Steven J. Ericson

|Associate Professor
Academic Appointments

Associate Professor of History

Steven Ericson specializes in the history of Japan with a focus on the country's modern transformation. His research centers on government financial and industrial policies and their economic and social effects in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He is the author of The Sound of the Whistle: Railroads and the State in Meiji Japan (Harvard, 1996) and Financial Stabilization in Meiji Japan: The Impact of the Matsukata Reform (Cornell, 2020) and co-editor of The Treaty of Portsmouth and Its Legacies (University Press of New England, 2008). He is currently working on trust-busting during the U.S. occupation of Japan following World War II.


Carson Hall, Room C209
HB 6107




  • B.A. Michigan State University
  • A.M. Harvard University
  • Ph.D. Harvard University

Selected Publications

  • Financial Stabilization in Meiji Japan: The Impact of the Matsukata Reform (2020).

  • “Smithian Rhetoric, Listian Practice: The Matsukata ‘Retrenchment’ and Industrial Policy, 1881-1885,” Japan Forum, vol. 30, no. 4 (2018) 498-520.

  • “Japanese Agency and Business Reform in Occupied Japan: The Holding Company Liquidation Commission and Zaibatsu Dissolution,” in The Economic and Business History of Occupied Japan, Thomas W. French (ed.), (2017) 11-30.

  • "Orthodox Finance and 'The Dictates of Practical Expediency': Influences on Matsukata Masayoshi and the Financial Reform of 1881-1885," Monumenta Nipponica, vol. 71, no. 1 (2016) 83-117.

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Works In Progress

Zaibatsu Dissolution and Business Deconcentration during the U.S. Occupation of Japan