School of Modern Languages

Staff Profiles

Dr Shiro Yoshioka

Lecturer in Japanese Studies


I obtained my PhD in comparative culture at International Christian University, Tokyo, in 2009. My dissertation analysed Miyazaki Hayao’s view of Japanese culture and history in comparison with conservative and liberal arguments on Japanese culture (nihonjinron).  I am currently writing a research monograph on life and works of Miyazaki Hayao, focusing especially on how he transformed from a cult anime director to an 'auteur'  and a semi-intellectual.

 Office hours:


Tuesdays 13:00-15:00

Thursdays: 12:00-13:00


  • PhD: International Christian University (2009): Comparative culture
  • MPhil: Birmingham (2003): Modern and Contemporary British and Irish Drama


  • BAJS
  • EAJS
  • AAS
  • International Christian University, Institute of Asian Cultural Studies (Research Fellow)


 My research interest spans over different disciplines such as history, cultural studies and media studies. Here are some keywords:

    Contemporary Japanese animation; Studio Ghibli; Miyazaki Hayao; Collective and mediated memory; Japanese cultural identity;  Nostalgia and popular history; Fan culture 

    Specific areas of interest:

      Contemporary Japanese animation in general; Films of Miyazaki Hayao (espeially his view of Japanese history and culture) as well as how they were produced, promoted and received.; History and development of nostalgic view of modern Japanese history (especially the Taisho and Showa periods);  Representation of such nostalgic image in popular texts (anime, manga, videogame, films, popular novels); History of Tokyo and its representation in popular texts Relationship between "formal" history (e.g. school education, history as an academic discipline) and popular history Fandom of Japanese popular culture in and outside Japan

      I am also interested in fan culture in relation to contemporary Japanese popular culture, especially anime, manga and videogame. One area I am particularly curious about now is significance of live performance and physical experience in fan culture such as so-called 2.5 dimension musical, that is theatre play based on anime, manga and videogame,or popularity of "pilgrimage" or visit to locales of such popular texts.

      I am happy to supervise MLitt/PhD project related to any of above or related areas. I would encourage autonomous, thematic and interdisciplinary approach.

      Conference presentation

      "Miyazaki in the Early Days: critical vs commercial success of Miyazaki films between Nausicaä and Kiki,"  Eyes Unclouded: The Films of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli (8 May 2019)

        “It was a time full of romantic flavor”: Idealization of the Taishō period in contemporary Japanese popular texts),” Visualization of Japanese History Conference (University of Oslo, 10-11 March 2016).


      ”Romantic Love and the ‘Housewife Trap’: A Gendered Reading of The Cat Returns,” Mechademia Conference on Asian Popular Cultures – Tokyo 2016  (Aoyama University, Tokyo, 18-20 March 2016). Co-presented with Andrea Germer

      “Lost and Found: Depiction of Tokyo in Japanese Popular Texts and Japanese cultural Identity,” East Asian Popular Culture Conference (University of York, 29 January 2016)

      ·         “The  Housewife  Trap–The  Transformation  of  Female Character in The Cat Returns,” Spirited Discussion: Exploring 30 Years of Studio Ghibli (Cardiff University, 18, Apr, 2015)

      ·         “The  Housewife  Trap–The  Transformation  of  Female Character in The Cat Returns,”  14th EAJS conference (University of Ljubljana, 28, Aug, 2014). Co-presented with Andrea Germer

      ·         “Allure of the Imperial Capital: development of nostalgic image of the interwar period in Japan,” Nostalgias: visualise longings (Winters Gardens, Margate, Canterbury Christchurch University, The University of Arts London Photography and the Archival Research Centre, 8, November, 2013)


                "How to Beat Gachiota: Designing an Anime Class as a Meta Class," Teaching Japanese Popular Culture Conference, National University of Singapore (12, November, 2012)

      ·         “It’s Show Time! ― Videogame goes to theatre,” Symposium on Contemporary Japanese Media Cultures: Industry, Society and Audiences (University of East Anglia, 5, September, 2012)

      ·         “All Cities Are Destined to Doom”: Apocalyptic Destruction of Tokyo as Representation of Resilience,” AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium (Anime Expo, Los Angeles, CA, 29, June, 2012)

      ·         “Popular representations of Tokyo’s history: anxiety of discontinuity and yearning for continuity,” Invited lecture (University of Manchester 18, April, 2012)

      ·         "Popular representations of Tokyo’s history: anxiety of discontinuity and yearning for continuity," (Newcastle University SML Research seminar 9, Feb. 2012)

      ·         “’’Taisho Cherry Blossoms in a Fanciful Storm!’”: Videogame as representation of the Japanese view of history,” the Joint Conference of the Association for Asian Studies and the International Convention of Asia Scholars (Honolulu, HI, 2, April, 2011).

      ·         “Heart of Japaneseness--History and Nostalgia in Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away,” Asianetwork, Spring 2009 Annual Conference Chicago, IL, 15, March, 2009).

      ·         ’’’Nothing that happens is ever forgotten, even if you can’t remember it’; Retrieval and Reconstruction of Japaneseness in the Films of Miyazaki Hayao”, Asian Studies Conference Japan (International Christian University, Tokyo, 24 June, 2006)

      Event organisation

      Japan in the Digital Age (an international symposium, Manchester Metropolitan University, 28 October 2017, with successful grant application for ₤2,500 from Japan Foundation, co-organised with Esperanza Miyake, MMU)

      Research supervision:

      • MLitt and PhD: Angel Leigh Alderson (2016 -  ): How has Japan’s environmental and military history influenced the works of Hayao Miyazaki and to what effect?

      • External Examiner: Catherine Lewis (PhD, KCL, 2015) , “Japaneseness, Mixedness and Anglo-Japanese Young People inside and outside Hoshuko (Japanese Saturday School”)

      • External examiner: Verena Maser (PhD, Trier University, Germany, 2013): Yuri Same-Sex Intimacy in Japanese Popular Culture


      • Invited lecture: Toshio's Movie Castle: A Historical Overview of Studio Ghiblifs Collaboration and Promotional Strategiesf (28 April 2017, Nordic Institute of Japanese Studies, Copenhagen University)
      • Commentary on Ikiru at MILAN Film festival (3, Feb, 2015, Newcastle University)

      • Public seminar “An Introduction to anime or Japanese animation. What is it? Why does it matter?”” (21 Nov, 2014, Teikyo University in Durham)

      • Introductory talk on Hayao Miyazaki's "The Wind Rises". (14 May 2014, Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle)



       Semester 2
      •  JPN4002 (Contemporary Japanese Animation): This final year module explores how we can deal with Japanese animation "seriously"/academically
      Co-taught Modules: 
      Semester 1

      Semester 2
      • JPN1005 (Introduction to Japanese History and Culture) 
      • JPN2004 (Contemporary Japanese Popular Culture

      Throughout the Academic Year
      • SML1021 (Introduction to International Films)

      • JPN4061 (Level D Further Advanced Japanese)