Haruko Iwasaki

Emerita Professor
Ph.D., Harvard University


Haruko G. Iwasaki works on popular culture of Early Modern Japan (Edo) into the Meiji period. Her primary focus is on the creative interaction within artistic groups, consisting of writers, poets, artists, actors, patrons, courtesans, etc. each with diverse background. Related issues include the construction of “egalitarian” space by way of pennames and other disguises, mutual invasion of image and text, and the continuous mutation of popular motifs that keep hopping across genres and disciplines.

Her current project is to decipher Edo netsuke, the nexus of meaning in miniature, by providing context through literature. A video project is under way in cooperation with Professor John Nathan. Born in Japan, Professor Iwasaki received a BA in English and Japanese Literature from Kanazawa University, an MA in English Literature from Brooklyn College, and a Doctorate from Harvard. Before coming to UCSB, she taught at Columbia, Princeton, and Harvard. She has received grants from the Japan Foundation, the Reischauer Institute, and the American Council of Learned Societies.

Selected Articles:

  • Writing in Circles. East Asia Monograph Series, Harvard University (forthcoming).
  • “Homo Ludens Japonica.” Monumenta Nipponica (forthcoming).
  • “Speak, Memory! Edo Netsuke in Their Literary Context.” International Netsuke Society Journal 21(4), Winter 2001.
  • “Kibyôshi gazô no dokuritsu senkôsei ni tsuite.” In Borders and Japanese Literature-Visuality and Verbal Expression, ed. National Institute of Japanese Literature, 2001.
  • “Water, Water, Every Where: The Epic Space in Yumiharizuki by Hokusai and Bakin.” In Proceedings of the Third International Hokusai Conference, ed. Obuse City Council, 1998.
  • “The Literature of Humor and Wit in Late Eighteenth-Century Edo.” In The Floating World Revisited, Portland Art Museum, 1993.