Yukiko Koga

Yukiko Koga joins the Department of Anthropology as an Associate Professor. Her research explores emerging moral and legal landscapes for belated imperial reckoning in East Asia today as contemporary generations wrestle with the history of settler colonialism, forced migration, and slavery, decades after the formal end of Japanese imperial violence. Her first book, Inheritance of Loss: China, Japan, and the Political Economy of Redemption after Empire, which addresses China’s transition to a market-oriented economy and colonial inheritances in Northeast China, received two book awards from the American Anthropological Association. Her current book project, Post-imperial Reckoning: Law, Redress, Reconciliation, ethnographically examines the underexplored transnational legal redress movement in China and Japan. The book charts a sea change in the legal sphere effected by ordinary citizens, doing the hard work of reconciliation that the political sphere seems to proscribe. Through examining unexpected collaborations among Chinese forced labor survivors and bereaved families, their representation by Japanese lawyers pro bono as a way to repay moral debt inherited from the war generation, and citizen activism in both countries, she explores the role of law in imperial reckoning and inquires into the stakes for current generations to come to terms with distant, yet still alive, pasts. She has taught at Hunter College–City University of New York, CUNY Graduate Center, and Brown University. She earned her Ph.D. in Anthropology from Columbia University, MA in Political Science from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, and Bachelor of Law from Keio University in Tokyo.