Nancy Kinue Stalker

Nancy Kinue StalkerProfessor &
Sen Sōshitsu Distinguished Chair
Japan (20th century, Cultural and Gender)

Office: Sakamaki B407
Phone: (808) 956-7299

PhD Stanford University, 2002



Nancy K. Stalker received her Ph.D. in History and M.A. in East Asian Studies at Stanford University and was a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University.  Before joining the faculty at UH, Professor Stalker taught at The University of Texas at Austin and she has also been a visiting professor in the History Department at UC Berkeley.

Her work centers on twentieth century culture in Japan, especially the commodification of practices and beliefs associated with traditional Japanese culture and the interpenetration of ideology, material culture, and the marketplace.  In this vein, she has written articles in fields as diverse as popular religion, traditional arts and dietary regimes that examine how these areas intersect with larger constructs of historical modernity, including nationalism, imperialism, capitalism, and feminism.

She is the author of Prophet Motive: Deguchi Onisaburō, Oomoto and the Rise of a New Religion in Imperial Japan (University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2008, translated into Japanese as Deguchi Onisaburō teikoku jidai no karisuma, Hara Shobo, 2009) and Japan: History and Culture from Classical to Cool (University of California Press, 2018).  She edited the forthcoming Devouring Japan: Global Perspectives on Japanese Culinary Identity (Oxford University Press, 2018).  Professor Stalker is currently working a monograph on the growth and globalization of ikebana (Japanese flower arrangement) in the twentieth century entitled Budding Fortunes: Ikebana as Art, Industry, and Cold War Culture.

Representative Publications



  • “Ikebana as Industry: Traditional Art in the Era of High Speed Growth,” Journal of Japanese Studies, 44.1 (Winter 2017)
  • “Gourmet Samurai: Changing Gender Norms in Japanese Food TV, Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies 16.4 (November 2016)
  • “Strange Nuptials: Matthew Barney’s Japan in Drawing Restraint 9,” positions: east asia cultures critique, 20.4, (2012)
  • “Consumerist and Transnational Perspectives on the History of Japanese Medicine” in Nancy Stalker and Vivian Lo, eds.  Asian Medicine: Tradition and Modernity 7.1 (2009)
  • “The Globalization of Macrobiotics: Culinary Tourism and Culinary Nostalgia,” Asian Medicine: Tradition and Modernity, 7.1 (2009)
  •  “Suicide, Boycotts and Embracing Tagore: The Japanese Popular Response to the 1924 US Immigration Exclusion Law,” Japanese Studies 26.2 (2006)
  •  “Art and the New Religions: From Deguchi Onisaburō to the Miho Museum,” Japanese Religions, 28.2 (2003).  Reprinted in Lucia Dolce, ed. Japanese Religions Vol. 3 (2012)


Prophet Motive

Japan: History and Culture

Devouring Japan