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May 26, 2013


What parts of Asian history would you consider your specialty? To say it's a wide field would be quite an understatement, from ancient Sumer or Asia Minor to modern japan, 10000 years and about as many miles.

My specialty is modern Southeast Asia, but I've taught - at a very superficial level, admittedly - at least a little about the region from Pakistan to Japan (I don't do West Asia = Middle East), and bits of the last 2500 years or so. I'll try to indicate, when it's not readily apparent, where my "expertise" is particularly inexpert.

Welcome, dr ngo!

I became a historian to escape the present, not to explain it.

I thought historians studied history as a way to explain How We Got In This Mess. But non-historians probably drop the ball, here, just as non-engineers Just Don't Get It sometimes.

Really looking forward to what you have to offer. Great news, and thanks for jumping in.

Do you have any idea whether the very common Japanese movie trope 'woman at spinning wheel = demon' is from genuine Japanese folklore or just got introduced by Kurosawa and copied numerous times by others? I cannot remember a single example where the presence of a spinning wheel worked on by a woman did not mean that magic was at hand (and just one or two where it was a just a prop that no one used).

Hello! I'm sure your posts will be interesting. I only know the obvious stuff about Asia and some of that probably isn't true.

I donate thirty dollars a month to an outfit called SoiDog, a rescue in Phuket, Thailand. They do spay and nueter as well as adoptions, but most importantly to me, they rescue dogs from the dog meat trade. My next dog will be a Soi dog.

Welcome back, Hilzoy.

Welcome. And please ask your daughter to post more often.

Hello Not Hilzoy. While I`ve missed her and wouldn`t mind finding out how she is faring after going to Africa, a historian with an appetite for Asian cuisine is scarcely to be sniffed at. Given your choice of nom de plume I suspect your name is an acronym like mine - with yours taken from field experience.
Your age reminds me of my first post as OldePhartteInTraining in 2005 which was responded to by exMI and ThreeScoreAndTenOrMore.
I`m 65 and occasionally quip with nepmak2000 who is 68 ( and his acronym is obvious on arrival )
Your audience awaits. Have fun.


So, you once watched an earlier incarnation of The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim play, correct ?

Baseball and living to be 111 years old:

Some brief responses:

Slarti: I thought historians studied history as a way to explain How We Got In This Mess. Not really. We study history because we like it. What you're paraphrasing is our public justification, a key element in our claim for relevance and our plea for funding (or even just attention). THOSE WHO DO NOT KNOW HISTORY ARE CONDEMNED TO REPEAT IT. Possibly true, but perhaps just as true of those who do know history.

Hartmut: I have no idea whatsoever about the Japanese spinning wheel, but have referred your question on to a friend who's a historian of modern Japan.

JAFD: Yes, I saw the original (MLB) Los Angeles Angels once, as well as their minor league predecessors. And the original Los Angeles (not San Diego) Chargers - called that because they were owned by Barron Hilton, who more or less invented the charge card. (Or so we were told.)

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