Yuma Totani

Visiting Fellow

Yuma Totani is a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution and is a  historian of modern Japan and a researcher of post–World War II Allied war crimes trials in the Asia-Pacific region. She is a cofounder of the War Crimes Documentation Initiative at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, a digital humanities laboratory that develops innovative digital tools for promoting the teaching and research of World War II–era war crimes in the Asia-Pacific region. Her publications include 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 Region, 1945–1952: Allied War Crimes Prosecutions (Cambridge University Press, 2015), and The Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal: Law, History, and Jurisprudence (coauthored with David Cohen; Cambridge University Press, 2018). Her career mission is to undertake a series of multiyear research projects and book publications that help illuminate the conditions, circumstances, and consequences of Japanese war and war crimes; and that assess the implications of our historical knowledge of World War II for strengthening the principles of international justice, accountability, and the rule of law in the twenty-first century.

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Recent Commentary

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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.

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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.