Steven J. Ericson

Academic Appointments

Associate Professor of History

Steven Ericson specializes in the history of Japan with a focus on the country's modern transformation. His research centers on government financial and industrial policies and their economic and social effects in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He is the author of The Sound of the Whistle: Railroads and the State in Meiji Japan (Harvard, 1996), co-editor of The Treaty of Portsmouth and Its Legacies (University Press of New England, 2008), and author of the forthcoming Financial Stabilization in Meiji Japan: The Impact of the Matsukata Reform (Cornell University Press). He is currently working on trust-busting during the U.S. occupation of Japan following World War II.

209 Carson Hall
HB 6107
B.A. Michigan State University
A.M. Harvard University
Ph.D. Harvard University

Selected Publications

“Smithian Rhetoric, Listian Practice: The Matsukata ‘Retrenchment’ and Industrial Policy, 1881-1885,” Japan Forum, vol. 30, no. 4 (2018) 498-520.

“Japanese Agency and Business Reform in Occupied Japan: The Holding Company Liquidation Commission and Zaibatsu Dissolution,” in The Economic and Business History of Occupied Japan, Thomas W. French (ed.), (2017) 11-30.

"Orthodox Finance and 'The Dictates of Practical Expediency': Influences on Matsukata Masayoshi and the Financial Reform of 1881-1885," Monumenta Nipponica, vol. 71, no. 1 (2016) 83-117.

Japonica, Indica: Rice and Foreign Trade in Meiji Japan,” Journal of Japanese Studies, vol. 41 (Summer 2015) 317-345.

“The ‘Matsukata Deflation’ Reconsidered: Financial Stabilization and Japanese Exports in a Global Depression, 1881-85,” Journal of Japanese Studies, vol. 40 (Winter 2014) 1-28.

The Treaty of Portsmouth and Its Legacies, co-edited with A Hockley (2008).

“Riding the Rails: The Japanese Railways Meet the Challenge of War,” in The Russo-Japanese War in Global Perspective, J Steinberg et al. (eds.), (2006) 225-249.

“Taming the Iron Horse: Western Locomotive Makers and Technology Transfer in Japan, 1870-1914,” in Public Spheres, Private Lives in Modern Japan, 1600-1950: Essays in Honor of Albert M. Craig, G L Bernstein, et al. (eds.), (2005) 185-217.

The Sound of the Whistle: Railroads and the State in Meiji Japan (1996).

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Works in progress

Zaibatsu Dissolution and Business Deconcentration during the U.S. Occupation of Japan