New director named for Soga Japan Center

contact: Margaret von Steinen
| WMU News

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University has selected Dr. Takashi Yoshida to direct its Soga Japan Center in the Haenicke Institute for Global Education.

Yoshida, whose appointment was effective Sept. 2, is a founding member of the center and a WMU associate professor of history. He teaches a range of courses in Japanese history at both the undergraduate and graduate level and focuses his research on war and memory as well as modern and early modern East Asia and Japan.

The Soga center is an interdisciplinary unit designed to promote knowledge of Japan to the WMU community, the city of Kalamazoo and throughout southwestern Michigan.

Dr. Takashi Yoshida


Dr. Takashi Yoshida

Yoshida is the author of two books, “From Cultures of War to Cultures of Peace: War and Peace Museums in Japan, China and South Korea” published in 2014 and “The Making of the 'Rape of Nanking': History and Memory in Japan, China and the United States” published in 2006.

In addition, he is working on a book project tentatively titled, “Land of the Imperfect Sun: Japanese Antiwar Activism during the Asia-Pacific War.” The new volume examines antiwar activity from 1931 to 1945 throughout the Japanese empire and in the United States.

Yoshida is a recipient of the Jennings Randolph Program for International Peace Awards Senior Fellowship from the U.S. Institute of Peace, the Abe Fellowship from the Social Science Research Council and the Carnegie Council Fellowship from the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs.

He also has received several research-related honors, including a research grant from the Toyota Foundation, a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad training grant from the U.S. Department of Education, and the Emerging Scholar Award as well as the College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Achievement Award in Teaching, both from WMU.

Yoshida earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Illinois at Chicago, a bachelor's degree in law from Aoyama Gakuin University, a master’s degree in international affairs from the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs and a doctoral degree in history from Columbia University.

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