Helen Hardacre is co-director of the conference, with Professor Keigo Komamura, and Reischauer Institute Professor of Japanese Religions and Society, Harvard University. She is the founding director of the Reischauer Institute Research Project on Constitutional Revision in Japan. Her publications include The Religion of Japan's Korean Minority (1984), Lay Buddhism in Contemporary Japan: Reiyukai Kyodan (1984), Kurozumikyo and the New Religions of Japan (1986), Shinto and the State, 1868-1988 (1989), Marketing the Menacing Fetus in Japan (1997), Religion and Society in Nineteenth-Century Japan: A Study of the Southern Kanto Region, Using Late Edo and Early Meiji Gazetteers (2002), and Shinto, A History (2016). Her current research projects include a comparative study of the ways war is remembered in Japan and the U.S., and a study of public funding of Shinto shrines in the early twentieth century.
Alexis Dudden is professor of history at the University of Connecticut. She regularly publishes and comments about Japan and Northeast Asia at venues such as the Huffington Post and NPR. Dudden holds degrees from Columbia and the University of Chicago. Since 1985, she has lived and studied for extended periods of time in Japan and South Korea and is the recipient of the Chosun Ilbo’s 2015 Manhae Peace Prize. Her current project concerns maritime Northeast Asia and focuses on the globally changing meaning of oceans and islands. In 2016-2017, Dudden was Fulbright Visiting US-ROK Alliance Professor at Yonsei University’s Graduate School for International Studies.
Timothy George's research interests in Japanese history include environmental history, postwar history, local history, and citizen-corporation-state relations from Meiji to the present. His publications include Minamata: Pollution and the Struggle for Democracy in Postwar Japan (2001), “Tanaka Shōzō's Vision of an Alternative Constitutional Modernity for Japan” (in Public Spheres, Private Lives in Modern Japan, 1600-1950: Essays in Honor of Albert M. Craig, 2005), “Toroku: Mountain Dreams, Chemical Nightmares” (in Japan at Nature's Edge: The Environmental Context of a Global Power, 2013), Japanese History and Culture from Ancient to Modern Times: Seven Basic Bibliographies (co-authored with John W. Dower, second ed., 1995), and Japan since 1945: From Postwar to Post-Bubble (co-edited with Christopher Gerteis, 2013). Translations he has directed and/or co-translated include Harada Masazumi, Minamata Disease (2004); Saitō Hisashi, Niigata Minamata Disease (2009), and Mikuriya Takashi and Nakamura Takafusa, Politics and Power in 20th-Century Japan: The Reminiscences of Miyazawa Kiichi (2015). He is particularly interested in the historical context of the patterns of civic activism in the current debate.
Professor Komamura earned his B.A. in Law, L.L.M., and S.J.D. from Keio University. He taught as an Associate Professor of Law at Hakuoh University before moving to Keio University. Professor Komamura’s fields of study include constitutional law, law of journalism, surveillance and civil society, and Japan’s contemporary debate over constitutional revision. His books include Ronten-tankyu kempou [Advanced Constitutional Law] (co-editor, Koubundo, 2005); Janarizumu no houri [Law of Journalism] (Sagano-Shoin, 2001); and Kenryokubunritsu no Shosou [Some Aspects of the Separation of Powers Doctrine] (Nansousha, 1999). He was a visiting scholar at Princeton University from 2008-09, and he is currently affiliated with the Reischauer Institute and Weatherhead Program on U.S.-Japan Relations at Harvard University where he is conducting research on the origins and legitimacy of Japan’s postwar constitution.
Franziska Seraphim has been involved in the Constitutional Revision Collaborative Research Group since its founding in 2005. As a historian of postwar and contemporary Japan, she became interested in current constitutional revisionism in relation to the public debate about war memory in the 1990s, both as a way to "overcome the postwar" and in terms of the changing dynamics of political participation. This emphasis on contextualizing the current debate also leads her to reconsider the historical setting of the first constitutional revision debate in the 1950s as part of her research on transitional justice in Japan and Germany in the first two postwar decades.