Timothy S. George

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Timothy S. George is a Professor of History and Chair of the University of Rhode Island Department of History. He specializes in Postwar Japanese history, Citizen-corporation-state relations in Japan from Meiji through Shōwa, local history, and environmental history. [1] A Fulbright Scholar, George's research has been reviewed in Environmental History, [2] The Journal of Asian Studies , [3] Social Science Japan Journal , [4] and the Journal of Japanese Studies . [5] He is a faculty affiliate of Harvard University's Program on U.S.-Japan Relations. [6]


Education and background

George graduated Stanford University A. B. in 1977, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa with his M.A. in 1984, and then attended Harvard University, where he earned his A.M. in 1993 and his Ph.D. in 1996. [7]

Selected honors and awards

Selected publications

Books by George

Books with contributions by George



Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Postwar Japan</span> Period of the East Asian countrys history from 1952 to 1989

Postwar Japan is the period in Japanese history beginning with the surrender of Japan to the Allies on September 2, 1945 and lasting at least until the end of the Shōwa era in 1989. Despite the massive devastation it suffered in the Second World War, Japan established itself as a global economic power at peace with the world. In terms of political power it was more reluctant, especially in the nonuse of military force. The post-war constitution of 1947 included Article 9, which restricted Japan from having a military force and engaging in war. However, it has operated military forces in the form of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces since 1954. Over the years, the meaning of Article 9 has been interpreted differently, because the United States now encourages Japan to control its own security and to join their military strategy more. The Liberal Democratic Party would like to see the Constitution and Article 9 amended.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Minamata disease</span> Severe neurological disease caused by mercury poisoning

Minamata disease is a neurological disease caused by severe mercury poisoning. Signs and symptoms include ataxia, numbness in the hands and feet, general muscle weakness, loss of peripheral vision, and damage to hearing and speech. In extreme cases, insanity, paralysis, coma, and death follow within weeks of the onset of symptoms. A congenital form of the disease affects fetuses in the womb, causing microcephaly, extensive cerebral damage, and symptoms similar to those seen in cerebral palsy.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Minamata, Kumamoto</span> City in Kyūshū, Japan

Minamata is a city located in Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan. It is on the west coast of Kyūshū and faces Amakusa islands. Minamata was established as a village in 1889, re-designated as a town in 1912 and grew into a city in 1949. As of March 2017, the city has an estimated population of 25,310 and a population density of 160 persons per km². The total area is 162.88 km².

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Environmental history</span> Specialisation of history

Environmental history is the study of human interaction with the natural world over time, emphasising the active role nature plays in influencing human affairs and vice versa.

Environmental pollution in Japan has accompanied industrialization since the Meiji period. One of the earliest cases was the copper poisoning caused by drainage from the Ashio Copper Mine in Tochigi Prefecture, beginning as early as 1878. Repeated floods occurred in the Watarase River basin, and 1,600 hectares of farmland and towns and villages in Tochigi and Gunma prefectures were damaged by the floodwater, which contained excessive inorganic copper compounds from the Ashio mine. The local breeders led by Shōzō Tanaka, a member of the Lower House from Tochigi appealed to the prefecture and the government to call a halt to the mining operations. Although the mining company paid compensatory money and the government engaged in the embankment works of the Watarase River, no fundamental solution of the problem was achieved.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Chisso</span> Japanese chemicals company

The Chisso Corporation, since 2012 reorganized as JNC, is a Japanese chemical company. It is an important supplier of liquid crystal used for LCDs, but is best known for its role in the 34-year-long pollution of the water supply in Minamata, Japan that led to thousands of deaths and victims of disease.

The four big pollution diseases of Japan were a group of man-made diseases all caused by environmental pollution due to improper handling of industrial wastes by Japanese corporations. The first occurred in 1912, and the other three occurred in the 1950s and 1960s.

Akira Iriye is a historian of diplomatic history, international, and transnational history. He taught at University of Chicago and Harvard University until his retirement in 2005.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1993 Japanese general election</span> General election in Japan held in 1993

General elections were held in Japan on 18 July 1993 to elect the 511 members of the House of Representatives. The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which had been in power since 1955, lost their majority in the House. An eight-party coalition government was formed and headed by Morihiro Hosokawa, the leader of the Japan New Party (JNP). The election result was profoundly important to Japan's domestic and foreign affairs.

Niigata Minamata disease is a neurological syndrome caused by severe mercury poisoning. Identical in symptoms to the original outbreak of Minamata disease in Kumamoto Prefecture, the second outbreak in Niigata Prefecture was confirmed with the same name in 1965. The disease was caused by severe mercury poisoning, the source of which was methylmercury released in the wastewater from mercury sulfate-catalysed acetaldehyde production at the Showa Electrical Company's chemical plant in Kanose village. This highly toxic compound was released untreated into the Agano River where it bioaccumulated up the food chain, contaminating fish which when eaten by local people caused symptoms including ataxia, numbness in the hands and feet, general muscle weakness, narrowing of the field of vision and damage to hearing and speech.

Ontario Minamata disease is a neurological syndrome caused by severe mercury poisoning. It occurred in the Canadian province of Ontario, in 1970, and severely affected two First Nation communities in Northwestern Ontario following consumption of local fish contaminated with mercury, and one First Nation in Southern Ontario due to illegal disposal of industrial chemical waste. The disease was named after the infamous case of severe mercury poisoning in the fishing community of Minamata, Japan, which became known as Minamata disease because it devastated only the residents of the community.

The following is a timeline of key events related to Minamata disease:

Masazumi Harada was a Japanese doctor and medical researcher. His most famous work covered the effects of Minamata disease, a type of severe mercury poisoning that occurred in the city of Minamata, Kumamoto Prefecture during the 1950s and 1960s. His publications included Minamata disease (1972) and Minamata Ga Utsusu Sekai (1989). He died June 11, 2012, of acute myelocytic leukemia at his home in Kumamoto.

The Minamata disease compensation agreements of 1959 were agreed between the polluting Chisso company and representative groups of fishermen and Minamata disease patients who had been affected by mercury pollution. The agreements and their formation shared a number of common characteristics. They were formulated outside the legal system, by ad-hoc mediation committees specially established for the purpose. Members of the committees and the final agreements were weighted in favour of Chisso and all included punitive clauses that the groups could make no future claims for compensation against the company.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mercury in fish</span>

The presence of mercury in fish is a health concern for people who eat them, especially for women who are or may become pregnant, nursing mothers, and young children. Fish and shellfish concentrate mercury in their bodies, often in the form of methylmercury, a highly toxic organomercury compound. This element is known to bioaccumulate in humans, so bioaccumulation in seafood carries over into human populations, where it can result in mercury poisoning. Mercury is dangerous to both natural ecosystems and humans because it is a metal known to be highly toxic, especially due to its neurotoxic ability to damage the central nervous system.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Noriaki Tsuchimoto</span> Japanese documentary film director

Noriaki Tsuchimoto was a Japanese documentary film director known for his films on Minamata disease and examinations of the effects of modernization on Asia. Tsuchimoto and Shinsuke Ogawa have been called the "two figures [that] tower over the landscape of Japanese documentary."

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Timothy Brook</span>

Timothy James Brook is a Canadian historian, sinologist, and writer specializing in the study of China (sinology). He holds the Republic of China Chair, Department of History, University of British Columbia.

Minamata: The Victims and Their World is a Japanese documentary made in 1971 by Noriaki Tsuchimoto. It is the first in a series of independent documentaries that Tsuchimoto made of the mercury poisoning incident in Minamata, Japan. Subsequent films in the series include The Shiranui Sea.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mercury contamination in Grassy Narrows</span> Environmental & health disaster 1962 - 1970

Mercury contamination in Grassy Narrows was an uncontrolled discharge of between 9,000 kilograms (20,000 lb) and 11,000 kilograms (24,000 lb) of mercury from the Dryden Mill's chloralkali plant in Dryden into the headwaters of the Wabigoon River in the Kenora District of Northwestern Ontario from 1962 until 1970. It was described as "one of the worst cases of environmental poisoning in Canadian history." The contamination poisoned many people in the Grassy Narrows First Nation and Whitedog First Nation communities

Thomas Robert Hamilton Havens is an American Japanologist.


  1. "Timothy S. George". University of Rhode Island. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  2. Oshio, Kazuto (1 January 2002). "Review of Minamata: Pollution and the Struggle for Democracy in Postwar Japan". Environmental History. 7 (1): 126–127. doi:10.2307/3985458. JSTOR   3985458.
  3. Colligan-Taylor, Karen (1 January 2002). "Review of Minamata: Pollution and the Struggle for Democracy in Postwar Japan". The Journal of Asian Studies. 61 (1): 251–253. doi:10.2307/2700238. JSTOR   2700238.
  4. Osiander, Anja (1 January 2002). "Review of Minamata: Pollution and the Struggle for Democracy in Postwar Japan". Social Science Japan Journal. 5 (2): 273–275. doi:10.1093/ssjj/05.2.273. JSTOR   30209389.
  5. Schreurs, Miranda A. (1 January 2003). "Review of Minamata: Pollution and the Struggle for Democracy in Postwar Japan". Journal of Japanese Studies. 29 (1): 153–156. JSTOR   25064377.
  6. "Timothy S. George". The President and Fellows of Harvard College. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  7. "Timothy S. George". University of Rhode Island. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  8. "Recent Grant and Fellowship Awards". University of Rhode Island. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  9. "Timothy George". Council for International Exchange of Scholars. Retrieved 27 May 2015.