Thomas Harriot College of Arts & Sciences
Department of History

BlackBoard Index Email and Phone OneStop Calendar Search
Faculty&Staff Mission Statement



Tucker2John A. Tucker

Professor of History

Ph.D., Columbia University

Phone: 252-328-6587

Office: Brewster A317

Fax:  252-328-6774




After graduating from Davidson College, cum laude, with a major in history (1977), Tucker completed two Master's degrees at the University of Hawai'i, the first in Asian philosophy (1981) and the second in Asian history (1983). A Japanese Ministry of Education (Monbusho) scholarship made possible language study at Osaka gaikokugo daigaku (1983-84), and graduate research in Chinese philosophy at the Institute for Studies in the Humanities (Jinbun kagaku kenkyujo), Kyoto University (1984-1985). Tucker took his Ph.D. at Columbia University (1990), studying Sino-Japanese Confucianism and Neo-Confucianism primarily under Professors Wm. Theodore de Bary, Wing-tsit Chan, Irene Bloom, and Philip Yampolsky.  A Fulbright-Hays' Doctoral Disseration Research Abroad Fellowship (1988-89) enabled him to complete advanced work on his dissertation, "Ch'en Pei-hsi's Hsing-li tzu-i and Tokugawa Philosophical Lexicography."  Tucker taught at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida (1990-2000). He has received two Japan Foundation Faculty Research Awards (1995, 2000), making possible continued research in Japanese Confucianism at the Institute for Studies in the Humanities, Kyoto University.  In addition to numerous articles in scholarly journals such as Philosophy East & West, the Journal of Chinese Philosophy, Asian Philosophy, the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Chinese Culture,Sino-Japanese Studies, and Japan Studies Review, Tucker has published  two translation studies: Ito Jinsai's Gomo jigi and the Philosophical Definition of Early-Modern Japan (Brill, 1998) and Ogyu Sorai's Philosophical Masterworks: The Bendo and Benmei (University of Hawai'i Press, 2006).  He is currently working on two projects tentatively entitled, Confucianism and Skepticism and Yamaga Soko and the Invention of Bushido.


Selected Publications

Ogyū Sorai’s Philosophical Masterworks: The Bendō and Benmei. Honolulu: University

of Hawai’i Press: 2006.


“Confucian Revisionists.” Co-authored with Wm. Theodore de Bary. In Sources of Japanese Tradition: 1600-2000 (Second Edition), volume 2, eds., Wm. Theodore de Bary, Carol Gluck, and Donald Keene. New York: Columbia University Press, 2005: 185-248.  Sections attributed to John A. Tucker: “Yamaga Sokō and the Civilizing of the Samurai:” 186-204; “Itō Jinsai’s School of Ancient Meanings:” 205-217.


“The Way of the Warrior, II: The Debate over the Ako Vendetta.” Co-authored with Barry D. Steben. In Sources of Japanese Tradition: 1600-2000 (Second Edition), volume 2, eds. Wm. Theodore de Bary, Carol Gluck, and Donald Keene. New York: Columbia University Press, 2005: 437-480.


“From Nativism to Numerology: Yamaga Sokō’s Final Excursion into the Metaphysics of Change.” Philosophy East & West, 54/2 (April 2004): 194-217.


“Art, the Ethical Self, and Political Eremitism: Fujiwara Seika’s Essay on Landscape Painting.” Journal of Chinese Philosophy (March 2004: 31/1): 47-63.


Animé and Historical Inversion in Miyazaki Hayao’s Princess Mononoke.” Japan Studies Review, 7 (2003): 65-102.


“A Translation-Study of the Kana shōri.” Sino-Japanese Studies, 15 (2003): 56-98.


“Japanese Views of Nature and the Environment.” In Nature Across Cultures: Non-Western Views of Nature and the Environment, ed. Helaine Selin. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Publishers, 2003: 161-83.


“Quiet-Sitting and Political Activism: The Thought and Practice of Satō Naokata.” The Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, 29/1-2 (2002): 1-43.


“Tokugawa Intellectual History and Prewar Ideology: The Case of Inoue Tetsujirō, Yamaga Sokō, and the Forty-Seven Rōnin.” Sino-Japanese Studies, 14 (2002): 35-70.


“Yamaga Sokō’s Seikyō yōroku, Part Three.” Sino-Japanese Studies, 14 (2002): 71-80.


Courses Offered:

HIST 1030: World Civilizations to 1500

HIST 1031: World Civilizations Since 1500

HIST 3610: History of East Asia to 1600

HIST 3611: History of East Asia Since 1600

HIST 3615: History of Traditional Japan

HIST 3620: History of Modern Japan

HIST 3625: Field Study in Japanese Historical Culture

HIST 3626: Field Study in Japanese Historical Texts

HIST 3627: History of Japanese Buddhism

HIST 3629: History of Traditional China

HIST 3630: History of Modern China

HIST 5680: Diplomatic History of Modern Asia