Takeshi Watanabe

Assistant Professor of Japanese

Joined Connecticut College: 2008

B.A., Ph.D., Yale University


Japanese literature and culture

Literary and visual interpretations of history

Takeshi Watanabe holds a Ph.D. in pre-modern Japanese literature. Watanabe's recent areas of research include Japanese tea culture, the historical literature of the Heian period, 11th to 12th-century diaries written in Chinese by Japanese courtiers, Japanese food culture and cultural exchange in East Asia.

Watanabe has taught Introduction to Japanese Civilization, Intermediate Japanese, Introduction to Asian Art, Representations of War and Disaster in Japan, The Japanese Tea Ceremony, Confronting Images of Modern Japan: Geisha, Samurai, Godzilla, The Legacy of WWII in Post-war Japan, Perspectives on Modern Global Society (lecture on Orientalism, Mongolia and North Korea in a team-taught course) and From Tea to Connecticut Rolls, with an hour-long, weekly section in Japanese.

Watanabe has traveled extensively in China (Xinjiang, Sichuan, Yunnan, Liaoning, Inner Mongolia and Shanxi Provinces) to study cultural exchange from the continent into Japan.

Recent publications

"What Did Munetada Eat?" Part of a collaborative book project led by Prof. Joan Piggott on the Ch?y?ki. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, forthcoming.

"Rice, Wine, or Both: Overwriting Sectarian Strife in the Tendai Shuhanron Debate." Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 36:2, (2009), 259-278. http://nirc.nanzan-u.ac.jp/publications/jjrs/pdf/820.pdf

Book review of Esprenza Ramirez-Christensen’s Temporality and Emptiness (Stanford University Press, 2008), Japanese Language and Literature 43:1 (April 2009), 121-130.

"Breaking Down Boundaries: A History of Chanoyu." In Tea Culture of Japan, ed. Sadako Ohki. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 2009


"Akazome Emon: Her Poetic Voice and Persona,” invited lecture at the "Waka Workshop: Shakkyka" at Yale University, March 1, 2013

"Envisioning the Realm, Establishing Rule: Go-Shirakawa’s Nenj? gy?ji emaki and Ry?jin hish?," paper delivered as part of a panel, "Visualizing Stories of Heian Japan: Go-Shirakawa-in’s Image Repository," Annual Meeting of the Association for Asian Studies, 2013

"Shuhanron emaki kara mita asobi no sekai: kako kara mirai e no michi" ("The World of Play as seen through the Shuhanron Emaki: the Path from Past to Future"), invited lecture given at the symposium, "Shuhanron emaki du department des manuscrits à la Bibliothèque nationale du France," Nagoya University and the Iwase Bunko, November 2012

"Playing with Disaster: Medieval Japanese Responses to Trauma." Invited lecture at Yale University, November 30, 2011

"Tea as Popular Culture." Invited talk at the Yale University Art Gallery, February 24, 2009

Visit the East Asian Languages and Cultures website.

Majoring in East Asian Studies.

"If you are rich, you can give to those who suffer. If you are strong, you can support those who suffer. If you are neither rich nor strong, you can listen to them and offer your sympathy, telling them you are sorry. That is good enough." - the Buddha, as interpreted by Tezuka Osamu

Contact Takeshi Watanabe

Mailing Address

Takeshi Watanabe
Connecticut College
Box #5617
270 Mohegan Ave.
New London, CT 06320


204 Woodworth House