Cecilia Segawa Seigle

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Professor Emerita
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A native-born Japanese, Dr. Seigle came to the United States in 1954 to attend college and graduate school.
In 1984, she was asked to teach at PENN. She taught as Lecturer and Senior Lecturer before being promoted to Associate Professor in 1995. In 1993, she received the Provost's Award for Distinguished Teaching. Upon her retirement in 1999, she was promoted to Professor Emerita of Japanese Studies.
Dr. Seigle was the recipient of the Japan Foundation's Research Fellowship in 1985 and again in 1996. She has been a research fellow of the Historiograhical Institute of the University of Tokyo. In addition to her books, she has been published in The Journal of Japanese Studies, The Journal of Asian Studies, The Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, Historian, and Dictionary of Literary Biography, Japanese Fiction Writers Since World War II and online at http://works.bepress.com/cecilia seigle.

  • BA, Western College for Women, 1957
  • MA, Bryn Mawr College, 1959
  • PhD, University of Pennsylvania, Oriental Studies, 1971
  • Research and Teaching Interests: 

    Cultural history of Edo period women. Public perception of women of all classes: gossips, rumors, accolades, recorded in Edo period essays.

    HISTORICAL PERIOD: Heian (794-1185); Tokugawa (1600-1868).

    SPECIALIZATION: Edo period urban society; cultural and social change; women of the Edo period: gender, sex roles, folklore, marriage, family, kinship; social life, socio-cultural interests; leisure; popular culture.

    Other Professional Activity: 

    Association for Asian Studies, Mid-Atlantic Region
    Oriental Club of Philadelphia

    Editor, WFLN Philadelphia Guide, Franklin Broadcasting Co.
    Head, East Asian Section, Science Information Services, The Franklin Institute Research Labs
    Director of Membership, The Franklin Institute


    Selected Publications: 


    Seigle, Cecilia Segawa. Yoshiwara - The Glittering World of the Japanese Courtesan, (Honolulu, Hawaii: University of Hawaii Press 1993)

    Segawa, Yoshiko (Seigle, Cecila Segawa) Kojo Shinanomiya no nichijo seikatsu [The Every-day Life of Imperial Princess Shinanmiya: Reading the Mujohoin-dono diary] in Japanese. (Tokyo, Japan: Iwanami Shoten 2001)

    Seigle, Cecilia Segawa and Linda Chance. Ōoku: The Secret World of the Shogun’s Women. (New York and London: Cambria Press, 2014)

    TRANSLATIONS by Cecilia Segawa Seigle:

    The Temple of Dawn by Yukio Mishima, co-translator E. Dale Saunders (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1973)

    Darkness in Summer by Takeshi Kaikō (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1973)

    The Family (Ie) by Shimazaki Tōson (Tokyo, Japan: University of Tokyo Press, 1976)

    Into a Black Sun by Takeshi Kaikō (Tokyo: Kōdansha International, 1980)

    Five Thousand Runaways by Takeshi Kaikō (New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1987)

    and a few other short stories


    ELECTRONIC PUBLICATIONS by Cecilia Segawa Seigle: (Yoshiko Segawa)

    江戸時代女性の噂話 in Japanese –complete book 瀬川淑子

    “Gift-Giving and Gift Exchanges in the Ôoku”

    "Some Observations on the Weddings of Tokugawa Shogun’s Daughters”

    30年前のブログ (“Blogs of 30 years ago”)



    “The Shogun’s Consort: Konoe Hiroko and Tokugawa Ienobu” in Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, Vol 59: No. 2 (December 1999)

    “Shinanomiya Tsuneko: Portrait of a Court Lady,” The Human Tradition: Modern Japan,(Wilmington, Delaware: A Scholarly Resources Inc., Ltd. 2002)

    “The Courtesan’s Clock,” in A Courtesan’s Day: hour by hour, with Alfred H. Marks, et al. (Amsterdam: Hotei Publishing,  2004);

    “The Decorousness of the Yoshiwara - A Rejection of Shunga” and
    “Expectations and Disappointments of Yoshiwara Visitors”, both essays in Japanese Erotic Fantasies: Sexual Imagery of the Edo Period, edited by Chris Uhlenbeck and Margarita Winkel, (Amsterdam: Hotei Publishing, 2005).