Japanese Studies

Japanese Studies


Interviews with scholars of Japan about their new books.

Sidney Xu Lu, "The Making of Japanese Settler Colonialism" (Cambridge UP, 2019)

June 14, 2024

The Making of Japanese Settler Colonialism

Sidney Xu Lu
Hosted by Nathan Hopson

Sidney Lu’s The Making of Japanese Settler Colonialism: Malthusianism and Trans-Pacific Migration, 1868-1961 (Cambridge 2019) places the concept of “M…

Aaron Fischman, "A Baseball Gaijin: Chasing a Dream to Japan and Back" (Sports Publishing, 2024)

June 7, 2024

A Baseball Gaijin

Aaron Fischman
Hosted by Paul Knepper

Like many American boys, Tony Barnette yearned to one day make it to “The Show,” playing baseball professionally. The Arizona State pitcher was drafte…

Thersa Matsuura, "The Book of Japanese Folklore: An Encyclopedia of the Spirits, Monsters, and Yokai of Japanese Myth" (Adams Media, 2024)

June 1, 2024

The Book of Japanese Folklore

Thersa Matsuura

Discover everything you’ve ever wondered about the legendary spirits, creatures, and figures of Japanese folklore including how they have found their …

Gary J. Bass, "Judgement at Tokyo: World War II on Trial and the Making of Modern Asia" (Knopf, 2023)

May 30, 2024

Judgement at Tokyo

Gary J. Bass
Hosted by Nicholas Gordon

In December 1948, a panel of 12 judges sentenced 23 Japanese officials for war crimes. Seven, including former Prime Minister Hideki Tojo, were senten…

Rebecca Copeland, "Handbook of Modern and Contemporary Japanese Women Writers" (Amsterdam UP, 2023)

May 29, 2024

Handbook of Modern and Contemporary Japanese Women Writers

Rebecca Copeland
Hosted by Linshan Jiang

The Handbook of Modern and Contemporary Japanese Women Writers (MHM Limited and Amsterdam University Press, 2022) offers a comprehensive overview of w…

Peter Harmsen, "Bernhard Sindberg: The Schindler of Nanjing" (Casemate, 2024)

May 23, 2024

Bernhard Sindberg

Peter Harmsen
Hosted by Nicholas Gordon

In December 1937, Bernhard Sindberg arrives at a cement factory outside of Nanjing. He’s one of just two foreigners, and he gets there just weeks befo…

Robert Lyman, "A War of Empires: Japan, India, Burma, and Britain: 1941–45" (Osprey, 2021)

May 21, 2024

A War of Empires

Robert Lyman
Hosted by Ari Barbalat

In 1941 and 1942 the British and Indian Armies were brutally defeated and Japan reigned supreme in its newly conquered territories throughout Asia. Bu…

Martin Dusinberre, "Mooring the Global Archive: A Japanese Ship and Its Migrant Histories" (Cambridge UP, 2023)

May 19, 2024

Mooring the Global Archive

Martin Dusinberre
Hosted by Ran Zwigenberg

In Mooring the Global Archive: A Japanese Ship and Its Migrant Histories (Cambridge UP, 2023), Martin Dusinberre follows the Yamashiro-maru steamship …

Wei Wu, "Esoteric Buddhism in China:  Engaging Japanese and Tibetan Traditions, 1912–1949" (Columbia UP, 2023)

May 17, 2024

Esoteric Buddhism in China

Wei Wu
Hosted by Jessica Zu

During the Republican period (1912–1949) and after, many Chinese Buddhists sought inspiration from non-Chinese Buddhist traditions, showing a particul…

Kristine Ohkubo and Kanariya Eiraku, "Talking About Rakugo 1: The Japanese Art of Storytelling" (2022)

May 7, 2024

Talking About Rakugo 1: The Japanese Art of Storytelling

Kristine Ohkubo and Kanariya Eiraku
Hosted by Jingyi Li

Rakugo is a live performance art that has penetrated the borders of Japan and continues to gain popularity overseas. The rakugo stage once dominated b…

Richard M. Jaffe, "Seeking Sakyamuni: South Asia in the Formation of Modern Japanese Buddhism" (U Chicago Press, 2019)

May 5, 2024

Seeking Sakyamuni

Richard M. Jaffe
Hosted by Samee Siddiqui

Though fascinated with the land of their tradition’s birth, virtually no Japanese Buddhists visited the Indian subcontinent before the nineteenth cent…

Reiki and the Subtle Body, with Justin B. Stein

May 4, 2024

Reiki and the Subtle Body

Justin B. Stein
Hosted by Pierce Salguero

Dr Pierce Salguero sits down with Justin B. Stein, a specialist in modern Japanese religion and the preeminent historian of Reiki. We discuss Justin’s…

Hiromi Ito, "Tree Spirits Grass Spirits" (Nightboat Books, 2023)

April 28, 2024

Tree Spirits Grass Spirits

Hiromi Ito
Hosted by Jingyi Li

A collected series of intertwined poetic essays written by acclaimed Japanese poet Hiromi Ito--part nature writing, part travelogue, part existential …

Adam Kabat, "The River Imp and the Stinky Jewel and Other Tales: Monster Comics from Edo Japan" (Columbia UP, 2023)

April 14, 2024

The River Imp and the Stinky Jewel and Other Tales

Adam Kabat
Hosted by Nathan Hopson

Adam Kabat’s The River Imp and the Stinky Jewel and Other Tales: Monster Comics from Edo Japan (Columbia UP, 2023) is an in-depth introduction to the …

Kyokutei Bakin, "Eight Dogs, Or Hakkenden: Part Two--His Master's Blade" (Cornell UP, 2024)

April 4, 2024

Eight Dogs, Or Hakkenden

Kyokutei Bakin
Hosted by Nicholas Gordon

Glynne Walley, translator of classic Japanese novel Hakkenden, joins us on the podcast again to talk about his second translated volume: Hakkenden, Pa…

Paul Hansen, "Hokkaido Dairy Farm: Cosmopolitics of Otherness and Security on the Frontiers of Japan" (SUNY Press, 2024)

April 3, 2024

Hokkaido Dairy Farm

Paul Hansen
Hosted by Yadong Li

As an ethnography of a Japanese dairy farm while having theoretical values going beyond the specific context, Hokkaido Dairy Farm: Cosmopolitics of Ot…

Thomas Lockley, "A Gentleman from Japan: The Untold Story of an Incredible Journey from Asia to Queen Elizabeth’s Court" (Hanover Square Press, 2024)

March 30, 2024

A Gentleman from Japan

Thomas Lockley
Hosted by Jingyi Li

On November 12, 1588, five young Asian men—led by a twenty-one-year-old called Christopher—traveled up the River Thames to meet Queen Elizabeth I. Chr…

Thomas D. Conlan, "Kings in All But Name: The Lost History of Ouchi Rule in Japan, 1350-1569" (Oxford UP, 2024)

March 17, 2024

Kings in All But Name

Thomas D. Conlan
Hosted by Jingyi Li

In the sixteenth century, members of the Ouchi family were kings in all but name in much of Japan. Immensely wealthy, they controlled sea lanes stretc…

Ben Rothenberg, "Naomi Osaka: Her Journey to Finding Her Power and Her Voice" (Dutton, 2024)

March 7, 2024

Naomi Osaka

Ben Rothenberg
Hosted by Nicholas Gordon

In July 2021, Naomi Osaka—world number 1 women’s tennis player—lit the Olympic Cauldron at the Tokyo Olympic Games. The half-Japanese, half-American, …

Jinying Li, "Anime's Knowledge Cultures: Geek, Otaku, Zhai" (U Minnesota Press, 2024)

March 3, 2024

Anime's Knowledge Cultures

Jinying Li
Hosted by Anthony Kao

With comics franchises getting turned into multi-billion dollar revenue opportunities and consumer technology companies dominating daily headlines — t…