PEAK Staff Profile

Akito Sakasai,
Associate Professor – Japan in East Asia

Contact : asakasai[at]


Prof. Sakasai Akito Sakasai is an associate professor of Modern and Contemporary Japanese Literature, affiliated with the College of Arts and Sciences. He studied at Waseda University (BA), the University of Tokyo (MA and PhD), and Harvard University as a Fulbright research fellow. He received his PhD from the University of Tokyo in 2016. His first monograph, Charred Ruins—A Discussion of Postwar Spaces (『〈焼跡〉の戦後空間論』), was published in 2018 by Seikyu-sha and translated into Korean as 『‘잿더미’전후공간론』(이숲) in 2020. He spent four years teaching comparative literature at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, and then he joined the University of Tokyo in April 2021.

Research Interests

I am researching modern and contemporary Japanese literature, recently focusing on novels and poetry written from the 1930s to the 1950s. The main objective of my research is to analyze the impact of Japanese imperialism during this period and the resistance of people to it through literary expressions. I often examine works that depict the colonial period in Korea and literature by Korean residents in Japan after the "liberation" from Japanese rule. Additionally, to gain a comprehensive understanding of the culture of that era, I also consider films, ideologies, and media discourses. As an extension of this specialization, I also engage in critiquing recent novels and films, among other things.

Selected Publications