Gregory Smits

Dr. Gregory Smits, Associate Professor, Pennsylvania State University

Gregory Smits is a specialist in early modern East Asian intellectual history, the history of the Ryukyu Kingdom, and historical earthquakes in Japan and East Asia. His book Visions of Ryukyu: Identity and Ideology in Early Modern Thought and Politics has recently appeared in Japanese translation as Ryukyu no jigazo: kinsei Okinawa shisoshi (Ryukyu self-portraits: early modern Okinawan intellectual history), reviewed by Dr. Kurayoshi Takara in Japanese, and his recent articles include “Examining the Myth of Ryukyuan Pacifism.” He has published numerous articles on aspects of earthquakes and earthquake-related culture, including “ Namazu-e: Catfish Prints of 1855,” "Danger in the Lowground: Historical Context for the March 11, 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami," and most recently, "Conduits of Power: What the Origins of Japan’s Earthquake Catfish Reveal about Religious Geography." His book Seismic Japan: The Long History and Continuing Legacy of the Ansei Edo Earthquake will be published by the University of Hawai’i Press.

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