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  • Modern Japan
  • History of Technology
  • History of International Migration


  • Ph. D. History, The Ohio State University (2005)
  • B.A. International Relations, The Ohio State University (Magna Cum Laude) (1993)

Awards and Honors

  • Verville Research Fellowship, Smithsonian National & Air Space Museum (2016)
  • Research Fellowship, D. Kim Foundation for the History of Science and Technology in East Asia (2011)
  • Diversity Grant, Dr. Nuala McGann Drescher Affirmative Action Program (2010)
  • OpenCourseWare Grant, MIT (2006-2007)
  • Twentieth Century Japan Research Awards, University of Maryland (2006)
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Dibner Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2005)
  • Aviation/Space Writers Award, Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum (2004)
  • National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship (2003)

Professional Positions

  • Research Associate, Aeronautics Department, Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum (2017-18)
  • Verville Fellow, Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum (2016-17)
  • Visiting Researcher,East-West Center (2014-15)
  • Postdoctoral Scholar, Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology, MIT (2004-2006)
  • Kyoryoku Researcher, Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, Tokyo University (2002-04)



  • Suicide, Gender, and Technology for War (under contract with Johns Hopkins University Press)
  • Engineering War and Peace in Modern Japan, 1868-1964 (Johns Hopkins Studies in the History of Technology, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014)

Refereed Articles

  • "Doctors for Frontier Expansion: Japanese Physicians in Hawaii, 1868-1924," East Asian Science, Technology and Society, Volume 12 (2018) forthcoming
  • "Comparative History of Technology and Culture: Ramming for the Homeland Defense of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, 1941-45," Gunjishigaku(Journal of Military History of Japan) Volume 51 (2015): 127-143
  • "What Engineers Did, How and Why They Did It: Japanese Navy Kamikaze Attacker MXY7 as a Case Study," Kagakushi Kenkyû (Journal of History of Science) Volume 50 (2011): 129-137 (publication in Japanese)
  • "War, Peace, Non-Weapon Technology: Material Conversion in Japanese Passenger Rail Cars, 1880s-1950s," Technology and Culture, Volume 48 (2007): 286-302.
  • "Friction between Technological Development and System Management in Japan: The Development of the Shinkansen High-Speed Rail Service as a Case Study,"Kagaku, Gijutsu, Shakai(Japan Journal for Science, Technology, and Society) volume 13 (2004): 1-23. (publication in Japanese)
  • "Cross-disciplinary Technology Transfer in Trans-World War II Japan: The Japanese High-Speed Bullet Train as a Case Study," Comparative Technology Transfer and Society Volume 1, number 3 (December 2003): 305-325.
  • "Aeronautical Technology for Pilot Safety: Re-examining Deck-Landing Aircraft in Great Britain, Japan, and the United States,"Historia Scientiarum Volume 13, number 1 (July 2003): 13-32.

Other Publications

  • "Altruism," The SAGE Encyclopedia of War: Social Science Perspectives. New York: SAGE Publications (2016), 43-44.
  • "Japan," An Introduction to the History of Science in Non-Western Traditions, 2nd edition (2008) (co-authored publication solicited by the History of Science Society) (
  • Book Review: J. Charles Schencking, Making Waves: Politics, Propaganda, and the Emergence of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1868–1922, East Asian Science, Technology and Society, Volume 2 (2008): 147-150
  • Book Review: Edward S. Miller, Bankrupting the Enemy: The U.S. Financial Siege of Japan before Pearl Harbor, Technology and Culture, Volume 49 (2008): 810-811.
  • "Frameworks for the Growth of Aircraft Design Knowledge in Japan: Horikoshi Jirô (1903-1940) as a Case Study," Kagakushi kagaku tetsugaku (History and Philosophy of Science) volume 18 (2004): 119-137.
  • "Beikoku deno daigakuin kyôiku no genkyô," Kagakushi Kenkyû (Journal of History of Science) Volume 43 (2004): 170-174 (publication in Japanese)

Selected Invited Talks (In English and Japanese)

  • "How to Evoke Altruism: Homeland Defense of Japan and the Soviet Union," at the University of Chicago, May 25-26, 2018.
  • "Suicide and Aeronautical Technology for War: Making Fuller Sense of Suicide Missions in the 20th Century," at National Air & Space Museum, October 18, 2016.
  • "Kamikazes: Japanese Suicide Attacks in Global Historical Context," Institute for Japanese Studies, The Ohio State University, September 29, 2016.
  • "Kamikaze, Technology, and Culture for War: Japan and the United States," at Rochester Institute of Technology, April 22, 2016.
  • "Reconciling Speed with Local Concerns: Shinkansen Bullet Train as a Case Study" at Soken University, Japan, December 20, 2015.
  • "Doctors on Call: The Formation of Intellectual Migration and Culture for Japanese Empire" at Symposium: Human Migrations and the Borders, Binghamton University, November 14, 2015.
  • "Kamikazes in the World: Suicide, Gender, and Technology for War," East-West Center/Center for Japanese Studies, University of Hawaii at Manoa, June 30, 2015.
  • "Transformative Power of Peace: Shinkansen as a Case Study" at Tokyo University, Japan, July 12, 2013
  • "Cross-national Studies of 'Kamikazes' in the Twentieth Century" at Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan, July 9, 2013
  • "Asking Counterfactual Questions: Brain Drain during the Cold War," Department of Science and Technology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, April 13, 2012
  • "Mobilizing Engineers for War and Peace, 1932-64" in Colloquium in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, October 14, 2009
  • "War and Peace for Engineers in Japan, 1919-45" in workshop entitled Dis/continuities: Nation-State Formation in Japan with Science, Technology, and Medicine during Imperialism, War, Occupation, and Peace, 1932-1962, University of California, Los Angeles, California, May 29, 2007
  • "Technology for War: US-Japan Comparisons, 1940-45," Asian Studies Program, University of Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, April 2, 2007
  • "Beikoku ni okeru gijutsushi no genkyō ("The Present State of the History of Technology in the United States") Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan, July 15, 2005
  • "From Kamikaze Aircraft to the Bullet Train: Peace Dividends of Military Technologies in Japan," Dibner Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, Massachusetts, April 12, 2005
  • "Reproducing Science and Technology in Japan: Aeronautical Technology as a Case Study," Council on East Asian Studies at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, October 9, 2004

Selected Professional Consultation

  • Consulting for Darlow Smithson Productions (located in London/television broadcast in 2015 by PBS)
  • Interviewed by Mainichi (one of Japan's major national newspapers) for the October 3, 2014 Osaka issue
  • Interviewed by Yomiuri (one of Japan's major national newspapers) for the August 6, 2013 issue
  • Consulting for NHK (Japan's sole public broadcaster) as an expert on the Japanese Navy during World War II (episode aired nationwide on 10 August 2009)
  • Interviewed on the nationally televised program in Japan, "Lifeline," in the 30-minute episode about the Bullet Train," Pacific Broadcast Association, Aired nationwide on August 10, 2009.

Current Projects

Dr. Nishiyama is currently conducting two research projects. The first one is a trans-national/international history of wartime experiences during the twentieth century. It aims to explore the interrelatedness between suicide, technology, and culture (specifically, gender) by asking the following question: how could altruism be (mis)conceptualized, rationalized, and promoted for homeland defense? This study compares Japan during World War II and the United States during the early Cold War, while referring to similar experiences in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. His second project is a social and international history of intellectual migration in science, technology, and medicine. It examines the content and context of Japanese "brains" moving across national borders during the twentieth century.

Last Updated 2/7/18

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