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. Such upbringing fueled her interest in historical reconciliation.
She earned dual BAs in International Liberal Studies and Political Science from Waseda University and the National University of Singapore (NUS) respectively. Over the past four years, Aika has put the ideals into practice by both embarking on her own fieldwork, and learning in the journalism industry through her experiences at the Japan Times and Reuters. For example, she flew to Nanjing to interview survivors of the Nanjing Massacre, and to South Korea to talk to the former “comfort women”. That work has had a profound impact on her, both intellectually and personally. Aika went on to pursue an MA in China Studies at Yenching Academy of Peking University. Alongside other like-minded friends at Yenching, she co-founded the Yenching Academy East Asian Studies (YCAEAS).
Her research interests include memory, feminist theory, gender and sexuality, and history of Japanese colonialism/occupation in Northeast and Southeast Asia. Her most recent project has been focusing on the “comfort women” history.
Academic interests aside, she loves anything that makes her feel alive: feminist movement, aesthetics/fashion (and the philosophy behind it), music playing/listening, yoga, poem writing etc.