Guest speaker: Dr. Robert Hellyer (Associate Professor of History at Wake Forest University)
Moderator: Dr. Mai Kataoka (Project Research Fellow, EAA UTokyo)
Date and time: 9 December 2021, 10:00 am JST (8:00 pm EST)
Format: One hour lecture followed by Q&A (on Zoom)
Registration: To join this event, please register to attend.
About the lecture
Today, Americans are some of the world’s biggest consumers of black teas. In Japan, green tea, especially sencha, is preferred. Through an examination of the history of the Japan-U.S. tea trade, this presentation will show how these national partialities are deeply entwined. It will focus on the forgotten American penchant for Japanese green tea—often consumed hot with milk and sugar—and how it came to shape Japanese tastes. Highlighting stories of the people involved in the Japan-U.S. trade—including samurai turned tea farmers —the presentation offers not only a social and commodity history of tea in the United States and Japan but also new insights into how national customs have profound if often hidden international dimensions.
About the speaker
Robert Hellyer is an Associate Professor of History at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, USA. A historian of early modern and modern Japan, he has explored foreign relations from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries, research presented in Defining Engagement: Japan and Global Contexts, 1640-1868 (Harvard, 2009). He also co-organized a multi-year project that examined the Meiji Restoration surrounding the 150-year anniversary in 2018, an initiative that resulted in Robert Hellyer and Harald Fuess, eds., The Meiji Restoration: Japan as a Global Nation (Cambridge, 2020). The research and writing of Green with Milk and Sugar: When Japan Filled America’s Tea Cups (Columbia, 2021) was supported by Smithsonian, Japan Foundation, Hakuhodo Foundation, Sainsbury Institute, and National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships.
1. Green with Milk and Sugar-When Japan Filled America’s Tea Cups (Columbia University Press, 2021) [Discount Code: CUP20]
2. Robert Hellyer and Harald Fuess, eds., The Meiji Restoration: Japan as a Global Nation (Cambridge University Press, 2020).
3. Defining Engagement: Japan and Global Contexts, 1640-1868. Harvard University Asia Center, 2009.
Organised by East Asian Academy for New Liberal Arts (EAA) and Go Global Gateway (GGG), the University of Tokyo