University of Southern California

Graduate Students

Nadia Kanagawa

Contact Information

E-mail: nkanagaw@usc.edu

Biographical Sketch


Born in San Diego, and raised in St. Louis, I graduated from Yale with a BA in History. I then received a Richard U. Light Fellowship and moved to Yokohama, Japan to study at the Inter University Center Japanese language institute for 10 months. After completing the IUC program, I moved to Tokyo and worked at Google in Japan for three years before returning to the US and to academia. My dissertation examines how the Japanese ritsuryo state approached the incorporation, assimilation, and configuration of immigrants and their descendant over the seventh to ninth century Nara-Heian transition. I am currently in Japan, and am affiliated with the University of Tokyo's Historiographical Institute while I conduct my dissertation research.

Education

  • BA Yale University, 05/2006
  • BA History, Yale University, 05/2006


Employment History

  • Teaching Assistant "Introduction to Buddhist Literature", University of Southern California, 2011
  • Teaching Assistant, "History of Japan", University of Southern California, 2012
  • Graduate Advisor & Translator USC NTSAF Summer Immersion Program (SIP), University of Southern California, 2012 - 2012
  • Teaching Assistant, "Chinese Lives: An Introduction to Chinese History" , University of Southern California, 2012
  • Teaching Assistant, "Ethical Issues and the Religions of Los Angeles", University of Southern California, 2013
  • Graduate Advisor & Translator USC NTSAF Summer Immersion Program (SIP), University of Southern California, 2014 - 2014

Research

Summary Statement of Research Interests


  • My project examines how the early Japanese state approached the incorporation, assimilation, and configuration of immigrants and their descendants. I focus on a particularly dynamic and contentious period in the history of the Japanese state, spanning the seventh to ninth century Nara-Heian period transition. By emphasizing the long history of immigration to, from, and within the Japanese archipelago, as well as the diversity within the immigrant population of the early state, I will challenge the idea that the early Japanese state maintained a clear immigrant-native dichotomy. By reading a variety of different types of sources – legal codes and commentaries, official court chronicles, provincial gazetteers, and genealogical texts – against each other, I will work to identify and analyze the kinds of categories and status that were meaningful in the early Japanese state. I will also situate the early Japanese state in the context of the East Asian region, taking into account the rapid changes in power dynamics as the T’ang empire and Korean kingdom of Silla rose and the Korean kingdoms of Paekche and Koguryo fell. Beginning in the the mid-seventh century, Japanese rulers combined status rank systems based on royally recognized lineages and noble titles with legal systems imported form the continent to configure the people of their realm. Each element of this complex status system was shaped by interaction and competition amongst East Asian states, and the ways in which Japanese rulers incorporated external people, the maintenance of certain categories of people in the realm, and the relationships those people had with individual rulers all became potential reflections of the legitimacy of the Japanese state. By exploring the place of foreign peoples in the early Japanese state, I will also explore the strategies that early Japanese rulers used to maintain their paramount positions and the forces that drove the formation and reformation of the state.

Research Keywords


  • 7th~9th century Japanese history, Nara and Heian periods, ritsuryo state, state formation, immigrant populations, East Asian region, comparative legal history

Research Specialties


  • Immigration and state formation in pre-modern Japan and East Asia.

Other Presentations


  • ""Gaps and Bridges in English Studies on Shoen: Reflections on the Recent Conference"", 4th Annual Meeting of the Meiji University-USC Exchange, 2012-2013   

Guest Lectures in Courses


  • History 107g: Japanese History Gave a lecture which covered the Heian period in Japanese history, with special attention to preparing students for reading an abridged version of the "Tale of Genji.", Spring 2012   


Honors and Awards

  • Japan Foundation Doctoral Fellowship, 1/6/2014-1/6/2015  
  • Association for Japan-U.S. Community Exchange (ACE) Nikaido Fellowship, 6/1/2013-8/20/2013  
  • Roberta Persinger Foulke Fellowship, 6/1/2013-8/20/2013  
  • Association for Japan-U.S. Community Exchange (ACE) Nikaido Fellowship, 6/1/2012-8/20/2012  
  • Association for Japan-U.S. Community Exchange (ACE) Nikaido Fellowship, 6/1/2011-8/20/2011