Fatherhood and the final stretches of my PhD have taken a toll on my posting performance here. Hard to believe it’s been more than half a year since the last blog post. Long gone seem the days when my aim was to have two entries up each week. I do intend to continue writing here, especially to get some structure into my post-PhD thinking as well as reflect on my teaching. A few updates and ideas after the jump.

The two big updates – private and professional – are a little too important to brush off with a short note here. Suffice it to say, our daughter keeps us busy and very happy. The PhD should be all done before the end of the year. I plan to flesh out several of the main threads into proper journal articles, but will also spend some more time summarizing them here.

The three main ones will hopefully distill my chapters on labor-intensive industrialization; egalitarian improvements in living standards and fiscal redistribution; all of course in postwar Tokyo (1945-1970). Another one is planned on what modern developing cities can learn from the Tokyo of that period, to bring my insights into the contemporary world and (I hate to say it) make it more relevant!

Meanwhile I will keep teaching at Temple University’s Tokyo campus. The new class is called Global Cities and introduces undergraduate students to the variety of urban conditions around the world. For this time I stay close to the main campus’s syllabus but plan to adapt it gradually to our physical location in Asia’s largest urban agglomeration.

I still also have the Metropolitan Tokyo class notes to finish and post here on this blog. The course will run again in 2019 and I look forward to reflecting on some of the students’ feedback and my own observations while revamping it.

With the post-PhD life increasingly in focus, some big questions remain: Will we stay in Tokyo? Am I looking for full-time academic employment? How open and reflective can a blog like this remain? Given that writing about parts of my own life online have been such a constant over the last 15 years, I am curious about the next steps.

Now that this particular writer’s block is partially overcome, I hope it won’t be another six months before the next post. As we also invested in a new camera, I may fill the inevitable gap with a few photos.

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