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Harald Fuess, Prof. Dr.

Academic Staff

Harald Fuess, Prof. Dr.


  • HCTS Professor "Cultural Economic History"
  • Project Professor at Kyoto University
  • Speaker of the Graduate Programs in Transcultural Studies
  • Executive Board Member, Heidelberg University, Graduate School for Humanities and Social Sciences (HGGS)
  • Scientific Coordinator of Hexagon Alliance of six German and Japanese Universities (Heidelberg, Göttingen, Karlsruhe KIT, Kyoto, Osaka, Tohoku)
  • Speaker for the Working Group on Korean Studies

Contact information

Office 103
Karl Jaspers Centre,
Voßstraße 2, Building 4400
69115 Heidelberg

+49 (0) 6221 54 4080
+49 (0) 6221 54 4012

About Harald Fuess

Team | Research | Teaching | Ph.D. Students | Publications | Cooperation

Harald Fuess has been Professor of History at Heidelberg University since 2009 and is one of the foremost experts on Japan in Europe.

Professor Fuess currently examines the wide impact of Western industrial and mercantile capitalism on East Asian economies and cultures during the long nineteenth century. His case studies are connecting the global and the local through topics such as arms trade, treaty ports societies, consular jurisdiction, international epidemics, diplomatic disputes on trademarks, the role of the multilingual press, multinational business histories, and transcultural fusions of consumer cultures.

He is also organizing a large collaborative research project with numerous colleagues in the United States, Europe and Japan. Activities include several international conferences on three continents reassessing the Meiji Restoration of 1868, Japanese modernization, and global history. Several books and special journal issues are in progress on this important topic. 

Administrative Assistant

Nora Bartels

Phone: +49 (0) 6221 54 4357
Email: nora.bartels@asia-europe.uni-heidelberg.de


Curriculum vitae

Harald Fuess is the Professor for Cultural Economic History at Heidelberg University's Cluster of Excellence "Asia and Europe in a Global Context" where he also serves as the Director of the Graduate Programs in Transcultural Studies. He also teaches and supervises students for the Centre for East Asian Studies and the Department of History. Harald Fuess also holds a joint appointment as Project Professor with Kyoto University with whom he developed the first accredited joint M.A. degree between a Japanese and a European University.

After a childhood in France and teenage years in Germany, Harald Fuess received his academic training at Princeton University (B.A.) and Harvard University (M.A., Ph.D.) and lived in Japan for over 15 years. Before taking up his post at Heidelberg University, he was a Director of Graduate Studies at the White Rose East Asia Centre of the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom and Associate Professor for Modern Japanese History at Sophia University in Japan. He also worked in global financial services for the Boston Consulting Group and was a senior research fellow at the German Institute for Japanese Studies in Tokyo (DIJ).

Fuess held visiting professorships and fellowships at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Oxford University, Columbia University, Dartmouth College, Yale University and in Japan at the universities of Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Tohoku, and Kyushu. During 2008-2011 he was the elected president of the European Association for Japanese Studies (EAJS), which is the world's largest research association for the study of Japan. He also serves on the International Advisory Board of Tohoku University in Sendai and on the editorial board of several international journals.

His publications explore the economic and social history of Europe and East Asia and the history of Japan in a global context. His monograph Divorce in Japan: Family, Gender and the State, 1600-2000 (Stanford University Press, 2004) was reviewed over 25 times in journals and newspapers in English, German, French and Japanese and nominated for major academic prizes.

Third party Funding (since 2009)

Japan Foundation, Korea Foundation, Academy of Korean Studies, Toshiba International Foundation (TIFO), Humboldt Foundation, German Science Foundation (DFG), Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Ministry for Science, Research, and Arts Baden-Württemberg (MWK) and International Research Center for Japanese Studies in Kyoto (Nichibunken). A Top Global University Grant received by Kyoto University served to build a joint Graduate Program in Transcultural Studies with Heidelberg University, starting in 2017 with a Joint M.A. Degree in Transcultural Studies.

Doctoral and MA students

Fuess supervises Ph.D. students in the fields of History (East Asia and Europe) as well as Japanese Studies (Modern Japan). Prospective doctoral students should initiate contact with a cover letter, dissertation proposal of 3-5 pages and CV before 15 March if they would like to start with a fellowship in the autumn semester of the same year.

M.A. Students in the Transcultural Studies program must officially register at the MATS office, if they want his supervision. Please be aware that due to the large demand not all applicants can be accommodated.

PhD Thesis Funding

Please review the Cluster's call for applications for its GPTS programme (Usual deadline: 15 March). Additionally, the Graduate Academy Heidelberg offers comprehensive information on Ph.D. scholarships, fellowships and dissertation grants (including financing from the State of Baden-Württemberg or one of the "Begabtenförderungswerke"). Please review these possibilities and/or contact the Graduate Academy Service Point for individualized counsel.

For funding of research and fieldwork in Japan please refer to the scholarships and grants offered by the Japan Foundation, JSPS, the DIJ, the DAAD, and the DGIA - Gerald D. Feldman travel grants.
PostDocs who want to come to Heidelberg can obtain funding from the Humboldt-Foundation or the DFG among others.

Completed Dissertations

Tim Graf, M.A. Heidelberg (completed November 2017), Stay abroad at Tohoku University (second reader), "Brands of Zen". First Employment: Assistant Professor, Faculty of Humanities, Institute for Religion and Culture at Nanzan University in Nagoya and Associate Editor of Japanese Journal of Religious Studies.

Björn-Ole Kamm, M.A. Leipzig (April 2011 – March 2015), Stay abroad at DIJ Tokyo and KUASU Fellowship at Kyoto University
"Playing at Culture - Multi-Class Characters of Role-Playing and their Construction and Crossing of Social Boundaries between Japan, Germany and the U.S."
Employment: Tenured Senior Lecturer, Kyoto University, Graduate School of Letters, Kyoto (Mar. 2015 - )

Till Knaudt, M.A. Bochum (Oktober 2011 – December 2014), Stay Abroad: JSPS Fellow at Kyoto University.
Dissertation Title: "Studentenbewegung, Terror und Antiimperialismus in Japan, 1969 – 1972".
First Employment: Assistant Professor, Dept. of Japanese Studies, Heidelberg University.

Chung-Yam Po, M.Phil. Hong Kong Baptist University (Sept. 2010 - Aug. 2013), Erasmus fellow at Cambridge University, Chicago TA Fellowship
Dissertation Title: "Conceptualizing the Blue Frontier: The Great Qing and the Maritime World in the Long Eighteenth Century" published with Cambridge University Press August 2018.
First position Postdoctoral Fellow, MCGill University, Montreal Canada (Sept. 2013 - Aug. 2016), now Lecturer at the London School of Economics

Sven Matthiessen, M.A. Hamburg (Sept. 2008 - Mar. 2012) Ph.D Sheffield and Tohoku
Dissertation Title: "The Japanese Greater East Asia Co- Prosperity Sphere and the Philippines", published with Brill Publishers 2016.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Japan Foundation, Sophia University Tokyo (Mar. 2014 - Feb. 2015). Now works in business.

Doctoral Students under Supervision

Lars Schladitz, M.A. Erfurt (April 2011 – )
"Whaling as a transnational cultural practice, Japan 1868-1934", currently Head of Museumsfabrik Pritzwalk

Biru David Binder, M.A. Cologne University (Sept. 2010 -2013), Stay abroad as Erasmus fellow at SOAS
"Body of the Nation: Transnational hegemonic masculinities in the publications of the Kokuryûkai," currently employed with a Japanese company.

Nicole Keusch, M.A. Humboldt University, Berlin (Nov. 2010 -), Stay abroad at DIJ Tokyo
"Japanese studies on Africa: Historiography of a research area," currently employed at Frankfurt University.

Andreas Eichleter, Mag. Vienna (Oct. 2014 -), Stay abroad at Tohoku University with Tohoku University Scholarship
"Yokohama in Meiji-Japan"

Martin Rathmann, Dipl. Duisburg (Oct. 2014 -), Stay Abroad at Kyoto University with a Japan Foundation Fellowship
"The influence of institutional and cultural factors on innovation processes"

Maksym Grinenko, MATS Heidelberg (Oct. 2016 -), GPTS Fellowship. Stay abroad at the IUC Center in Yokohama and Tokyo University, Faculty of Economics, with Japan Foundation Fellowship."Economic History in Postwar Japan"

Maria Christina Garciamendez Mijares, MATS Heidelberg (Oct. 2016 -). Stay abroad at Tohoku University with a Tohoku University fellowship.

Collin Rusneac, M.A. Sophia, Tokyo (Oct. 2017 -). GPTS Fellowship. "Wartime Japanese Cemeteries"

Charlotte Schaefer, M.A. Heidelberg (Juli 2018-). "Autism and the Japanese Workplace"

Selected publications

Books, Book Chapters and Journal Articles

Harald Fuess and Robert Hellyer, eds., Meiji Restoration and Global Intersections, forthcoming book. Includes a chapter by Harald Fuess on "The Global Arms Trade and the Meiji Restoration."

2018 Harald Fuess. "Das Ringen um Staatliche Souveränität und das Wirtschaftsrecht des Stärkeren: Europa und der Markenschutz in Japan und Ostasien, 1884-1923." ZJapanR/J.Japan.L., 23-44.

2017 Harald Fuess. "Unequal Treaties, Consular Jurisdiction, and Treaty Port Society." In Handbook of Modern Japanese History, edited by Sven Saaler and Christopher Szpilman, Routledge, pp. 47-61.

2016. Harald Fuess. "Does Taste Matter in History? Making Sense of the History of the Senses" in How to Learn? Nippon/Japan as Object, Nippon/Japan as Method edited by Christopher Craig, Enrico Fongaro and Akihiro Okazaki (Mimesis International), pp. 199-215.

2016. Harald Fuess. "E. Meyer & Co. at the Eastern Frontiers of Capitalism: The Leading Western Merchant House in Korea, 1884-1914" In Journal of Business History Vol. 62:1 (April): 3-30.

2014. Harald Fuess. "Informal Imperialism and the 1879 Hesperia Incident, Containing Cholera and Challenging Extraterritoriality in Japan" In Japan Review Vol. 27 (July): 103-140 (read)

2014. Harald Fuess. "Adultery and Gender Equality, 1868-1945" In Gender and Law in the Japanese Imperium, edited by Susan Burns and Barbara Brooks. University of Hawai`i Press, pp. 109 - 135 (Publisher page)

2013. Harald Fuess. "Selbstregulierung einer Fremdenkolonie: Deutsche Konsulargerichtsbarkeit in Japan und Korea" ZJapanR/ J.Japan.L. 36 (2013): 53-93 (read)

2012. Harald Fuess. "明治期の結婚と離婚. 異文化社会的視点で見た近代社会の遷移" [Marriage and Divorce in Meiji Japan. The Transition to Modern Society as Seen from a Different Socio-Cultural Perspective]. In 歴史人口学からみた結婚・離婚・再婚 [Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage as Seen from Historical Demography] edited by Satomi Kurosu. Reitaku University Press, pp.157-189.

2008. Harald Fuess. "International Trade in East Asia, 1650-2000" and "Foreign Investments in East Asia, 1850-2000." In Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World: 1750 to the Present. Edited by Peter Stearns. Oxford University Press.

2007. Harald Fuess. "Ehebruch als Verbrechen: Der Europäische Beitrag zur Frauendiskriminierung in Japan." [Adultery as a Crime: The European Contribution to Legal Inequality in Japan] in Zeitschrift für Japanisches Recht/Journal of Japanese Law. 24 (Winter): 107-136. (read)

2006. Harald Fuess. "Investment, Importation, and Innovation: Genesis and Growth of Beer Corporations in Pre-war Japan." In Institutional and Technological Change in Japan's Economy: Past and Present. Edited by Janet Hunter and Cornelia Storz. London: Routledge, pp. 43-59.

2005. Harald Fuess. "Men in the Women's Kingdom: Fatherhood in Taishô Japan." In Public Spheres, Private Lives in Modern Japan 1600-1950. Edited by Gail Lee Bernstein, Andrew Gordon, and Kate Nakai. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, pp. 259-292.

2005. Harald Fuess. "Deutsche Jesuiten in Japan" [German Jesuits in Japan]. 

2004. Harald Fuess. Divorce in Japan: Family, Gender and the State. Stanford: Stanford University Press. (reviews)

2003. Harald Fuess. "Der Aufbau der Bierindustrie in Japan während der Meiji-Zeit: Konsum, Kapital und Kompetenz" [The Origins of the Beer Industry during the Meiji Period: Consumption, Capitalism, and Competencies]. Bochumer Jahrbuch für Ostasienforschung 27, 231-267. 

2000. Harald Fuess. "Home, School and the Middle Class: Paternal Narratives of Child Rearing in Fujin no tomo, 1908-1926." In Gender and Modernity: Rereading Japanese Women's Magazines. Ed. Ulrike Wöhr, Barbara Sato and Suzuki Sadami. Kyoto: The International Research Center for Japanese Studies, pp. 69-83.

1999. Harald Fuess. "Als Japan die Welt anführte.'Das Land der schnellen Eheschließung und der schnellen Scheidung,' 1870-1940" [When Japan Led the World. 'The Country of Fast Marriage and Fast Divorce"]. In Nachrichten der Ostasiatischen Gesellschaft 171/172, 75-92. (read)

1999. Harald Fuess. "Zwischen Strenge und Liebe- Das Vaterbild im Japan des frühen 20. Jahrhunderts" [Between Strictness and Love: The Image of the Father in the early 20th Century]. In Japans Kultur der Reformen. Edited by Werner Schaumann. Tokyo: OAG, pp. 173-192.

1998. Harald Fuess. The Japanese Empire and Its Postwar Legacy. Munich: Iudicium.

1998. Harald Fuess. "Neue Väter braucht das Land. Die Krise der Männlichkeit im Japan der 1990er Jahre" [The Nation Needs New Fathers: The Crisis of Masculinity in 1990s Japan]. In Japanstudien 10, 405-413.

1997. Harald Fuess with Hendrik Meyer-Ohle, Japanstudien (Special Issue on Consumption and Services in Japan in the 1990s). Munich: Iudicium.Japanstudien 17, 83-108. (read)

1997. With Hendrik Meyer-Ohle. "Konsum und Dienstleistung im Japan der 1990er Jahre - Einleitung" [Consumption and Service in 1990s Japan: An Introduction]. In Japanstudien 9, 15-23. (read)

1997. Harald Fuess. "Die japanische BGB-Reformkontroverse (1996): Japanische Identität und die Rolle der Frau" [The Japanese Civil Code Controversy of 1996: Japanese Identity and the Position of Women]. In Japanstudien 9, 255-286. (read)

1997. Harald Fuess. "A Golden Age of Fatherhood? Parent-Child Relations in Japanese Historiography." In Monumenta Nipponica 52 (3): 381-397. (read)

Book Reviews

2015. Harald Fuess. Book review of Peter Ennal's "Opening a Window to the West: The foreign concession at Kobe, Japan, 1868-1899." In Pacific Affairs Vol. 88, No. 2 (June): 321-323 (read)

2014. Harald Fuess. Book review of Sechiyama Kaku's "Patriarchy in East Asia: A Comparative Sociology of Gender." In The Journal of Family History Vol. 39, No. 4 (October): 447-449 (doi: 10.1177/0363199014547820) (read/ request permissions)

2014. Harald Fuess. Book review of Fabian Drixler's "Mabiki: Infanticide and Population Growth in Eastern Japan, 1660-1950." In American Historical Review Vol. 119 (2), 497-498 (doi: 10.1093/ahr/119.2.497) (read)

2010. Harald Fuess. Book review of Penelope Franck's "The Japanese Consumer: An Alternative Economic History of Modern Japan." In Japan Forum 22 (1-1), 245 - 246.

2010. Harald Fuess. Book review of Erik Esselstrom's "Crossing Empire's Edge: Foreign Ministry Police and Japanese Expansionism in Northeast Asia." In Pacific Affairs Volume 82, no.4 (Winter).

2008. Harald Fuess. Book review of Reinhard Zöllner's "Geschichte Japans." For H-Soz-u-Kult 10 Sept 2008. Reprint in Historische Literatur 7, no. 4 (Oct.-Dec. 2008) (read)

2008. Harald Fuess. Book review of Katja Cwiertka's "Modern Japanese Cuisine." In Japan Forum 20, no.3, pp. 435-437.

2008. Harald Fuess. Book review of Miyako Inoue's "Vicarious Language: Gender and Linguistic Modernity in Japan." In Journal of Asian Studies 67, no. 2, pp. 722-24. (read)

2008. Harald Fuess. Book review of Hans Martin Krämer's "Neubeginn unter US-amerikanischer Besatzung? Hochschulreform in Japan zwischen Kontinuität und Diskontinuität, 1919–1952." In Monumenta Nipponica 63, no. 1 (May), pp. 172-74. (read)

2007. Harald Fuess. Book review of Mikael Adolphson's "The Teeth and Claws of the Buddha: Monastic Warriors and Sôhei in Japanese History." In Notizen der Ostasiatischen Gesellschaft 5 (Mai): 51-54. Reprinted in Nachrichten der Ostasiatischen Gesellschaft (2007). (read)

2004. Harald Fuess. Book review of Eiji Takemae's "Inside GHQ: The Allied Occupation of Japan and Its Legacy." In Monumenta Nipponica 59, no. 2 (Summer): 263-265. (read)

2003. Harald Fuess. Book review of Anne Walthall's "The Human Tradition in Modern Japan" and Susumu Saga's "Memories of Wind and Waves: A Self-Portrait of Lakeside Japan." In Monumenta Nipponica 58, no. 1 (Spring): 122-125. (read)

2002. Harald Fuess. Book review of Maik Hendrik Sprotte's "Konfliktaustragung in autoritären Herrschaftssystemen. Eine historische Fallstudie zur frühsozialistischen Bewegung im Japan der Meiji-Zeit." In Nachrichten der Ostasiatischen Gesellschaft 171/172, 307-309. (read)

1999. Harald Fuess. Book review of Britta Woldering's "Akai tori in den Jahren 1918/19: Die Entstehung einer modernen japanischen Kinderzeitschrift." In Monumenta Nipponica 54, no. 3 (Autumn): 415-416.

1998. Harald Fuess. Review of Muriel Jolivet's "Japan: The Childless Society." In Monumenta Nipponica 53, no. 1 (Spring): 142–144. (read)

Sonstige Forschungsarbeiten

1990 Princeton B.A. Thesis on the American Occupation's Policies on Japanese Women, 120 pages

1985 Preis beim Schülerwettbewerb Geschichte um den Preis des Bundespräsidenten "Restricted Area, Germans Prohibited: Das amerikanische Sperrgebiet IG Farben in Frankfurt a.M. von 1945-48, 68 pages

Media Articles and Interviews

2015 "The World's Largest Organization Promoting Scholarship on Japan: The European Association of Japanese Studies (EAJS)" in Japanese Studies Around the World, edited by Nanyan Guo, 23-24.

2014.10.20 Interview: "Fächer entscheiden die Wahl nicht", schwaebische.de (read)

2014 ポピュラー・カルチャーと世代間ギャップ (Popular Culture and the Generation Gap)special issue on めぐりめぐる日本文化 (The Japanese Cultural Merry-Go-Round) Nichibunken Forum 276, 13-22

2013 Nichibunken Newsletter No.88: 3-4 (read)

2013.07.17 Interview: "Interesse so groß wie nie", Deutschland.de (read)

2012.04.18 Interview for the programme "Rundschau", Bayrisches Fernsehen (impression)

2011.07.28 Interview: "Konsumgewohnheiten in Europa und Asien", Deutschlandfunk (read)

2011.04.11 Interview: "Abschreckendes Deutschland", Süddeutsch.de (read)

2011.04.01 Participation in a TV-discussion on the future of the Japanese economy, 3SAT (impression)

2011.03.15 Interview: "Krisen sind Teil ihres Lebens", Die Welt (read)

2011.03.14 Interview: "Wenn es wackelt, dann wackelt es eben", Die Welt (read)

2011.03.14 Interview: "Keine Weltrezession wegen Japan", Deutsche Welle (read)

2011.03.14 Interview: "Japan could be a stress test for the global economy", Deutsche Welle (read)

2011.03.14 Interview: "Öffentlich klagen kommt für Japaner nicht infrage", stern.de (read)

2011.03.14 Interview: "Der wirtschaftliche GAU bleibt vorerst aus", morgenweb (read)

2011.03.13 Interview:"Analyse: Volkswirte warnen vor Rezessions-Panik", Focus online (read)

2011.03.12 Interview: "Die wirtschaftlichen Folgen des Bebens sind lösbar" Focus online (read)

2011.03.12 Interview: "Japan wird Erdbeben schnell bewältigen" Focus online (read)

2011.03.12 Interview: "Bangen um die Angehörigen", morgenweb (read)

2011.03.01 Interview, Deutsche Universitätszeitung


Membership in Academic Associations

  • EAJS European Association for Japanese Studies (Europe)
  • BAJS British Association for Japanese Studies (United Kingdom)
  • AAS Association for Asian Studies (United States)
  • RAS Fellow, Royal Asiatic Society (United Kingdom)
  • AHA American Historical Association (United States)
  • VHD Verband der Historiker Deutschlands (German Historical Association)
  • GJF Gesellschaft für Japanforschung (German Society for Japanese Studies)
  • VSJF Vereinigung für Sozialwissenschaftliche Japanforschung (Social Science Research on Japan in Germany)