Andrew Gordon receives prize in Japanese studies

Andrew Gordon.

Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard file photo

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The National Institutes for the Humanities of Japan (NIHU) awarded Andrew Gordon the 2020 International Prize in Japanese Studies. Gordon is the Lee and Juliet Folger Fund Professor of History, with a special focus on modern Japan.

In the announcement of the prize, the NIHU recognized Gordon’s extensive work on the history of labor in modern Japan, his breadth of research in the field of modern Japanese history, his focus on education and pedagogy in writing and teaching, and his commitment to “bridging society and academia.”

Gordon is “highly respected for the meticulous and high caliber of his research, both for their distinctive focus and breadth of perspective, greatly stimulating the work of scholars in Japanese history,” wrote Sungsi Lee, Executive Director of the NIHU, in the announcement.

Andrew Gordon received an A.B. from Harvard College in 1975 and a Ph.D. from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 1981. He joined the Harvard faculty in 1995 and served as chair of the History Department from 2004 to 2007, Director of the Reischauer Institute for Japanese Studies from 1998 to 2004 and from 2010 to 2011, and acting director of the Asia Center from 2016 to 2017. In 2014, Gordon was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

His recent books include the fourth edition of his textbook “A Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa Times to the Present,” and “Fabricating Consumers: The Sewing Machine in Modern Japan.” Gordon is also the director of the Japan Disasters Digital Archive (JDA), a collaborative catalog and interactive space housed at the Reischauer Institute and focused on the 2011 East Japan earthquake and tsunami.