Woman Morris-Suzuki, Teresa Irene Jessica (Tessa) (1951 - )

29 October 1951

Written by Sharon M. Harrison, The University of Melbourne

Tessa Morris-Suzuki is a leading historian of Japan. Her research has incorporated issues of citizenship, human rights, frontiers and historical memory and helped to transform understandings of the modern social history of Japan and the Northeast Asian region.

Tessa Morris-Suzuki was born on 29 October 1951 in Caterham, Surrey, England, and completed her secondary school education at St. Anne's College, Sanderstead, Greater London, and Stella Matutina School, Rotterdam, Holland. Morris-Suzuki graduated from the University of Bristol with a BA (Hons) in 1972, and worked for a year in the Department of the Environment, London, before going to Japan as a teacher in 1973. In 1980 she was awarded her PhD in Japanese economic history at the University of Bath for her thesis focusing on Japan's relations with Indonesia.

Morris-Suzuki lectured at the University of New England before taking up an appointment at the Australian National University in 1992. In 1994 she was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities. From 1994 to 1996 Morris-Suzuki served as Chair of Faculty, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University and was promoted to Professor of Japanese History in 1997. From Dec. 2008 to Jan. 09 she held a POSCO Fellowship at the University of Hawaii, and in 2009-2010 was awarded a Japan Foundation Senior Fellowship and was Visiting Professor at the University of Tokyo. In 2012 Morris-Suzuki was awarded a prestigious Australian Laureate Fellowship.

A council member of the International Council on Human Rights Policy (2011-2012), she has also served as Convenor, Asian Studies in Asia Network (1999-2005), Member, Foreign Affairs Council (1998-2001); President, Asian Studies Association of Australia (2000-2002) and International Secretary, Australian Academy of the Humanities (1995-1998). Since 2003, Morris-Suzuki has been Convenor, Asian Civil Rights Network.

She is the author of several publications, including East Asia Beyond the History Wars, co-authored with Morris Low, Leonid Petrov and Timothy Y. Tsu; Borderline Japan; To the Diamond Mountains; Exodus to North Korea; The Past Within Us: Media, Memory, History; and co-editor of the eight-volume history of the Asia-Pacific War published in Japanese by Iwanami Publishers (2005-2006) and the forthcoming multi-volume work Hitobito no Seishinshi, a history of popular ideas and emotions in postwar Japan, to be published by Iwanami in 2013-2014. Apart from her academic publications, Morris-Suzuki has also published some children's stories and poetry, including the collection of poems, Peeling Apples (2005).

Morris Suzuki is married to Hiroshi Suzuki; they have one son.

Additional sources: Personal communication between Teresa Irene Jessica Morris-Suzuki and Sharon Harrison, March 2013.

Published Resources

Edited Books

  • Who's Who in Australia, Crown Content, Melbourne, Victoria, 1927 - 2013. Details

Online Resources

See also