Marginal Social Groups’ Experiences of Modernity: Building Bridges between Historians of Asia in Japan and the West.
This website introduces the activities related to our research project, “Marginal Social Groups’ Experiences of Modernity: Building Bridges between Historians of Asia in Japan and the West.” Our project is based on a long-term collaboration between researchers at Osaka City University and Yale University, engaged in the study of marginal social groups in early modern and modern Japan. We expanded our research group to include researchers engaged in the study of marginal social groups in China, South Asia, and the Middle East, aiming at promoting a comparative discussion that helps discern the particularities and commonalities of local societies in various non-Western settings. The project is underpinned by the idea that the experiences of marginal social groups reflect the peculiarities of social structures in which they have been marginalized. Concurrently, we aim to bridge gaps in historical methodology between Japanese and Western traditions through cooperative interactions with scholars from different academic backgrounds.
This project started in 2017 with financial support from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), which enabled younger members of our research group in Japan to conduct research at Yale University, the National University of Singapore (NUS), and Shanghai University. This also enabled us to invite researchers from these institutions to Osaka, Japan. Our research is now a core project of the Urban Culture Research Center (UCRC) at the Graduate School of Literature and Human Sciences, Osaka City University, and is supported by JSPS KAKENHI (grant number 20H00030). We are currently also working on the organization of an international symposium to be held at Osaka City University in 2021.
In addition to information on seminars and international symposia, this website provides access to research materials on the social and urban history of Japan and other areas of Asia in the early modern and modern period. Our aim is to share the outcomes of this project with researchers in related fields.