Dr Ellen Nakamura

BA(Hons) (ANU), MEd (Tokyo Gakugei), PhD (ANU)

Research | Current

  • Social history of Japan, particularly in the Edo period (1600-1868)
  • Life courses of men and women
  • History of medicine in Japan
  • Biography

My research interests lie in the social history of Japan, particularly in the Edo period (1600-1868). I work epecially on the introduction of Western medicine to nineteenth-century Japan.

Teaching | Current

ASIAN 100  Images of Asia

HISTORY 242 Early Modern Japan 1600-1868

HISTORY 342 Early Modern Japan 1600-1868

JAPANESE 270 Japanese Culture and Society

JAPANESE 370 Japanese Culture and Society

Postgraduate supervision

Main supervisor

Daniel Wright, "Guides for the Nourishment of Life: Sugita Genpaku and the Yojoron Genre". (MA  Asian Studies 2008).

Haiying Hou, "A Reconsideration: Yoshioka Yayoi’s View of Womanhood." (PhD in Japanese, in progress).


Amy Reigle Newland, "Shaping the present, crafting the past: imaging self-narrative in the life and work of Toyohara Kunichika (1835 - 1900)". (PhD Asian Studies 2016).



Areas of expertise

The social history of Japan, particularly in the Edo period (1600-1868); life courses of men and women; biography; the history of medicine in Japan.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Nakamura, E. (2018). Yamawaki Taka's bittersweet memories of Uwajima Castle, 1864-1865. In N. Guo, T. Shogimen (Eds.) Japanese studies down under : History, politics, literature and art, 79-87. Otago, New Zealand: International Research Center for Japanese Studies. Related URL.
  • Nakamura, E. (2017). Working the Siebold Network: Kusumoto Ine (1827-1903) and western learning in nineteenth-century Japan. In D. R. Williams (Ed.) Hapa Japan (pp. 69-84). Los Angeles, USA: Ito Center Editions, an imprint of Kaya Press. Related URL.
  • Nakamura, E. (2014). From the Netherlands to Japan: Communicating psychiatric practice in the 1830s. History of Psychiatry, 25 (3), 350-363. 10.1177/0957154X14542731
  • Nakamura, E. (2013). The Private World of a Meiji-era Japanese Doctor: Ishii Kendō's Diary of 1874. Social History of Medicine, 26 (2), 165-181. 10.1093/shm/hks083
  • Jannetta, A., & Nakamura, E. (2012). Translating Medical Knowledge: Japan's First Medical Journal Taisei meii ikō. Historia Scientiarum, 22 (2), 68-87. Related URL.
  • Nakamura, E. L. G. (2008). Ogino Ginko's Vision: "The Past and Future of Women Doctors in Japan" (1893). U.S.-Japan Women's Journal, 34, 3-18.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/11603
  • Nakamura, E. L. G. (2008). Working the Siebold Network: Kusumoto Ine and Western Learning in Nineteenth-Century Japan. Japanese Studies, 28 (2), 197-211. 10.1080/10371390802249172
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/11602
  • Nakamura, E. L. (2005). Practical pursuits: Takano Choei, Takahashi Keisaku, and western medicine in nineteenth-century Japan. Massachusetts, USA: Harvard University Asia Center. Pages: 236. Related URL.


Contact details

Office hours

Thursdays 12-1; Fridays 1.30-2.30 

Primary office location

ARTS 2 - Bldg 207
Level 4, Room 423
New Zealand

Web links