Early-Career Scholar Forum

Oka Yoshisato and Political Science in Post-war Japan

Friday, 5 November 2021 | 12:15 - 13:00 (JST)
Zoom Meeting
  • Isami Sawai JSPS Cross-border Postodctoral Research Felllow, Hosei University
  • Masayuki Tamaruya Professor, Graduate Schools for Law and Politics, The University of Tokyo

Oka Yoshisato (1921-1999), a professor of political science at the UTokyo Faculty of Law, is famous for his book Politics Seiji in Japan, which showed his original and systematic insights on politics in general. However, presumably since the number of his works is very limited and that his writing style is difficult to understand, few researchers have investigated Oka’s study of political science. By relying on a variety of sources including transcripts of his lectures as well as his book collections, this presentation examines the development, transformation, and challenge of Oka’s study of political science, particularly emphasizing the impact of historical and intellectual backgrounds of the 1960s. Furthermore, this presentation argues that the re-evaluation of Oka’s study would lead to revealing the ‘Japanese’ features of political science in the post-war period, which still have some impacts on contemporary political studies in Japan.


Isami Sawai is a JSPS Cross-border Postdoctoral Research Fellow. He received LL.B. (2013) and M.Phil. in Political Science (2015) from UTokyo, and has recently defended his Ph.D. thesis that was submitted to the Department of International History, London School of Economics (2021). Before the appointment to the postdoctoral position, he had worked as a research associate (2015-16, 2019-21) and as a project lecturer at UTokyo Graduate Schools for Law and Politics (2021). His research interests lie in the political history of modern Japan and the international history of East Asia in the 19th and 20th centuries.