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Beatrice M. Bodart-Bailey completed her undergraduate and postgraduate studies at the ANU. From 1982-86 she was a visiting professor at Ottawa University, establishing the teaching of Japanese history.

Returning to Canberra she was a research fellow in the Research School of Pacific Studies, translating the manuscript of the German physician Engelbert Kaempfer who visited Japan 1690-1692, with a year on a Japan Foundation Fellowship at Tokyo University and a year at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies, Kyoto.

During this period she published Kenperu to Tokugawa Tsunayoshi in the popular paper back series Chuukou Shinsho (1994). She also contributed to and edited with Derek Massarella The Furthest Goal: Engelbert Kaempfer's Encounter with Tokugawa Japan  (Japan Library 1996) which appeared in Japanese translation as Harukanaru Mokutekichi, Osaka University Press, 1999.

Her translation of Kaempfer's manuscript was published as Kaempfer's Japan: Tokugawa Culture Observed, University of Hawai'i Press, 1999.

1997-1999 she was appointed professor in the Department of Economics of Kobe University, while at the same time a member of the preparatory committee for the establishment of the Facutly of Comparative Culture of Otsuma Women's University. She taught Japanese History, Comparative Culture and German in the Department of Comparative Culture from its establishment in 1999 until her retirement in March 2015.

In 2006 she published a detailed re-appraisal of the black sheep of the Tokugawa line, the socalled Dog Shogun, as The Dog Shogun: The Personality and Policies of Tokugawa Tsunayoshi (University of Hawai'i Press.) In February 2015 this appeared in Japanese translation as Inu shougun: Tsunayoshi wa meikun ka, boukun ka? (Kashiwa shobou).

Another Japanese publication on Engelbert Kaempfer, Kenperu: reisetsu no kuni ni kitarite, was written at the request of the publisher Minerva, Kyoto, for a series on important personalities in Japanese history, and has appeared in Japanese only.

She is at present completing an English biography of Engelbert Kaempfer.

Research interests

Pre-modern Japanese history


MA, Phd ANU, professor emeritus, Otsuma Women's University, Tokyo

Expertise Areas

  • Asian History


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