The Meiji at 150 Workshop Series will convene four workshops assembling historians, art historians, anthropologists, artists, curators, and graduate students from universities around North America and Japan to engage emerging methodologies and topics in Japanese studies. The first workshop in January 2018, entitled PhotographyModernityJapan” asks how photography as a medium can enable a different way to think of modernity in Japan. The second workshop, entitled “Spatial Histories of Modern Japan: Environment, City, Empire” will provide the first extended application of the spatial history methodology to the study of modern Japanese history. Scholars of Japanese urbanism, architecture, and geography will gather in February 2018 to survey how attention to the built forms and spaces of the Japanese empire – its architecture, materials, and natural and built environments – can lead to new historical understandings. The third workshop, in March 2018, “Gendering War and Peace in Modern Japan” welcomes scholars of Japanese history and literature to consider the transwar positionality of women and children, resisting the tendency to see 1945 as a breakpoint and instead analyze longer-term developments in years of both war and peace. Finally, the fourth workshop, “Hokkaidō 150: Settler Colonialism and Indigeneity in Modern Japan,” will be held in March 2019 to continue the moment of national reflection occasioning Meiji at 150 and mark the 150th anniversary of the beginning of Japanese settler colonization in Hokkaidō.


Wednesday, January 31, 2018


  • Dr. David Odo (Director of Student Programs & Research Curator of University Collections Initiatives, Harvard Art Museums, USA)
  • Dr. Luke Gartlan (Senior Lecturer, School of Art History, University of St Andrews, Scotland)
  • Prof. Chihiro Minato (Photographer and Professor at Tama Art University, Japan)
  • Ms. Yuri Mitsuda (Chief curator, Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art, Japan)

Note: Registration will be required due to limited space. Details to follow.

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Friday, February 9-Saturday, February 10, 2018

Built Japan: Environment, City, and Empire

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Friday, March 9, 2018

Gendering War and Peace in Modern Japan

  • Dr. Barbara Molony (Santa Clara University): “Gender/ed Justice: Feminism in War and Peace”
  • Dr. Sabine Frühstück (University of California-Santa Barbara): “The Power of Innocence: Gendering Children in War and Peace”
  • Dr. Sharalyn Orbaugh (University of British Columbia): “Nadeshiko in Monpe: Women in Propaganda Kamishibai
  • Dr. Hillary Maxson (University of Oregon): “From Martial Mothers to Peaceful Family Managers: Food, Gender, and Labor in the Postwar Japanese Household”

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Thursday-Friday, March 14-15, 2019

Hokkaidō 150: Settler Colonialism and Indigeneity in Modern Japan and Beyond

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