Dr. Kirk Patterson will lead a discussion on his current research project, Japan and the Sea. Specifically, he will present, and solicit comments on, environmental, cultural, political, and other reasons for why Japan was not (until the modern era) a maritime culture, nation, and power. Japan’s generally negative relationship with the sea is in sharp contrast to that of another island nation, England, which viewed the ocean as providing opportunities for trade, colonization, and adventure.
ICAS adjunct fellow and former Dean of Temple University Japan Campus. He is currently doing a circumnavigation of Japan.
Dr. Patterson has a Ph.D. in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, with a specialization in East Asian diplomatic history. Previously the Dean of Temple University Japan, he is currently doing a multiyear, solo circumnavigation of Japan, trying to become the first foreigner to complete such a voyage. He is a Canadian/US dual citizen and has lived in Japan for a total of over 26 years.