SOAS University of London

Department of History, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

Dr Martyn Smith

MA European Studies (Keele), MA Japanese Studies (London)
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Martyn Smith
Department of History, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

Senior Teaching Fellow

SOAS Japan Research Centre (JRC)

Academic Staff, Japan Research Centre

Dr Martyn Smith
Email address:
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:
Academic Support Hours:
Fridays 10-11am


My research interests focus on theories of nation, nationalism and national identity as well as modern Japanese history.  

PhD Research

Much of the discussion of nationalism in modern Japan has focused on the state and its role in determining identification with the nation, emphasising ideology at the expense of a broader examination of the huge social and economic changes which constituted the everyday experience of the Japanese people.  My thesis uses popular magazines aimed at housewives (Fujin Kōron, Fujin Gaho) and young people (Shukan Heibon, Heibon Punch), as well as picture magazines such as Asahi Graph and Mainichi Graph, to broaden the debate over postwar Japanese ideas of nation by looking at the way these ideas developed within the context of rapid social, economic, and cultural change from 1952-1972 focusing on four pivotal historical moments:  the end of the Allied Occupation in 1952; the protests leading up to the renewal of the security treaty (ANPO) in 1960; the Tokyo Olympics of 1964; and student and anti-war protests from 1968 to the ‘return’ of Okinawa.


  • European Association for Japanese Studies (EAJS)
  • Institute of Historical Research (IHR)
  • Association for the study of Ethnicity and Nationalism (ASEN)
  • Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society
  • Book Review Editor for the journal Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism (SEN)


H120 Introduction to the History of East Asia
H101 Approaches to History