Sandra Wilson  from Murdoch University in Perth Australia.

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    Professor Sandra Wilson
    B.A. ( Hons) (UWA), Master of Japanese Studies (UWA), D.Phil (Oxf), F.R.Hist.S.

    Professor and Academic Chair - History

    About me

    I’m a historian of modern Japan.  I teach undergraduate units on Japanese history, on the Pacific War of 1941-45, and the Second World War in Europe. I supervise research students working on Japanese history, on other areas of Japanese Studies, on Australia-Japan relations and on war crimes trials in the Pacific region, and on other topics.  My major research areas are Japanese politics and society in the 1930s and 1940s, the history of Japanese nationalism, and Japanese war crimes and Allied trials of suspected Japanese war criminals after the Second World War.

    Teaching area

    I co-ordinate the following undergraduate units:

    HIS182 The Making of the Modern World

    HIS211 Modern Japan

    HIS258 Soldiers and Civilians:  War in the Pacific, 1941-1945

    HIS245 The Second World War in Europe.


    Awards and grants


    Australian Research Council Discovery Project, 2015-2017 inclusive, for ‘War Crimes and the Japanese Military, 1941-1945′ (with R. Cribb; $140,000)

    National Library of Australia, Japan Study Grant, 2015

    Australian Research Council Discovery Project, 2011-2013 inclusive, for ‘Repatriation and Release of Japanese War Criminals, 1946-1958: Southeast Asia, Japan and the Great Powers’ (with B. Trefalt and R. Cribb; $265,000)

    National Library of Australia, Japan Study Grant, 2010

    National Library of Australia, Japan Study Grant, 2009

    Australian Research Council Large Grant, 2000-2003 inclusive, for ‘Varieties of Nationalism in Modern Japan, 1853-2002′ ($132,000)


    Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, 2018

    NSW Premier’s Award for History (General History category), 2017, for Wilson, Cribb, Trefalt and Aszkielowicz, Japanese War Criminals: the Politics of Justice after the Second World War, New York: Columbia University Press, 2017

    Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research – Distinguished and Sustained Achievement, 2017

    Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Equity, 2000

    Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (UK), 2000

    Visiting Professor, Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo, 1992


    Professional and community service

    Elected Secretary, Asian Studies Association of Australia, 2016-2018

    Member of Editorial Advisory Boards of: Social Science Japan Journal, Japanese Studies, History Australia, Historical Research

    Doctoral and masters supervisions

    I supervised the following Murdoch students, who have successfully completed their PhDs:

    Beatrice Trefalt:  ‘Unexpected Returns:  Stragglers of the Imperial Army and Memories of the Second World War in Japan, 1950-1975′

    Tsukasa Takamine:  ‘Engagement:  A Foreign Policy Analysis of Japan’s Official Development Assistance to China, 1979-2002′

    Leonie Stickland:  ‘Gender Gymnastics:  Performers, Fans and Gender Issues in the Takarazuka Revue of Contemporary Japan’

    James Boyd:  ‘Faith, Race and Strategy:  Japanese-Mongolian Relations, 1873-1945′

    Narrelle Morris:  ‘Destructive Discourse:  “Japan-Bashing” in the United States, Australia and Japan in the 1980s and 1990s’

    Takeshi Moriyama:  ‘Crossing Boundaries:  Suzuki Bokushi (1770-1842) and the Rural Elite of Tokugawa Japan’

    Dean Aszkielowicz:  ‘After the Surrender:  Australia and the Japanese Class B and C War Criminals, 1945-1958′

    (with Adjunct Associate Professor Lenore Layman) Iwane Shibuya: ‘Australian Participation in the Occupation of Japan, 1945-1952′



    • Wilson, S., Cribb, R., Trefalt, B., Aszkielowicz, D., (2017),Japanese War Criminals. The politics of justice after the second world war,Columbia University Press.
    • Wilson, S., (2002),The Manchurian Crisis and Japanese Society, 1931-33,,Routledge.


    • Wilson, S., (2020),Clemency for War Criminals Convicted in the Tokyo Trials,In: The Tokyo Tribunal: Perspectives on Law, History and Memory, Torkel Opsahl Academic EPublisherBrussels, pages 349 to 368.
    • Wilson, S., Cribb, R., (2018),Japan's colonial empire,In: Routledge Handbook of Modern Japanese History, Routledge, pages 77 to 91.
    • Wilson, S., (2017),Koreans in the Trials of Japanese war crimes suspects,In: Debating Collaboration and Complicity in War Crimes Trials in Asia 1945-1956, Palgrave Macmillan, pages 19 to 40.
    • Wilson, S., (2017),The Shifting Politics of Guilt. The campaign for the release of Japanese war criminals.,In: The Dismantling of Japans Empire in East Asia. Deimperialization, postwar ligitimation and imperial afterlife, Routledge, pages 87 to 106.
    • Tam, K., Tsu, T., Wilson, S., (2015),The Second World War in postwar Chinese and Japanese film,In: Chinese and Japanese Films on the Second World War, Routledge, pages 1 to 11.
    • Wilson, S., (2009),Reading Basil Archer's Diary,In: Interpreting Occupied Japan. The diary of an Australian soldier 1945-1946, Hesperian Press, pages xvi to xxxvi.
    • Wilson, S., (2003),Securing prosperity and serving the nation. Japanese farmers and Manchuria, 1931-33,In: Farmers and Village Life in Twentieth-century Japan, Routledge, pages 156 to 174.
    • Wilson, S., (2002),Rethinking nation and nationalism in Japan,In: Nation and Nationlism in Japan, Routledge, pages 1 to 20.
    • Wilson, S., (2000),The Past in the Present: War in Narratives of Modernity in the 1920s and 1930s,In: Being Modern in Japan: Culture and Society from the 1910s to the 1930s, Fine Arts Press Ltd., pages 170 to 184.
    • Wilson, S., Wells, D., (1999),Introduction,In: The Russo-Japanese War in Cultural Perspective, 1904-05, Macmillan Press LTD, pages 1 to 29.
    • Wilson, S., (1999),The Russo-Japanese War and Japan: Politics, Nationalism and Historical Memory,In: The Russo-Japanese War in Cultural Perspective, 1904-05, Macmillan Press LTD, pages 160 to 193.
    • Wilson, S., (1998),The Comintern and the Japanese Communist Party,In: International Communism and the Communist International 1919-43, Manchester University Press, pages 285 to 307.
    • Wilson, S., (1997),Angry young men and the Japanese state: Nagano Prefecture, 1930-33,In: Society and the state in interwar Japan, Routledge, pages 100 to 125.


    • Wilson, S., (2019), War crimes trials and the politics of justice: the case of Kinoshita Eiichi, 1945-57, Historical Research, 92, 257, pages 632 - 653.
    • Wilson, S., (2015), War criminals in the post-war world: the case of Kato Tetsutaro, War in History, 22, 1, pages 87 - 110.
    • Wilson, S., (2015), The Sentence is Only Half the Story From Stern Justice to Clemency for JapaneseWar Criminals, 1945-1958, Journal of International Criminal Justice, 13, 4, pages 745 - 761.
    • Wilson, S., (2013), Film and Soldier: Japanese War Movies in the 1950s, Journal of Contemporary History, 48, 3, pages 537 - 555.
    • Wilson, S., (2012), Exhibiting a new Japan: The Tokyo Olympics of 1964 and Expo '70 in Osaka, Historical Research, 85, 227, pages 159 - 178.
    • Wilson, S., (2011), After the trials: Class B and C Japanese war criminals and the post-war world, Japanese Studies, 31, 2, pages 141 - 149.
    • Wilson, S., (2011), Enthroning Hirohito: Culture and Nation in 1920s Japan, Journal of Japanese Studies, 37, 2, pages 289 - 323.
    • Wilson, S., (2011), Prisoners in sugamo and their campaign for release, 1952-1953, Japanese Studies, 31, 2, pages 171 - 190.
    • Wilson, S., (2008), War, Soldier and Nation in 1950s Japan, International Journal of Asian Studies, 5, 2, pages 187 - 218.
    • Wilson, S., (2006), Family or State? Nation, War and Gender in Japan, 1937-45, Critical Asian Studies, 2, 38, pages 209 - 238.
    • Wilson, S., (2005), The Discourse of National Greatness in Japan, 1890-1919, Japanese Studies, 25, 1, May, pages 35 - 51.
    • Wilson, S., (2005), Bridging the Gaps: New Views of Japanese Colonialism, 1931-1945, Japanese Studies, 25, 3, December, pages 287 - 299.
    • Wilson, S., (2004), Japanese Nationalism, Review of Asian And Pacific Studies/Journal of Asian and Pacific Studies, 26, , pages 1 - 33.
    • Wilson, S., (2001), Rethinking the 1930s and the '15-Year War'in Japan, Japanese Studies, 21, , pages 155 - 164.
    • Wilson, S., (1998), Bureaucrats and Villagers in Japan: Shimin and the Crisis of the Early 1930s, Social Science Japan Journal, 1, 1, April 1998, pages 121 - 140.

    Edited books

    D. Wells and S. Wilson (eds), The Russo-Japanese War in Cultural Perspective, Macmillan, 1999

    S. Wilson (ed.), Nation and Nationalism in Japan, RoutledgeCurzon, 2002

    Basil Archer, edited and with an Introduction by S. Wilson, Interpreting Occupied Japan:  the Diary of an Australian Soldier, 1945-1946, Perth, Hesperian Press, 2009

    King-fai Tam, Timothy Y. Tsu and Sandra Wilson (eds), Chinese and Japanese Films on the Second World War, Routledge, 2015


    Wilson, Cribb, Trefalt and Aszkielowicz, Japanese War Criminals (2017): Winner of NSW Premier’s History Award 2017 (General History Category); listed among ‘Best Books of 2018′ by Foreign Affairs; Finalist for 2019 Raphael Lemkin Award, given by the Institute of Genocide Studies for best nonfiction work on genocide, crimes against humanity, state mass killings and gross violations of human rights, and strategies to prevent such crimes and violations.

    ‘Women, the State and the Media in Japan in the Early 1930s: Fujo shinbun and the Manchurian Crisis’, Japan Forum, 1995:  Winner of the Canon Foundation Prize for best article in Japan Forum in 1995.