School of History, Classics and Archaeology

Staff Profile

Dr Philip Garrett

Lecturer in Japanese History

Background

Semester 1 Office Hours: Thursday 11-12 pm and Friday 9-11am  (subject to change or cancellation as necessary)

Twitter: @DrPhilipGarrett

I read for a BA in Japanese Studies at Oxford University, with periods of study at Kwansei Gakuin University and Osaka University of Foreign Studies. During my undergraduate studies I specialised in Japan's early history and classical literature. For my M.St. at Oxford I concentrated on classical history, focusing on the wave of provincial discontent and rebellion which emerged in the 10th century and was epitomised by the rebellions of Taira no Masakado and Fujiwara no Sumitomo. I then moved to Cambridge to study for a PhD in Medieval Japanese History, investigating the relationship between the Shingon Buddhist temple complex Kōyasan and the monks and warriors of northern Kii Province. My thesis, Kōyasan's Local Domain: Provincial Monastic Power in Medieval Japan, draws in themes of social ritual and social control, banditry (akutō), land disputes (sōron), and the position of provincial warrior-managers in the temple and its estates. 

My research at Newcastle concerns provincial life in medieval Japan, sacred space, belief, and organisational control, building on the work done at Cambridge. I am also currently collaborating with the research group QuakeRecNankai (a collaboration between the Geological Survey of Belgium, the Universities of Tokyo, Ghent, Liège, and Cologne, and AIST) in the field of historical tsunami research, crossing the boundaries between History, Landscape, and the geological and geographical sciences. 

I am currently the Newcastle University representative on the Japan Foundation Education Committee.

Research

My research at Newcastle concerns provincial life in medieval Japan, sacred space, belief, and organisational control, building on the work done at Cambridge. I am also currently collaborating with the research group QuakeRecNankai (a collaboration between the Geological Survey of Belgium, the Universities of Tokyo, Ghent, Liège, and Cologne, and AIST) in the field of historical tsunami research, crossing the boundaries between History, Landscape, and the geological and geographical sciences. 

Recent Conference Papers and talks

"Kōyasan (Japan) as an Urban Agglomerate Focused on a Religious Institution" as part of the multi-panel theme "Medieval Palace-Cities in Japan, Europe, and the Middle East", International Medieval Congress 2017, University of Leeds.

"Kami, Kinship, and Sacred Space at the Shingon Buddhist monastic complex Kōyasan in medieval Japan" invited lecture, Buddhist Studies Lecture Series, University of Ghent, Belgium, Mar. 2017.

"Sacred space and political influence in medieval Japanese temple land", MedLAB research forum, Newcastle University, Oct 2016.

"As Below, so Above: the institutional organisation of Kōyasan and estate society in the medieval period" at the British Association for Japanese Studies (BAJS) Annual Conference, Sept. 2015, SOAS.

"Current status of palaeoseismic research along the Nankai Trough, Japan" - Ed Garrett, Philip Garrett, Osamu Fujiwara, Vanessa Heyvaert, Masanobu Shishikura, Marc De Batist, Yusuke Yokoyama. Poster presented at the Geological Society Arthur Holmes Meeting on Tsunami Hazards and Risks, London, Sept. 2015.

"Geological evidence for historical and older earthquakes and tsunamis along the Nankai Trough, Japan" - Ed Garrett, Marc De Batist, Vanessa M.A. Heyvaert, Aurélia Hubert-Ferrari, Osamu Fujiwara, Yusuke Yokoyama, Helmut Brückner, Philip Garrett, and the QuakeRecNankai Team. Conference Poster presented at the European Geophysical Union General Assembly 2015. 

"Progress in paleoearthquake and paleotsunami research along the Nankai Trough following the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake" - Ed Garrett, Osamu Fujiwara, Vanessa M.A. Heyvaert, Marc De Batist, Yusuke Yokoyama, Helmut Brückner, Philip Garrett, Evelien Boes, Yosuke Miyairi, and the QuakeRecNankai team. At International Quaternary Union Congress, Nagoya, July 2015.

“Arson, Murder and Lawsuits: border disputes and community conflict in medieval Kii” at the British Association for Japanese Studies (BAJS) Annual Conference, Sept. 2012, UEA.

“Crime on the Estates: Monastic Authority in Medieval Japan” at International Medieval Congress 2012, University of Leeds

“Arson, Murder and Lawsuits” at Reassessing the Shōen System: Society and Economy in Medieval Japan (2012), University of Southern California. To be published as a chapter in the forthcoming book.

Book Reviews

"Review of Adolphson and Commons (eds.), Lovable Losers: The Heike in Action and Memory", Japanese Language and Literature, Vol. 50, No. 2, Oct. 2016.

Teaching

Main teaching responsibilities:

HIS1030 Evidence and Argument: Semester 1

Viewpoints on the Meiji Restoration. This seminar group will look at the history and historiography of the Meiji Ishin in nineteenth century Japan, examining different ideas and opinions of the nature and significance of the Restoration.

HIS2140 A Survey History of Japan: Semester 2

A broad survey of the Japanese islands from the earliest human habitation to the present day, considering themes of society, government, religion, and culture. Find out why poetry was integral to getting laid for Heian courtiers, while at the same time the rural population were participating in huge changes to the underlying economic structure of the country. Study the creation and mingling of religious traditions in the context of native praxis and cross-cultural contact. Understand the path that led to the brutality of colonialism and the Asia Pacific War, and the relevance of the present government's moves to redefine the pacifist constitution. 

HIS3000 Reading History: Semester 1

Reading The Gates of Power: Monks, Courtiers and Warriors in Medieval Japan by Mikael Adolphson. The Gates of Power is the springboard for discussion of wide-ranging elements of Japanese history - capital politics and the varying fortunes of the imperial family, Fujiwara family, and military leaders; land administration and local culture; doctrine and belief; the role of the great temples as economic, social, and political powers to name but a few. Therefore, HIS3000 should not be seen as a module for reading a single book, for all that we will closely examine Adolphson’s work. The Gates of Power should instead be the starting point for your reading and thinking.

HIS3020 Writing History: Semesters 1 and 2

Dissertation supervisions. Research ideas on Japanese history are particularly welcome.


Publications