May 15, 2023 | 7:30PM-9:00 PM EST | REGISTER FOR ZOOM
Church Space and the Capital in Prewar Japan (University of Hawai'i Press, 2022)
Author: Garrett L. Washington, Associate Professor of History, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Discussant: Jordan Sand, Professor of Japanese History, Georgetown University
The Modern Japan History Association invites the wider community to a conversation with Garrett L. Washington (Associate Professor of History, University of Massachusetts Amherst). Professor Washington will be speaking about his new book, Church Space and the Capital in Prewar Japan (University of Hawai'i Press, 2022). Church Space and the Capital provides a spatially explicit study on the influence of the Protestant church in imperial Japan. Professor Washington examines the physical and social spaces that Tokyo’s largest Japanese-led Protestant congregations cultivated between 1879 and 1923 and their broader social ties. These churches developed alongside, and competed with, the locational, architectural, and social spaces of Buddhism, Shinto, and Japanese New Religions. Japanese pastors and laypersons alike grappled with Christianity’s relationships to national identity, political ideology, women’s rights, Japanese imperialism, and modernity. Professor Washington's groundbreaking study offers answers to longstanding questions about Protestant Christianity’s reputation and impact, but also goes further, using a space-centered perspective to focus attention on Japanese agency in the religion’s metamorphosis and social impact. Jordan Sand (Professor of Japanese History, Georgetown University) will serve as discussant.