Dr. Tze Loo, Associate Professor of History and International Studies, has been awarded a year-long fellowship from the Japan Foundation for her work on “Religion and Rule in Prewar Okinawa.”

Professor Loo explained, “Studies of prewar Okinawa have paid scant attention to what happened to Okinawa’s indigenous religion following the islands’ formal annexation by Japan in 1879, even though such attention would render a more complex picture of how mainland rule was extended over the islands and how Okinawans responded to that rule.”  Dr. Loo’s investigation shows Japanese rule of the prefecture to have been more tentative than thought.  The resulting book will be “the first in English or Japanese to examine how Okinawa’s religious landscape, practices and discourses functioned as a mechanism for both political control and performance of political subordination.”

Dr. Loo’s research during the fellowship period will take place in shrines, libraries and archives – including unpublished privately-held materials, in Tokyo and northern Okinawa. Oral interviews with Okinawan practitioners of religious rites who remember the prewar period will also be important to the project.

Having taught at the University of Richmond since 2006, Dr. Loo obtained a B.A degree in history from the University of Sydney, Master’s degree from the National University of Singapore, and Ph.D. from Cornell. Dr. Loo has published one monograph, several chapters and articles, as well as book reviews and translations.

The mission of the Japan Foundation is to promote international cultural exchange and mutual understanding between Japan and other countries. The Japan Foundation Fellowships program provides support to outstanding scholars in the field by offering the opportunity to conduct research in Japan.
Associate Professor of History and International Studies
International Studies Concentration Advisor, Asia
Modern Japanese history
Modern Chinese history
Japanese colonialism