I have a broad range of research interests. The basic subject of my research is modern Japanese history from 1853 to the present day. Strictly speaking, I am not a historian. Instead, my research analyses the meanings of history and representations of historical events in contemporary Japan. I conduct interdisciplinary work on a wide range of topics blending the English- and Japanese-language literatures with the extensive on-site research that is possible by being based here in Japan. The topics and approaches can be represented diagrammatically as follows.
The topics of my publications are very varied. My first published research was on the use of English in Japanese advertising. Then my DPhil work and first book Japan’s Contested War Memories were on World War II history and memory. Recently, I have diversified into a number of other areas: depopulation and financial collapse in Yubari (a former coal mining town in central Hokkaido), local history and war memories in Hokkaido, and the history of the Bakumatsu period (1853-68) with a particular focus on historical and film-induced tourism (contents tourism).
Photo: A room in a samurai residence, Aizu-Wakamatsu City.