Skip to main content

Haruko Wakabayashi


Haruko Wakabayashi is a cultural historian of 12th-16th century Japan. She received her B.A. in Japanese Studies from Sophia University, Tokyo, and her Ph.D. in Japanese History from Princeton University. Her interest lies in the social, cultural, and intellectual development of medieval Japan, and the use of visual sources in the study of history. She is currently working on medieval Japanese perceptions of natural disasters, and how these views were framed to serve various social and political circumstances in the late twelfth century.  She has also been working on medieval images of the foreign Other. Meanwhile, as a historian raised in a bicultural and bilingual environment (Japan and the U.S.) and having attended a Catholic international school in Yokohama, she has been intrigued by the history of early cultural encounters between Rutgers and Japan.

Her recent publications include The Seven Tengu Scrolls: Evil and the Rhetoric of Legitimacy in Medieval Japanese Buddhism (2012, University of Hawai’i Press) and “Disaster in the Making: Taira no Kiyomori’s Move of the Capital to Fukuhara” (2015, Monumenta Nipponica, Vol. 70, No. 1). She has taught Japanese history, religion, and art history at Princeton University, the University of Alabama, and at Sophia University, International Christian University, Meiji Gakuin University, and the University of Tokyo in Japan.


Ph.D. Princeton University, 1995

B.A. Sophia University, 1989


  • Introduction to Japanese Culture (1:565:210)
  • Premodern Japanese Literature in Translation (01:565:302)
  • A-Bomb Literature and Film in Japan (01:565:215)
  • The Samurai Tradition in Japanese Literature and Film (01:565:320)
  • From Text to Image in Japanese Art (1:565:483)
  • Advanced Japanese (01:565:301/302)
  • Advanced Readings in Japanese (01:565:401/402)