search/admin/spider_custom.php search/search.php fellowship_survey/survey.php Fellow Follow-up Survey Details - Linda Isako ANGST

SF (2005)

Fellow Information:
First Name
Linda Isako
Middle Name
Last Name
Lewis and Clark College
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Contact Address:
Address Type
Address 1
2944 SE Brooklyn Street
Address 2 (optional)
Zip Code
United States
Email or
*Survey URL
1. Are you enaged in Japanese Studies?

Answer: A. Yes, I am engaged in Japanese Studies at a university or research institution.

Field of Study:  

2. Please describe what you are currently doing. (If you have your own website or any relevant site, provide its URL.)

Answer: I teach anthroplogy and gender studies, focusing on Japan, at a small liberal arts college. Research has focused on Okinawan women's wartime experiences (forthcoming book, Harvard University Press, 2011), postwar occupation of Okinawa by the US, and the culture of militarism and occupation in Okinawa and Japan. I also study the development of tourism in Okinawa that targets senior Japanese citizens and also constructs a sense of Okinawan identity, particularly since the centennarian study of Okinawans as the longest lived people in the world.

3. Where did you acquire your most advanced Japanese language training for your research?

Answer: B. I learned it at a special language training school. (The Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies)

4. Have you ever participated in the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme?

Answer: NO

Optional Inquiry:
1. Please describe briefly how the Japan Foundation Fellowship experience influenced your career.

Answer: My JF Fellowship supported study at IUC during the 1986-87 academic year. Without it, I would not have been able to take a leave from UC Berkeley to have the experience of advanced Japanese language studies. The year in Tokyo also introduced me to a wide range of academicians, business people, and artists. Most importantly, it allowed me to live in Japan and experience the culture first hand. Though I spent the first two years of my life in Japan, born of a Japanese mother, I was raised in the US and France, and therefore was not familiar with Japan until I returned to Japan to teach and study in the 1980s. After the JF Fellowship year, I remained in Japan for two more years, supporting myself by translation and editing Japanese/English texts and materials, working at Time-Life books and Hokkaido Shinbun, among other places. I eventually returned to complete my MA thesis for Berkeley before proceeding to Yale University to complete a Ph.D. in the anthropology of Japan. I left Berkeley in order to work directly with Dr. William W. Kelly, who continues to be my mentor and academic advisor. The Japan Foundation Fellowship made my academic career possible. I worked at the Smithsonian Institution's Freer and Sackler Galleries of Asian Art as an assistant director of Educational Programs before taking a teaching position at Earlham Collge, followed by my current position at Lewis and Clark College.

2. The Japan Foundation is planning to create a network or forum among past Japan Foundation fellows. Please let us know if you have any suggestions in terms of themes, format, etc.

Answer: It would be wonderful to have a forum in which panels and roundtable discussions were possible, for all of us to learn about each other's various career choices--the ways in which the study of Japan/ese has shaped our lives. It would be a wonderful resource for changing careers, as well, with contacts both within and outside of Japan. One theme I can suggest is global outreach--to bring together the cultures of Japan and the rest of the world. I would be happy to help facilitate such a gathering, perhaps as a representative from the Northwest corner of the U.S. or West coast. Please let me know how I can help!