Wesleyan portrait of Takeshi  Watanabe

Takeshi Watanabe

Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies

East Asian Studies Center, 208


BA Yale University
PHD Yale University

Takeshi Watanabe

Takeshi Watanabe is currently completing a book manuscript, Flowering Fortunes: Women Exorcising History in Heian Japan, scheduled for publication from the Harvard Asia Center in January 2020. 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.

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

Spring 2019: Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:45 -11:45, and by appointment.