Ezra F. Vogel, 90, one of the country’s leading experts on East Asia through a career that spanned six decades, passed away in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Sunday due to complications from surgery.
Vogel studied an extraordinary range of substantive topics in multiple countries from the perspectives of various academic disciplines, retooling himself as a scholar many times over in his academic career.
He was originally trained as a sociologist studying the family in the United States. He devoted two years to language study and field research in Japan in 1958-60, emerging as a specialist on Japanese society. He then embarked on Chinese-language study in the 1960s, before it was possible to travel to mainland China, and became an accomplished scholar of Chinese society as well.