Julia Sapin

Professor Art & Art History


Julia Sapin is Professor of Art History in the Department of Art and Art History at Western Washington University; Her research focuses on the visual culture of the Meiji period (1868-1912) in Japan with a special emphasis on representation of national, regional, and gender identities in textiles, painting, and department-store advertising. Her current research focuses on the export of kimono and kimono-like garments to Europe and the United States in the early twentieth century and the sartorial and social implications of those exports. Julia enthusiastically anticipates the sixth study trip to Japan with Western students in Fall 2020 (she has been taking students to Japan on biannual, three-week field programs since 2008). She has been an avid traveler all of her life. Aside from living in Japan off and on for six years, she has also participated in numerous study tours, in countries including India, Vietnam, and Korea. During her free time, she has traveled in Central and South America and Europe, most recently enjoying a trip to Peru with her husband Jeff, where her 15-year-old son Blake was involved in a soccer tournament. Given her focus on Japan, Julia is excited about the opportunity to tap her knowledge of Japanese visual culture and share that in the classroom and on-site with students. She looks forward to introducing aspects of Japanese art history, but also her favorite things about Japanese culture that she experienced living in Japan, especially the food!