SOAS University of London

Japan Research Centre

Manufacturing Heritage in Contemporary Japan

Christopher Gerteis
Dr Christopher Gerteis (SOAS, University of London)

Date: 5 March 2014Time: 5:05 PM

Finishes: 5 March 2014Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: G50

Type of Event: Seminar


This talk examines efforts to construct an industrial heritage along Japan’s post-industrial periphery by looking at efforts to commemorate and memorialize the Japan’s rapid industrialization after 1850 and re-industrialization after 1945. In particular, the talk focuses on how three Kyushu municipalities, with prefectural assistance, responded to local social and economic crises by building monuments, heritage museums, and preservation parks as a means to attract heritage tourism by marketing to post-industrial nostalgic longings while erasing the less pleasant aspects of Japan’s rapid industrialization.

Speaker Biography

Dr Christopher Gerteis (SOAS) specializes in the social and cultural history of Japan from 1600 to the present. He is author of Gender Struggles: Wage-earning Women and Male-Dominated Unions in Postwar Japan. (Harvard University Press, 2009); co-editor of Japan since 1945: from Postwar to Post-Bubble.(Bloomsbury, 2012); and editor of Critical Readings on the History of Industrialization in Modern Japan (3 vols). (Brill, 2012). He is also editor of the 'SOAS Studies in Modern and Contemporary Japan', a peer-reviewed scholarly monograph series published in association with Bloomsbury (, and will join the SOAS JRC editorial team when it assumes the helm of Japan Forum in September 2014. He also occasionally comments for the BBC and has advised a variety of film and television productions. His current research investigates popular memories of Japan’s modern industrial heritage from the first passenger steamships to the last Japanese Formula One (F1) race car.

Organiser: Centres & Programmes Office

Contact email:

Contact Tel: 020 7898 4892/3