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Lebra, Joyce Chapman (1925–) - History of Japan, India

hawaii university japanese women’s

Joyce Chapman Lebra, born in Minneapolis, spent her childhood in Honolulu, where she attended the Punahou School. The multiethnic society and the tropical setting of Hawaii were early influences and stimulated her interest in other areas of the world. Lebra attended the University of Minnesota, where she received a bachelor’s and then a master’s degree. She completed her work for the doctorate at Radcliffe College/Harvard University.

Believing that an understanding of the present world is predicated on an understanding of the past, Lebra pursued the study of history. She went on to write or edit ten books on Japanese history and Indian history, the first of which, Chandora Bosu to Nihon , she published in Japanese. Her more recent books include Women’s Voices in Hawaii, The Rani of Jhansi: A Study in Female Heroism in India , and Women and Work in India , an edited collection. Her most recent publication demonstrates Chapman’s new direction: The Sword of Durga is a work of historical fiction. She has also written two screenplays and produced a play based on Women’s Voices in Hawaii .

Professor emerita of Japanese history and Indian history at the University of Colorado, Chapman is currently writing a second historical novel. Her hobbies include photography, swimming, whale watching, and ceramics. And she is, she reports, “developing new interests.”

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