Publications

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Books

The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere: When Total Empire Met Total War. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2019.

This book explores the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, Japan’s ambitious attempt to create a New Order in East Asia during World War II.

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Peer-Reviewed Publications

“Wartime Wilsonianism and the Crisis of Empire, 1941-1943.” Modern Asian Studies (2018), 1-34. (OPEN ACCESS)

This article reveals striking parallels between how the British Empire and Imperial Japan employed Wilsonian ideology during World War II. Both empires enshrined Wilsonian (liberal internationalist) values into their war aims to survive a gruelling war with empire intact. But the endorsement of national self-determination gave dependent states a means to protest the realities of both British and Japanese rule. This article thus sheds light on the part Wilsonian ideology played in the global crisis of empire during World War II.

“Japan, Pearl Harbor, and the Poetry of December 8th.” The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, Vol. 14, Issue 24, No. 3 (Dec. 2016). (Co-authored with Andrew Campana). (OPEN ACCESS)

This article explores tanka poetry published shortly after the Pearl Harbor attack as a window into the initial public reaction in Japan to the outbreak of the Pacific War. We show that whereas tanka became a powerful tool of propaganda in the hands of professional poets, it also allowed amateur poets and political figures to express their private, diary-bound dissent.

“Into the Tiger’s Den: Japan and the Tripartite Pact, 1940.” Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 51, No. 3 (Jul. 2016), 555–576. (Paywall)

This is a diplomatic history of Japan’s decision to join Nazi Germany and sign the Tripartite Pact in September 1940. I show how fears of phantom German desires to exercise political control over Southeast Asia ironically convinced Tokyo to declare Japanese interests in leading “Greater East Asia” and to bind its fate with Berlin.

“The Specter of Revolution: Reconsidering Japan’s Decision to Surrender,” The International History Review, Vol. 35, No. 1 (Mar. 2013), 205-226. (Paywall)

This paper seeks to broaden the scope of the debate on the end of World War II in Asia by focusing on Japan’s domestic situation as a major factor behind the decision to surrender. It argues that a near-obsessive fear of social revolution among Japan’s conservative ruling elite played an important role in prompting Japanese elites to make the decision to end the war.

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Popular Journals and Interviews

“Shinzo Abe’s Constitutional Ambitions.” The Diplomat, June 12, 2014.”

This article highlights Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ambitions in 2014 to revise Japan’s pacifist constitution to allow Japan to participate in collective self-defense, despite widespread opposition to such moves.

“Japan and the Lessons of World War II,” published as 二戰真正教訓 安倍原來不懂的, Hong Kong Economic Journal 信報財經新聞, August 15, 2015. (Paywall – Subscribers only)

A page-long op-ed in the Hong Kong Economic Journal to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II by discussing the lessons Japan has taken from the global conflict.

Japan’s Security Policy Shift: “A Blow to Ties with East Asia.” Deutsche Welle, July 1, 2014. (Interview)

Interview with Deutsche Welle about the implications of Japan’s changing security policy.

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Forthcoming Academic Works

Japan and ‘the Spirit of December 8,'” in David Farber and Beth Bailey, eds., Pearl Harbor and the Attacks of December 8, 1941: A Pacific History. Forthcoming from the University Press of Kansas (2019).