Toshiki Asakura-Ward

Mr Toshiki Asakura-Ward

Higher Degree by Research Candidate

Postgraduate Student

School of Social Sciences

Faculty of Arts


Born in Brisbane and raised in Tokyo, Japan, I am a PhD student in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of Adelaide. In 2018 I was awarded Master of Research degree from Western Sydney University for my 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.

Following my master's research, I began my doctoral study at the University of Adelaide to expand my scope to other foreign residents who contributed to cultural exchange with the West such as an American travel writer Eliza Scidmore (1856–1928) and Christian missionaries interred at the Yokohama Foreign General Cemetery. Through my current doctoral research, I aim to add to the existing understanding about these individuals as bridges between Japan and the West since the late nineteenth century. I will also seek to investigate the shifting role 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 PhD research investigates the sociological significance of the Yokohama Foreign General Cemetery in Japan through the case studies of foreign residents who lie resting since the Meiji period (1868-1912).

My focus includes below:

  • The development of the Yokohama Foreign General Cemetery from its formative years in the 1850s to the present day.
  • The legacy of an Australia-born storyteller and performer Henry Black (Kairakutei Black) and an American travel writer Eliza Scidmore.
  • The history of Christian missionaries in Japan such as Mary Kidder and their impact to the female education.
  • The efforts of interest groups such as municipal government and civil groups to preserve the legacy of Meiji era memory through funding and tourism.
  • "Pilgrimage" of historic sites and sacred spaces in the present day Japan.
  • How the cemetery connects the 'living' and the 'dead' in present day 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
    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
    2016 Scholarship Master of Research Scholarship Western Sydney University Australia
    2007 Scholarship History Department Academic Scholarship Brigham Young University-Idaho 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


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