Takeshi Watanabe is currently completing a book manuscript, Healing through Writing: Eiga monogatari, A Women’s History of Late Heian Japan. The book examines A Tale of Flowering Fortunes, a historical tale contemporaneous to The Tale of Genji (c. 1000). It shows how the rise of writing in the vernacular allowed for a new type of history, one that sought to capture court gossip and channel its divisive energy into stories that brought healing. The book aims to inspire conversations about what constitutes historical writing and its aims.
Watanabe's next project centers on representations of food and eating in premodern Japan. He has two forthcoming publications on food in the Heian period, one in a forthcoming collection of papers on Japanese foodways edited by Nancy Stalker, Devouring Japan: Global Perspectives on Japanese Culinary Identity (Oxford University Press). He has also published in Japanese and English on The Illustrated Scroll of the Wine or Rice Debate (Shuhanron emaki, 16th century). https://nirc.nanzan-u.ac.jp/nfile/2989 He has also published on Japanese tea culture. Watanabe's interest in food seeks to challenge assumptions about Japanese identity, and to foster engagement with food as a vehicle through which society and individuals express their dilemmas and aspirations.
Previously, Watanabe taught in East Asian Studies, History and Art History at Connecticut College. He has also worked as a curatorial assistant at the Yale University Art Gallery.
Fall 2016: Mondays and Wednesdays 11 to 12, or by appointment.