Toshiaki Yanagihara, Professor of Historical Studies
Born in 1961 in Niigata Prefecture. Graduated from Tohoku University, Faculty of Arts and Letters in 1984. Accepted to the doctoral program of the Graduate School of Arts and Letters but did not complete the program in 1990. Obtained position as Lecturer at Kagoshima University and later became an Associate Professor. Subsequently moved to a position at Tohoku University in 1997.
His works include “Periphery of Medieval Japan and East Asia” (February 2011), and his joint/compilation works are “Oshu (present Tohoku region) in the Kamakura and Muromachi periods” (2002), “Japanese History 9 Formation of Medieval Society” (2001), papers are “Ports, rivers, and roads in Minamisatsuma (southern Kagoshima) in medieval times” (Roads and Physical Distribution), “Western boundary domain and Mannose-gawa River” (Japanese History of boundaries), “New interpretation of “Jito ika chumon” in Azumakagami (the chronicles of the Kamakura Shogunate)” (“Hiraizumi/Koromogawa and Kyo/Fukuhara”), “North and south in medieval Japan” (Japanese History Lecture 4 “Structure of Medieval Society”). Commentaries include “Ou historical-records Research Department, Tohoku Imperial University (present-day Tohoku University) - A pioneer of research on regional history – ” (A “great treasure of Tohoku University,” Co-authored “Inventory of “Oshima Masataka documents” owned by the Tohoku University Archives,” etc.
On March 11, 2011, the day of the Great East Japan and up to present
In February 2011, Professor Yanagihara of the Graduate School of Arts and Letters, Tohoku University published “Periphery of Medieval Japan and East Asia,” a work representing his research on regional history in medieval-times. For details of this book please refer to the booklet of the Faculty/School of Letters and Art. About one month later the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred.
On the day of the disaster, Professor Yanagihara was participating in a joint research project on an ancient work entitled “Uesuke Document” in Kumejima Island, Okinawa. In the latest research methods on historical documents, researchers are interested not only in the written content and style but also the composition of paper used and the production process. Professor Yanagihara examined the paper quality of the ancient document with surveying equipment, such as a microscope.
When he was just about to board the plane at Kumejima Airport to return to Sendai, the Great East Japan Earthquake struck. Of course, Sendai Airport was closed, and the Tohoku Shinkansen was also stopped. Therefore, he was unable to return to Sendai until one week after the disaster. The laboratory was buried in books and furniture, although the bookshelf itself did not fall.