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Grant number like: FA-53156-07

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David L. Howell
Princeton University (Princeton, NJ 08540-5228)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2007 – 6/30/2008

Violence and Disorder in 19th-Century Japan

I will use my tenure as an NEH fellow to write a book about the fear of social disorder and foreign invasion in Japan during the first three-quarters of the nineteenth century. At the center of my analysis will be a consideration of the place of violence and the threat of violence in social and political relations. The book will reveal how the peculiar contours of the landscape of power in early modern Japan shaped responses to disorder, real and imagined. It will also show how the combination of internal problems and threats from abroad conditioned local responses to the tumultuous political changes of the Meiji Restoration of 1868. The study will be based on archival materials from the Kanto region, east of modern-day Tokyo.