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Herbert P. Bix  

Herbert P. Bix

Professor (Joint with Sociology)
Ph.D., Harvard University
20th Century Japan, Japan-US Relations, Monarchical Studies

Talk Delivered at Binghamton University on October 18, 2006, "The Case for Withdrawal From Afghanistan and Iraq"

The Emperor, Modern Japan and the U.S.-Japan Relationship : an Interview with Herbert Bix appeared in Japan on August 26, 2005.

I am a Japan historian and student of the political, military, and social history of 19th and 20th century Japan. I have taught undergraduate courses on all periods of Japanese history and on Western historiography of Japan. At the graduate level I shall be offering seminars on war crimes law and American wars in Asia, comparative monarchy, and comparative constitutions. I wish to work with students on topics related to Japan and East Asia, and I particularly welcome applications from students interested in studying modern Japanese political, diplomatic, and military history. My current research centers on the Asia-Pacific War and its aftermath, Western images of the Showa emperor Hirohito, and Japanese constitutional thought.

Significant Publications:


  • Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan. HarperCollins Publishers, 2000.
  • Peasant Protest in Japan, 1590-1884. Yale University Press 1986; reprinted in Yale paperback, 1992.

Recent Articles:

  • "War Responsibility and Historical Memory: Hirohito's Apparition," pp. 1-24, May 20, 2008 posted at and ZNET.
  • "The Immunity of Non-Combatants and the Myth of Good Intentions: Sixty-One Years After Hiroshima and Nagasaki ", (posted on, August 20, 2006).
  • "Hirohito and History: Japanese and American Perspectives on the Emperor and World War II in Asia ", (posted on, July 24, 2005.)
  • "Japan's Surrender Decision and the Monarchy: Staying the Course in an Unwinnable War," (posted on, July 5, 2005).
  • "Torture, Racism, and the Sovereign Presidency," Z. Magazine Online, 18:7-8 (July-August 2005) at
  • "The Faith that Supports U.S. Violence: Comparative Reflections on the Arrogance of Empires," (posted on ZNET and, Sept. 2, 2004).
  • "From Nanjing 1937 to Fallujah 2004: War Crimes in Perspective," completed May 3, 2004 and posted on
  • "In Search of Emperor Hirohito: Ideology and Decision-Making in Imperial Japan," in Challenge of Change: Festschrift for Professor Chalmers Johnson (University of California Press, 2003), pp. 298-310.
  • "War Crimes Law and American Wars in 20th Century Asia," Hitotsubashi Journal of Social Studies, Vol. 33, No. 1 (July 2001), 119-132.
  • "Rekishi no nazo toshite no Showa tenno [The Showa Emperor as an Historical Enigma]," bibliographical essay in Nenpo: Nihon gendaishi 1998, No. 4 (Tokyo: Gendai Shiryo Shuppan, 1998), pp. 329-346.
  • "Japan's Delayed Surrender: A Reinterpretation" in Diplomatic History, Vol. 19, No. 2 (Spring 1995), 197-225; reprinted in Michael J. Hogan, ed., Hiroshima in History and Memory (Cambridge University Press, 1996).
  • "American Japan Studies at the End of the 20th Century" in Awaya Kentaro, Toyoshimo Naruhiko, et al., eds, Nenpo: Nihon gendaishi 1995, sokango (Tokyo: Azuma Shuppan, 1995), 231-248.
  • "Inventing the 'Symbol Monarchy' in Japan, 1945-52," in Journal of Japanese Studies, Vol. 21, No. 2 (Summer 1995), 319-363.

Special Achievements and Awards

  • Pulitzer Prize, 2001.
  • National Book Critics Circle Award, 2001.
  • United States-Japan Educational Commission (Fulbright Program)--Research Grant award to conduct research in Japan, December 1992- July 1993.
Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan Peasant Protest in Japan, 1590-1884

Last Updated: 12/13/17