I am in my seventh year at UCSB, and I chiefly study Japan and the Ryukyu Kingdom (Okinawa) in the 17th-19th centuries. My research focuses on the cultural dimensions of Ryukyuan embassies to Tokugawa Japan and Qing China, with a particular focus on the use of costume, music, and other aspects of cultural performance in “performing” status & identity, and the role of ritual in enacting political relationships.
My research interests more broadly fall into two fields, for the most part. The first is that of Okinawan Studies in general, including everything from Ryukyu’s “Golden Age” of international maritime trade, to its annexation and colonization in the late 19th-early 20th century, to post-war & contemporary identity politics, and a variety of other related topics. The second is the history, especially cultural history, of early modern Japan (1600-1868), including chiefly kabuki theatre; popular publishing and ukiyo-e woodblock prints; travel culture; painting & other fine arts; music & other forms of performing arts; trade networks and merchant activities; local histories; and issues of tradition and heritage today.
I have also developed a foundation in Hawaiian and Pacific Island History as a teaching field, and am eager to learn more and become more engaged in such topics.
I have been fortunate to perform in, and dramaturg, a Kabuki play at the Univ. of Hawaiʻi, and dabble in Okinawan classical and folk music played on the sanshin (a banjo-like instrument closely related to the Japanese shamisen).
Dissertation Title:Performing “Lūchū”: Identity Performance and Foreign Relations in Early Modern East Asia
*”Nihonmachi in Southeast Asia in the Late Sixteenth-Early Seventeenth Centuries,” in Gary Leupp and Tao Demin (eds.), Tokugawa World, Routledge (forthcoming).
*“Hokusai’s ‘Eight Views of Ryūkyū: Islands of Imagination,” Andon 106, December 2018, 26-40.
*”Seals of Red and Letters of Gold: Japanese Relations with Southeast Asia in the 17th Century,” Explorations: A Graduate Student Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, Spring 2010, 5-22.
*History & Culture of Japan
*Art History of Japan, East Asia
*History of Okinawa
*History of East Asia
*History of Hawaiʻi and the Pacific Islands
As Instructor of Record:
*Japan under the Tokugawa Shoguns (Summer 2016)
As Teaching Assistant:
*Global Survey of Art History (with P. Lavy and J. Szostak, UHM, 2011-2012)
*History of Japan through Art and Literature (with L. Roberts and K. McDonald, Fall 2012, 2013, 2014)
*East Asian Civilization (with X. Ji, Winter 2015)
*East Asian Traditions (Pre-Modern)(with F. Rambelli and X. Li, Winter 2014)
*African History since 1945 (with M. Chikowero, Spring 2019)
*World History (1000-1700)(with A. Plane and C. Lansing, Winter 2013, Summer 2014)
*Western Civilization (1000-1700)(with P. Sonnino, Spring 2014)
*Western Civilization (1700-present)(with T. Hasegawa, Spring 2015)
*Writing 2 (First-Year Composition, Fall 2015, Winter 2016)
Awards & Professional Activities:
*UCSB Graduate Division Dissertation Fellowship (Fall 2019)
*UCSB History Department History Dissertation Fellowship (Winter 2018, Winter 2019)
*Interdisciplinary Humanities Center Pre-Doctoral Fellowship (Fall 2017)
*Japan Foundation Japanese Studies Fellowship (2016-17) – funding 11 months of dissertation research working with scholars & archives in Tokyo and Okinawa.
*Schlaikjer Fellowship for Japanese History (2016, 2018) – Funding continued dissertation research, Spring 2016, Spring 2018
*Joseph F. and Gina Laun Janotta Foundation Research Prize (2014) – Awarded for research in East Asian or Trans-Pacific topics
*History Associates Fellowship (Summer 2013) – From UC Santa Barbara History Associates, which funded language study & research in Japan
*National Museum of Japanese History / Graduate University for Advanced Studies Grant (Summer 2013) – Funded research at the museum/graduate university in Japan as part of a partnership between that institution and U. of Hawaiʻi
*Japan Foundation Graduate Studies Fellowship (Spring 2013) – Awarded as part of a three-year Japan Foundation Institutional Development Grant to UC Santa Barbara
*East-West Center Association Alumni Scholarship (2010-11) – Scholarship awarded to University of Hawaiʻi graduate students specializing in Asia-Pacific topics. Provides for residence at the East-West Center and involvement in the EWC scholarly community
*Center for Japanese Studies Graduate Fellowship (2010-11) – Scholarship awarded to University of Hawaiʻi graduate students specializing in Japanese Studies
*Foreign Language & Area Studies Scholarship (Summer 2010) – Scholarship funded by the US Department of Education to support attending overseas language training and area studies
*History Graduate Student Association (HGSA), Vice-President, 2014-2016
*History department rep. to Grad Student Assoc. (GSA) Assembly, 2013-2016
*Co-organizer (with Y. Glover, C. Gabrielson, N. Matsushima, and C. Raymond), “Love, Peace, Dreams, and Bombs,” collaborative art exhibition / panel discussion, February 26 – March 4, 2017
*Co-organizer (with E. Simpson & K. Saltzman-Li), “Networks and Negotiations: UCSB Graduate Student Conference on Premodern Japan”, February 12-13, 2016
*Co-curator (with J. Szostak), “Picturing the Ryūkyūs: Images of Okinawa in Japanese Artworks from the UH Sakamaki/Hawley Collection” exhibit, University of Hawaii Art Gallery, Feb 2013.