James Ketelaar, Ph.D.

Professor in History and East Asian Languages and Civilizations
Social Sciences 513/Box 98


Professor Ketelaar is currently finishing a book on the importance of the barbarian and the frontier in the construction of Japanese national identity and national history, tentatively titled Ezo: A History of Japan's Eastern Frontier (Princeton University Press).  He is beginning a book project on the roles and meanings of love and eros in Japanese historical imaginations which will look at issues ranging from the relationship of Izanami and Izanagi to Shunga to the marriage of Emperors.

Professor Ketelaar is also a governing board member for the undergraduate year-abroad program in Kyoto at the Kyoto Center for Japanese Studies.

Selected Publications

Of Heretics and Martyrs in Meiji Japan: Buddhism and its Persecution (Princeton: 1989), winner of the Hans Rosenhaupt Memorial Award.


  • Readings in Japanese Thought (Autumn 2005)
  • Seminar in Japanese History (Autumn 2005, Winter 2006)
  • Histories in Japan (Winter 2006)
  • Objects of Japanese History (Spring 2005)
  • Japanese History through Films and Texts (Autumn 2004)