Yuma Totani

Associate Professor

Modern Japan, Pacific 


Office: Sakamaki A406
Phone: (808) 956-8564

Email: yuma.totani@hawaii.edu


Born and raised in Japan, Professor Totani received her B.A. in History of Art from International Christian University (Tokyo, Japan), 1995; M.S. in Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 1997; and Ph.D. in History from the University of California, Berkeley, 2005. She was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Harvard University, 2005-06. Her research focuses on WWII Pacific-area war crimes trials. Her first book, The Tokyo War Crimes Trial: The Pursuit of Justice in the Wake of World War II (Harvard University Asia Center, 2008), assesses the historical significance of the Tokyo trial—the Far Eastern counterpart of Nuremberg—based on a systematic analysis of the trial records. Its Japanese expanded edition—Tōkyō saiban: dai niji taisen go no hō to seigi no tsuikyū—is translated and edited by the author.


Professor Totani offers courses on modern Japan and comparative Asia/ World.


Select Publications





  • __________. “Crimes against Asians in Command Responsibility Trials.” In Tim McCormack, Georgina Fitzpatrick, and Narrelle Morris, eds., The Australian War Crimes Trials, 1945-1951. Forthcoming.

  • __________. “The Prisoner-of-War Camp Trials.” In Suzannah Linton, ed., Hong Kong’s War Crimes Trials. Oxford University Press. 2013.

  • __________. “Kyōzai to shite no Tōkyō saiban:Shinjuwan to no tsunagari o chūshin ni” (The Tokyo Trial As a Teaching Material: Focusing on the Connection with Pearl Harbor). In Shinjuwan o kataru: rekishi, kioku, kyōiku(Narrating Pearl Harbor: History, Memory, and Education). ed. Yaguchi Yujin, Morishige Takeo, and Nakayama Kyoko. Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press. 2011, pp.121-133.

  • __________. “Legal Responses to World War II Sexual Violence: The Japanese Experience.” In The History of Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones: From the Ancient World to the Era of Human Rights. ed. Elizabeth Heineman. Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights Series. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011. pp. 217-231.

  • __________. “The Case against the Accused.” In Beyond Victors’ Justice? The Tokyo War Crimes Trial Revisited. ed. Yuki Tanaka, Tim L.H. McCormack and Gerry Simpson. International Humanitarian Law Series. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers: Leiden, The Netherlands, 2010. pp. 147-161.

  • __________. “Tōkyō saiban ni okeru sensō hanzai sotsui to hanketsu: Nankin jiken to sei doreisei ni taisuru kokka shidōsha sekinin o chūshin ni” (The Prosecution of War Crimes and the Judgment of the Tokyo Tribunal: Focusing on the Responsibility of State Leaders for the Nanking Incident and Sexual Slavery). In Gendai rekishigaku to Nankin jiken (Modern History and the Nanking Incident), ed. Kasahara Tokushi and Yoshida Yutaka. Tokyo: Kashiwa shobō, 2006, pp. 125-163.



  • __________. “Kokusai jindōhō shi no dōhyō” (A Landmark in the History of International Humanitarian Law). Op-Ed Section. Mainichi shinbun. December 9, 2008.

  • __________. “Iken shingen: ‘dai ni no jinsei’ de tettei bunseki o” (New Perspectives, New Opinions: A Call for a Thorough Investigation so as to Give Second Life to the Tokyo Trial). Op-Ed Section, Asahi shinbun. November 1, 2008.

  • __________. “Tōkyō saiban—hanketsu kara 60-nen: koremade no seika to aratana dōkō” (The Tokyo Trial—Sixty Years since the Judgment: Research Trends in the Past and in the Future). Bibliographic essay, carried in E-Alert Plus! (Kinokuniya Bookstore’s monthly electronic newsletter). no. 231 (November 2008).


Honors, Awards

  • Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship for Recently Tenured Scholars, American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). Residence at The Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford University. Fall 2012 – Spring 2013

  • Abe Fellowship, Social Science Research Council. Project Title: “Justice in the Balance: Lessons from the Allied War Crimes Trials in the Asia-Pacific Region.” Fall 2010 – Spring 2011

  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Harvard University, Fall 2005 – Spring 2006