I am a bit obsessed with Japanese and Ryukyuan history and culture, and to a notable extent with those of the wider region of East/SE Asia and the Pacific. I find interest in just about every period or aspect of Japanese history, from the earliest ancient clan conflicts, through the Heian period and the Genpei Wars, the complexities of clan histories and regional histories of the Sengoku period, and into the vivid cultural, political, and economic history of the Edo period, the cultural changes of the Meiji period, and the cultural issues facing Japan today. I am particularly interested in the histories of visual, material, and performance culture, those things that make each period and each region of Japan so vibrantly distinct in their textured cultural look and feel. Please don't mind the weird name - we all picked weird handles back in the early days of the Internet, and on some platforms (such as this one) it's rather difficult to change to a different one.
I completed an MA at the School of Oriental & African Studies (U of London), writing on 17th century relations between the shogunate and Southeast Asian authorities, and then attended an intensive advanced-level Japanese-language program in Yokohama for a year. After some various adventures elsewhere in Japan, New York, and elsewhere, I completed a second MA, in Art History, from the University of Hawai'i, and then a PhD in History at the University of California, Santa Barbara, focusing on the 17th-19th century embassies dispatched by the Kingdom of Ryukyu to Edo, and on issues of cultural performance, ritual, and display occurring within those embassies.
Travis is no longer active on Wikipedia, finding the endless edit-warring and Talk page arguments stressful and a distraction from the relaxation, enjoyment, and productivity that contributing to a Wiki should bring. I enjoy using the Samurai-Archive Wiki as a great way to take notes, to record details I have come across, and to have a quick and easy way to come back to them, to look them up. Contributing to the Wiki also helps me to read actively and engagingly, actually noticing details and having something to do with them, rather than just passively skimming through materials for an argument, and absorbing little of the content.
For larger versions of images used on the S-A Wiki, any photos I have taken myself can be found on my Flickr page.
Interests and Specialties
As the userboxes do not tell all, I am particularly interested in and/or knowledgeable about:
My main projects right now on the Wiki are to continue adding information from things I'm reading anyway (for classes, for research, etc.), and from gallery labels and the like at museums and historical sites I visit. The Wiki thus grows organically and haphazardly, in bricolage fashion... and not, I am afraid, in any coordinated fashion focusing on the most major/significant topics, or on those most linked to that haven't been created yet. We'll get there eventually, though...