Yuma Totani

Visiting Fellow

Yuma Totani, a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, earned her BA in History of Art from International Christian University, Tokyo, Japan, in 1995, MSc in Politics of Asia and Africa from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, in 1997, and PhD in History from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2005. She presently holds the position of a professor of modern Japanese history at the University of Hawaii.

Totani focuses on the historical research of World War II, war crimes, and international justice in Asia and the Pacific. She has authored The Tokyo War Crimes Trial: The Pursuit of Justice in the Wake of World War II (Harvard University Asia Center, 2008), Justice in Asia and the Pacific, 1945-1952: Allied War Crimes Prosecutions (Cambridge University Press, 2015), and various book chapters and articles that explore aspects of post-WWII Allied war crimes trials in the Asia-Pacific region (1945-1952). A new monograph on the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, The Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal: Law, History, and Jurisprudence (co-authored with David Cohen), is forthcoming. Totani undertakes a series of multi-year, multi-lingual research and book publications that aim at illuminating the conditions and consequences of Japanese war and war crimes, and that assess the implications of our historical knowledge of World War II to the trans-Pacific dialogues on strengthening the principles of international justice, accountability, and the rule of law.

Totani’s current book project, World War II as the Japanese Official War History Saw It: Strategic Thinking, War Planning, and Military Operations in Asia and the Pacific (working title), seeks to shed new light on the history of the Asia-Pacific War through the lens of the Japanese official war history series, Senshi sosho, 102 vols. (1966-1980).

Totani is a recipient of a W. Glenn Campbell and Rita Ricardo-Campbell National Fellowship at the Hoover Institution, 2016-2017, a Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship for Recently Tenured Scholars, with residence at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, 2012-2013, an Abe Fellowship by the Social Science Research Council, 2010-2011; and a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Japanese Studies at by the Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Harvard University, 2005-2006. Totani holds the position of a guest professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China, 2016-2019.

Filter By:


Recent Commentary

Blank Section (Placeholder)

Empire on Trial

by David Cohen, Yuma Totani via Hoover Digest
Monday, July 9, 2018

Seventy years ago in Tokyo, Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu stood accused of “waging aggressive war.” His documents and sketches enhance a Hoover collection that gives historians a seat in that courtroom.

Blank Section (Placeholder)

Guadalcanal Revisited

by Yuma Totani via Hoover Digest
Friday, July 7, 2017

The official Japanese post-mortem of World War II shows how rivalries, miscommunication, and poor leadership plagued the imperial military machine.