Mark BOOKMAN - Tokyo College
Postdoctoral Fellow


01 Description of Research

I am a historian of disability policy and related social movements in Japanese and global contexts.

Over the last 150 years in Japan, attempts by activists and policy makers to improve accessibility for disabled populations have empowered some individuals while restricting the freedom of others. As a postdoctoral fellow at Tokyo College, I am currently working on a book project that considers why this problem occurred and explores what we can do to prevent it from reoccurring in the future.

I am also writing several articles, which collectively reveal how flows of information and materials to and from Japan have shaped, and continue to shape, the lives of disabled people across the world.

In addition to the above publication activities, I am also working as a disability policy consultant for government agencies and companies in places like Japan and the United States, as well as the International Paralympic Committee and United Nations. Some of the projects that I am involved in concern inclusive education, equitable transit, and disaster risk management for disabled people.

For more information about my research, please visit my website:

02 Short Biography

2021–2022 Postdoctoral Fellow, Tokyo College
2021 PhD, Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Pennsylvania
2016 MA, Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Pennsylvania
2014 BA, Global Interdisciplinary Studies, Villanova University

03 Publications and Other Research Activities

“Creating ‘Disability Publics’ in Postwar Japan (1937¬–1957),” Journal of Japanese Studies, Vol. 50, No. 1 (2024) (Accepted for publication).

“A Recent History of Activism for Accessibility in Japan (1981–2006),” Disability Studies Quarterly, Vol. 43. No. 1 (2023) (Accepted for Publication).

“The Coronavirus Crisis: Disability Politics and Activism in Contemporary Japan,” Japan Focus: The Asia–Pacific Journal, Vol. 18(18) No. 3 (2020), pp. 1–13.

“Access to Accessibility: Building Better Assistive Technologies アクセシビリティへのアクセス:より良い支援技術の構築” in Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers ed., Conference Proceedings of LIFE2019 (2019), pp. 1–6.

“Oguri Kōzukenosuke: ‘The Father of Meiji’” in Linda H. Chance and Tetsuko Toda ed., Phila-Nipponica: A Historic Guide to Philadelphia and Japan (2015), pp. 32–37.