I am a sociologist with a long-standing fascination for the different ways people identify with their own cultures and histories. I have lived and studied in Japan, Germany, England, and the United States, and taught cultural, comparative, global sociology at the University of Pittsburgh for 25 years. I have been visiting professor at Portland State University since 2015.
I write about the feelings and memories that ground people’s national and cultural identities in today’s world. We become the people we are by remembering our past experiences as individuals, families, communities, and nations – especially experiences of conflict and change. This is what my work is about. It has appeared in articles and books, most recently in my book The Long Defeat: Cultural Trauma, Memory, and Identity in Japan published by Oxford University Press in 2015. The book is also available in Japanese and Chinese language editions.