SOAS University of London

Japan & Korea Section, Department of East Asian Languages & Culture

Dr Christopher Gerteis

BA (University of California, Santa Cruz); MA, PhD (University of Iowa)
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Expertise
  • Publications


Christopher Gerteis
Japan and Korea Section, Department of East Asian Languages and Culture

Senior Lecturer in the History of Contemporary Japan

Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures

Research Coordinator (term 1)

SOAS Japan Research Centre (JRC)

Academic Staff, Japan Research Centre

Dr Christopher Gerteis
Email address:
+44 (0)20 7898 4093
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Academic Support Hours:
On leave 2019-2024


Christopher Gerteis is an historian of Modern and Contemporary Japan, with particular interest in the history of class and gender. He is also Founding Series Editor of the scholarly monograph series SOAS Studies in Modern and Contemporary Japan, published in association with the UK publisher Bloomsbury. From 2019 to 2024 he is in residence as Academic Editor and Associate Professor at the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, The University of Tokyo.

Dr Gerteis’ first book, Gender Struggles: Wage-earning Women and Male-Dominated Unions in Postwar Japan (Harvard, 2009), is an interdisciplinary study of the forgotten history of wage-earning Japanese women who during the 1950s militantly contested the socialist labor movement’s revival of many prewar notions of normative gender roles. By showing how unions raised the wages of male workers in part by transforming working-class women into middle-class housewives, Gender Struggles demonstrates that organized labor’s discourse on womanhood not only undermined women’s status within the labor movement but also prevented unions from linking with the emerging woman-led, neighborhood-centered organizations that typified social movements in the 1960s—a misstep that contributed to the decline of the socialist labor movement in subsequent decades.

His second book examines the forces that shaped the political consciousness of Japanese youth who chose to engage in political violence during the 1960s and 1970s. Mobilizing Japanese Youth: Propaganda, Politics and Power in the Cold War unpacks how notions of class and gender shaped the discourses produced by, and for, young men and women of the ‘Sixties Generation’. It argues in part that the intertwined political rhetoric on the far-left and far-right precipitated further levels of social alienation and helped to define the political consciousness of the ‘Sixties Generation’ well into the twenty-first century.

A third book project examines the impact of celebratory histories of industrialization formulated by multinational corporations in Japan. Manufacturing Memory: Marketing Modern Heritage in Contemporary East Asia investigates how corporate managers recast public memory of their companies’ support for Japanese imperialism through the acquisition of UNESCO World Heritage status for so-called ‘industrial heritage’ sites implicated in the use of forced laborers before and during World War II. The project is an examination of how managers and politicians have used UNESCO status to deflect the diplomatic blowback, and fiduciary risk, associated with public memory of the darker history of Imperial Japan.


PhD Students supervised
  • Emily Barrass Chapman, Gender and family in postwar Japan
  • Michiko Suzuki, History of Disaster, Recovery, and Humanitarianism: The Japanese Red Cross Society in the Modern World, 1877-1945
  • Wonwoong Jeong, The dissolution of a Cold-War alignment: Korea-Japan relations, 1969-1979


Dr Gerteis' research interests traverse the history of twentieth century Japan. He is currently working on two books. 'Angry, Young and Mobile', which he will be working on while in residence at Humboldt University of Berlin in 2015-2016, investigates the extent to which the advent of affordable airline travel influenced the radicalization of socially alienated middle-class youth in postwar Japan. The other book project he is working on, Manufacturing History, is a study of the ways in which for- and not-for-profit corporations in Japan have shaped popular longings for a reified past as a means to obfuscate less pleasant aspects of their institutional histories.

His published work includes: Gender Struggles: Wage-earning Women and Male Dominant Unions in Postwar Japan (Harvard, 2009), which examines the extent that customary notions of work, gender and ethnicity influenced the formation of the socialist labor movement in postwar Japan. He also co-edited, with Timothy S. George, Japan Since 1945: from Postwar to Post-Bubble (Bloomsbury, 2012) and is editor of Critical Readings on the History of Industrialization in Modern Japan (Brill, 2012).

Principal Grants
  • 2015-2016 Research Fellowship, Work and Human Life Cycle in Global History Research Institute, Funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany.
  • 2013 Association for Asian Studies, North East Asia Council grant to support field research in Tokyo, Yokohama , and Nagoya, Japan. 
  • 2013 Japan Foundation Endowment Committee grant to support field research in Kyushu, Japan.
  • 2009-2012 Nippon Foundation Grant to support the SOAS Translation Initiative in Japanese Studies, which oversaw the translation and publication of four books and twenty journal articles while offering advanced post-graduate training in scholarly translation for the humanities and social sciences.
  • 2008-2009 Fulbright Faculty Research Grant, Senator J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, for nine months of field research in Japan.
  • 2005-2006 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Yale University, Council on East Asian Studies for one year in residence at the Yale University Council on East Asian Studies, New Haven, United States.
  • 2004-2005 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Harvard University, Reischauer Institute for Japanese Studies, Boston, United States.
Awards and Honours
  • 2011 2nd Prize Book Award, European Association for Japanese Studies for Gender Struggles: Wage-earning Women and Male-Dominated Unions in Postwar Japan (Harvard University Asia Center, 2009). This is a tri-annual award selected from all books published in Japanese Studies between 2009 and 2011.


For help in contacting SOAS academics and advice on services to business and the community, please contact SOAS Enterprise on +44(0)20 7898 4837 or email
For all press and media enquiries please call +44 (0)20 7898 4135 or email

Available for
  • Radio
  • Press
  • Briefings
  • Special Study Programmes
  • Short Term Consultancy
  • Long Term Consultancy
Regional Expertise
  • East Asia
Country Expertise
  • Japan


Authored Books

Gerteis, Christopher (2021) Mobilizing Japanese Youth: The Cold War and the Making of the Sixties Generation. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. [Forthcoming]

Gerteis, Christopher (2010) Gender Struggles: Wage-earning Women and Male-Dominated Unions in Postwar Japan. Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England: Harvard University Asia Center: Distributed by Harvard University Press.


Gerteis, Christopher and George, Timothy S (2014) 'Beyond the Bubble, Beyond Fukushima: Reconsidering the History of Postwar Japan / バブルのかなた、福島のかなたとは 戦後日本史再考'. The Asia-Pacific Journal, (12) 8.3.

Gerteis, Christopher (2008) 'Review Essay and Selected Bibliography on Labor in Japan'. Labor History, (49) 2, pp 253-255.

Gerteis, Christopher (2008) '「大原社研アーカイブと社会史研究」'. 大原社会問題研究所雑誌=Journal of Ōhara Institute for Social Research 591, pp 10-14.

Gerteis, Christopher (2008) 'Religious Terrorism and Popular Culture: The Uses and Abuses of Aum Shinrikyō'. Journal of Religion and Society 10, pp 1-6.

Gerteis, Christopher (2007) 'The Erotic and the Vulgar: Visual Culture and Organized Labor's Critique of U.S. Hegemony in Occupied Japan'. Critical Asian Studies, (39) 1, pp 3-34.

Gerteis, Christopher (2003) 'Labor’s Cold Warriors: The American Federation of Labor and ‘Free Trade Unionism’ in Cold War Japan'. The Journal of American-East Asian Relations, (12) 3, pp 207-224.

Edited Books or Journals

Gerteis, Christopher and George, Timothy S., (eds.), (2012) Japan since 1945: from Postwar to Post-Bubble. London and New York: Bloomsbury.

Gerteis, Christopher, (ed.), (2012) Critical Readings on the History of Industrialization in Modern Japan (3 vols). Leiden and Boston: Brill.

Book Chapters

Gerteis, Christopher (2020) 'Writing for Publication: Eight Helpful Hints'. In: Reiher, Cornelia and Kottmann, Nora, (eds.), Studying Japan: Research Designs, Fieldwork and Methods. Baden Baden: Nomos Verlag, pp 1-7. [Forthcoming]

Gerteis, Christopher (2017) 'The Emergence of Trade Unionism'. In: Saalar, Sven and Szpilman, Christopher, (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Modern Japanese History. Abingdon; New York: Routledge, pp 324-333.

Gerteis, Christopher (2017) 'Young and Radical in Postwar Japan'. Internationalizing Japan Studies: Dialogues, Interactions, Dynamics/国際日本研究:対話、対話、ダイナミクス. 東京: 東京外語大学国際日本学研究院, pp 39-42.

Gerteis, Christopher (2017) 'The Nexus of Gender, Class and Generation'. In: Kondo, Noboyuki, (ed.), Crossing the Boundaries: Asians and Africans on the Move. Tokyo: 三鈴印刷株式会社, pp 107-112.

Gerteis, Christopher (2013) 'Political Protest in Interwar Japan - 1: Posters & Handbills from the Ohara Collection (1920s-1930s)'. In: Dower, John W and Miyagawa, Shigeru, (eds.), Visualizing Cultures: Image-Driven Scholarship. Cambridge, Mass.: Massachusetts Institute of Technology OpenCourseWare Initiative.

Gerteis, Christopher (2013) '「衰退してゆく労働組合員一戦後労働運動における階級とジェンダー」'. In: フリューシュトゥック, サビーネ and ウォルソール, アン and 長野, ひろ子, (eds.), 日本人の「男らしさ」 -サムライからオタクまで 「男性性」の変遷を追う. 東京: 明石書店, pp 130-149.

Gerteis, Christopher (2012) 'Marketing History as Social Responsibility'. In: Gerteis, Christopher and George, Timothy S., (eds.), Japan since 1945: from Postwar to Post-Bubble. London and New York: Bloomsbury, pp 223-241.

Gerteis, Christopher and George, Timothy S. (2012) 'Revisiting the History of Postwar Japan'. In: Gerteis, Christopher and George, Timothy S., (eds.), Japan since 1945: from Postwar to Post-Bubble. London and New York: Bloomsbury, pp 1-9, 67-68, 141-143, 205-207.

Gerteis, Christopher (2012) 'The Nexus of Economic and Social Change in Modern Japan'. In: Gerteis, Christopher, (ed.), Critical Readings on the History of Industrialization in Modern Japan (3 vols). Leiden and Boston: Brill, pp 3-17.

Gerteis, Christopher (2012) 'Losing the Union Man: Class and Gender in the Postwar Japanese Labor Movement'. In: Gerteis, Christopher, (ed.), Critical Readings on the History of Industrialization in Modern Japan. Leiden and Boston: Brill, pp 1155-1172.

Gerteis, Christopher (2011) 'Losing the Union Man: Gender and Class in the Postwar Labor Movement'. In: Frühstück, Sabine and Walthall, Anne, (eds.), Recreating Japanese Men. Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press, pp 135-153.

Gerteis, Christopher (2008) 'Labor Unions in Japan'. In: Stearns, Peter N., (ed.), Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 406-407.

Gerteis, Christopher (2008) 'Labor and the Labor Movement: Labor Relations in Japan'. In: Stearns, Peter N., (ed.), Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 383-385.

Gerteis, Christopher (2008) 'Subjectivity lost: Labor and the Cold War in Occupied Japan'. In: Stromquist, Shelton, (ed.), Labor's Cold War: Local Politics in a Global Context. Urbana, Illinois, USA: University of Illinois Press, pp 258-290.

Monographs and Working Papers

Gerteis, Christopher (2016) イギリスとアメリカにおける日本教育[Teaching about Japan in England and America]. 東京: 東京外国語大学 「東京外国語大学 国際日本学研究報告」.

Book Reviews

Gerteis, Christopher (2017) 'Review of: The Limits of Okinawa: Japanese Capitalism, Living Labor, and Theorizations of Community. (Asia-Pacific: Culture, Politics, and Society.) Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2015'. American Historical Review, (122) 2, pp 507-508.

Gerteis, Christopher (2012) 'Review of The People’s Post Office: The History and Politics of the Japanese Postal System, 1871-2010'. The American Historical Review, (117) 5, pp 1569-1570.

Gerteis, Christopher (2010) 'Review of 'The Proletarian Gamble: Korean Workers in Interwar Japan' by Ken C. Kawashima'. The American Historical Review, (115) 4, pp 1462-1463.

Gerteis, Christopher (2010) 'Review of 'Women's History and Local Community in Postwar Japan''. Social Science Japan Journal, (13) 1.

Gerteis, Christopher (2010) 'Review of 'Soft Power and Its Perils: U.S. Cultural Policy in Early Postwar Japan and Permanent Dependency''. Journal of Asian Studies, (69) 3, pp 909-912.

Gerteis, Christopher (2008) 'Review of 'Gendering Modern Japanese History' edited by Barbara Molony and Kathleen Uno'. Journal of Asian Studies, (67) 1, pp 326-328.

Gerteis, Christopher (2008) 'Review of 'War Memory and Social Politics in Japan, 1945-2005' by Franziska Seraphim'. Journal of Asian Studies, (67) 3, pp 1098-1100.

Gerteis, Christopher (2008) 'Review of 'A Sociology of Work in Japan' by Ross Mouer and Hirosuke Kawanishi'. Labor History, (49) 2, pp 260-261.

Gerteis, Christopher (2007) 'Review of 'Cooperation over Conflict: The Women's Movement and the State in Postwar Japan' by Miriam Murase'. Journal of Asian Studies, (66) 3, pp 848-849.

Gerteis, Christopher (2005) 'Review of 'Divisions of Labor: Globality, Ideology, and War in the Shaping of the Japanese Labor Movement' by Lonny E. Carlile'. Journal of Asian Studies, (64) 4, pp 1024-1025.


Gerteis, Christopher and Anderson, Jennifer E. (2006) 'Instructor’s Manual and Test Bank to accompany Rhoads Murphey East Asia: A New History Fourth Edition'.

Gerteis, Christopher (2005) 'Gender and Sexuality in Modern Japanese Society' ExEAS Syllabi.

Gerteis, Christopher (2005) 'Instructor’s Manual and Test Bank to accompany Rhoads Murphey History of Asia Fifth Edition'.

Gerteis, Christopher (2003) 'U.S. Credibility at Stake in Iraq' History News Service.

Gerteis, Christopher (2003) 'Did We Fabricate the Pretext for War?' History News Network.

Gerteis, Christopher (2002) 'Dissenters Be Wary: The Nation’s at War' The Seattle Times.

Gerteis, Christopher (2002) 'Training the 21st Century Yeoman Farmer' The Overseas Democrat.


This list was last generated on Friday, 25th September 2020, 21:02 Europe/London.