Michael Wert--CV  



Associate Professor, Marquette University, History Department. 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.

B.A.  East Asian Studies, The George Washington University, 1997.




Samurai: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, 2021 (softcover version of Samurai: A Concise History).

Samurai: A Concise History. Oxford University Press, 2019 (Translations: Spanish Samurai: Una historia breve; Portuguese Samurais: Uma Historia Concisa; Italian Samurai: Una breve storia).

Meiji Ishin no Haishatachi (Japanese translation of Meiji Restoration Losers with new afterward), Tokyo: Misuzu Shobo, 2019.)

Meiji Restoration Losers: Memory and Tokugawa Supporters in Modern Japan. Harvard University Press, Asia Center, 2013.


            Articles/Book Chapters

"Necrology of Angels: Violence in Japanese History as a Lens of Critique," in Darker Angels of our Nature: Refuting the Pinker Thesis of History and Violence, Bloomsbury, 2021.
"The Invention of the Samurai in Early Modern Japan," in Japanese History and the Idea of Uniqueness, Stolpe,


"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, 2016. 

"Structures of Collective Memory: The Last Bannerman in Local Japan," in Local Memories in a Nationalizing and Globalizing World, Palgrave, 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).


"Historical Positivism, Ideology, and Nationalism in the Ramseyer Case," op-ed, Critical Asian Studies, 3/29/21.

"Oguri Tadamasa" and "Okuma Shigenobu" in Encyclopedia of Diplomacy. Wiley, 2018.

"Budo and Education" for Japan Society of New York.

"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.



Chatani, Sayaka. Nation-Empire: Ideology and Rural Youth Mobilization in Japan and its Colonies. Pacific Affairs, 2020.

Oxenboell, Morten. Akuto and Rural Conflict in Medieval Japan. Journal of Japanese Studies, Summer 2019.

Allen, Barry. Striking Beauty: A Philosophical Look at the Asian Martial Arts. Philosophy in Review 36 (3), June 2016.

Nenzi, Laura. Chaos and Cosmso of Kurosawa Tokiko: One Woman's Transit from Tokugawa to Meiji Japan. Monumenta Nipponica 71 (1), June 2016.

Bennett Alexander. Kendo: Culure of the Sword. The Journal of Japanese Studies 42 (2), summer 2016.

Shimoda Hiraku. Lost and Found: Recovering Regional Identity in Imperial Japan. The Historian 78 (3), fall 2016.

Arntzen and Ito, trans. The Sarashina Diary: A Woman's Life in Eleventh-Century Japan. Medieval Review, 2015.

Dusinberre, Martin.  Hard Times in the Hometown: A History of Community Survival in Modern Japan. Journal of Social History 46 (3), 2013.

Wang, Keping. Reading the Dao: A Thematic Inquiry. 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. World History Connected, February 2010. 

Auslin, Michael.  Negotiating with Imperialism: The Unequal Treaties and the Culture of Japanese Diplomacy. H-US-Japan, H-Net listserv, March 2009.

Tucker, Mary Evelyn, trans.; Kaibara Ekken.  The Philosophy of QI:  The Record of Great Doubts. 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). Social Science Japan Journal, October 2006.

Reviewer for CHOICE: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, 2014-present.



Presentation: "The Breakdown of omote/naisho during the bakumatsu era: Toward Theorizing a Concept." Facade Truths in Tokugawa Japan and Beyond, Yale 2019.

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.

Presentation: "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.

Presentation: "Searching for Treasure in a Parallax Gap: Ideology, Belief, and Nationalism in Lost Decade Japan."  International Zizek Studies Conference, April 5th, 2014.

Presentation: "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. 

Presentation: "Rural Swordsmen in Early Modern Japan."  Midwest Japan Seminar, Wittenberg University, November 10th, 2012. 

Presentation: "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. 

Presentation: "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. 

Presentation: "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. 

Presentation: “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.  

Presentation: “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. 

Presentation: “Teaching Violence:  East Asia and Japan.”  Teaching East Asia and the World Roundtable, Japan and the World Conference, Wittenberg University, November 2006. 

Presentation: “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.

Presentation: “Getting A Head: A Tokugawa Martyr and Local Identity in Modern Japan.” Modern Japan History Workshop, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan, August 5th, 2005.

Presentation: “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.

Presentation:  “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)

History and Trauma

History and Memory

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)

Capital Volume 1 (zero-credit seminar)



(past) Journal of Asian Studies: editorial board, book review editor (Japan)
Marquette University--Coordinator of Asian Studies Minor program



Age of Samurai: Battle for Japan

Five Books

Historically Thinking

Talking History Podcast

Meiji 150 Podcast

International Focus PBS (Milwaukee)

New Books in East Asian Studies

Myth Hunters: Lost Shogun's Treasure

Amazon Author Page