I am a PhD student in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Michigan. My dissertation committee chair is Professor Allison Alexy.
Personal research interests of mine include education, social change, individual strategy-making, life history, and class in Japan and Korea. I am broadly interested in the intersection of education and class among minorities in Japan, Korea, and U.S.
My research explores alternative education in Japan, that is, schools in Japan that offer nontraditional curricula. More specifically, I plan to investigate how school policies are made, what kind of skill/knowledge are offered in those schools, and what parents expect by sending their children there. I am also interested in how those schools in Japan help to establish alternative way of living for their alumni in (or out of) Japanese society.
I am originally from Tokyo, Japan and spent 28 years there. I have lived in Boston over the last two and a half years teaching Japanese in three of the city's universities. Then I spent a year in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Virginia. Before coming to the United States, I was involved in the testing design for the Japanese civil service examination (a secret job...)
My educational background includes an M.A. from Boston University in Applied Anthropology, an M.A. in Cultural Anthropology, and a B.A. in Japanese Language & Literature, both from the University of Tokyo.
I like to swim, work out, and hang out in cafes.
My CV is here.
Featured in department website. (05/2016)
My article "The Shifting Boundary of Minority Identities: The Japanese American Citizens League and Same-sex Marriage" was featured by An Annotated Bibliography of Books, DVDs, and Internet Resources on GLBT Asian-Americans created by American Library Association.
© 2014 Kunisuke Hirano