James Orr

James Orr

Associate Professor East Asian Studies
On Sabbatical 2023-2024
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About James Orr


  • Modern and premodern Japanese history, remembrance of Hiroshima in Japan and the United States, constructions of national identity in East Asia, Japanese history through film, baseball and the rhetoric of democracy in postwar Japan.

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., 1996 Stanford University, History (Modern East Asia)
  • M.A., 1987 University of Washington, International Studies (East Asia: Japan Regional Studies
  • B.A., 1979 Yale University, Economics

Teaching Interests

  • Modern and premodern Japanese history
  • Remembrance of Hiroshima in Japan and the United States
  • Japanese history through film

Research Interests

  • Current projects:
    • Baseball and the rhetoric of democracy in postwar Japan
    • Victim narratives as part of popular remembrance of war in East Asia (Japan, China, Taiwan, South Korea)
  • Remembrance of war in constructions of national identity
  • Japanese pacifism
  • Historical analysis of popular culture

Recent Activities

Selected Publications

"Rounding the Bases," a monograph history of Little League Baseball in Japan, is currently under consideration for publication.

“Air Raid Victims in Japan’s Collective Remembrance of War.” In Historical Authenticity and Victimhood in Twentieth-Century History and Commemorative Culture. The Construction of Victim Identities in International Comparison, Volume II, edited by Hansen, Randall/Saupe, Achim/Wirsching, Andreas/Yang, Daqing. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2021.

“The Politics of Inclusion and Exclusion in Postcolonial Japan: State, Shrine, and Honor for Ethnic Veterans, the Fallen, and their Bereaved.” In “History Wars” and Reconciliation in Japan and Korea: The Roles of Historians, Artists, and Activists, edited by Michael Lewis. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017, 33-49.

"Hibakusha Testimony as Oral History: Thoughts for Teachers" (June 2010) Japan Society of New York, "About Japan: A Teacher's Resource."

"Victims and Perpetrators in National Memory: Lessons from Post-World War Two Japan."Revue Suisse d'Histoire (RSH: Swiss Historical Review) 57.1 (2007): 1-16.

The Victim as Hero: Ideologies of Peace and National Identity in Postwar Japan (2001).University of Hawaii Press.

"Yasui Kaoru: Citizen-Scholar in War and Peace." Japan Forum 12(1) (2000): 1-14.

"War victim compensation campaigns of the 1960s: Suffering in service to the nation state."Social Science Japan Newsletter 17 (December 1999): 22-25.

Further Information

Contact Details


12A Marts Hall