Noriko Aso

TitleAssociate Professor,
History Undergraduate Program Director
DivisionHumanities Division
DepartmentHistory Department
AffiliationsEast Asian Studies,
History of Art/Visual Culture,
Feminist Studies Department
Phone831-459-5371 (office),
831-459-1924 (message)
Office534 Humanities 1
Office HoursFall 2016: Fridays 11-1
Campus Mail StopHumanities Academic Services
Mail1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA
Noriko Aso

Research Interests

Japanese history, cultural studies, gender and history, race and ethnicity, colonialism, nationalism, Korean history, and popular culture. I am particularly interested at present in public institutions, such as museums and schools, in how they bring the above fields together.

Biography, Education and Training

Ph.D., Dissertation: "New Illusions: The Emergence of a Discourse on Traditional Japanese Arts and Crafts, 1868-1945," University of Chicago, 1997
M.A., Thesis: "Object Lessons: the Museological Practices of Edward S. Morse and Yanagi Sôetsu," University of Chicago, 1991
Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies, 1988-1989
B.A., Yale University (Summa cum laude), Yale University, 1983-1987

Honors, Awards and Grants

UC President's Research Fellowship in the Humanities, 2008-2009
Social Science Research Council/Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, 2004-2005
Itoh Scholarship Foundation Fellowship, 1995
Ohio State University Humanities Fellowship, 1995-1996
Japanese Ministry of Education Scholarship, 1991-1992
Committee on Institutional Cooperation Fellowship, 1987-1991
Sumitomo Bank, 1986

Selected Publications



Monograph: Public Properties: Museums in Imperial Japan. Duke University Press. PEER REVIEWED


      Contributions to Books

Book Chapter: "Revolutionary Girls: From Oscar to Utena," Mitsuhiro Yoshimoto, Jungbong Choi, and Eva Tsai, Television, Japan, Globalization, Ann Arbor, Center for Japanese Studies, The University of Michigan, pp. 151-171

Book Chapter: "Greece of the East: Philhellenism in Imperial Japan," Karen Bassi and Peter Euben, When Worlds Elide: Classics, Politics, Culture, Lanham, Lexington Books, pp. 19-42

Book Chapter: "Mediating the Masses: Yanagi Sôetsu and Fascism," Alan Tansman, The Culture of Japanese Fascism, Durham, Duke University Press, pp. 138-154


      Journal Articles

"A Private Public: Shibusawa Keizô's Museum of Economic History," Asian Cultural Studies 33 (March), pp. 13-27 PEER REVIEWED

"Shiteki na kôkyô: maboroshi no Shibusawa Seien-o Kinen Jitsugyô Hakubutsukan," Rekishi to minzoku 23 (2007.2), pp. 35-51, Tokyo, Heibonsha PEER REVIEWED

"Sumptuous Re-past: the 1964 Tokyo Olympics Arts Festival," positions: east asia cultures critique 10(1), pp. 7-38, Duke University Press PEER REVIEWED

"Class and Currency in Three Works by Yanagi Sôetsu," Select Papers of the East Asia Center: Productions of Culture in Japan 10, pp. 7-27, The University of Chicago East Asia Center PEER REVIEWED


      Critical Reviews Written for Others

Review: "The Nature of the Beast: Empire and Exhibition at the Tokyo Zoo." By Ian Miller. Comparative Studies in Society and History 57:3, pp. 871-872. (Jul 2015)

Review: "The Politics of Dialogic Imagination: Power and Popular Culture in Early Modern Japan." By Katsuya Hirano.  American Historical Review 120:1, pp. 219-220.
(Feb 2015)

Review: "Primitive Selves: Koreana in the Japanese Colonial Gaze, 1910–1945. By E. Taylor Atkins." The Journal of Interdisciplinary History XLII:3 (Winter 2012). INVITED

Review: "Terrain of Memory: A Japanese Canadian Memorial Project. By Kirsten Emiko McAllister." Pacific Historical Review (February 2012). INVITED

Review: "So Lovely A Country: Wartime Diaries of Japanese Writers. By Donald Keene."  H-HistGeog.

August, "Pedagogy of Democracy: Feminism and the Cold War in the U.S. Occupation of Japan. By Mire Koikari." Pacific Historical Review, v. 78, n. 3, pp. 479-480

"The Ambivalent Consumer: Questioning Consumption in East Asia and the West, Ed. by Sheldon Garon and Patricia L. Maclachlan," Journal of Interdisciplinary History, v. 39, n. 1, p. 164-165

"Etoki Hyakkaten 'Bunkashi', by Miyano Rikiya," Social Science Japan Journal, v. 8, n. 2, pp. 298-300

"Perilous Memories: The Asia-Pacific War(s) eds. T. Fujitani; Geoffrey M. White; Lisa Yoneyama," Pacific Historical Review, v. 71 n. 4, pp. 700-701

"Re-inventing Japan: Time, Space, Nation by Tessa Morris-Suzuki," Journal of Asian Studies, v. 59, n. 4, pp. 1026-1028

"Japan Works: Power and Paradox in Postwar Industrial Relations, by John Price," Labor History, v. 40, n. 3, pp. 421-422

"Jews in the Japanese Mind, by David Goodman and Masanori Miyazawa," The Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars, v. 28, n. 3 & 4, p. 85


      Other Publications

Essay: "Postwar Japan, 1945-1989," Japan 1945-1989: Re-creating a Modern Nation: A Humanities Approach to Japanese History, Part IV, Social Sciences Education Consortium, pp. 17-24 ed. Lynn Parisi

Encyclopedia Article: "Department Stores," Encyclopedia of Contemporary Japanese Culture, London and New York, Routledge, pp. 105-107 ed. Sandra Buckley

Translation: "Chinese Nationalism and Modern Japan: Imitation and Resistance in the Formation of National Subjects" by Murata Yûjirô. Osaka: Japanese National Museum of Ethnology, Japanese Civilization in the Modern World XVI. Nation, State, Empire. Senri Ethnological Studies 51, pp. 25-42 eds. T. Umesao, T. Fujitani, and E. Kurimoto

Translation: "Women in the Motherland: Oku Mumeo Through Wartime and Postwar" by Narita Ryûichi, Total War and "Modernization, Ithaca, Cornell East Asia Series, pp. 137-158 ed. Yamanouchi Yasushi, J. Victor Koschmann, and Narita Ryûichi.

Selected Presentations

  • # 2008 "Inside Out: Ancient Greece for Imperial Japan." Panel organizer, chair, and presenter for "Inside/Outs: Inventing Foreign Origins for Japanese Traditions." 2008 Annual Meeting of the Association for Asian Studies, Atlanta, Georgia., 2008, April 6

  • # 2008 "Let's Play with Japanese: Engaging Nation and Children on NHK" presented as part of the panel "The Moving Image of History: Television, Anime and the Japanese National Past." 12th European Association for Japanese Studies International Conference 2008, Lecce, Italy, 2008, September 21

  • # 2006 "Shiteki na kôkyô: maboroshi no Shibusawa Seien-ô Kinen Jitsugyô Hakubutsukan." The Nihon Jômin Bunka Kenkyûjo, Yokohama, 2006, July 19

  • # 2006 "Publicizing the Folk in Shibusawa Keizô's Museum of Economic History." Society for East Asian Anthropology 2006, Hong Kong, 2006, July 14

  • # 2006 "The Folk Meet the Father of Capitalism: Shibusawa Keizô's Museum of Economic History." Tenth Annual Asian Studies Conference Japan, Tokyo, 2006, June 24

  • # 2006 "Kongô-keizai no hakubutsukan: tami ga shihonshugi no chichi ni deau basho." Jitsugyôshi kenkyûkai, Tokyo, 2006, Feb. 27

  • # 2005 "Out There? Revolutionary Girls Oscar and Utena." Panel organizer and presenter for "Re-Articulating Gender in Asian Contexts: Visual, Textual and Digital." 13th Berkshire Conference on the History of Women. Claremont, CA, 2005, June 3

  • # 2001 "Class, Fascism and the Folk Craft Movement." Culture and Fascism in Inter-War Japan. Berkeley, 2001, Mar. 16

  • # 2000 "Greece, Great Britain or Yankee of the East: Figuring a New Place for Imperial Japan." Presenter and panel organizer. 52nd Annual Meeting of the Association for Asian Studies, San Diego, 2000, Mar. 9

Teaching Interests

Japanese history, gender and history, race and ethnicity, colonialism, nationalism, Korean history, popular culture, and the Cold War.

Courses Taught

HIS 40B The Making of Modern East Asia
HIS 194U The Cold War and East Asia
HIS 196Q Korean History
HIS 242 Readings in Modern Japanese History
HIS 194E Women in Japanese History
HIS 150C Modern Japan
HIS 150A Ancient Japan
HIS 101D World History of Science (Japan)
HIS 244 Gender and Japanese History
HIS 243 Transnational Japan

Advisees, Post Docs, Graduate Students, Researchers

NameE-Mail AddressPhone Number
Melissa A. Brzycki831-435-9644
Stephanie Michelle Montgomery