I am currently working for the Modern Japanese Studies Program at Hokkaido University; that is on Japan’s beautiful northernmost island, indeed. Until September 2018, I had a hybrid position as director of Digital Humanities and lecturer in history at the Graduate Institute, Geneva. There, my position entailed more than research and teaching. For better of for worse, I happened to be the digital preservationist and curator for a unique collection of historical stock exchange quotes hosted there. It used to be different. From 2011 to 2016, I was associate professor of financial history at the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, University of Tokyo.
Oh, yes, I have published stuff. In 2012, Harvard University Press published my The Money Doctors From Japan: Finance, Imperialism, and the Building of the Yen Bloc, 1895-1937. I have completed a second book manuscript titled “On an Even Keel’ - Silver Risk, Trade Finance, and Hedging Strategies around the Turn of the Twentieth Century. This book concentrates on the history of exchange banking practice in Asia after the turbulent 1870s, when the ‘fall of silver’ became a worldwide systemic event. It has been inspired by the massive archives of the Yokohama Specie Bank, which I was happy to find at the Rare Materials Reading Room of the Economics Faculty Library at UTokyo. An extensive repository related to this book project is hosted on FigShare. I also refer to the research logbooks on GitHub, where I document both the obvious and less obvious choices with regard to data selection, calculations, and interpretations.
Even then, research has always been so much more. Apart from being a financial historian, I have been rather vocal in advocating OpenAccess, OpenSource (or, probably more accurately, free software), and a whole lot of other things with ‘open’ as a prefix. Nowadays, my interests include encryption and privacy, alternative methods for scientific publishing, strategies for enhancing the transparency and reproducibility of scientific results, and so forth… The mainstay of my practical interests is (and will remain for quite some time) digital preservation, a topic that captured my imagination long ago, during research time at the Library of Congress in Washington DC. I did advisory work for international organizations, the arts, and small to medium size memory institutions with regard to the sustainable preservation of their collections.
Although my (little?) son attempts to make my hobbies impossible, I remain: free jazz aficionado, record collector, admirer of contemporary art, and proudly persisting amateur cook. Other interests are: hardware hacking (this includes a pronounced passion for knife forging and sharpening!), the ‘maker culture’ (a remnant of living in Japan, I like to believe), the Right-to-Repair-movement (and, related the ‘right to destroy’!) etc.
For a long time, I have been fascinated by Japanese cuisine . Also, if you are interested in sake , let me know. I am planning a comprehensive repository of Japanese sakes on GitHub.
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