Yuma Totani

Yuma Totani

Modern Japan

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 taught at the Department of History at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, for two years before joining the Department of History at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, in Fall 2008.

Professor Totani is a historian of modern Japan and a researcher of post-WWII war crimes trials that the Allied Powers held against the Japanese in the Asia-Pacific region (1945-52). She is presently exploring new lines of historical inquiry concerning World War II in Asia and the Pacific (1931-45). She undertakes a series of multi-year research and book publications that aim at illuminating the conditions, circumstances, and consequences of Japanese war and war crimes, and assessing the implications of our historical knowledge of WWII for strengthening the principles of international justice, accountability, and the rule of law in the twenty-first century.

Professor Totani offers courses on the history of war, mass atrocities, and international criminal justice.

Select Publications

Digital Scholarship

Online Appearances

  • “Historiography of the Pacific War: Past Accomplishments and Future Challenges.” An online special symposium of the Fanning the Flames Speaker Series in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack. Hoover Institution Library & Archives, Stanford University. December 7, 2021. View on YouTube or at Hoover.org.
  • The Tokyo Tribunal: Perspectives on Law, History and Memory.” Webinar by the International Nuremberg Principles Academy, Germany. October 29, 2020.



  • Totani, Yuma. “Individual Responsibility at the Tokyo Trial.” In The Tokyo Tribunal: Perspectives on Law, History and Memory. Edited by Viviane E. Dittrich, Kerstin von Lingen, Philipp Osten, and Jolana Makraiová: Torkel Opsahl Academic EPublisher, 2020, pp. 155-75.
  • __________. “Sensō hanzai ni okeru soshiki to kojin: Tōkyō saiban o chūshin ni” [The organization and the individual in war crimes: Centering on the Tokyo Trial]. Sekai [The World], No. 936, September 2020. Published by Iwanami shoten. pp. 189-97.
  • __________. “Theories of Individual Responsibility at the Tokyo Trial.” European Studies, Vol. 19, 2019. Published by Zentrum Für Deutschland-und Europastudien, University of Tokyo at Komaba. pp. 5-15.
  • __________. “Tōkyō saiban no kojin sekinin ron” [Individual responsibility at the Tokyo Trial]. Rekishi hyōron [Critical History]. Vol. 823. Published by Rekishi Kagaku Kyōgikai (Association of Historical Science), Tokyo, Japan. November 2018: pp. 29-41.
  • Cohen, David, and Yuma Totani. “Empire on Trial.” Hoover Digest, 2018, No. 3 (July 2018): 169-181.
  • Totani, Yuma. “Guadalcanal Revisited.” Hoover Digest, 2017, No. 3 (July 2017), pp. 110-19.
  • __________. “Japanese Receptions of Separate Opinions at the Tokyo Trial.” In Historical War Crimes Trials in Asia. Edited by Lu Daqun and Zhang Binxin. Brussels: Torkel Opsahl Academic Epublisher, 2016, pp. 59-76.
  • __________. “Zhanfan shenpan yanjiu de lishi yiyi: Cong Dongjing shenpan dao geguo shenpan de yanshen” (The Historical Significance of the Studies of War Crimes Trials: From the Tokyo Trial to the National Trials). Translated by Chen Aiguo. In Donjing shenpan zai taolun (“The Restudy of the Tokyo Trial”). Shanghai: Shanghai jiaotong daxue chubanshe, 2016, pp. 30-63.
  • __________. “Crimes against Asians in Command Responsibility Trials.” In Tim McCormack, Georgina Fitzpatrick, and Narrelle Morris, eds., Australia’s War Crimes Trials, 1945-1951. Brill. 2016.
  • __________. “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.


  • Totani, Yuma. Foreword for the Reprint of The Knights of Bushido: A History of Japanese War Crimes During World War II, by Lord Russell of Liverpool. New York: Skyhorse Publishing, 2016.
  • __________. “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

Visiting Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Fall 2017 – Spring 2022.

W. Glenn Campbell and Rita Ricardo-Campbell National Fellowship. Hoover Institution, Stanford University. September 2016 – June 2017.

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