Toshiki Asakura-Ward

Mr Toshiki Asakura-Ward

Higher Degree by Research Candidate

Postgraduate Student

School of Social Sciences

Faculty of Arts


Toshi Asakura-Ward is a Master of Philosophy student in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of Adelaide. He is a recipient of 2019 Asia Study Grant of the National Library of Australia. In 2018 he was awarded Master of Research degree from Western Sydney University for his thesis A Bridge to the Near North: The 1980s resurrection of Henry Black (1858-1923). It discussed the contributions of and a revived interest in Henry Black, an Australia-born storyteller in Japan, during the 1980s - six decades after his death.

Building on his previous research, Toshi's scope includes other foreign residents who contributed to Japan's modernisation and cultural exchange with the West such as an American missionary Jennie Kuyper (1874-1923) and a British artist Charles Wirgman (1832-1891). His research aims are to add to the existing understanding about the contributions of these individuals and how they are remembered in Japan since the late nineteenth century. He will also investigate the shifting roles of the cemetery from a resting place to a 'pilgrimage' site in the present day Yokohama.

Tentative thesis title
A Biography of the Yokohama Foreign General Cemetery: Memorialisation of 'Foreigners' since the Meiji Era

My research investigates the sociological significance of the Yokohama Foreign General Cemetery in contemporary Japan. I conduct case studies of groups/organisations and their efforts to preserve the memory of foreign residents interred since the Meiji period (1868-1912).

My focus includes below:

  • The development of the Yokohama Foreign General Cemetery from its beginning in the 1850s to the present day.
  • The legacy of an Australia-born storyteller and performer Henry Black (Kairakutei Black).
  • How Ferris Girls' School memorialises its past principals Mary Kidder and Jennie Kuyper.
  • The efforts of organisations/groups such as the City of Yokohama, the Prefecture of Kanagawa, schools and grassroots groups to preserve the legacy of Meiji era memory through funding and tourism.
  • "Pilgrimage" to historic sites in the present day Yokohama.
  • How the cemetery connects the 'living' and the 'dead' in contemporary Japan.
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  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2017 - 2017 Research Assistant The University of New South Wales
    2017 - 2017 Casual Lecturer and Tutor Western Sydney University
    2016 - 2017 Research Assistant Western Sydney University
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2019 Scholarship Japanese Studies Association of Australia 2019 Conference Scholarship Monash University Australia
    2018 Scholarship Postgraduate Workshop Travel Scholarship The University of New South Wales Australia
    2018 Scholarship Faculty of Arts Divisional Scholarship The University of Adelaide Australia
    2017 Scholarship Research Student Conference Travel Grant Western Sydney University Australia
    2017 Scholarship Master of Research Scholarship Western Sydney University Australia
    2016 Scholarship Master of Research Scholarship Western Sydney University Australia
    2007 Scholarship History Department Academic Scholarship Brigham Young University-Idaho United States
    2006 Recognition Life Membership, Alpha-Kappa-Xi Chapter Member Phi Alpha Theta United States
    2006 Scholarship Heber J. Grant Scholarship Brigham Young University-Idaho United States
    2006 Recognition Honor Student Brigham Young University-Idaho United States
  • Language Competencies

    Language Competency
    Japanese Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2016 - 2017 Western Sydney University Australia Master of Research
    2006 - 2007 Brigham Young University Idaho, Rexburg United States Bachelor of Arts
    2000 - 2002 Temple University Japan Japan College Coursework
  • Research Interests

2019 National Library of Australia Asia Study Grant, for the research on A Biography of the Yokohama Foreign General Cemetery: Memorialisation of 'Foreigners' since the Meiji EraAn honorarium of AUD$4,000 and return airfare in support of four-week residency in the Asian Collections of the National Library.


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