RonLoftus recently retired from Willamette University where he taught Japanese Language, Literature, History and Film for 35 years. Before that, he taught briefly at U.C. Santa Cruz, and for six years at Western Washington University in Bellingham.
Ron was born in Washington, D.C. but grew up in various locations around the world, most notably India, France, Italy and Thailand, where he graduated from high-school at the International School of Bangkok. After studying Political Science and International Studies as an undergraduate at George Washington University, Ronattended the Johns Hopkins SAIS for a Master’s Degree where he first became interested in Japanese language and history. He pursued these interests by earning a Ph.D. in modern Japanese History at Claremont Graduate School. Ron studied intensive language both here (at Stanford University), and in Tokyo, and lived in Japan for about five years before becoming a full-time teacher. After that, Ron returned to Japan on regular summer research trips, but also for a few extended stays as a Fulbright and a Japan Foundation scholar.
Ron’s research efforts produced three major books: Telling Lives (2004), and Changing Lives (2013), both dealing with Japanese women’s autobiographies and memoirs, and then, most recently, The Turn Against the Modern (2017), a biography of Meiji literary and social critic, Taoka Reiun (1870-1912). Ron Lives in Salem.