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Ian Nish 1926-2022

Published/Broadcast 3 August 2022

We were sorry to hear that Ian Nish, Emeritus Professor of International History at LSE and long-time research associate in STICERD's Japanese Studies programme has passed away at the age of 96.

Ian Nish took a doctorate from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. His first academic appointment was to the History department of the University of Sydney. In 1962, he started teaching as a Japan specialist in the International History department at the LSE. Two of his specialized courses there resulted in two monograph publications: "Origins of the Russo-Japanese War" and "Japan's Struggle with Internationalism". Ian Nish pursued his own research into the history of Anglo-Japanese relations, which led to two more books. He was an active member of the Japan Society; a secretary of the British Association for Japanese Studies, and from 1985 to 1988, president of the European Association for Japanese Studies.

After his formal retirement in 1991, he accepted the position of Honorary Senior Research Associate at STICERD. In 2001-2002, two volumes of his collected writings were simultaneously published in Britain and Japan. He was the Honorary Chief British Coordinator of the Anglo-Japanese History Project; and, to mark the centenary of the Russo-Japanese War, compiled and introduced an eight-volume collection of important historical works and documents, The Russo-Japanese War, 1904-5 (2004).

His scholarship relating to the Anglo-Japanese Alliance, Japanese foreign policy and Anglo-Japanese relations in the twentieth century is internationally renowned. Long after his retirement in LSE, he came to STICERD regularly and those who got to know appreciated his gentle manner and his deep knowledge of all things Japanese. He went out of his way to meet and greet new and old faces alike and exemplified the community values that bind us together.

The Ian Nish Prize is awarded annually by the British Association for Japanese Studies for the best article by an early career scholar in any discipline of Japanese Studies published in Japan Forum, the journal of the British Association for Japanese Studies.

More information on Ian Nish's work and publications is available in his Wikipedia page.