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Spotlight on Scholars

Spotlight on Scholars

This page features scholars in the US and around the world who are researching a variety of Okinawa-related topics. Hopefully, the information on this page will facilitate connecting Okinawa researchers to increase solidarity and visibility of Okinawan Studies. We will keep expanding this list. If you would like to be listed in this directory, please send us your information in this questionnaire.





Portrait of Beata Bochorodycz

Prof. Beata Bochorodycz

Institution: Adam Mickiewicz University (Poland)

Website for Beata Bochorodycz 

Languages: English, Japanese, Polish

Ongoing Research/Project related to Okinawa: Military bases, US-Japan alliance, Social movements

Recent Publications related to Okinawa

“Political Leadership and the Security Policy: Negotiations on the U.S. Military Bases in Okinawa Under the Murayama and Hashimoto Cabinets,” in Karol Zakowski, ed. Changing Determinants of Foreign Policy in East Asian Countries (Łódź: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Łódzkiego, 2017): 89-114.

“Social Movements in Okinawa Since 1945: Was the Reversion a Threshold in the Development of Civil Society?”, in Ina Hein and Isabelle Prochaska, eds. Negotiating the Okinawan Difference in Japan Today (Beiträge zur Japanologie 44) (Vienna: Universität Wien, 2015):  71-95.

“Higashi Ajia ni okeru shimin shakai: Okinawa jugon hogo undō o chūshin ni” [Civil Society in East Asia: Okinawa Dugong Protection Movement],” in Oga Toru, ed. Hokutō Ajia no shimin shakai: Tōki to chūtai [Civil society in North-East Asia: Entwurf and solidarity]. (Kokusai Shoin, 2013).「東アジアにおける地域市民社会―沖縄ジュゴン保護運動を中心に」『北東アジアの市民社会―投企と紐帯』国際書院.



Portrait of Carl Gabrielson

Mr. Carl Gabrielson

Institution: University of California, Santa Barbara

Website for Carl Gabrielson

Languages: English, Japanese

Ongoing Research/Project related to Okinawa: U.S. Military cultural education and cultural exchange programs in Japan

Recent Publications/Lectures related to Okinawa

“Welcome to Japan! How U.S. Marine Corps Orientation Materials Erase, Coopt, and Dismiss Local Resistance,” Journal of American-East Asian Relations 26, no. 4 (December 2019). 

"在日米軍の「サムライファンタジー」と「子供扱い」:日本文化を変えて行く軍事的男性性" [The United States Forces Japan’s Samurai Fantasy and Childish Treatment: Reshaping Japanese Culture through Militarized Masculinity], presented at the School of Law and Economics, Okinawa University, July 26 and August 28, 2019.

“Kingdom, Colony, Ken, or Country? Okinawan History and the Politics of Difference,” presented at the Lakeland Lecture Series, Lakeland University Japan, March 19, 2019.



Portrait of Brandon Marc Higa

Mr. Brandon Marc Higa

Institution: University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa William S. Richardson School of Law

Website for Brandon Marc Higa

Twitter handle: @SalamanderEsq

Languages: English, Japanese

Ongoing Research/Project related to Okinawa: Dissertation (working title): Hiroji Yamashiro’s Arrest & Detention: Exploring Japan’s Freedom of Speech and Peaceful Assembly Rights within the Context of National Security and Okinawa’s Anti-War Movement

Recent Publications/Lectures related to Okinawa

“Okinawa and Human Rights Scholarship in the Law and Japan Field: A Bibliographic Compilation,” Asian-Pacific Law and Policy Journal 22, no. 1 (2020) (forthcoming).

“Unpacking Okinawa’s ‘Suitcase Murder’: Expanded Japanese Criminal Jurisdiction of U.S. Civilian Contractors Under the 2017 SOFA Supplemental Agreement,” Asian-Pacific Law and Policy Journal 21, no. 2 (2020).



Dr. Kei Kohagura

Dr. Kei Kohagura

Institution: Okinawa International University

Research Map | リサーチマップ

Languages: Japanese

Ongoing Research/Project related to Okinawa: Historical Sociology, Modern and Contemporary History of Okinawa

Recent Publications/Lectures related to Okinawa




Mr. Yuki Maeda

Dr. Yuki Maeda

Institution: University of The Ryukyus

Research Map | リサーチマップ, YouTube 沖縄歴史倶楽部チャンネル

Languages: Japanese

Ongoing Research/Project related to Okinawa: History of Ryukyu Islands

Recent Publications/Lectures related to Okinawa





Silhouette of a person

Dr. Stanislaw Meyer

Institution: Jagiellonian University

Website for Stanislaw Meyer

Languages: English, Polish

Ongoing Research/Project related to Okinawa: Meiji Okinawa

Recent Publications/Lectures related to Okinawa

"Between a Forgotten Colony and an Abandoned Prefecture: Okinawa’s Experience of Becoming Japanese in the Meji and Taishō Eras," The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus 18, no. 20 (2020).


Portrait of Akiko Mori

Ms. Akiko Mori

Institution: Doshisha University

Website for Akiko Mori

Languages: English, Japanese

Ongoing Research/Project related to Okinawa:

Migration from Okinawa to Micronesia under Japanese Rule, Settler Colonialism, Memories of the WW2

Recent Publications/Lectures related to Okinawa

“A History of the Excluded : Rethinking Sugar Industry in the Northern Mariana Islands under Japanese rule”, Historische Anthropologie, vol.27, (2019).



Portrait of Travis Seifman

Dr. Travis Seifman

Institution: University of Tokyo Historiographical Institution

Website for Travis Seifman

Twitter handle: @toranosukev

LanguagesEnglish, Japanese

Ongoing Research/Project related to OkinawaMA Art History thesis and PhD dissertation on Ryukyu Kingdom's embassies to Edo (1644-1850). Also currently working on projects looking at the kingdom's embassy to Tokyo in 1872, and at various themes and topics related to the history of Shuri castle across the 20th-21st centuries.

Recent Publications/Lectures related to Okinawa

“Displaying Foreignness for Prestige: Lūchūan Embassy Processions in Early Modern Japan, 1644-1850” in Richard Morris (ed.), Crossing Boundaries: Festival and Diplomatic Encounters in the Early Modern World, Brepols Publishing (forthcoming).

“The loss of Shuri castle is a devastating blow for the people of Okinawa”, Apollo International Art Magazine  (November 2019).

“Islands of the Imagination: Hokusai's Eight Views of Ryūkyū” Andon 106 (December 2018).


Portrait of Annamaria Shimabuku

Dr. Annmaria Shimabuku

Institution: New York University

Website for Annmaria Shimbuku 

Languages: English, Japanese

Ongoing Research/Project related to Okinawa:

Postwar miscegenation, postcolonial feminism, Ifa Fuyu, Okinawan Literature

Recent Publications/Lectures related to Okinawa:

Alegal: Biopolitics and the Unintelligibility of Okinawan Life (Fordham University Press).



Portrait of Marco Tinello

Dr. Marco Tinello

Institution: Kanagawa University

Website for Marco Tinello

Languages: English, Japanese

Ongoing Research/Project related to Okinawa:

The annexation of Ryukyu to Japan from a longer and broader perspective

Recent Publications/Lectures related to Okinawa

”Senhappyakurokuju nendai ni okeru Tokugawa bakufu ni yoru Ryukyu no ichiduke: bakufu ga Igirisu seifu ni teishutsu shita 'hensho' to hokokusho wo chushin ni" [The Tokugawa bakufu's definition of the Ryukyus' status in the 1860s centered on the reply and reports handed to the British government], Toyo-shi kenkyu 78, no.3 (2019): 72-103. 一八六〇年代における徳川幕府による琉球の位置付けー幕府がイギリス政府に提出した「返書」と報告書を中心にー, 東洋史研究.



Prof. Kirsten Ziomek

Portrait of Kirsten Ziomek

Institution: Adelphi University

Website for Kirsten Ziomek

Languages: English, Japanese

Ongoing Research/Project related to Okinawa:

In my first book, Lost Histories, I discuss four groups of colonial peoples in the Japanese empire: the Ainu, Micronesians, Okinawans, and Indigenous Taiwanese. I tell the life histories of several individuals through an array of sources including: visual imagery, material objects, oral histories and interviews, and colonial documents within and without the colonial archives. For those particularly interested in the Okinawan colonial experience, Chapter 1 discusses the 1903 Human Pavilion (人類館) and the two Okinawan women displayed there, Nakamura Kame and Ushihara Ume. Chapter 6 “Two Coconuts and a Bonito Stick” is centered on Micronesia but I foreground the experiences of Okinawan immigrants within a larger discussion of the lived experiences of specific Palauan and Saipanese individuals. Chapter 8 “A Mountain of Bones” is about two Ainu soldiers’ experiences of war, including Teshi Toyoji, who fought in the Battle of Okinawa and forged friendships with the Okinawan people during the war. He was part of the effort in the postwar period to build the Nanboku no tō(南北の塔)memorial which commemorates the soldiers from Hokkaido, including thirty-nine Ainu soldiers, and local residents of Maehira who died during the Battle of Okinawa. I am currently writing a second book titled: The disorder of killing in the Pacific War: the colonial soldiers, forced laborers and local peoples at the Japanese empire’s edge. In it, I aim to transform the way we write military history in terms of who the subject of the story is, how these histories are narrated and the kinds of evidence used to reconstruct these histories. I center the narrative on Japan's colonial soldiers, forced laborers, and the local populations coopted into performing labor for the military throughout various battle sites across the Pacific, including the Philippines, Saipan, Okinawa, Attu, and New Guinea, as well as the forced labor sites throughout Hokkaido.

Recent Publications/Lectures related to Okinawa

Editor, The Japanese Empire: Colonial Lives and Postcolonial Struggles. The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus (2013).

The 1903 Human Pavilion: Colonial Realities and Subaltern Subjectivities in Twentieth-Century Japan.” The Journal of Asian Studies 73(2): 493–516 (2014).

Lost Histories: Recovering the Lives of Japan’s Colonial Peoples. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Asia Center (2019).