Teaching

I have taught history courses at J. F. Oberlin University (and occasionally, at other Japanese universities) for almost thirty years. I have a reduced course load this year and am teaching the following classes.

[Spring Semester]

Nihon Zenkindaishi (Graduate School of International Studies, Machida Campus)
Fridays 10:40-12:10

This is a graduate survey of premodern Japanese history, also taught in Japanese. In recent years I have used Amino Yoshihiko’s 3-volume Nihon shakai no rekishi (A History of Japanese Society) as a text.


[Fall Semester]

Premodern Japanese History (College of Global Communication, Planet Fuchinobe Campus)
Tuesdays 16:30-18:00 and Fridays 13:10-14:40

This is a survey course I teach in English for international students and Japanese students with good English skills. By “premodern” I mean everything up until the Meiji Restoration of 1868. Since this is a very long span of time and the course only lasts 15 weeks, it is impossible to cover historical events in much detail. What I try to do, instead, is give students a sense of the general flow of Japanese history, what the important themes are, and why understanding these things matters in the first place. I also try to make the course as relevant and accessible as possible by drawing comparisons with present-day Japan (or other countries, when appropriate) and by placing a lot of emphasis on the history of the Kanto Plain, where J. F. Oberlin is located.


Kankyoshi (Graduate School of International Studies, Machida Campus)
Fridays 10:40-12:10

This is a graduate survey of world environmental history, taught in Japanese. I usually use Clive Ponting’s old but useful A Green History of the World, which is available in a convenient Japanese translation, as well as various works by Jared Diamond and other authors.