Field: Japanese History
Advisor: Gregory Pflugfelder
Joshua Batts received his B.A. from Whittier College (2006) with an emphasis on Japanese history. He began work on a Ph.D. in Japanese history at Columbia in the fall of 2009, teaching English on the outskirts of Tokyo in the interim. In spring 2017, Joshua completed his dissertation, “Circling the Waters: The Keichō Embassy and Japanese-Spanish Relations in the Early Seventeenth Century.” The project examines Japan’s pursuit of trans-Pacific trade with colonial Latin America, Spain’s guarded response, and the unraveling of diplomatic relations between the Tokugawa shogunate and the Habsburg Spanish Empire. The work connects this specific episode to broader questions of the embassy form as a diplomatic tool and the challenges of diplomacy and commerce in the Pacific world.