Getting Back To It

So I’m back. After graduation from Pitt, getting my hard-fought Ph.D., a job search that took way, way too long (partly the same hard-fought Ph.D. making me overqualified for everything), and launching a career as a freelance author, I’ve got a job again, and some measure of normalcy and stability is returning to life. I used to blog elsewhere, on history and spirituality, and finishing up grad school– followed by my stipend ending– meant that I really didn’t have the time to be writing anything if it didn’t directly help me make ends meet. But that’s all different now, and here we are, so. I’m back. And I’m glad to see you.

A view inside one of the classrooms at Pitt’s Cathedral of Learning. These days are, at last, behind me. (source)

So. What can you expect ahead, now that I’m here? Broadly stated: the history and spirituality and folklore are back, interspersed with the fiction for which I’ve gotten some measure of reputation since I graduated, and some new things too! I had my research interests in grad school, and I have new ones now, too, so that’ll all be making an appearance here. The plan, however, is to have content hit Patreon first, so if you want to get an early peek, go sign up at http://patreon.com/shiogamawaves !

  1. Japanese history: I’m still as interested as ever in Japanese history, particularly the Bakumatsu-Meiji transition and the Boshin War of 1868. I’ve still got a book to put together, there, so in the meantime I’m exploring new questions (e.g. what was the role of non-samurai combatants in the Boshin War?). But I’ve got new research interests: Noh and its systems of patronage and supervision in domain service in the Edo period, the matagi of Akita, women author-activists of the 19th and early 20th centuries, and more.
  2. American history: This is a new focus ever since my dissertation, but a lot centers around the American Civil War. Lesser known episodes of the conflict, its intersection with the later Boshin War, the role of women in combat, the history of trans people as combatants, are all points of interest for me.
  3. Japanese folklore and spirituality: I am a Hachiman devotee, and as I was in my past blogging career, I remain interested in Shinto and its history and ritual, as well as local folklore in northeastern Japan and beyond. You can expect to see some of this, too, as I pick up with reading and research. I had a series of shrine profiles that were well received, on my old blog– I could see picking up with that!
  4. New item is fashion! I’m trying to merge historic (or if you prefer, vintage) and modern vibes into a new, harmonious whole. I share some of this over on Instagram (follow me there!) but I’d like to make more in-depth posts here, too– and share bigger photos, soon improved by the benefit of a remote control for my camera.
  5. Photos and local historical or cultural commentary from my travels. I regularly travel parts of the Middle States (Mid-Atlantic) in the US, and eventually I hope to return to Japan, too. I take a lot of photos, and history has a way of catching my eye. Again, I post some of this I already post on Instagram, but the longer format of WordPress would let me do so at greater length.
  6. Updates on my fiction work and other developments in my authorly career.
  7. Some of my art!

At any rate, this should give you a taste of what’s in store. Again, if you want to see this stuff early, plus get bonuses, come subscribe over at Patreon! Patreon support has gone a long way in keeping me going during the past couple of difficult years, and I’d love to have your support too.

That’s all for now! More soon. Until next time, remember: who you are, and what lights your fire, is worth fighting for.

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