Faculty Directory

Noriko Aso
  • Pronouns she, her, her, hers, herself
  • Title
    • East Asian Studies Program Director
    • Associate Professor
  • Division Humanities Division
  • Department
    • History Department
  • Affiliations East Asian Studies, History of Art/Visual Culture, Feminist Studies Department, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Fax
  • Office Location
    • Humanities Building 1, 534
  • Office Hours Spring 2024: F 11-1 or by appointment; Zoom possible by request
  • Mail Stop Cowell College
  • Mailing Address
    • 1156 High Street
    • Santa Cruz CA 95064
  • Faculty Areas of Expertise History, Asian Studies, Pacific Rim, Cultural Studies, Gender Studies, Visual Culture, Popular Culture, Youth Studies
  • Courses HIS 40B The Making of Modern East Asia, HIS 101D World History of Science (Japan), HIS 150A Ancient Japan, HIS 150C Modern Japan, HIS 194E Women in Japanese History, HIS 194U The Cold War and East Asia, HIS 196Q Korean History, HIS 242 Readings in Modern Japanese History, HIS 244 Gender and Japanese History, HIS 243 Transnational Japan
  • Advisees, Grad Students, Researchers , , Drew Kenneth Richardson

Summary of Expertise

Modern Japanese history, cultural and intellectual

Research Interests

Japanese history, cultural studies, gender, race and ethnicity, colonialism, nationalism, and popular culture; also Korean history, same topics.

Biography, Education and Training

Ph.D., Dissertation: "New Illusions: The Emergence of a Discourse on Traditional Japanese Arts and Crafts, 1868-1945," University of Chicago, 1997
M.A., Thesis: "Object Lessons: the Museological Practices of Edward S. Morse and Yanagi Sôetsu," University of Chicago, 1991
Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies, 1988-1989
B.A., Yale University (Summa cum laude), Yale University, 1983-1987

Honors, Awards and Grants

UCSC Institute for Humanities Research Faculty Research Grant, 2011-2012

UCSC Institute for Humanities Research Faculty Research Grant, 20010-2011

UCSC Institute for Humanities Research Faculty Research Grant, 2009-2010

UC President's Research Fellowship in the Humanities, 2008-2009

UCSC Institute for Humanities Research Faculty Research Grant, 2007-2008

UCSC Institute for Humanities Research Faculty Research Grant, 2006-2007

UCSC Institute for Humanities ResearchFaculty Small Grant, 2006-2007

Social Science Research Council/Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, 2004-2005

Itoh Scholarship Foundation Fellowship, 1995

Ohio State University Humanities Fellowship, 1995-1996

Japanese Ministry of Education Scholarship, 1991-1992

Committee on Institutional Cooperation Fellowship, 1987-1991

Sumitomo Bank, 1986


Selected Publications


2013 Monograph: Public Properties: Museums in Imperial Japan. Duke University Press.

Contributions to Books      

2010 Book Chapter: "Revolutionary Girls: From Oscar to Utena," Mitsuhiro Yoshimoto, Jungbong Choi, and Eva Tsai, Television, Japan, Globalization, Ann Arbor, Center for Japanese Studies, The University of Michigan, pp. 151-171    

2010 Book Chapter: "Greece of the East: Philhellenism in Imperial Japan," Karen Bassi and Peter Euben, When Worlds Elide: Classics, Politics, Culture, Lanham, Lexington Books, pp. 19-42    

2009 Book Chapter: "Mediating the Masses: Yanagi Sôetsu and Fascism," Alan Tansman, The Culture of Japanese Fascism, Durham, Duke University Press, pp. 138-154

Journal Articles      

2007 "A Private Public: Shibusawa Keizô's Museum of Economic History," Asian Cultural Studies 33 (March), pp. 13-27 PEER REVIEWED    

2007 "Shiteki na kôkyô: maboroshi no Shibusawa Seien-o Kinen Jitsugyô Hakubutsukan," Rekishi to minzoku 23 (2007.2), pp. 35-51, Tokyo, Heibonsha

2002 "Sumptuous Re-past: the 1964 Tokyo Olympics Arts Festival," positions: east asia cultures critique 10(1), pp. 7-38, Duke University Press

1995 "Class and Currency in Three Works by Yanagi Sôetsu," Select Papers of the East Asia Center: Productions of Culture in Japan 10, pp. 7-27, The University of Chicago East Asia Center


Other Publications      

2019 Digital Module: "Mitsukoshi: Consuming Places" for the Scalar publication Bodies and Structures 1.0, ed. by Kate McDonald and David Ambaras

2002 Essay: "Postwar Japan, 1945-1989," Japan 1945-1989: Re-creating a Modern Nation: A Humanities Approach to Japanese History, Part IV, Social Sciences Education Consortium, pp. 17-24 ed. Lynn Parisi    

2001 Encyclopedia Article: "Department Stores," Encyclopedia of Contemporary Japanese Culture, London and New York, Routledge, pp. 105-107 ed. Sandra Buckley    

2000 Translation: "Chinese Nationalism and Modern Japan: Imitation and Resistance in the Formation of National Subjects" by Murata Yûjirô. Osaka: Japanese National Museum of Ethnology, Japanese Civilization in the Modern World XVI. Nation, State, Empire. Senri Ethnological Studies 51, pp. 25-42 eds. T. Umesao, T. Fujitani, and E. Kurimoto    

1998 Translation: "Women in the Motherland: Oku Mumeo Through Wartime and Postwar" by Narita Ryûichi, Total War and "Modernization, Ithaca, Cornell East Asia Series, pp. 137-158 ed. Yamanouchi Yasushi, J. Victor Koschmann, and Narita Ryûichi.

Selected Presentations

2018 Presentation of results for "Innovative Pedagogy at the Digital Research + Teaching Symposium

2018 "Mitsukoshi: Consuming Spaces" for "Bodies and Structures: Deep Mapping the Spaces of Japanese History" for the Association of Asian Studies annual conference held in Washington, D.C.

2016 "Was Production the Enemy for Mitsukoshi under Total War?" Presented at the conference "Conversations around Moral Nation: New Research in the History of Twentieth-Century Japan." University of Colorado, Boulder.

2016 "Mitsukoshi and the Wartime State: Consuming Production, presenter and chair for the panel "Consumption, Empire, and Total War: Commodities and Spectacle in Japan’s Wartime System" at the 130th Annual Meeting of the American Historical Society, Atlanta, GA

2015 "Ikko Style: The Graphic Art of Ikko Tanaka" at the USC Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, CA

2014 "Bodies of Knowledge in the Japanese Empire" panel featuring Susan Burns (University of Chicago) and Mark Driscoll (UNC Chapel Hill) and sponsored by the UC Presidential Chair in Feminist Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, UCSC, CA

2014 "Mitsukoshi at War: Rationalizing Luxury" at Stevenson College, University of California, Santa Cruz.

2013 "Shibusawa Keizō ni totte bunkazai to ha nanika" (Shibusawa Keizō's Conceptualization of National Treasures), University of Tokyo, Japan

2013 "Japanese Histories: Views through the Rise, Fall, and Reinvention of the Emperor" for the Asian Studies Development Program, University of Hawaii, Honolulu

2011 "Children, Community, Citizenship: Engaging Modes of Government Education in Modern Japan" for Asian Studies Development Program, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

2008 "Inside Out: Ancient Greece for Imperial Japan." Panel organizer, chair, and presenter for "Inside/Outs: Inventing Foreign Origins for Japanese Traditions." 2008 Annual Meeting of the Association for Asian Studies, Atlanta, Georgia., 2008, April 6

2008 "Let's Play with Japanese: Engaging Nation and Children on NHK" presented as part of the panel "The Moving Image of History: Television, Anime and the Japanese National Past." 12th European Association for Japanese Studies International Conference 2008, Lecce, Italy, 2008, September 21

2006 "Shiteki na kôkyô: maboroshi no Shibusawa Seien-ô Kinen Jitsugyô Hakubutsukan." The Nihon Jômin Bunka Kenkyûjo, Yokohama, 2006, July 19

2006 "Publicizing the Folk in Shibusawa Keizô's Museum of Economic History." Society for East Asian Anthropology 2006, Hong Kong, 2006, July 14

2006 "The Folk Meet the Father of Capitalism: Shibusawa Keizô's Museum of Economic History." Tenth Annual Asian Studies Conference Japan, Tokyo, 2006, June 24

2006 "Kongô-keizai no hakubutsukan: tami ga shihonshugi no chichi ni deau basho." Jitsugyôshi kenkyûkai, Tokyo, 2006, Feb. 27

2005 "Out There? Revolutionary Girls Oscar and Utena." Panel organizer and presenter for "Re-Articulating Gender in Asian Contexts: Visual, Textual and Digital." 13th Berkshire Conference on the History of Women. Claremont, CA, 2005, June 3

2001 "Class, Fascism and the Folk Craft Movement." Culture and Fascism in Inter-War Japan. Berkeley, 2001, Mar. 16

2000 "Greece, Great Britain or Yankee of the East: Figuring a New Place for Imperial Japan." Presenter and panel organizer. 52nd Annual Meeting of the Association for Asian Studies, San Diego, 2000, Mar. 9

Teaching Interests

Japanese history, gender, race and ethnicity, colonialism, nationalism, popular culture, material culture, Korean history with the same topics; Cold War; history of environment and science.