Austin Smith

History BA Hons (Newcastle University), MA in East Asian History (Newcastle University)

Thesis Title: Local Patriotism in the Japanese Periphery: Popular Responses to International Conflict and War Commemoration in Tokushima.

Supervisor: Dr Konrad M Lawson

Personal website:


Research interests:

My research interests centre on regional war memory and local agency in twentieth century Japan. My thesis will concentrate on the Tokushima region in rural Shikoku. Studying the local history of Tokushima allows themes from the Russo-Japanese War, First World War and Asia-Pacific War to be considered and contrasted. There will be a particular focus on the firebombing of Tokushima on July 4th, 1945 drawing on personal accounts and photographs of the event which I translated to mark the seventieth anniversary in 2015. I am also interested in opportunities to build on my MA research on Olympic Tokyo in the run-up to Tokyo 2020. 

Before coming to St Andrews I completed an undergraduate degree in History (2009) and an MA in East Asian History (2010) at Newcastle University and spent four years in Tokushima on the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme.

Academic paper and poster presentations:

  • ‘Tokyo and the Japanese Olympic Movement’ (Poster), Newcastle University School of Historical Studies Postgraduate Forum Conference, May 2010.
  • ‘Disseminating Discourses of Tokyo through the Medium of the Japanese Olympic Movement, 1930-2009’ (Paper), History Lab North East, Northumbria University, January 2011.


The Sasakawa Japanese Studies Postgraduate Studentship (2015-2016)