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Luke Roberts

You are viewing an archived profile page (as of 10/05/2015), please view the current website's People Directory.

Current Courses

Winter 2009 (tentative)

Spring 2009 (tentative)

  • History 187A
    Japan Under the Tokugawa Shoguns

Fall 2009 (tentative)

Winter 2010 (tentative)

Spring 2010 (tentative)

Fall 2010 (tentative)

Winter 2011 (tentative)

Fall 2011 (tentative)

Winter 2012 (tentative)

Spring 2013 (tentative)

Fall 2013 (tentative)

Winter 2014 (tentative)

Spring 2014 (tentative)

Fall 2014 (tentative)

Winter 2015 (tentative)

Spring 2015 (tentative)

Fall 2015 (current)

  • History 87
    Japanese History Through Art and Literature
  • History 9
    Historical Investigations: Methods and Skills

Winter 2016 (tentative)

Department Fields


Winter 2015 Office hours
T 11-12 and W 10:30-11:30

Office hours for Tues Jan 27 cancelled

Current Graduate Students

Japanese History

Ph.D., Princeton University, 1991

Office: HSSB 4228
Phone: no telephone   Fax: (805) 893-8795

I teach history of the Japanese islands from ancient to modern times. I enjoy teaching and use many visual and literary documents to help integrate social and cultural history with the economic and political. I like to get students to think creatively about doing history. My research mostly focuses on the period between the 1500's and the early 1900's, and my graduate teaching focuses on history during this period.

Research and Teaching Interests

  • Early Modern Japanese Social and Economic History

Current Projects

  • A Samurai's Life
    A biography of an 18th C. samurai of Tosa domain named Mori Yoshiki. He is an "average" samurai but his life is very well recorded in his diaries, and those of his family and friends, as well as in many other kinds of documents.

Selected Publications

  • Performing the Great Peace: Political Space and Open Secrets in Tokugawa Japan
    University of Hawai'i Press, 2012
  • 近世政治における「表」と「内証」ーー末期養子を事例に、浪川健治、川西英道、デビッド・ハウエル編
  • 「国益思想を作った商人——十八世紀土佐の研究」、脇田晴子、マーチン・コルカット、平雅行編
  • with Sharon Takeda, Japanese Fisherman's Coats From Awaji Island, (UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History, 2001).
  • "Mori Yoshiki: Samurai Government Officer," pp. 25-42 in Anne Walthall ed. The Human Tradition in Modern Japan
    (Scholarly Resources, 2001).
  • 「土佐藩訴状箱の制度と機能」、深谷克己・堀新編『展望日本歴史13、近世国家』
  • Mercantilism in a Japanese Domain: The Merchant Origins of Economic Nationalism in Eighteenth Century Tosa, Cambridge University Press, 1998
  • "A Petition for a Popularly Chosen Council of Government in Tosa in 1787," in The Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies (December, 1997), pp. 575-596
  • 土佐と維新__「国家」の喪失と「地方」の誕生」、『年報近代日本研究』no. 20
  • "The Petition Box in Eighteenth Century Tosa" in Journal of Japanese Studies, Vol. 20, no. 2 (Summer 1994), pp. 423-458

Honors and Professional Activities

  • 2007Foreign Research Scholar Fellowship, National Museum of Japanese History, Sakura Japan, for participation in cooperative research project
    “Kinsei seiji ni okeru ôyake to watakushi”
  • 2004-05American Philosophical Society Sabbatical Research Fellowship, for “Denationalizing the Past in Pre-modern Japan”
  • 1994-95Japan Foundation Research Fellowship (Aug. 1994-Aug. 1995) for project, "Samurai Identity in Diaries of Late Eighteenth Century Tosa"
  • 1988-89Japan Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship

Personal Web Site

  • East Asian Cash Coins
    a set of pages devoted to pre-modern copper coinage of East Asia with coins and documents