Michael Wert--CV  


  • Associate Professor, Marquette University, History Department. Fall 2014-present.
  • Assistant Professor, Marquette University, History Department.  2007-2014. 
  • Visiting Instructor, Oberlin College, East Asian Studies and History Departments.  02/2006-6/2007.
  • Instructor, Sophia University, summers of 2008 and 2005. 
  • Instructor, Temple University Japan, fall 2005.
  • Instructor, University of California Irvine, summer 2004. 


  • PhD.  Department of History, University of California, Irvine, 2007.  Primary Field: East Asian History (Japan focus), Secondary field: World History. 
    • Komonjo/Kuzushiji courses at Stanford U., summer 2003; U. of Chicago, summer 2004.
  • Research Student, University of Tokyo, 10/2004-01/2006.
  • B.A.  East Asian Studies, The George Washington University, Washington D.C., 1997.  



  • Samurai: A Concise History. Oxford University Press, 2019.
  • Meiji Restoration Losers: Memory and Tokugawa Supporters in Modern Japan. Harvard University Press, Asia Center, 2013.


             Articles/Book Chapters

  • "Swordsmanship and Society in Early Modern Japan," in Sports and Physical Exercise in Early Modern Culture. New Perspectives on the History of Sports and Motion, Routledge, June, 2016. 
  • "Structures of Collective Memory: The Last Bannerman in Local Japan," in Local Memories in a Nationalizing and Globalizing World, Palgrave, January, 2015.
  • "The Military Mirror of Kai:  A Medieval Text and Martial Fantasy in Early Modern Japan,” Das Mittelalter (The Middle Ages), 19:2 (Nov., 2014).
  •  Contributor: "Inner and East Asia, 400-1200;" "Integrated East Asia, 1500-1800;" revised "Mongol Eurasia and its Aftermath, 1200-1500."  The Earth and its Peoples: A Global History, Cengage, 2013.
  • "Reaching Beyond the Manga: A Samurai to the Ends of the World and the Formation of National Identity," in Lorna Fitzsimmons and John A. Lent, ed. Asian Popular Culture: New, Hybrid, and Alternate Media, Lexington books, 2012.
  • "Senzen ni okeru Oguri no rekishiteki kioku (Oguri and Historical Memory in the Prewar Period),"  Tatsunami 35 (2010).
  • “Remembering Restoration Heroes in Modern Japan.”  Education about Asia 14:1, (Spring 2009). 


  • Anne Walthall, “Waka to komyunikeeshon (Waka and Communication)” in Rekishi wo yomu (Reading History), Tokyo University Press, Tokyo, 2004.
  • Immortal Rain, volumes 1-6, TOKYOPOP, 2004 - 2005.  Six-volume Japanese manga (graphic novel).


  • "Oguri Tadamasa" and "Okuma Shigenobu" in Encyclopedia of Diplomacy. Wiley, 2018.
  • "Budo and Education" for Japan Society of New York http://aboutjapan.japansociety.org/content.cfm/education-and-budo
  • "Tokugawa Bakumatsu Military Reforms"; "Tokugawa Bakufu Political System"; Tokugawa Loyalism during Bakumatsu-Boshin War"; "Rise of Modern Army 1868-1894"; "Rise of Modern Navy 1868-1894"; "Bakumatsu Fencing Schools and Nationalism" in Louis Perez, ed. Japan at War: An Encyclopedia. California: ABC-CLIO, Inc., 2013.
  • Contributor: CourseReader: East Asian History, Cengage/Gale, 2012.
  • “Admiral Perry and the Opening of Japan”; “The Japanese Military Before the Meiji Restoration”; “The Double Structure of Japanese Life” in AlfredAndrea, ed.  World History Encyclopedia.  California: ABC-CLIO, Inc., 2011.
  • “Chang’an (China)”; “Soga Clan, Japan”; “Suiko, Empress of Japan”; “Three Kingdoms Period (Korea)—Korguyo, Silla, Paekche” in Mark Whitters and Jiu-Hwa Lo, ed. The Encyclopedia of World History: Volume 1 Ancient World: Prehistoric Eras to 600 C.E.  New York: Facts on File, Inc and Golson Books, 2008. 
  • “Japanese Martial Arts” in Huping Ling and Allan W. Austin, ed. Asian American History and Culture: An Encyclopedia. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 2007.


  • Allen, Barry. Striking Beauty: A Philosophical Look at the Asian Martial Arts. Columbia U. Press, 2016, in Philosophy in Review 36 (3), June 2016.
  • Nenzi, Laura. Chaos and Cosmso of Kurosawa Tokiko: One Woman's Transit from Tokugawa to Meiji Japan. U. of Hawaii Press, 2016, in Monumenta Nipponica 71 (1), June 2016.
  • Bennett Alexander. Kendo: Culure of the Sword. U. of California Press, 2015, in The Journal of Japanese Studies 42 (2), summer 2016.
  • Shimoda Hiraku. Lost and Found: Recovering Regional Identity in Imperial Japan. Harvard U. Press, 2014, in The Historian 78 (3), fall 2016.
  • Arntzen and Ito, trans. The Sarashina Diary: A Woman's Life in Eleventh-Century Japan. Columbia U. Press, 2014, in Medieval Review, 2015.
  • Dusinberre, Martin.  Hard Times in the Hometown: A History of Community Survival in Modern Japan. U. of Hawaii Press, 2012, in Journal of Social History 46 (3), 2013.
  • Wang, Keping. Reading the Dao: A Thematic Inquiry. Continuum 2010, in Philosophy in Review, 2011.
  • Andrew Edmund Goble, Kenneth R. Robinson, and Haruko Wakabayashi, eds.  Tools of culture: Japan's Cultural, Intellectual, Medical, and Technological Contacts in East Asia, 1000-1500s. Association for Asian Studies, 2009. World History Connected, February 2010. 
  • Auslin, Michael.  Negotiating with Imperialism: The Unequal Treaties and the Culture of Japanese Diplomacy. Harvard U. Press, 2004, in H-US-Japan, H-Net listserv, March 2009.
  • Tucker, Mary Evelyn, trans.; Kaibara Ekken.  The Philosophy of QI:  The Record of Great Doubts. Columbia U. Press, 2007, in Philosophy in Review, February 2009. 
  • Miyazawa, Seiichi.  Meiji ishin no saisôzô: kindai nihon no “kigen shinwa” (The Reinvention of The Meiji Restoration: The myth of historical origin of modern Japan). Tokyo: Aoki Shoten, 2005, in Social Science Japan Journal, October 2006.
  • Reviewer for CHOICE: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, 2014-present.



  • Invited Talk: " Traversing the Warrior Fantasy--Martial Culture and the Meiji Restoration." The George Washington University, March 23rd, 2018.
  • Invited Talk: "Warrior Fantasies and the Meiji Restoration." College of William & Mary, Nov. 16, 2017.
  • Presentation: "The Meiji Ishin as an Event: Putting Trauma Back into the Restoration." The Meiji Restoration and its Afterlives, Yale, Sept. 15, 2017.
  • Invited Talk: "The Invention of the Samurai in Early Modern Japan." Ax:son-Johnson Foundation, Stockholm, May 18, 2017.
  • Invited Talk: "Inventing the Samurai in Early Modern Japan." Chazen Museum of Art, Madison WI, April 21, 2017.
  • Invited Talk: "Martial Culture and the Invention of the Samurai in Early Modern Japan." U. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, February, 27th, 2016.
  • Invited Talk: "Swordsmanship and Society on the Eve of the Meiji Revolution." U. of Virginia, April 17th, 2015.
  • Chair: "Multiple Narratives of Bushido in Imperial Japan," Association of Asian Studies, Chicago 2015.
  • "Meiji Restoration Losers," Hiedelberg University, October 7th, 2014.
  • Invited Talk: "Samurai 'losers' and Trauma in Postwar, Lost Decade, and 3/11 Japan." University of Pennsylvania, April 21st, 2014.
  • "Searching for Treasure in a Parallax Gap: Ideology, Belief, and Nationalism in Lost Decade Japan."  International Zizek Studies Conference, April 5th, 2014.
  • "Meiji Restoration 'Losers' and Fukushima Recovery in an NHK Taiga Drama."  Association of Asian Studies, March 30th, 2014.
  • Invited Talk, "'Losers' and Loss in Contemporary Japanese Popular Culture."  Main Hall Forum, Lawrence U., April 2013. 
  • Invited Talk, "Memory Landscapes and the Meiji Restoration in Modern Japan," East Asia: Transregional Histories." U. of Chicago, April 2013.
  • Discussant, "Territorial Issues over Dokdo/Takeshima." Perspectives on the Sovereignty Issue over Dokdo. UW Milwaukee, December, 2012. 
  • Invited Lecture in Japanese language: "Budô no shin, gi, tai (body, technique, and the soul in traditional Japanese physical culture)."  UW Milwaukee, November 29th, 2012. 
  • "Rural Swordsmen in Early Modern Japan."  Midwest Japan Seminar, Wittenberg University, November 10th, 2012. 
  • "Swordsmanship and Status in Early Modern Japan."  Sport in Early Modern Culture, German Historical Institute London, November 17th, 2011.
  • Invited Lecture: "Social Structure and Heterodoxy in Tokugawa Japan."  UW Milwaukee, February 24th, 2011. 
  • "Ranking the Dead: Posthumous Court Rank in Imperial Japan."  Social Science History Association, Chicago, November 21st, 2010.
  • Discussant/Chair: "Understanding the Middle East as Middle Ground."  Midwest World History Association, Loyola U., October 17th, 2010. 
  • "Commemorating a National Death in Local Japan."  Marking Death in Open Spaces: International Symposium on Roadside Memorials, University College of Dublin, June 24th, 2010. 
  • Invited Lecture:  “Buddhism as an Institution of Rule in Premodern Japan.”  UW Milwaukee, February 11th, 2010. 

  • “A History of Violence: Teaching about violence through the lens of East Asian history-a corollary to teaching about peace.”  Exploring the Teacher Scholar Model at Marquette, Marquette U., January 14th, 2010.  
  • “The Last Bannerman: Taking a Local Hero to the National Stage.”  Local Memories in a Nationalizing and Globalizing World-International Conference, University of Antwerp, Belgium, October 15th, 2009. 

  • Invited Lecture:  “Buddhist Movements in Kamakura Japan.”  UW Milwaukee, February 5th, 2009. 
  • Invited Lecture:  “Development of Buddhism in Ancient Japan.”  UW Milwaukee, February 10th, 2009.
  • Panel coordinator, chair and presenter: “There’s Gold in those Hills:  The Tokugawa Buried Treasure Legend in Local Japan.”  Panel on “Restoration  Losers: Vilified People, Places and Politics in Modern Japan”, Association of Asian Studies Annual Meeting, Atlanta, 2008.
  • Invited Talk: “Making Heroes out of Losers: Creating Meiji Restoration History in Local Japan.”  Center for East Asian Studies, UW Madison, February 2008.
  • Speaker: “Rural Swordsmen: Martial Status in Tokugawa Japan.”  Faculty seminar, Center for East Asian Studies, UW Madison, February 2008. 
  • “Teaching Violence:  East Asia and Japan.”  Teaching East Asia and the World Roundtable, Japan and the World Conference, Wittenberg University, November 2006. 
  • “Memorializing Martyrdom: Local Identity and a Tokugawa Loyalist in Modern Japan.”  Panel on “Taming Time: Preserving Japanese History and Making Modernity in Memorials, Museums, and Parks,” Association of Asian Studies Annual Meeting, San Francisco, April 2006.
  •  “Getting A Head: A Tokugawa Martyr and Local Identity in Modern Japan.” Modern Japan History Workshop, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan, August 5th, 2005.
  •  “Peasant Swordsmen: Crossing Social and Cultural Boundaries in Nineteenth Century Japan.”  Global Localities: Theorizing Across Boundaries, Sixth Annual Graduate Student History and Theory Conference, University of California, Irvine, November 2002.
  •  “Peasant Swordsmen: Breaking Cultural Barriers in Nineteenth Century Japan.”  Midwest Conference on Asian History and Culture, Ohio State University, May 2002.


  • History and Theory / History and Methodology (graduate courses)
  • Age of the Samurai
  • Modern Japan
  • Violence through East Asian History (also taught as "in Japanese history")
  • Historiography of the Early Modern World (graduate course)
  • East Asia (premodern survey)

Journal of Asian Studies: Editorial Board, book review editor (Japan)
Marquette University--Coordinator of Asian Studies Minor program.
History Department-- Director of Undergraduate Studies