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History Department

Lee K. Pennington, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
History of Japan; History of East Asia

  •  Phone: (410) 293-6279 (Office)
  •  E-mail:
  •   The United States Naval Academy 572 Holloway Road Annapolis, MD 21402


  • M.A., Ph.D. in History - Columbia University
    • J. William Fulbright Scholar, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan
    • Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies, Yokohama, Japan
  • M.A. in East Asian Studies - The Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University
  • B.A. in Political Science - Davidson College

Research Interests

Social and cultural history of wartime and occupied Japan; disability history; visual culture and propaganda; history of medicine and the body.

Publications: Books, Journal Articles, Translations

Casualties of History: Wounded Japanese Servicemen and the Second World War (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2015).  [Cornell University Press weblink to Casualties of History page.]

"Wives for the Wounded: Marriage Mediation for Japanese Disabled Veterans During World War II," Special Section: Gender and Disability, The Journal of Social History 53:3 (Spring 2020): 667-697.

Translation of Katō Yoko, “What Caused the Russo-Japanese War—-Korea or Manchuria?” Social Science Japan Journal 10:1 (June 2007): 95-103.

Research Presentations (Spring 2005 to Present):

"Scar Wars: Japanese Disabled Veterans, Adversity Narratives, and the Shōkeikan."  Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Asian Studies, Denver, CO (March 2019).

"With This Wound I Thee Wed: Spousal Support and Japanese Disabled Veterans of the Second World War."  Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Asian Studies, Toronto, Canada (March 2017).

"Realigning Hirohito's Broken Limbs: Wounded Servicemen and Wartime Japanese Society."  Presented at the Japan Forum convened at the Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (February 2015).

"The Rise and Fall of Provisional Tokyo Number Three Army Hospital, 1937-1945."  Presented at the World War II Medical History Symposium convened at the U.S. Army Medical Department Center of History and Heritage, Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, TX (March 2014).

"A Soldier Tells His Wounds: An Injured Japanese Soldier at the China Front."  Presented at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's John E. Sawyer Seminar "Japan Embodied: Bodies at War" held at Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO (February 2011).

"Scar Wars: Disabled Veterans and Competitive Military Sacrifice in Early Postwar Japan."  Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Military History, Lexington, VA (May 2010).

"Occupational Therapy: Japanese Disabled Veterans and the Postwar Occupation of Japan."  Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association, New York, NY (January 2009).

"The Wound and the Bow: Honoring Injured Servicemen in Wartime Japan."  Presented as part of a lecture series titled "Soldiers and Soldiering in Twentieth-Century Japan" held at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University, New York, NY (October 2008).

“Mars Needs Women: Recruiting Wives for Disabled Veterans in Wartime Japan."  Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Asian Studies, Atlanta, GA (April 2008).

“Red, White, and Bruised: Japanese Disabled Veterans of the Second World War.”  Presented at the Center for Japanese Studies, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA (February 2008).

"From Warfare to Welfare: Japanese Disabled Veterans of the Second World War."  Presented at Brandeis University, Waltham, MA (March 2006).

"The Pain of It: Japanese Battle Casualties in Wartime Popular Culture."  Presented at "A Joint Workshop on Affect, Emotion, and Public Life in Modern China and Japan" convened by the Fairbank and Reischauer Centers, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (May 2005).

"Anxious Visions: Looking at Postwar Japanese History."  Presented at The Japan Society, New York, NY (April, 2005).

"Protecting the Wounded: Japanese Disabled Veterans on the Home Front, 1937-1945."  Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Asian Studies, Chicago, IL (April 2005).

Courses Taught (Fall 2007 to Present)

HH215: The West in the Premodern World

HH215A: Asia in the Premodern World

HH216: The West in the Modern World

HH262x: Perspectives on History: Hiroshima and Nagasaki

HH361: History of East Asia

HH367x: Gods and Monsters in Japanese History

HH367x: Japan and the Second World War

HH367x: Japan Since 1800: From Samurai to Tsunami

HH370: Samurai and Soldier in Japanese History

HH377x: Medicine and War Since 1850

Professional Affiliations

Association for Asian Studies; Disability History Association

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