About the Modern Japan History Association

The Modern Japan History Association is a non-profit professional association of scholars interested in modern Japan and Japanese history. Our mission is to support the creation and dissemination of knowledge about modern Japan and its history by encouraging collaboration and intellectual exchange between scholars around the world, organizing events and workshops related to research and teaching, and recognizing and promoting outstanding works of scholarship. We welcome participation and support from all scholars carrying out teaching or research on modern Japan or Japanese history.

Core activities of the MJHA include:

    • Organizing talks, workshops, lectures, and other events of a scholarly nature
    • Recognizing outstanding scholarship through the awarding of book, dissertation, and other prizes
    • Recognizing the achievements of a foremost scholar in the field with our Distinguished Annual Lecture
    • Organizing meetups and networking opportunities for scholars of modern Japan and Japanese history
    • Maintaining and moderating an email listserv for members
    • Maintaining a searchable directory of association members

MJHA activities are entirely supported by modest membership fees and donations. To support the Association and its activities, please consider becoming a member!


A group of scholars and teachers established the Modern Japan History Association because we felt there was a pressing need for such a group. Our colleagues who study premodern Japan (PMJS) and early modern Japan (EMJNet) already have such groups of their own, but until now there has not been a group specifically for scholars and teachers of modern Japan. That said, just as our colleagues in early modern and premodern Japanese studies have welcomed modern Japan specialists into their groups, we welcome scholars of any time period to join MJHA if they are interested and find it useful!

Another important reason to have an organization focused on modern Japan is to create a professional network for sharing advice, tips, information, and access to resources, especially via the email listserv. Up until now, the main way modern Japan specialists have done this is by posting on Facebook or Twitter, which is subject to the whims of the algorithms, and moreover relies upon private, for-profit platforms with noted privacy issues that not everyone is able or willing to join and use. The establishment of an email listserv allows us to ask questions and share information in a more collegial setting, with a very modest membership fee ensuring that the list is accessible to all but also that only serious teachers and scholars will join.

Third, in the age of Zoom, Webex, and other effective online conferencing platforms, it has become easier than ever to set up a coherent international organization for scholarly networking across borders with relatively low cost and labor requirements. Although we do not presently have plans for an annual conference, members can readily hold a variety of events online that other members around the world can join, thus supplementing the in-person meetups, workshops, and events we also plan to hold.


Board of Directors

The MJHA is guided by a Board of Directors. The current Board consists of the following members:

SIMON AVENELL, Australian National University

SAYAKA CHATANI, National University of Singapore

TRISTAN GRUNOW, Nagoya University

NATHAN HOPSON, University of Bergen

MIRIAM KINGSBERG KADIA, University of Colorado-Boulder

NICK KAPUR, Rutgers University-Camden

EMER O’DWYER, Oberlin College

KRISTIN ROEBUCK, Cornell University

SEIJI SHIRANE, City College of New York


BENJAMIN UCHIYAMA, University of Southern California

GARRETT WASHINGTON, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

TIMOTHY YANG, University of Georgia

JEREMY YELLEN, Chinese University of Hong Kong

KIRSTEN ZIOMEK, Adelphi University

The Modern Japan History Association is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit organization supported by member contributions.

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