Frank UPHAM - Tokyo College
Tokyo College Professor


Research interests Gender Discrimination in Employment. The research explores interaction between law, culture, and economics in the area of gender discrimination in employment (and maybe other areas like politics). Period of stay April 1, 2024 - May 10, 2024
01 Description of Research

Frank Upham is the Wilf Family Professor of Property Law emeritus and teaches courses on property, law and development, and comparative law and society with an emphasis on East Asia and the developing world. His scholarship focuses on Japan and China, and his book Law and Social Change in Postwar Japan received the Thomas J. Wilson Prize from Harvard University Press in 1987. Recent scholarship includes Who Will Find the Defendant If He Stays with His Sheep? Justice in Rural China, From Demsetz to Deng: Speculations on the Implications of Chinese Growth for Law and Development Theory, and Resistible Force Meets Malleable Object: The Story of the ‘Introduction’ of Norms of Gender Equality into Japanese Employment Practice. In 2018 he published The Great Property Fallacy: Theory, Reality, and Growth in Developing Countries, which was translated into Japanese in 2023 as Zaisanken no Oukiinaru no Gokai. His current research is in gender discrimination in four affluent democracies: France, Japan, Taiwan, and the United States. Before entering academia, Professor Upham taught English at Tunghai University in Taiwan, was a journalist in Vietnam in 1969-1970, and practiced law in the Attorney General’s Office of Massachusetts. Prior to moving to NYU School of Law, Professor Upham taught at Ohio State, Harvard, and Boston College law schools. He served as co-director of the U.S.-Asia Law Institute until 2016.

02 Short Biography

Fall 2023 New York University School of Law, New York: NY Law, Film, and Culture

January 2023 New York University Abu Dhabi J-Term: Law, Film, and Society

1994-2022 New York University School of Law, New York, NY: Property, US Asia Law Institute Colloquium: Globalization, International Law and East Asia Law, Law and Development, Law and Society in Japan, Law, Film and Culture in East Asia, Introduction to East Asian Legal Systems

1987-1994  Professor of Law, Boston College Law School

1986-1987 Research Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Visiting Scholar of the Faculty of Law, Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan

1982-1986 Associate Professor, Boston College Law School

1978-1982 Assistant and Associate Professor, Ohio State University College of Law, Columbus, OH

1977 Japan Foundation Fellow; Visiting Scholar at Doshisha University, Law Faculty, Kyoto, Japan

1972-1973 Kyoto University Graduate School of Faculty of Law, Kyoto, Japan

1970-1974 Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA (JD, Cum laude, 1970-1972, 1973-1974)

1967-1969  Instructor, Department of Western Languages, Tunghai University, Taichung, Taiwan

1963-1967 Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, BA (Magna cum laude: Phi Beta Kappa, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs 1963-1967)

03 Publications and Other Research Activities


  • Zaisanken no Ookiinaru Gokai:Kaihatsu ni Okeru Riron, Genjitsu, Tenkai (Kobe University Press, 2023); Translation by Irie Katsunori and Kaneko Yuka
  • The Great Property Fallacy: Theory, Reality, and Growth in Developing Countries (Cambridge University Press, 2018)
  • Law and Social Change in Postwar Japan (Harvard U. Press, 1987); Recipient of Thomas J. Wilson Prize from Harvard University Press


  • The Legal Framework of U.S.-Japan Economics Relations (Studies in East Asian Law, Japan, Number 4, 1986; East Asian Legal Studies, Harvard Law School). Also published as Special Issue of the Harvard International Law Journal, Volume 27, 1986