Chika Tonooka

Mark Kaplanoff Research Fellow in History, Pembroke College
photo of Chika Tonooka

I was born in Tokyo and grew up in London. I read History (BA) at St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge, and undertook an MA at the University of Tokyo before returning to Cambridge where I completed a PhD dissertation entitled ‘Japanese “civilisation” and ideas of progress in Britain, c.1880-1945’. My dissertation was the joint winner of the Faculty's 2020 Prince Consort & Thirwall Prize and Seeley Medal for the best dissertation in History. 

Part I

Paper 6 British political history, since 1880

Paper 11 British economic and social history, since c. 1880

Paper 21 Empires and world history from the 15th century to the First World War

Paper 23 World History since 1914

Part II

Paper 5 (HSPS POL 11) Political philosophy and the history of political thought since c. 1890

Historical Argument and Practice (Global & Transnational history; International History; Challenge to Eurocentric historiography; Postmodernism; Power; Race; Gender; Nations & States)

Undergraduate Dissertation Supervision


Race and Empire in Modern British History

Course Director, Global History Pathway Module, MSt in History, Institute of Continuing Education, University of Cambridge, 2019; New York-Cambridge Training Collaboration in Twentieth-Century British History (NYCTC), 2015-2018. 


Tags & Themes


Pembroke College


Key publications


British Eurocentrism and the Challenge of Japanese Civilisation, c.1880-1945 (manuscript in progress)


'World history's Eurocentric moment? British internationalism in the age of Asian nationalism, c.1905-1931', Modern Intellectual History (FirstView 2019).

'Reverse emulation and the cult of Japanese efficiency in Edwardian Britain', Historical Journal, 60 (2017), 95-119.