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Leading scholars of pre-modern Japan contributed to Japan: Memoirs of a Secret Empire, on camera and behind the scenes.

Michael R. Auslin is Assistant Professor of History at Yale University. He is the author of Negotiating with Imperialism: The Unequal Treaties and the Culture of Japanese Diplomacy (Harvard, 2004) and is currently writing a book on U.S.-Japan cultural exchange over the past 200 years. A former Fulbright and Japan Foundation Scholar, he is a 2003 recipient of the Smith-Richardson Foundation's Junior Faculty Grant in International Security and Foreign Policy. He comments on Japanese affairs for both American and Japanese media.

Beatrice Bodart-Bailey, a German citizen educated in England, received her degrees from the Australian National University, Canberra. She is the author of Kaempfer’s Japan: Tokugawa Culture Observed (University of Hawaii Press, 1999), and has published books and articles on a wide range of topics on early Tokugawa Japan in English, Japanese and German. She inaugurated the teaching of Japanese History at Ottawa University, Canada, taught Japanese Economic History at Kobe University, and is one of the founding members of the Department of Comparative Culture, Otsuma Women's University, Tokyo, Japan, where she is still teaching at present.

Michael Cooper obtained a doctorate from the University of Oxford. He was the editor of the academic journal, Monumenta Nipponica in Tokyo for 26 years. He has written extensively on early Japanese-European cultural relations. His publications include They came to Japan: An Anthology of European Reports on Japan 1543-1640 (University of Michigan Press 1995), Rodrigues the Interpreter: An Early Jesuit in Japan and China (Weatherhill, 1974), and This Island of Japon: Joao Rodrigues’s Account of 16th Century Japan (Kodansha International, 1973).

Eiko Ikegami studied Japanese classical literature as an undergraduate in Japan, and later was awarded a Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard University. Currently a Professor of Sociology on the Graduate Faculty at New School University, she previously taught at Yale University as associate professor of sociology. Ikegami's first book, The Taming of the Samurai: Honorific Individualism and the Making of Modern Japan (1995, Harvard University Press) won the Best Book on Asia Award from the American Sociological Association's section of Asian and Asian American Studies. Her latest book, Bonds of Civility: Aesthetic Networks and Political Origins of Japanese Culture (2004, Cambridge University Press) examines the social aspects of Japanese aesthetic life, covering such topics as haiku, the tea ceremony, kimono fashion and Japanese politeness.

Herbert Plutschow was born in Switzerland and educated in Switzerland, England, Spain, France, Japan and the USA and got his PhD from Columbia University, New York. He is author of some 15 books, including Four Japanese Diaries of the Middle Ages (co-author) (East Asian Papers, Cornell University, 1981) and Nihon Kiko Bungaku Binran (co-author) (Handbook for the study of medieval Japanese travel literature) (Tokyo: Musashino Shoin, 1975). He has taught at the University of Illinois, University of Zuerich, Switzerland, International Christian University, University of Paris, Sorbonne, Kyoto University and Meiji Gakuin University in Tokyo.

Luke Roberts is associate professor of Japanese history at the University of California Santa Barbara. He is the author of Mercantilism in a Japanese Domain (Cambridge U. Press, 1998) and numerous articles on Tokugawa era history with a special interest in the daimyo realm of Tosa in southern Japan.

Cecilia Segawa Seigle Cecilia Segawa Seigle is Professor Emerita of Japanese Studies in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies of the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of the Yoshiwara—the Glittering World of Japanese Courtesans (University of Hawaii Press, 1993), and Kôjo Shinanomiya no nichijô seikatsu ("The Everyday Life of Imperial Princess Shinanomiya," under her Japanese name, Yoshiko Segawa), (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 2001). She has published a number of books of modern and contemporary Japanese literature. Her essays, book reviews, biographical essays and monographs have appeared in various academic journals. She has been a research fellow of the Historiographical Institute of the University of Tokyo for the last four years, and is writing a book on the Ôoku, the women's quarters at Edo Castle, 1600-1868.

Harutoshi Takafuji received his doctorate in Shintoism from Kokugakuin University. He is a priest and director of educational affairs at Nikko Toshogu Shrine. He has extensively studied the structures and artifacts of Toshogu Shrine and released various new discoveries and interpretations. He is the author of Mysteries and Wonders: Rediscovering Nikko Toshogu Shrine, Sculptures at Toshogu Shrine, and Ieyasu and Toshogu Shrines in Japan.

Makoto Takeuchi received his doctorate from Tokyo University of Education majoring in Edo cultural history, early modern period urban history. While he is the general director of Edo Tokyo Museum, he is also emeritus professor at Tokyo Gakugei University, professor of Rissho University Department of Literature, director of Rissho University Graduate School Literature Study Center, and an advisor for Socio-Economic Historical Study Group. His books include, Edo and Osaka, Genroku Ningen Moyo (Genroku Human Relations), World of Screen of Famous Sites in Tokyo, and Structure of Early Modern City, Edo.

Hirofumi Yamamoto is Professor of Historiographical Institute of the University of Tokyo. His studies focus on modern Japanese history, politics and international relations of the early modern period, and warriors of Edo period. He is currently compiling Dai Nippon Kinsei Shiryo, Hosokawa-ke Shiryo (Japanese Historiography, Hosokawa Clan). He is an author of several books including Kan-ei Period, Seppuku, Bushi (Samurai) and the World and an award-winning Diary of Edo Caretaker.

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