David L. Howell
David Howell is Professor of Japanese History at Harvard University. He received his B.A. from the University of Hawai'i at Hilo and Ph.D. in History from Princeton University. He taught at the University of Texas at Austin Princeton before joining the Harvard faculty in 2010. Howell is the author of Capitalism from Within: Economy, Society, and the State in a Japanese Fishery (1995) and Geographies of Identity in Nineteenth-Century Japan (2005) as well as numerous articles. His current research is on the fear of social disorder in the decades preceding the Meiji Restoration.
Mammas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Samurai
Who wouldn't want to be a samurai? Samurai status was indeed coveted by many people in Tokugawa Japan, but there were also good reasons not to be a warrior. This talk will introduce some of them, and along the way it will also address the surprisingly difficult problem of pinning down the definition of "samurai": who was a "real" samurai, and who was a pretender? This presentation's larger purpose is to consider how the Tokugawa status order maintained its integrity over time.