship Endowment

Kristen Dean (MA Japan ’74) and Reşat Kasaba, Jackson School Director, hold a commemorative certificate which recognizes both endowments (JSIS Japan Studies and UW Tacoma Milgard School of Business) established by Dean this fall.

Alumna Kristen Dean (MA Japan ’74) established this autumn the Kristen Kawakami Dean Fellowship in Japan Studies to support graduate students studying Japan at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies.

Reflecting on her own educational experience and on the generosity of others, Dean was inspired to make a lasting gift after attending the celebration for retiring professor Kenneth B. Pyle, whom she had as a teacher in the 1970s (and whose class she is auditing this quarter). A believer in the power of education to give people the opportunity to raise themselves and make the world a better place, Dean said of her contribution that it isn’t about her, and in fact she is careful not to draw attention to herself. “It’s about creating world citizens. I want to pay it forward.”

In addition, Dean established a fund for UW Tacoma Milgard School of Business in honor of her late husband, Jeffrey Dean, who taught at the school for 16 years instructing undergraduates and MBA students in business, law, and entrepreneurship. Because of Jeffrey Dean, Kristen qualified for the Faculty, Staff, Retiree (FSR) match as part of the current UW campaign, making her gift stretch even further. The Japan fund will provide an annual sum of $3,000 to Japan graduate students next fall.

An American of Japanese ancestry, Dean followed her heart in graduate studies, which led her to study in Japan. “One is not handicapped by knowing another language and culture and being more internationally minded. It’s knowledge needed today. Promoting international thinking, and people becoming conversant in another culture and language is important. Japan is important.”  She continues to travel and has covered much of the globe, visiting other cultures, countries, and people with no plans of stopping. Next year she will be in Tanzania, India, and possibly Cuba.

“I’m no Bill Gates or Paul Allen, but my hope is that others will see this contribution and also be inspired to give. No gift is too small. But giving something is important,” said Dean, noting that funding for students in International studies, and soft sciences in general, has diminished even as tuitions have increased.

Contributions to this fund and others can be made by visiting the UW Giving page (search for “Kawakami Dean”). The UW Japan Studies Program is grateful to the many people whose support of our program enables students to pursue academic and career goals, and for a program of community outreach which includes teacher training and public educational events. Join them in supporting the UW Japan Studies Program. When you join, we all win.

From the Chair

I am pleased to report that Japan Studies at the University of Washington is thriving as an interdisciplinary, university-wide program that builds on its strategic position on the Pacific Rim and its vibrant academic and professional communities. This year I report to you on the program while in transit from Tokyo to Rome during the 150th year of diplomatic relations between Italy and Japan.

In 2015-16, we considered the many important dimensions of “Sustaining Japan: Past, Present, Future” through the continued generous support of the Mitsubishi Corporation. In October, Professor Hiroshi Komiyama, past president of the University of Tokyo, began the series with his lecture “Beyond the Limits to Growth: New Ideas for Sustainability from Japan.” In January, UCLA Professor Hitoshi Abe led a two-day discussion on lessons learned during five years of recovery since the 3.11 disasters. In May, global architect Kengo Kuma, designer of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics stadium, presented two lectures on “Infrastructure for a New Japan 2020.”

A full slate of events in 2016-2017 highlights the broad range of scholarship and engagement within our community. The rakugo performance in November by world-renowned Katsura Sunshine entertained audiences at the UW and will appear on NHK World TV a part of the “Dive into Ukiyo-e” series. Mark Metzler, who

joins our faculty as professor of Japanese history in autumn 2017, will deliver the Griffith and Patricia Way Lecture on April 3, 2017. This lecture follows the 2016 Way Lecture by Christopher Hughes of the University of Warwick on “Abe’s Leadership and Japan’s Security: Japan’s Foreign and Security Policy under the ’Abe Doctrine.’

In the 2016-17 academic year, we welcome several visiting scholars: Atsushi Osanai, professor of technology management and strategic management at Waseda University; Reiko Yamanaka of Hosei University and director of the Nogami Memorial Noh Research Institute (who will participate in a graduate seminar on Noh drama led by Professor Paul Atkins in spring quarter); and Fuminori Yamazaki, associate professor in the college of Business Administration at Ritsumeikan University.

The Japan Studies Program continues to build on its legacy as one of the oldest in the country through diversities in dynamic research, teaching, and outreach as it looks to both future possibilities of the program and Japan itself.

Ken Tadashi Oshima


Welcome, Mark Metzler

The Japan Studies Program is excited to welcome Mark Metzler to the University of Washington. Metzler joins the program as a professor with a joint appointment in the Department of History and in the Jackson School. Metzler earned his BA in international relations from Stanford University, his MA in comparative social history from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and his PhD in history (East Asia/Japan) from the University of California, Berkeley. He is currently a professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin.

Metzler first became interested in Japan in the 1980s, when he was working at Apple Computer’s Macintosh Division. Apple offered conversational Japanese classes to employees, and he jumped at the chance to learn. These classes sparked his deep interest in Japan and eventually led him back to graduate school in 1989. His MA thesis on economic boom-and-bust cycles over the long run of Japanese history was completed in 1989, just as the Japanese bubble was reaching its height, and in one way or another he has been working on this topic ever since.

He is currently completing a global history of deflation and depression in the world of the late nineteenth century. He is also working on a study of Japan’s post-bubble deflation in a long historical perspective, reaching back to the Tokugawa period. His most recent book is the coauthored Central Banks and Gold: How Tokyo, London, and New York Shaped the Modern World and will be released in December 2016 by Cornell University Press.

Although Metzler begins teaching at the UW in autumn quarter 2017, and is looking forward to teaching UW students on the history of Japan, Japanese political economy, and the history of globalization, he will make his UW faculty debut as the featured speaker for the Griffith and Patricia Way Lecture on April 3, 2017, at 7 PM when he will present on Japan’s post-bubble deflation. Look for details on our website closer to the date.

East Asia Library

New acquisitions chronicle the development of Japanese printing

A poem featured in the new scroll by Sugawara no Fumitoki originally in the 和漢朗詠集 (Wakan rōeishū; Collection of Japanese and Chinese poems for singing) which was published in the mid-Heian period.

More than 75 new resources chronicling the development of Japan’s written word have been acquired for the Japanese Collection at the East Asia Library this year. These astonishing materials showcase the development of Japan’s written and printed word from the Tokugawa period all the way to the modern era in a collection that is unique to UW.

Each piece was individually found, authenticated, and purchased in Japan by Japanese Studies Librarian Azusa Tanaka and UW Professor Paul Atkins. Tanaka frequently visits Japan in search of new materials for the collection. Her latest trip took her to the Jinbōchō area of Tokyo, famous for publishing, where she acquired materials that show UW students and visitors unique examples of the development of Japan’s printing system. These include several samples of different binding styles that chronicle the movement in Japan from scrolls to thread-bound books, and on to glue-bound books. These materials will be used by Atkins in his research and teaching on Japanese literature.

Among these new acquisitions is a beautifully illustrated scroll from the Tokugawa period titled 十二箇月絵巻 (Junikagetsu emaki; 12-month scroll painting) by Fujiwara no Teika. Its 12 poems, each accompanied by an illustration, offer an ode to each month of the year. The collection also includes an example of a wooden printing block for part of a story called 治生草 (Suigiwaigusa). The block is from the late Tokugawa period and is exemplary of Japan’s early printing technology.

The Japanese Collection in the East Asia Library is one of the largest in the country with over 162,000 volumes as well as periodicals, microfilms, microfiche, videos, DVDs, and 4 online databases. These recent acquisitions will be on display at this year’s お正月会 (Oshogatsu Kai, or New Year’s Celebration) on January 12, 2017, at the East Asia Library. Look for event details on our website.

Palace warblers chirp in the dawn light” (translation by Paul Atkins)

By the western tower, the moon sets; songs among the blossoms.

In the central hall, the lamplight remains; sounds behind the bamboo.

Student Highlights

Nathaniel Bond (AL&L MA) received a grant for the 2016-17 academic year through the program “Reimagining the Humanities PhD and Reaching New Publics” of the UW Simpson Center. Funded by the Mellon Foundation, this program develops connections between two-year and four-year colleges and involves art history faculty at Seattle Central College.

Onur Kanan (JSIS MA) spent two months in London working at TRTWORLD, a TV channel serving as the international branch of state-owned Turkish Radio and Television Corporation. During this internship, he was responsible for a project establishing a think-tank organization within the body of the TRTWORLD company. Kanan continues to work for the same company by contributing weekly newsletters and op-eds about Northeast Asia while working toward graduation in March 2017.

Christopher Kessler (JSIS MA ’16) graduated in spring 2016 and relocated to Yokohama, Japan, where he is studying at the Inter-University Center in a one-year intensive Japanese-language program.

Bonnie McClure (AL&L PhD) is on a MEXT research student scholarship, studying medieval poetry under Hiroki Kazuhito at Aoyama Gakuin University. McClure has contributed to various projects including the first volume of the Renga taikan series, an encyclopedic compilation of Japanese linked verse texts currently in the process of publication, and the transcription of the Sakakibara literary manuscripts. She is preparing an article in Japanese for publication in an anthology volume of articles by Hiroki Kazuhito’s students and a presentation for the Association of Waka Poetry Studies Tokyo monthly conference. McClure is a teaching assistant at Aoyama Gakuin and teaches in English at Tsurumi University.

Douglas Miller (JSIS PhD) presented his paper “Fukushima and the Japanese Anti-Nuclear Movement” at the University of Alberta conference “Seventy Years After Hiroshima: Conceptualizing Nuclear Issues in Global Contexts” in September 2015, and another paper entitled “All These Acronyms: A Critical Analysis of Japanese ‘Innovation’ in the Aftermath of Fukushima” at the “Crossing Borders: Governing Environmental Disasters in a Global Urban Age in Asia” conference at the National University of Singapore in November 2015. (IMAGE: Douglas Miller profile pic.jpeg)

Joshua Williams (JSIS PhD) presented his work on the use of social media in Japanese elections at the Midwest Political Science Association conference in April in Chicago and at the International Communications conference in September. He also conducted field research in Washington DC looking at US-Japanese cybersecurity relations for the JSIS International Policy Institute.