PEAK Staff Profile

Masaaki Takeda, MA (University of Tokyo), Ph.D. (Cambridge)
Professor – Japan in East Asia

Contact : takeda[at]


Masaaki Takeda Masaaki Takeda studied eighteenth-century British literature at Kyoto University (1992-96), the University of Tokyo (Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, 1996-99), and the University of Cambridge (1999-2004). He was awarded his Ph.D. in 2006 for his dissertation entitled “The Ideas of Nationhood in the Works of Defoe and Swift”. When he came back to Japan, Professor Takeda started to write on contemporary Japanese literature. His essay, “Disclosing Criticism: Hiroki Azuma and Masaya Nakahara” (in Japanese) received the 51st Gunzo Literary Award. He has been teaching at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo since 2010.

Research Interests

Professor Takeda has written about the relations between society and literature in the modern era. His Ph.D. dissertation traced the literary representation of the political conflicts between England, Scotland and Ireland in the early eighteenth century. He is currently interested in rethinking the social function of modern Japanese novels form the perspective of early modern British literature, which maintained a clear connection to politics and society. He has also published several articles on contemporary British and Irish literature.

Selected Publications

“These Men against Arbitrary Power Are the Most Absolute in Their Families’: Patriarchal Challenge to Daniel Defoe.” Studies in English Literature 81 (2005): 167-87.
“Divided Hearts, United States’: Daniel Defoe, James Hodges, and the Debate on the Anglo-Scottish. Union.” Poetica 68 (2007): 1-15.
“Disclosing Criticism: Hiroki Azuma and Masaya Nakahara.” (in Japanese) Gunzo (June 2008): 88-110.
“Dividualism and the Future of the Novel: An Essay of Keiichiro Hirano’s Recent Works.” (in Japanese) Shincho (September 2013): 199-213.
Comprehensive Annotation to Gulliver’s Travels. (in Japanese, with Noriyuki Harada and Noriyuki Hattori) Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 2013.