Dr Lawrence Edward Marceau

PhD in East Asian Languages & Civilizations, Harvard University (1989); MA in Japanese Language & Literature, Kyoto University (1983); AB in East Asian Studies, Colgate University (1976)


  • Senior Lecturer in Japanese
  • Guest Research Scholar, Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University (立命館大学アート・リサーチセンター客員研究員)
  • December 2017--November 2018: Visiting Research Scholar, International Research Center for Japanese Studies (国際日本文化研究センター外国人研究員)

Research | Current

  • Aesop's Fables and their translation and adaptation in early modern (17th-19th century) Japan
  • Illustrated Bestiary Collections in 18th-century Japan
  • Literary and cultural study of early modern Japan
  • 18th-century intellectual, cultural contacts between Japan and continental Asia
  • Woodblock printing and publishing in Japan
  • Text/image dynamics in Japanese literature
  • Gender and the emotions in Japanese literature

Research interests revolve around the literature and culture of early modern (Edo/Tokugawa period, c. 1580-1880) Japan, and include such issues as:

  • The history of printing and publishing using woodblock media,
  • Woodblock book illustration and relationships with text,
  • Depictions of the creative and publishing process in popular fiction,
  • Early modern Japanese intellectual and cultural relations with Chinese and Koreans,
  • Nonconformist life styles and their underlying justifications (Daoist and other),
  • Bunjin ("literati") in early modern and modern Japan,
  • Literary, artistic, and cultural activities by men and women of all classes,
  • Gender and ethnic depictions in early modern Japanese literature and art, and
  • The yomihon (extended narrative fiction) as a genre.

Interests also focus on the poetry, fiction and other creative and intellectual activities of such individuals as:

  • Ihara Saikaku
  • Toriyama Sekien
  • Aesop ("Isopo" in early modern Japan)
  • Ueda Akinari
  • Takebe Ayatari
  • Santo Kyoden
  • Kyokutei Bakin
  • Jippensha Ikku
  • Tamenaga Shunsui
  • Kamo no Mabuchi
  • Motoori Norinaga

Dr Lawrence Marceau's Research

Teaching | Current

JAPANESE 240 Villains and Heroes in Japanese Literature (Semester 2)

JAPANESE 243 Geisha and Samurai: Edo Literature (Semester 1)

Postgraduate supervision

Zoe (Shaoyi) Liang, "Education for Non-Elite Women in Early Modern Japan" (co-supervisor with Dr Ellen Nakamura)

Haiying Hou, "A Reconsideration: Yoshioka Yayoi's View of Womanhood" (co-supervisor with Dr Ellen Nakamura)


01 December 2017: Selected as Visiting Researcher at the International Institute for Japanese Studies (Nichibunken), Kyoto (until 30 November 2018).

29 June 2017: Recipient of Foreign Minister of Japan's Commendation for the promotion of Japan research in New Zealand.

01 July 2013: Selected as Researcher in Residence at the Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland City Libraries (until 30 June 2014)



No committee or mentoring/advising responsibilities while on leave over 2018.

Areas of expertise

Japanese literature: all periods, but early modern in particular

Classical and Modern Japanese textual studies

Literary translation from Japanese to English

Committees/Professional groups/Services

No committee responsibilities while on leave over 2018.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Marceau, L. E. (2011). Yume no naka e -Akinari sakuhin to Resshi-(夢の中へ ー秋成作品と『列子』ー = Into the dream: Akinari's works and the Liezi. In Z. Zhang, Kōno K (Eds.) Higashiajia sekai to chūgoku bunka: bungaku shisō ni miru denpa to saisō (東アジア世界と中国文化:文学・思想にみる伝播と再創)= The World of East Asia and Chinese Culture: Propagation and Re-creation in Literature and Thought (pp. 275-282). Tokyo: Bensei Shuppan.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/14153
  • Marceau, L. E. (2010). Behind the scenes: narrative and self-referentiality in Edo illustrated popular fiction. Japan Forum, 21 (3), 403-423. 10.1080/09555801003773661
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/12649
  • Marceau, L. E. (2006). Cultural Developments in Tokugawa Japan. In M. Tsutsui William (Ed.) A Companion to Japanese History (pp. 181-210). Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/12598


Contact details

Office hours

On leave Semesters One and Two, 2018.

Primary office location

ARTS 2 - Bldg 207
Level 4, Room 431
New Zealand

Web links