Shuji Isawa (1851-1917): Transnational History, Public Memory, and Archival Project in Bridgewater, Ina, and Tokyo

Document Type

Grant Proposal

Date Accepted

Fall 2007

Project Description/Abstract

Shuji Isawa was sent by the Ministry of Education in Japan to study at Bridgewater Normal School from 1875 to 1877. He was instrumental to introducing new curriculum for the teaching of music, physical education, and special education in Tokyo. While previous Japanese studies have documented Isawa’s biography in some detail, his legacies at Bridgewater State College and in Japan have not been fully appreciated. Through my recent visit to his birth house in Ina city and meeting with a fourth-generation descendant of Isawa in Tokyo, I have been trying to examine how Shuji Isawa is being commemorated through public history and family memory. The research support in 2008 will enable me to catalog the Isawa archival materials at Bridgewater, create a new web page, produce a documentary video, and complete an article relating to the legacy of Isawa in both Japan and the US.

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