New discoveries from the little things
In my seminar, we study the lifestyles and cultures of East Asia in the modern era. My current research focuses on parasols in East Asia, which was triggered by my interest in the adoption of new customs that could not have developed through any one culture’s traditions alone. There are fresh surprises in reexamining the social changes and westernization of modern East Asia through the lens of the parasol, which was once an item for the "modern girl," Japan’s equivalent of the 1920s American flapper, when it was adopted. In this seminar, I hope that students learn to take an interest in the little things, which may lead them to big, new discoveries.