daniel botsman

Daniel Botsman – Professor of History and Chair of the Council on East Asian Studies at Yale University

Daniel Botsman is a professor of history and former Chair of Yale’s Council on East Asian Studies. Specializing in Japanese history, he has written several books including Punishment and Power in the Making of Modern Japan; this was also published as Chi nurareta jihi muchi utsu teikoku in Japanese.

Early Life and Education

Botsman investigates the dramatic transformation in Japanese punishment that took place after Meiji Restoration, showing how harsh punishments from samurai regimes formed part of an intricate system which still had limits. He explores this aspect with special reference to Japanese punishment during that era and shows its dramatic evolution through time.

Botsman hails from Papua New Guinea and studied Japanese at both Australian National University and Oxford University before earning his Ph.D in history from Princeton University. Additionally, he published a translation of Okita Saburo’s memoirs as postwar foreign minister of Japan before embarking on research for an historical overview of freedom ideas during Japan’s nineteenth-century Golden Age.

Professional Career

Daniel Botsman is a Professor of History and Chair of Yale’s Council on East Asian Studies. His specialty lies in Japanese and world history. Punishment and Power in the Making of Modern Japan by William Vaughan examines the development of law and penal practices during centuries of samurai rule prior to Meiji Restoration of 1868; also providing insight into contemporary perspectives regarding punishment, law, and civilization. He has written historical works as well as translated Okita Saburo’s memoirs and researched outcaste communities in early nineteenth century Japan. Crystal Feimster, his Yale colleague, has commended how both him and his husband manage their careers alongside managing family life demands.

Personal Life

Daniel Botsman, Professor of Japanese History and Chair of Yale’s Council on East Asian Studies. Among his previous work is translating Okita Saburo’s memoirs as one of Japan’s leading postwar foreign ministers; studying prisons during Tokugawa and Meiji periods Japan; as well as publishing monographs about outcaste communities during that era; among many other works.

Crystal Feimster, professor and director of undergraduate studies for African American Studies at Yale and Botsman’s former collaborator, expressed that while balancing family obligations with career commitments is sometimes challenging, she found Yale faculty very understanding and accommodating of those obligations.

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