Friday, March 25, 2011

Franklin Institute Alumna: Cecelia Segawa Seigle

Cecilia Segawa Seigle is Professor Emerita of Japanese Studies in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies of the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of the Yoshiwara—The Glittering World of Japanese Courtesans (University of Hawaii Press, 1993), and Kôjo Shinanomiya no nichijô seikatsu ("The Everyday Life of Imperial Princess Shinanomiya," under her Japanese name, Yoshiko Segawa), (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 2001). She has published a number of books of modern and contemporary Japanese literature. Her essays, book reviews, biographical essays and monographs have appeared in various academic journals. She has been a research fellow of the Historiographical Institute of the University of Tokyo for the last four years, and is writing a book on the Ôoku, the women's quarters at Edo Castle, 1600-1868.

I worked with Cecelia Segawa Seigle at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia in the early 1970s.  She translated and abstracted Japanese-language technical literature. We both worked in the Science Information Services Department headed by Bernard E. Epstein.  I remember that on one occasion, I believe it was in about 1972, I asked Dr. Seigle to write the Japanese character for hippopotamus.  I still remember that in Japanese hippopotamus is the word "kaba."  Her husband was a dental surgeon.

I wonder if Dr. Seigle knows Claire Hirshfield, Ph.D.  Dr. Hirshfield is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and is Professor Emerita of History at The Pennsylvania State University where I earned my B.A. in 1975. Dr. Hirshfield taught two courses I took: Modern European History and The History of Modern Southeast Asia. Dr. Hirshfield is an Asia scholar and has studied in Japan.

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