College of Social SciencesUniversity of Hawaii at Manoa
Department of Sociology



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Patricia Steinhoff

Patricia Steinhoff



PhD Harvard University, 1969

I am a Japan specialist. I speak and read Japanese and virtually all of my research concerns either Japanese society or Japanese Studies in the United States. I do primarily qualitative research on Japanese social movements, but also have done a number of large-scale survey projects, including four studies of Japan specialists in the United States and Canada. My monograph analyzing the most recent data may be found at the following website: Earlier in my career I did extensive research on abortion and women's health in Hawaii. I also have led some Japanese and English bilingual website projects. They can be found at the following locations: and>



My major research is on social movements in Japan, particularly those on the Left. I am interested in the Japanese protest cycle of the late 1960s and early 1970s, and radical left groups that emerged in that protest cycle and went underground. I have also been writing on Japan's invisible civil society, which I see as an outgrowth of that protest cycle. I am currently completing a trilogy on Japan's Red Army groups. One volume is an English version of my earlier Japanese book on the Red Army Faction in Japan, updated to include its ramifications on the invisible civil society and the low level of public protest from the mid-1970s to the 1990s. The second is a new analysis of the Japanese Red Army in the Middle East, based on recent participant accounts. The third is the English translation of Koji Takazawa's book Destiny: The Secret Operations of the Yodogo Exiles, which will be published by University of Hawaii Press.

In my spare time I am an avid handweaver. I have a weaving blog at I show my weavings in juried shows of the Hawaii Handweavers Hui and Hawaii Craftsmen, and have served as president and workshop chair for the Hawaii Handweavers Hui.



I currently teach undergraduate and graduate courses on Japanese society, a graduate seminar on social movements, and a graduate seminar on qualitative content analysis, and occasionally I teach the graduate seminar on classical theory. I also participate in a joint seminar on comparative social organization in East Asia. In fall 2016 I am teaching a graduate seminar on Social Movements. In the past I have taught a large lecture section of Sociology 100 using lots of active learning activities and small group discussions.

I work closely with graduate students in the sociology department, and also serve on the committee of some students in other department who are studying Japan. I also have served on (and chaired) the University's Social Science Committee on Human Studies, so I can advise on human subjects procedures.



"Transnational Ties of the Japanese Armed Left: Shared Revolutionary Ideas and Direct Personal Contacts" in Revolutionary Violence and the New Left: Transnational Perspectives, ed. by Alberto Martin Alvarez and Eduardo Rey Tristan. Routledge (2016) : This chapter explores two transnational aspects of Japan’s armed New Left. First, it examines the diffusion of revolutionary ideas through published Japanese translations that were available in the 1960s and 1970s in left-oriented bookstores and widely read by students (and are now in the Takazawa Collection in Hamilton Library, UH). Second, it examines direct transnational contacts between the Japanese armed left and similar groups all over the world, based on my long-term research on the Red Army Faction in Japan and its offshoots. This was Japan’s most transnational armed New Left group, which inspired the naming of its German counterpart. It had some early contact with American and European New Left representatives, but more extensive transnational ties developed after repression in Japan led members of the Red Army to try to establish international bases from which to continue their activities. Type: Chapters in books

“Differential Outcomes of Prosecutions for Political Violence” in Bosi et al, Political Violence in Context (2015) : This chapter examines the pattern of criminal prosecutions for political violence in Japan and the United States, focusing on participants who were arrested for their activities in New Left and post-New Left groups that went underground in both countries between the1970s and 2000s. Parallels are found in the handling of cases in the two countries, despite temporal differences in the criminal justice systems. The Japanese system is highly predictable while the US system with both state and federal prosecutions had more variable outcomes. Type: Chapters in books Co-Authors: Gilda Zwerman Keywords: political violence, criminal prosecution, Japan and US

Going to Court to Change Japan: Social Movements and the Law (2014) : I edited this volume, which was published in the University of Michigan Center for Japanese Studies series in summer 2014. I also have both an introduction explaining the Japanese criminal justice system and a chapter in it called "No Helmets in Court, No T-shirts on Death Row: New Left Trial Support Groups in Japan." It chronicles the activities of a network of support groups for a bombing group that currently has two members on Japan's death row and others serving prison sentences. Type: Edited volumes Keywords: Japan, social movements, support groups, law

Memories of New Left Protest (2013) : This article used collective memory concepts to analyze three key events in the Japanese New Left protest cycle. It was published in Contemporary Japan, Journal of the German Institute for Japanese Studies 25:2, Fall 2013, pp. 127-165. Type: Articles in international or national refereed journals Keywords: Japan, New Left, Protest

“Passer puis renoncer à l’action violente: les mouvements de la nouvelle gauche aux États-Unis et au Japon face à la répression“ [Engaging in and Renouncing Violence: New Left Movements in the United States and Japan Confront Repression] (2013) : This French article is part of our comparative work on underground militant groups in Japan and the United States. It was published in Cultures et conflits in a special issue on Militantisme et Répression no. 89, Spring 2013, pp. 71-92 Type: Articles in international or national refereed journals Co-Authors: Gilda Zwerman Keywords: underground movements, Japan, United States, support groups

The Remains of the Movement: The Role of Legal Support Networks in Leaving Violence while Sustaining Movement Identity (2012) : This is the third article in the series that Gilda Zwerman and I have published comparing what happened to the groups that went underground at the peak of the protest cycle. This one deals with how they continued to resist after arrest with the aid of support groups or defense committees, but later their ties to these groups enabled them to withdraw from violence. Type: Articles in international or national refereed journals Co-Authors: Gilda Zwerman Keywords: underground movements, Japan, United States, support groups

“Japan: Student Activism in an Emerging Democracy” (2012) : This chapter appeared in Meredith Weiss and Edward Aspinall,eds., Student Activism in Asia: Between Protest and Powerlessness. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2012, pp. 57-78. It traces the Japanese student movement from its prewar origins to the present. Type: Chapters in books Keywords: Japan student movements

Shifting Boundaries in Japan’s Criminal Justice System (2010) : This chapter in Decoding Boundaries in Postwar Japan: The Koizumi Administration and Beyond. edited by Hiroko Takeda and Glenn D. Hook, ( Routledge, 2010) compares two major trials with heavy participation of social movement organizations on the left and the right, to illustrate recent changes in the Japanese criminal justice system. Type: Chapters in books

Mass Arrests, Sensational Crimes, and Stranded Children: Three Crises for Japanese New Left Activists’ Families (2008) : This chapter appeared in Akiko Hashimoto and John Traphagan, eds., Japanese Families in a Global Age: Conflict and Change. (SUNY Press, 2008). I examines the responses of Japanese families to the arrest and incarceration of their children for protest activity over the period from the late 1960s to 2005, and the role of support groups in mediating and facilitating that response. Type: Chapters in books Keywords: Japanese social movements, families of radicals

Radical Outcasts versus Three Kinds of Police: Constructing Limits in Japanese Anti-Emperor Protest (2006) : This article analyzing the interaction of protesters and police in Japanese protest demonstrations appeared in Qualitative Sociology , vol 29:3, September, 2006. Type: Articles in international or national refereed journals Keywords: Japanese protest activities

When Activists Ask for Trouble: State-Dissident Interactions and the New Left Cycle of Resistance in the United States and Japan (2005) : This study appeared in Christian Davenport, Hank Johnston, and Carol Mueller, eds., Repression and Mobilization. Social Movements, Protest, and Contention, Vol. 21. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2005, pp. 85-107. It is the second in our series of analyses of how social movement groups go underground, using materials from our separate fieldwork in Japan and the US. Type: Chapters in books Co-Authors: Gilda Zwerman

Doing Fieldwork in Japan (2003) : This is an edited collection of articles about the process of doing fieldwork in Japan, which also includes my own chapter on "Doing Fieldwork Without a Site". Type: Edited volumes Co-Authors: Theodore Bestor and Vickey Bestor Keywords: Japanese Studies

Shi e no Ideologii (2003) : This is a republication in the Iwanami Modern Classics Series of my earlier book in Japanese entitled Nihon Sekigunha: Sono Shakaigakuteki Monogatari, with a new preface and commentary by Japanese scholar Tsurumi Shunsuke. There is no English version of this book yet, but a Korean translation of it was published in 2013 as The Lod Airport Massacre and the Rengo Sekigun Purge .[in Korean] Seoul: Gyoyangin Publishing Company, 2013. Type: Books of original scholarship–author/co-author Keywords: Japanese social movements, Red Army

Disappearing Social Movements: Clandestinity in the Cycle of New Left Social Movements in the United States, Japan, Germany, and Italy (2000) : This was the first of a series of articles in which we have pooled fieldwork data from Japan, the United States, and Europe on parallel New Left social movement groups that went underground. It appeared in the journal Mobilization. (5) 1, Spring, 2000, pp. 85-104. This one was co-authored by della Porta (Europe) and Zwerman (U.S.). Zwerman and I have continued to work on the US-Japan comparison to explore similar developments in these two countries after the experience in Europe diverged. Type: Articles in international or national refereed journals Co-Authors: Donatella della Porta and Gilda Zwerman Keywords: radical social movements


Research Projects

Japanese Specialists and Japanese Studies Institutions in North America (2011 - 2012 ) : The fourth in a series of studies of Japanese Studies in the United States and Canada, supported by the Japan Foundation was completed in 2012. We collected data from specialists and institutions, and produced the fourth edition of the directory of Japan Specialists and Japanese Studies Institutions in the United States and Canada and I wrote a monograph analyzing the current state of Japanese Studies in the United States.This was my third such monograph and extended the longitudinal analysis of how the field has changed over the past 60 years. The website listed below contains a searchable version of the directory files, plus pdfs of the directory volumes and the monograph available for download.
   Related Website


Processing New Materials for the Takazawa Collection (2008 - ) : We are currently organizing, preserving, and cataloging a large amount of new material that has recently been donated to the Takazawa Collection. The bibliographies of the original Takazawa Collection are all posted on the Takazawa Collection website. We have recently produced two print volumes containing all the bibliographies in a special boxed edition for the donor, Takazawa Koji. All the pdf files from this limited edition publication have been posted to the Takazawa Collection website for free download at
   Related Website



SOC 357 (Spring 2019) : Sociology of Japan - Download

SOC 606 (Fall 2018) : Research Methods and Design - Download
  Section: 1

SOC Soc 750 (Fall 2018) : Seminar in Social Movements - Download

SOC 722 (Spring 2018) : Seminar in Modern Japanese Society - Download
  Section: 1

SOC Soc 607 (Spring 2017) : Seminar in Qualitative Content Analysis - Download

SOC 611 (Fall 2015) : Seminar in Classical Theory - Download
  Section: 1

SOC Soc 357 WI (Spring 2012) : Sociology of Japanese Society - Download
  Section: 1

SOC 100 (Spring 2011) : 001 - Download