19th Ave New York, NY 95822, USA

UNC Japanese History Lab

Welcome to the UNC Japanese History Lab. We are a research group jointly based in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and the Department of History at UNC-Chapel Hill. Topics of current interest in the lab include:

  • Cultural archetypes and┬ánational heroes in contemporary Japan
  • The social history of swords
  • The archaeology and environmental history of premodern Japanese cities
  • Modern Japanese national identity and material culture
  • The history of medicine and healing in Japan and East Asia

Our lab, led by Professor Morgan Pitelka, includes (with some variation from one year to the next) local high school students; current and former undergraduates interested in researching Japanese history; M.A. students in the DAMES graduate program; Ph.D. students in the Asian History field from the History department; and postdocs and other affiliated scholars from the Triangle and beyond.

We engage in collaborative learning, shared mentorship, research training and advanced research, professional development through workshops and internship opportunities, consulting with global companies, and a variety of forms of public-facing education, publication, and community engagement.

Japanse Stone Carving

A stone buddha (sekibutsu) from the rural community of Ichij┼Źdani outside of present-day Fukui. The pastoral valley was once home to a bustling city of 10,000 people, and this statue is one of more than 2,000 stone markers that have survived the centuries since the city was destroyed in the civil wars of the late 1500s. Photo by Morgan Pitelka.