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Rachael Hutchinson

  • Associate Professor of Japanese Studies

University of Delaware
113 Jastak-Burgess Hall
Newark, DE 19716

(302) 831-2597
Professional Website
Courses Taught

Office Hours

M 12:30 P.M. - 1:30 P.M.
W 12:30 P.M. - 1:30 P.M.


Rachael Hutchinson is Associate Professor in Japanese Studies at the University of Delaware. She received her D.Phil. from the University of Oxford in 2000, and her research addresses representations of Japanese identity in a range of narrative texts – literature, film, manga and videogames. Her major publications are Nagai Kafū’s Occidentalism: Defining the Japanese Self (author, SUNY Press 2011), Representing the Other in Modern Japanese Literature: A Critical Approach (co-editor, Routledge 2007) and Negotiating Censorship in Modern Japan (editor, Routledge 2013). She has published essays in Japan Forum, Monumenta Nipponica and Games and Culture. Currently she is working on a book manuscript about videogames and Japanese culture.

Hutchinson believes passionately in undergraduate research and writing, incorporating writing and presentation skills in all her courses. She teaches advanced Japanese language, reading and translation, as well as culture courses such as ‘Issues in Japanese Film’, ‘Representing the Other in Modern Japanese Literature’, and ‘Critical Approaches to the Japanese Videogame’. Her students have presented academic papers at such prestigious conferences as the GEIS Student Research on Women conference (2010), the Mid-Atlantic Region Association for Asian Studies conference (2013) and the Greater Philadelphia Asian Studies Consortium (2014). Hutchinson is faculty liaison to the Japanese National Honor Society on campus as well as advisor to the UD Anime and Manga Club, the Kendo Club, Aikido Club, Genshiken and the UD Videogame Tournament Club.

As co-founder of the UD Game Studies Research Group, Hutchinson recently received a grant from the IHRC to further Game Studies on campus, through interfaculty collaboration as well as course development and expansion of library holdings. Hutchinson established the Games Lab on campus in 2009 and has delivered papers at national conferences on using videogames in a university syllabus.


  • D.Phil. Oriental Studies, University of Oxford, 2000
  • B.A.Hon. History and Japanese, University of Newcastle, Australia, 1995


  • Books:

Negotiating Censorship in Modern Japan (editor) Routledge 2013

Negotiating Censorship in Modern Japan (editor) Routledge 2013

Censorship in Japan has seen many changes over the last 150 years and each successive system of rule has possessed its own censorship laws, regulations, and methods of enforcement. Yet what has remained constant through these many upheavals has been the process of negotiation between censor and artist that can be seen across the cultural media of modern society.

By exploring censorship in a number of different Japanese art forms – from popular music and kabuki performance through to fiction, poetry and film – across a range of historical periods, this book provides a striking picture of the pervasiveness and strength of Japanese censorship across a range of media; the similar tactics used by artists of different media to negotiate censorship boundaries; and how censors from different systems and time periods face many of the same problems and questions in their work. The essays in this collection highlight the complexities of the censorship process by investigating the responsibilities and choices of all four groups – artists, censors, audience and ideologues – in a wide range of case studies. The contributors shift the focus away from top-down suppression, towards the more complex negotiations involved in the many stages of an artistic work, all of which involve movement within boundaries, as well as testing of those boundaries, on the part of both artist and censor. Taken together, the essays in this book demonstrate that censorship at every stage involves an act of human judgment, in a context determined by political, economic and ideological factors.
This book and its case studies provide a fascinating insight into the dynamics of censorship and how these operate on both people and texts. As such, it will be of great interest to students and scholars interested in Japanese studies, Japanese culture, society and history, and media studies more generally.

<i>Representing the Other in Modern Japanese Literature</i> (co-editor) Routledge 2007

Representing the Other in Modern Japanese Literature (co-editor) Routledge 2007

Representing the Other in Modern Japanese Literature looks at the ways in which authors writing in Japanese in the twentieth century constructed a division between the ‘Self’ and the ‘Other’ in their work. Drawing on methodology from Foucault and Lacan, the clearly presented essays seek to show how Japanese writers have responded to the central question of what it means to be ‘Japanese’ and of how best to define their identity.

Taking geographical, racial and ethnic identity as a starting point to explore Japan’s vision of ‘non-Japan’, representations of the Other are examined in terms of the experiences of Japanese authors abroad and in the imaginary lands envisioned by authors in Japan.

Using a diverse cross-section of writers and texts as case studies, this edited volume brings together contributions from a number of leading international experts in the field and is written at an accessible level, making it essential reading for those working in Japanese studies, colonialism, identity studies and nationalism.

<i>Nagai Kafū’s Occidentalism: Defining the Japanese Self</i> (author) SUNY Press 2011

Nagai Kafū’s Occidentalism: Defining the Japanese Self (author) SUNY Press 2011

Describes how writer Nagai Kafū (1879–1959) used his experience of the West to reconcile modernization and Japanese identity.

Nagai Kafū (1879–1959) spent more time abroad than any other writer of his generation, firing the Japanese imagination with his visions of America and France. Applying the theoretical framework of Occidentalism to Japanese literature, Rachael Hutchinson explores Kafū’s construction of the Western Other, an integral part of his critique of Meiji civilization. Through contrast with the Western Other, Kafū was able to solve the dilemma that so plagued Japanese intellectuals—how to modernize and yet retain an authentic Japanese identity in the modern world. Kafū’s flexible positioning of imagined spaces like the “West” and the “Orient” ultimately led him to a definition of the Japanese Self. Hutchinson analyzes the wide range of Kafū’s work, particularly those novels and stories reflecting Kafū’s time in the West and the return to Japan, most unknown to Western readers and a number unavailable in English, along with his better-known depictions of Edo’s demimonde. Kafū’s place in Japan’s intellectual history and his influence on other writers are also discussed.

“Hutchinson’s powerful contribution will take its place among the most important books published on Kafū. It stands apart because she expands on important issues in his writing, including Orientalism/Occidentalism, identity, and social critique.” — Douglas N. Slaymaker, author of The Body in Postwar Japanese Fiction.


UDaily articles:
‘Technology in the Classroom: Rachael Hutchinson uses video games as a part of the curriculum in her classes’

‘Prof honored for essay on Japanese studies’

‘Humanities Grants Awarded’

IHRC web page for Game Studies Research Group:

Mid-Atlantic Region Association for Asian Studies Executive Committee, Member at Large

Academia.edu page

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