Professor TAKAHASHI Akinori

Affiliations :

Sociology of literature in historical perspective

An eminent Japanese historian used this expression in his review of my book, Edo Idōzoku. The term explains the nature of my research extremely well, and so I have been using it ever since.
Comic tanka poems (kyōka) comprise the greater part of the “literature” I study — in other words, I focus on anthologies of such poems, so-called kyōka books. But my research covers a much broader range of printed materials, including even ukiyo-e. That is because the Edo period boasted all kinds of printed media and literary genres used for entertainment. Moreover, all of them were interconnected. Therefore it is impossible to investigate Edo culture without considering the publishing practices of the period.
“Social history” is a field of history that studies various styles of living from multiple angles. One might say that it analyzes ordinary lives of ordinary people and then reconstructs them.
I turn to manifold printed materials that people of Edo read on a daily basis in order to write the history of Japanese society, and especially of local communities. This is the gist of my research.

  • Research, History
  • Books, papers, etc.
  • Courses
    Japanese Culture (Advanced Seminar); Advanced Japanese for Academic Writing
    Personal History
    Graduated from the Faculty of Arts and Letters, Tohoku University
    Completed the doctoral program (without a doctoral degree) at the Graduate School of Arts and Letters, Tohoku University
    Received a Ph.D. in sociology at Hitotsubashi University
    Ph.D. (Sociology)
    Cultural History
    Research Subject
    Publishing culture in the Edo period;
    History of cultural exchange
    Sociology of literature in historical perspective; comic tanka poetry (kyōka)
    Association of Japanese Intellectual History
    Database of Researchers Information
  • Books
    Academic Papers
    「思想の流通ー月次な学芸世界」、『岩波講座日本の思想 場と器, 2』、岩波書店、2013、51-82
    「狂歌の碑130年ぶり復元 直江津生まれ 千代垣素直の作 「町衆文化知る契機に」」、新潟日報、2013(program guest; screenwriter)