Naoko Shimazu is Professor of Humanities (History) at Yale-NUS College in Singapore since 2016. Her childhood involved spending time in Malaysia, Japan, New Zealand, Qatar, and Canada, ending up at the University of Oxford where she obtained her doctorate in International Relations. After a three-year stint in merchant banking in the City of London, she taught history at Birkbeck College, University of London for twenty years before moving to Singapore.
Naoko is a global historian of Asia, with interests in cultural approaches to the study of history. She has written widely on various aspects of modern Japan, including JAPAN, RACE AND EQUALITY: The Racial Equality Proposal of 1919 (Routledge 1998), NATIONALISMS IN JAPAN (editor, 2006), JAPANESE SOCIETY AT WAR: Death, Memory and the Russo-Japanese War (2009), and IMAGINING JAPAN IN POSTWAR EAST ASIA (co-editor, 2013). Her current work is on the cultural history of diplomacy, developing the idea of ‘diplomacy as theatre’ in recasting the history of post-colonial Asia and Africa in the early Cold War years.
Naoko enjoys working on cultural programmes for the media such as the BBC Radio 3, and has contributed to television history documentaries in Australia, UK and France.