In Memoriam

Robert L. Backus
Professor Emeritus
Ph.D. in Japanese, University of California, Berkeley

Backus completed a dissertation on the mid-Edo-period daimyo, Matsudaira Sadanobu (1759–1829), and served as a Professor of Japanese at UCSB in 1966 until his retirement in 1992 although he continued to teach and advise students until shortly before his death in 2014. His main works include the translation of The Riverside Counselor’s Stories: Vernacular Fiction of Late Heian Japan (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1985) along with several articles on Tsukada Taihō, the Kansei Prohibition of Heterodoxy, the motivation of Confucian orthodoxy in Tokugawa Japan, among others––all published in The Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies. For an obituary by Kuo-ch’ing Tu, see Taiwan Literature: English Translation Series, no. 44 (2019), pp. 45–60.

Hyung-Il Pai
Ph.D. in Anthropology, Harvard University

Hyung-Il Pai received her Ph.D. from Harvard University majoring in Anthropology and East Asian Archaeology. She came to UCSB in 1990 and taught courses on Korean archaeology, history, anthropology, popular culture, heritage management, East Asian traditions, and tourism in East Asia. Her research covered a diverse range of topics from Korean state formation, culture contact and change, archaeological heritage management, museum studies, history of anthropological photography, postcards, and cultural tourism in Korea and Japan. Her many works include Constructing Korean Origins: A Critical Review of Archaeology, Historiography and Racial Myth (Harvard University Asia Center 2000), Heritage Management in Korea and Japan: The Politics of Antiquity and Identity (University of Washington Press, 2013), and, as co-editor, Nationalism and the Construction of Korean Identity (UC Berkeley East Asia Center Monograph Series, 1998).

An obituary by Lothar von Falkenhausen can be found here:

Chauncey S. Goodrich
Ph.D., Classical Chinese, University of California, Berkeley, 1957

Goodrich taught at Cambridge University before he joined the UCSB faculty in 1964 in what was then the Department of German and Russian. There he laid the foundation for the modern Department of East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies, from which he retired in 1987.

An obituary can be found here: