Kenneth Masaki Shima


East Asian Cultural and Comparative Studies – Japan Focus
Receiving his BA from University of Washington, Ken pursued his interest in postwar Japanese film by moving to Tokyo to research 1950s and 60s film and literature. He worked as a researcher for two years at Nihon University before being accepted to the Masters program there and graduating with an MA in 2011. His master’s thesis focused on youth film and literature of the mid 1950s with focus on Sakaguchi Ango, Ishihara Shintarō, and director Nakahiro Kō. In 2012 Ken entered the UCLA PhD program and switched gears from film to focus more on unanswered questions regarding the category of youth and mass media from the turn of the 20th century. By incorporating ideas related to satirical political critique that originated from his interest in social melodramas in popular postwar films, he is currently working on periodicals from the 1890s-1910s and the writing of ‘critical’ or ‘counter’ histories, specifically on the figures of Miyatake Gaikotsu, Umehara Hokumei, and Yokoyama Gennosuke.