Skip to Content

Search: {{$root.lsaSearchQuery.q}}, Page {{$}}

While in Japan from 2014-2015 as a Fulbright Graduate Fellow, I researched metal caster associations and medieval networks for my dissertation. There, I had the opportunity to participate in a three-week study program recently piloted by Kōgakkan University. Located in Ise (the location of the famous Shintō Ise Grand Shrine), the program aimed to expand knowledge of Ise and Japan for foreign graduate students. When the scholars volunteering their time for lectures and tours learned that I was researching two nearby villages where a mid-sixteenth century dispute had broken out over the goods of metal casters, they bent over backwards to show me examples of premodern metal work everywhere we went. Predictably, this led me to take a lot of selfies with temple bells and hug a lot of bronze bridge post caps (gibōshi), like the one from 1498 pictured here. As you can see, even the mid-February chill couldn’t stop me, although I did garner some questionable looks from passersby.