Wesleyan portrait of Takeshi  Watanabe

Takeshi Watanabe

Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies



BA Yale University
PHD Yale University

Takeshi Watanabe

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.

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

Fall 2016: Mondays and Wednesdays 11 to 12, or by appointment.


Spring 2017
CEAS 201 - 01

CEAS 215 - 01
WWII Legacy in Post-War Japan

Fall 2017
CEAS 210 - 01
Japanese Culture Through Food

JAPN 220 - 01
Debating Japan in Japanese