SOAS University of London

SOAS Japan expert consults on major new series exploring alternative post-Second World War history

17 November 2015

Dr Griseldis Kirsch, Lecturer in Contemporary Japanese Culture in the Department of Japan and Korea, has acted as a consultant on the highly anticipated new series 'The Man in the High Castle' set to be aired on 20 November as an Amazon Original Series.

Man in high castle pic 3

The series, produced by Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Alien) and Frank Spotnitz (Hunted, The X-Files), explores an alternative history where the Axis powers won the Second World War. Set in America in 1962, the East Coast is Nazi occupied (Greater Nazi Reich) and the West Coast is Japanese occupied (Japanese Pacific States). The screenplay was adapted from the acclaimed novel by Philip K. Dick, the writer who inspired Ridley Scott’s sci-fi blockbuster Blade Runner.

As the need for advice on cultural and historical matters in regards to the Japanese side of the story arose, Big Light Productions (co-producers of the project) contacted Dr Kirsch to advise them on cultural and historical accuracy in the plotline of the series.

Man in high castle pic 2
The Amazon Prime series imagines a world where the Axis powers won the Second World War

Dr Kirsch (who works on the memory of the Second World War in Japanese media), said: “Having been able to work on such an interesting project has been a truly amazing experience. My thanks go to Big Light Productions for giving me the opportunity to work with them.”

Sarah Wyatt, Script Editor at Big Light Productions said: “Dr Kirsch’s advice and guidance was invaluable to our understanding of the Japanese characters and culture. We relished every moment she spent with us and every utterly fascinating email we received, with so many gems we could incorporate into our world.”

All 10 episodes will be available from Amazon from 20 November 2015. Watch the trailer.

The consultancy was organised through the School’s Enterprise Office. For more information, please contact Louise Roberts, Enterprise Manager (