Personal profile


Sherzod Muminov is a multilingual historian working with sources in Japanese and Russian, and is also fluent in Turkish. He has a BA in International Relations from the University of World Economy and Diplomacy in Uzbekistan, an MA in International Politics from the University of Manchester, and an MA in International Area Studies from the University of Tsukuba in Japan. Sherzod received his PhD in East Asian Studies from the University of Cambridge, where he was also a postdoctoral research associate in the ERC Project "The Dissolution of the Japanese Empire and the Struggle for Legitimacy in Postwar East Asia" and taught courses in modern Japanese and East Asian history. He was a Japan Foundation Doctoral Fellow at the Boissonade Institute of Modern Law and Politics at Hosei University in Tokyo, Japan (2013-2014), and has conducted research in major archives in Russia.

Sherzod's primary research is in modern Japanese and East Asian History, Japanese-Soviet/Russian relations, the Cold War in East Asia, the post-WWII, post-imperial migrations in East Asia, and the international and transnational history of the Soviet system of forced labour camps for prisoners-of-war. Sherzod wrote his doctoral dissertation on the "Siberian Internment" – the captivity, exploitation and indoctrination of over 600,000 Japanese former servicemen in the Soviet forced labour camps between 1945-1956. In April 2016, Sherzod's research was awarded in Japan the inaugural Murayama Tsuneo Memorial Award for the Promotion of Research into the Siberian Internment.

Sherzod is co-editor, with Barak Kushner, of The Dismantling of Japan's Empire in East Asia (Routledge 2017), and has published articles in journals such as Cold War History and Situations: Cultural Studies in the Asian Context. His article in Cold War History was awarded the Best Paper Prize at the 2014 European Summer School on Cold War History at the University of Trento. Sherzod has also authored three book chapters in English and one in Japanese, and translated a number of scholarly articles from the Japanese. Sherzod's first book, Eleven Winters of Discontent: The Siberian Internment and the Making of a New Japan, was published by Harvard University Press in January 2022. He is currently working on his second book, which will be the first global history of Soviet sympathizers based on sources in Japanese, Russian, Turkish, and English.

Key Research Interests

Sherzod Muminov researches the history of twentieth-century Japan within the larger contexts of imperialism, World War II, the Cold War and other domestic and international entanglements. While he has conducted extensive research in Japan, having worked in major archives (the Diplomatic Archives of Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Diet Library, the Research Library of the National Institute for Defence Studies, etc) and conducted interviews, Sherzod is interested in researching Japanese history “from the outside” based on materials in other languages. He analyses transformations in modern Japanese society through transnational encounters (e.g. the experiences of Japanese captives in Soviet camps) at the intersection of historical periods and in liminal, borderline spaces.

Sherzod is currently working on a book, to be published by Harvard University Press, that will be the first comprehensive English-language history of the “Siberian Internment” – the forced migration, detention, labour exploitation and propaganda education of over 600,000 Japanese former servicemen and civilians in the POW camps of the Soviet Union in the decade after World War II. The internment was one of the largest forced migrations in recent history; the defeated soldiers of the Japanese Empire worked alongside millions of Axis POWs and Soviet citizens in the vast system of forced labour camps of the USSR. In the camps, they underwent a meticulous “re-education” program, an experience that brought them under suspicion upon return to the US-occupied and increasingly anti-communist Japan. Despite the transnational nature of the Japanese captives’ experiences, the Siberian Internment has for seven decades been studied as a chapter of Japan’s history, and has been largely unknown internationally. Sherzod’s monograph will analyse the internment as a global history event based on an extensive range of diverse primary sources in Japanese, Russian, and English.

Sherzod is also interested in the history of Japanese communism and leftism in the twentieth century, the origins of the Cold War in East Asia, and the history of the Soviet system of POW camps.



Muminov, S. “From Imperial Revenants to Cold War Victims: ‘Red Repatriates’ from the Soviet Union and the Making of the New Japan, 1949-1952.” Cold War History, published online: (Article)

Muminov, S. “Categorising Victimhood: Manchukuo and the Gendered National History of the Japanese Empire’s Violent Collapse in Northeast Asia.” Situations: Cultural Studies in the Asian Context 10.1 (2017): 23-40. ISSN: 2288–7822. (Article)

Kushner, Barak, and Sherzod Muminov, eds. The Dismantling of Japan’s Empire in East Asia: Deimperialization, Postwar Legitimation and Imperial Afterlife. Abingdon: Routledge, 2017. (Edited volume)

Muminov, S. “Prejudice, Punishment, and Propaganda: Post Imperial Japan and the Soviet Versions of History and Justice in East Asia.” In The Dismantling of Japan’s Empire in East Asia: Deimperialization, Postwar Legitimation and Imperial Afterlife, edited by Barak Kushner and Sherzod Muminov, 146-164. Abingdon: Routledge, 2017. (Book chapter)

Muminov, S. “The Siberian Internment and the Translational History of the Early Cold War Japan, 1945-1956.” In Transnational Japan as History: Empire, Migration and Grass-Roots Movements, edited by Pedro Iacobelli, Danton Leary and Shinnosuke Takahashi, 71-95. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. (Book chapter)

Muminov, S. “Kan Sueharu no gisei, akagari to Nihon ni okeru Soren kara no hikiageshatachi.” In Japanese [Kan Sueharu’s Sacrifice, the Red Scare and Japanese Repatriates from the Soviet Union]. In Nichiro kankei: rekishi to gendai, edited by Shimotomai Nobuo, 115-134. Tokyo: Hosei University Press, 2015.


Translations from Japanese:

Chong, Young-hwan. “The Tokyo Trial and the Question of Colonial Responsibility: Zainichi Korean Reactions to Allied Justice in Occupied Japan.” International Journal of Korean History, Vol. 22, No. 1 (February 2017): 77-105.

Park, Jung-jin. “North Korean Nation Building and Japanese Imperialism: People’s Nation, ‘People’s Diplomacy’ and the Japanese Technicians.” In The Dismantling of Japan’s Empire in East Asia: Deimperialization, Postwar Legitimation and Imperial Afterlife, edited by Barak Kushner and Sherzod Muminov. London: Routledge, 2017.

Araragi, Shinzō, “The Collapse of the Japanese Empire, Human Migrations and Repatriation.” In The Dismantling of Japan’s Empire in East Asia: Deimperialization, Postwar Legitimation and Imperial Afterlife, edited by Barak Kushner and Sherzod Muminov. London: Routledge, 2017.  

SOAS Translation Workshop in Japanese Studies, 2012 - Translated the first four chapters of Media, Propaganda and Politics in 20th-Century Japan (London: Bloomsbury, 2015), pages 1-43, from the Japanese (original Shimbun to Shōwa, Tokyo: Asahi Shimbunsha, 2010).

Areas of Expertise

Modern Japanese History, East Asian History, Cold War in East Asia, Forced Labour and POW Camps

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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