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Akiko Takenaka


Ph.D. Yale University, 2004


Professor Takenaka specializes in social and cultural history of modern Japan. Her research involves memory and historiography of the Asia-Pacific War, gender and peace activism, and history museums. Her teaching interests include gender, war and society, nationalism, memory studies, and visual culture. Prior to coming to UK, she has taught as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Chicago and the University of Michigan.

Professor Takenaka's first book, entitled Yasukuni Shrine: History, Memory, and Japan's Unending Postwar (University of Hawai'i Press, Studies of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University), explores Yasukuni Shrine as a physical space, object of visual and spatial representation, and site of spatial practice in order to highlight the complexity of Yasukuni’s past and critique the official narratives that postwar debates have responded to. She is currently working on two book projects. Mothers Against War: Gender and Grassroots Peace Activism in Postwar Japan, and War, Trauma, and Postwar in Japan and East Asia.

Selected Publications:


Yasukuni Shrine: History, Memory and Japan’s Unending Postwar (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, and Studies of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute Series, Columbia University 2015).



  • “Aestheticizing Sacrifice: Media, Education, and Ritual during the Asia-Pacific War,” in Minh Nguyen ed., New Essays in Japanese Aesthetics (Lexington Books, Rowman & Littlefield, 2017), 179-191.

  • “Mobilizing Death: Bodies and Spirits of the Modern Japanese War Dead,” in Paul Corner and Jie-Hyun Lim eds., Palgrave Handbook of Mass Dictatorship (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), 351-363.

  • “Architecture for Mass-Mobilization: The Chūreitō Memorial Construction Movement, 1939-1945,” in Alan Tansman ed., The Culture of Japanese Fascism (Duke University Press, 2009), 235-253.
  • “Pan-Asianism vs. Changeless, Timeless Japan: The Construction of a Wartime National Identity,” in Thresholds 17 (Spring 1998): 63-68.

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