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Academic Staff

Dr. Yoshiko Nakano
B.A. (Meiji Gakuin); M.S.; Ph.D. (Georgetown University)

Associate Professor & Programme Director

Email: ynakano@hku.hk

Yoshiko Nakano

Yoshiko Nakano grew up in Kawasaki, went to graduate school in Washington, D.C, and moved to Hong Kong in April 1997, three months before the territory’s historic return to Chinese sovereignty.

Her previous affiliation with a Japanese television network broadened her horizons and made her more aware of global issues. She conducted research and interviews for TV documentary features whose subject matters ranged from the negotiating of the 1960 US-Japan Security Treaty and the Cuban Missile Crisis, to the whereabouts of the 1984 Sarajevo Olympic Committee members after the War in Bosnia.

After joining the University of Hong Kong’s Department of Japanese Studies in 2000, Yoshiko began looking into the globalization of “Made in Japan” products. Using the rice cooker as an example of this process, she has examined how this electrical appliance was localized for the Chinese market, and how it has followed in the footsteps of Asian migrants and made its way around the world.

As a teacher in the Department of Japanese Studies, Yoshiko also looks for chances to involve Hong Kong’s Japanese community in our programs. She won a University Teaching Fellowship (2007) (later renamed as “Outstanding Teaching Award”) in recognition of her efforts to promote experiential learning programs. In June 2007, she was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Hongkong Japanese Club to sit alongside over 20 Japanese business leaders in Hong Kong. She is the only academic and one of two women on the Board.

She is a regular contributor to Japanese public broadcaster NHK's radio program (ラジオ深夜便).

Asia Leadership Fellow 2003
International House of Japan and The Japan Foundation Asia Center

Abe Fellow 2000-2001
Social Science Research Council, American Council of Learned Societies, and The Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership

Globalization of Japanese products and services
Food technology and culture
International tourism advertising
Oral history of transnational experiences
Intercultural communication

Rice Cookers 同じ釜の飯 Reporting Hong Kong

- Books
2009. Where There Are Asians, There Are Rice Cookers: How “National” Went Global via Hong Kong. Hong Kong University Press.
2005. With Dixon H.W. Wong.『同じ釜の飯:ナショナルの炊飯器は人口680万の香港でなぜ800万台売れたか』平凡社 (In Japanese)
1999. Edited with Alan Knight. Reporting Hong Kong: Foreign Media and the Handover. Surrey: Curzon Press and New York: St. Martin’s Press.
- Journal Articles
2019. Japan’s Postwar International Stewardesses: Embodying Modernity and Exoticism in the Air. In U.S.-Japan Women's Journal 55/56, p. 80-107.
2018. “Wings of the New Japan”: Kamikaze, Kimonos, and Airline Branding in Postwar Japan. In Verge: Studies in Global Asias 4 (1), p. 160-86.
2002. Who Initiates a Global Flow?: Japanese Popular culture in Asia. In Visual Communication 1(2), p. 229-53.
- Book Chapters
2017. “From Dried Seafood to Instant Ramen: ‘Japanese’ Industrial Food and Hong Kong Foodways.” In E. Sinn and C. Munn, Meeting Place: Encounters across Cultures in Hong Kong, 1841-1984, p. 23-40. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.
2016. In 吉川雅之、倉田 徹(編)『香港を知るための60章』 (Akashi Area Studies Series 142: Introduction to Hong Kong.)明石書店 (In Japanese)
  - 34章 「日本人コミュニティ--転勤する人・定住する人
(Japanese Community)」206-10.
  - 39章 「戦後教育史—香港のデキる女たちのあゆみ
(Education since 1945)」231-5.
  - 42章 「大学—世界ランキングで優勢なのはなぜか?
(Hong Kong Universities and World Rankings)」246-50.
  - 51章 「寄付文化—社会に与えられたものは社会へ
(Charitable Contributions and Donations)」304-8.
  - 52章 「日本食—手の届くぜいたく
(Japanese Food)」309-13. 
2015. “Eating One’s Way to Sophistication: Japanese Food, Transnational Flows, and Social Mobility in Hong Kong.” In Y. Soysal, Transnational Trajectories in East Asia: Nation, Citizenship, and Region, p. 106-29. New York and London: Routledge.
2013. “Cooking Outside the Box: What Can Rice Cookers Tell Us about Cross-Cultural Collaborations?” In N. Otmazgin and E. Ben-Ari, Popular Culture Co-productions and Collaborations in East and Southeast Asia, p. 99-114. Singapore: NUS Press/Kyoto: Kyoto University Press.
2008. “Shared Memories: Japanese Pop Culture in China.” In Y. Watanabe and D.McConnell, Soft Power Superpowers, p. 111-27. Armonk: M.E. Sharpe.
2003. 中野嘉子・呉咏梅「プチブルの暮らし方:中国の大学生が見た日本のドラマ」
岩渕功一(編)『グローバル・プリズム--<アジアン・ドリーム>としての日本のテレビドラマ』 p. 183-219. 平凡社 (in Japanese)

1) Japanese Memories in Hong Kong: Oral History Interviews with the Pioneers who Introduced Japanese Products and Services to Hong Kong

The aim of this project is to examine the process by which Japanese products and services were assimilated into Hong Kong society, by conducting oral history interviews with Chinese and Japanese businesspeople who were involved in such pioneering efforts during the period from 1955 to 1980.

2) Presenting Japan to the World, 1953-1970: "Self-Orientalism” as an Interactive Process

The aim of this project is to examine the image of “Japan” portrayed in early advertisements devised by Japan Airlines in an effort to promote services to Japan from its first two international destinations – the United States and Hong Kong – following the end of the Allied Occupation.

JAPN1011 Introduction to Japanese Studies
JAPN2031 The Media and Japan
JAPN2080 Globalizing Japanese Food
JAPN3014 Project in Japanese Business
JAPN3031 Japan in Hong Kong (a.k.a. HKU-U Tokyo Joint Summer Program)

Dr. Nakano is a Visiting Fellow at Tokyo University’s Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia in 2019.

Office: 536, 5th Floor, Run Run Shaw Tower
E-mail: ynakano@hku.hk
HKU Scholars Hub: http://hub.hku.hk/cris/rp/rp01230

Japanese Studies HKU