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Dr Adam Bronson

Assistant Professor (Modern Japanese History)

AffiliationRoom numberTelephone
Assistant Professor (Modern Japanese History) in the Department of History +44 (0) 191 33 44375


My research focuses on the intellectual and cultural history of Japan since the nineteenth century. I am particularly interested in the relationship between the transnational circulation of ideas and local intellectual and political practices. My first book, One Hundred Million Philosophers (Hawaii, 2016), explored this topic through the trajectory of democratic intellectual and social movements after World War II.

I am currently working on two projects. The first surveys the history of rumours and public opinion in Japan from the turn of the nineteenth century to the near present. The second examines mid-century cultural movements in connection with the postwar ideal of Japan as a "nation of culture" (bunka kokka / Kulturstaat). Both are part of an effort to rethink the role of cross-cultural comparisons in mid-twentieth century intellectual history. I organised a conference on this subject that took place in May 2019.

I would be happy to consider supervising postgraduate projects that relate to modern Japanese intellectual, cultural, and/or political history.

Research interests

  • Japanese history; 19th and 20th centuries
  • Public opinion and rumours
  • Intellectual history
  • Social movements and democracy
  • Marxism and pragmatism

Research Projects

  • Thinking East Asia


Authored book

  • Bronson, Adam (2016). One Hundred Million Philosophers: Science of Thought and the Culture of Democracy in Postwar Japan. University of Hawaii Press.

Book review

  • Bronson, Adam (2019). Ennobling Japan's Savage Northeast: Tōhoku as Postwar Thought, 1945–2011. The Journal of Japanese Studies 45(2): 381.
  • Bronson, Adam (2018). Monster of the twentieth century: Kōtoku Shūsui and Japan’s first anti-imperialist movement. Global Intellectual History 4(4).

Chapter in book

  • Bronson, Adam (2012). Kyōkai no kōbō senzen no Yanagita ni yoru rekishigaku minzokugaku hihan to sengo minzokugaku. In Sekai no naka no Yanagita Kunio = Yanagita Kunio studies around the world. Morse, R. A. & Akasaka Norio Fujiwara Shoten. 47-82.

Journal Article

Newspaper/Magazine Article

  • Bronson, Adam (2021). Shinzo Abe and the Future of Japanese Democracy. Dissent (online)

Supervision students