About Dr Matthew Stavros

Dr Stavros is an historian of early Japan specialising in the history of architectural and cities from the 8th to the 16th centuries. Dr Stavros’ interests extend to religion, material culture, and monumentalism in East and Southeast Asia. He is the author of the first monograph on Kyoto’s premodern urban history written in English since the 1930s. His current research focuses on the material legacy of the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu (1358-1408) and on the comparative material culture of Japan and Southeast Asia. Dr Stavros trained in architectural and urban history at Kyoto University and read history at Princeton University, where he earned a PhD in East Asian Studies. He teaches on all periods of Japanese history and historiography, research methods in Asian Studies, classical Japanese, and more broadly on the histories and cultures of East Asia. Postgraduate supervision encompasses all aspect of Japanese history up to about the 16th century.

Selected publications

  • Kyoto: An Urban History of Japan’s Premodern Capital. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2014. www.kyotohistory.com

Articles and Chapters:
  • 'Monuments and Mandalas in Medieval Kyoto: Reading Buddhist Kingship in the Urban Plan of Ashikaga Yoshimitsu.’ Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 77. 1 (June 2017).
  • 'Imperial Progress to the Muromachi Palace, 1381: A study and annotated translation of Sakayuku hana.' Japan Review 28 (2015): 3-46.
  • 'Military Revolution in Early Modern Japan.' Japanese Studies 33.2 (Dec. 2013): 1-19.
  • 'Cities and Urban Culture in Asia, Pre-history to 1200.' In Cultural Sociology of East and Southeast Asia, vol. 3. Sage Reference, 2012.
  • 'The Sanjō bōmon Temple-Palace Complex: The First Locus of Ashikaga Authority in Medieval Kyoto.' Japan Review 22 (July 2010): 3-29.
  • 'Locational Pedigree and Warrior Status in Medieval Kyoto: The residences of Ashikaga Yoshimitsu.' Japanese Studies 29.1 (May 2009): 3-18.
  • 'Vers une nouvelle ville,' coauthored with Takahashi Yasuo. In Nocolas Fiévé, ed. Atlas Historique de Kyoto. Paris: UNESCO, 2008.
  • 'Les monastères fortifiés et les ‘Temples-Agglomérations’ au Moyen Âge: Tōji, Tenryūji, Yamashina Honganji et Honkokuji.' co-authored with Takahashi Yasuo. In Nicolas Fiévé ed. Atlas Historique de Kyoto. Paris: UNESCO, 2008.
  • 'Building Warrior Legitimacy in Medieval Kyoto.' East Asian History 31 (June 2006): 1-28.