Kōgakkan: A New Office

This year I began a new position as an associate professor teaching in the Communication Department at Kōgakkan University (皇學館大学) in Ise City (伊勢市), Japan.

My former office at Grinnell was wonderful, but this one is a little more spacious, and I am pretty pleased with the view. Outside my window is part of a beautiful forest that surrounds the campus. It’s so overgrown right now that on one of my first days here I saw a monkey walking by my window.

Every day on my office door I post something about Japanese history in English. I also use these brief English passages in my classes. My hope is that students will enjoy some interesting aspects of Japanese history while learning how to talk about it in English.

Today, July 4, is obviously Independence Day in the US. However, it is also an “independence day” of sorts in Japan as well; namely, the anniversary of the fall of the Kamakura military government (Kamakura bakufu 鎌倉幕府). The image on the PDF is from “Hōjō Takatoki’s” blog at Kamakura de hataraku shikken no burogu 鎌倉で働らく[sic]執権のブログ.

For more on the fall of the Kamakura bakufu in English, see Andrew Edmund Goble’s Kenmu: Go-Daigo’s Revolution.