Back in 2020, I was selected to be a visiting scholar in Japan as part of the Organization of American Historians-Japanese Association of American Studies collaboration. They select two American scholars each year to go and give a bunch of talks to various groups at universities and conferences. Interestingly, among OAH membership, third by nationality is the Japanese, only behind the Americans and Canadians. This isn’t that shocking once you think about the role of the postwar occupation to modern Japan, but I had never actually thought about it before. They have a lot of Americanists!
As it so happened, that year, they wanted a labor historian and so, here I am. Except for that Covid thing. I was bummed. Super bummed. Then it canceled in 2021 too. I was sure it wouldn’t happen after that. But no, lo and behold, today I am off to Japan for a month to do my thing, as well as seeing lots of ridiculousness, eating delicious food, and doing god knows what else. It’s going to be fun. In addition, I will be the official LGM correspondent for east Asia in the next month, which means, uh……writing about random things? Anyway, let’s see what happens once I recover from the jet lag!