Nobuko Yamasaki

Assistant Professor of Japanese
B.A. Tokyo University of Foreign Studies
M.A. Cornell University
Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, University of Washington
Williams Hall 484


Literature, Art, Film, Gender & Sexuality, Comparative Literature, Literary Theory, History of Thought

Nobuko Ishitate-Okunomiya Yamasaki is Assistant Professor of Japanese. Dr.Yamasaki's research and teaching focus on literature, literary theories, film, art, and gender and sexuality studies. Her book, Prostitutes, Hostesses, and Actresses at the Edge of the Japanese Empire: Fragmenting History (2021), examines women’s bodies as battlefields, where asymmetrical power dynamics meet, compete and complicate one another, producing narratives to be challenged, fragmented, and re-articulated from within. It explores the fates of women who did not or could not buy into the Japanese imperial ideology of "good wives, wise mothers" (ryōsai kenbo) in support of male empire-building. While in the graduate school of Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, she first came to the United States as an exchange student at Cornell University, where she earned an MA in Asian Studies. She then moved to Seattle. She received a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Washington. Before coming to Lehigh, she taught Japanese language and literature, comparative literature, and women’s studies at the University of Washington and Kenyon College. She is now working on her second book (edited volume), Passing, Posing, Persuasionwith members of Zainichi Consortium. The book is now under contract with the University of Hawaii Press. She is one of the founding members who formed the Consortium, and its inaugural conference took place here at Lehigh University in 2017. Dr. Yamasaki publishes in both English and Japanese.    

Selected Recent Publications


  • Passing, Posing, Persuasion (under contract with the University of Hawaii Press).  




  • • Mishima Yukio, "Dreams of Perfection" (under review). 
  • • Mishima Yukio, "A Long Journey of 17 Minutes" (under review). 
  • • Edward Mack. "Josetsu” (Introduction). Trans. Nobuko Yamasaki. Nihongo tokuhon, 28 vols. (Tokyo: Bunsei Shoin, 2012): 14-21.