Core Faculty

Daniel Botsman

Daniel Botsman is an historian of Japan, whose interests span the period from the 17th century to the present, with a particular focus on the social and political transformations of the 19th century.

Fabian Drixler

Fabian Drixler teaches Japanese history. He is particularly interested in cultural history and historical demography. These approaches converge in his book Mabiki: Infanticide and Population Growth in Eastern Japan, 1660-1950.

Hannah Shepherd

Hannah Shepherd’s teaching and research interests focus on modern Japan and its colonial empire, with an emphasis on the connected twentieth-century histories of imperial expansion, urban growth, and movement of peoples between Japan and Korea.

Visiting Faculty

Reinier H. Hesselink

Professor Reinier Hesselink teaches the history and culture of the Japanese islands from ancient to modern times at the University of Northern Iowa.


Haruko Nakamura

Haruko Nakamura is the Librarian for Japanese Studies, overseeing Japanese collection development and management, as well as providing specialized reference and research support and organizing events which promote the Japanese collection of the Yale University Library.

Research Associate

Masato Takenouchi

Dr. Takenouchi completed his Ph.D. in Japanese history at the University of Tokyo. During his studies, he worked as a full-time archivist and researcher for the Iida City Institute of Historical Research in Nagano Prefecture.

Graduate Students

Michael Burns

MA student

Michael Burns received his B.A. in History and Japanese Language and Literature from the University of Kansas in 2019.

John D'Amico

Doctoral student

John is a PhD Candidate in the Department of History. He specializes in the social and economic history of Tokugawa Japan (1600-1868). His dissertation project is about the role of merchants and their money in the 18th and 19th century.

Miku Ebata

MA student

Miku Ebata is a would-be specialist in modern Japanese history, particularly the relationship focusing especially on intellectual discourse on empire and democracy.  She was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan and earned a B.A.

Lucero Estrella

Doctoral student

Lucero graduated with a B.A. in Mexican American & Latina/o Studies and Asian Cultures and Languages with a concentration in Japanese from the University of Texas at Austin in 2018.

Matthew Kimani

Doctoral student

Matthew Kimani is a first year PhD student in the Department of History.

Edgar Li

MA student

Edgar Li was born in Zhejiang, China. He is mainly interested in Modern Japanese history, especially the class of displaced samurai after the Meiji Restoration and their contribution to the rise of Pan-Asianism and militarism in Japan during the 1930s.

Thomas Monaghan

Doctoral student

Tom Monaghan is a third year PhD student in history. His research examines sugar and island societies in Japan, the Ryukyu archipelago, and Taiwan across the early-modern to modern periods, drawing connections between Japan's sugar history and that of the Atlantic world.

George Remisovksy

Doctoral student

I am a third-year PhD student, and my work focuses on the economic, social, and legal histories of modern China and Japan. My current project is a transnational study of changing dispute resolution practices in 19th and early 20th century China, Taiwan, and Japan.

Aika Sato

MA student

Aika spent most of her formative years in the two cities she calls home, Shanghai and Tokyo. She grew up witnessing the past haunting the present in different parts of East Asia: ultranationalism, antagonism, and discrimination.

Alexander Schweinsberg

Doctoral student

Alexander Schweinsberg is a doctoral candidate in history. He did his BA at the University of Toronto in 2008 and then lived in Wakayama for three years on the JET Programme.

Mindy Su

Doctoral student

I am a first-year PhD student in Japanese history. I am interested in the migration between colonies of the Japanese Empire and the history of travel passes in East Asia.

Holden Zimmerman

Doctoral student

Holden Zimmerman is a second-year Ph.D. student in International History with a regional specialization in Western Europe and Japan. Her research focuses on the relationship between humanitarianism and militarism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Graduate Alumni

Ethan Barkalow

MA Alum

Ethan Barkalow began studying East Asia while an undergraduate student at Bowdoin College where he took courses in Japanese and Chinese history, studied Japanese language, and wrote an honors thesis on environmental history in northern Japan.

Sabrina Williams

MA Alum

Sabrina Williams was raised in Northern California and received her B.A. degree from Northwestern University in 2018, where she majored in Political Science.

Postdoc Alumni

Julia Cross

Julia Cross is a historian of medieval Japan, specializing in religion, death, and the body. Drawing on Buddhist manuscripts and art, her research examines how people in medieval Japan attributed religious and social significance to the body, specifically the sacred dead.

Alex Finn Macartney

Alex Finn Macartney is a historian of transnationalism, Modern Japan, and Modern Germany.

Michael Thornton

Michael Thornton is a historian of early-modern and modern Japan, with a particular interest in urban history.