Hidetoshi Fukagawa graduated in 1967 from the Mathematics Department at Yamaguchi University, and obtained a Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from the Bulgaria Academy of Sciences in 1996. A career high school teacher and independent scholar, Dr. Fukagawa is one of the world’s experts on sangaku, and was the first to introduce the topic to Western scholars. He has published several books related to mathematics, especially sangaku, including Japanese Temple Geometry Problems: Sangaku (with Dan Pedoe, Winnipeg University, CBRC, Canada, 1989), Traditional Japanese Mathematics Problems of the 18th and 19th Centuries (with John F. Rigby, SCT-publishing, Singapore, 2002), and Sacred Mathematics (with Tony Rothman, Princeton University Press, 2008). In 2005, he supervised an exhibition of sangaku from across Japan held at the Nagoya City Science Museum, sponsored by the Asahi Shinbun Company. Dr. Fukagawa retired from teaching in Aichi Prefecture high schools in 2004, and is currently giving lectures on mathematics and math education at Daidou and Kogakkan Universities.
Rosalie Hosking received her Ph.D. from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, in 2016. Her research concerns sangaku, mathematically orientated votive tablets appearing in Shinto and Buddhist Shrines all over Japan between the 17th and 19th centuries (dissertation title: Sangaku: A Mathematical, Artistic, Religious, and Diagrammatic Examination). She has travelled to many shrines in Japan to document these mathematical tablets and transcribe, translate, and analyze their mathematical contents. In particular, she is interested in the ways in which the historical authors devised and solved the problems posed on these tablets using only mathematical techniques available at the time. She is also interested by the use and integration of the diagrams that appear on these tablets and how they stand in relation to the mathematical and aesthetic aspects of the historical artifact. Recently, Hosking presented the paper “Solving Sangaku with Tenzan Jutsu” at the Takabe Conference 2014 in Tokyo.
Mark Ravina, Professor of History at Emory University, received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1991. His specialty is Japanese history, especially eighteenth and nineteenth-century politics, and in 1993 his article “Wasan and the Physics That Wasn’t” appeared in Monumenta Nipponica. Dr. Ravina’s broader methodological interest is in the transnational and international dimension of state-building; he is currently working on a history of the Meiji Restoration for Oxford University Press entitled Japan’s Nineteenth Century Revolution: A Transnational History of the Meiji Restoration. In 2004 he published a biography of Saigō Takamori entitled The Last Samurai (John Wiley & Sons). Saigō was the inspiration for the character Katsumoto in the Tom Cruise film, also entitled The Last Samurai. Dr. Ravina’s first book was Land and Lordship in Early Modern Japan (Stanford, 1999), also published in Japanese translation as Meikun no satetsu (NTT shuppan 2004).
Tony Rothman is a physicist and writer, having received his Ph.D. from the Center for Relativity at the University of Texas, Austin in 1981. Rothman has been on the Editorial Board of Scientific American (1988-1989) and recently joined the faculty of NYU Polytech, also known as the Tandon School of Engineering. Apart from his scientific work, Rothman is the author of eleven books. His recent book Sacred Mathematics: Japanese Temple Geometry, with Fukagawa Hidetoshi (Princeton University Press, 2008), won the 2008 American Association of Publishers Award for Professional and Scholarly Excellence in mathematics. Other books include Doubt and Certainty with George Sudarshan (Perseus, 1998), which was chosen by the “A-List” as one of the 200 most notable books of 1998; and Science a la Mode (Princeton, 1989; paperback, 1991) and A Physicist on Madison Avenue (Princeton, 1991), which were both chosen as Library of Science Book Club selections—the latter was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. His work on Galois won the Mathematical Association of America’s Ford Writing Award for 1983. Rothman has contributed to The New Republic, Boston Review, Bostonia, Scientific American, Discover, Analog, Astronomy, the Gettysburg Review, American Scholar, American Scientist and elsewhere, and has appeared frequently on public radio.
J. Marshall Unger is Professor Emeritus of Japanese at the Ohio State University. He chaired academic departments at the University of Hawai’i, University of Maryland, and Ohio State from 1988 to 2004, and has been a visiting professor/researcher at Kobe University, Tsukuba University, the University of Tokyo, and the National Museum for Ethnography in Senri, Japan. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, Ford Foundation, and Japan Foundation (twice), and several research grants. He is the author of Studies in Early Japanese Morphophonemics (1977, 2nd ed. 1993), The Fifth Generation Fallacy (1987, Japanese ed. 1992), Literacy and Script Reform in Occupation Japan (1996, Japanese ed. 2001), Ideogram: Chinese Characters and the Myth of Disembodied Meaning (2004), The Role of Contact in the Origins of the Japanese and Korean Languages (2008), and most recently Sangaku Proofs: A Japanese Mathematician at Work (2015). His articles and reviews have appeared in such fora as Language, Word, Diachronica, Journal of Japanese Studies, Monumenta Nipponica, Journal of Asian Studies, Japanese Language & Literature, Journal of the American Oriental Society, and Modern Language Journal.