self-introduction my research articles articles by others quotes & credits
resume / C.V.

Introducing my professional passions 

for research, writing, teaching and translation

William Joseph Underwood

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kyushu University (2007)

M.A. in Government, CSU Sacramento (1996)

B.A. in Government-Journalism, CSU Sacramento (1988)

Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan, June 26, 2006


I received my Ph.D. in Political Science (2007) from Kyushu University, a leading national institution located in Fukuoka, Japan. Both my M.A. in Government (1996) and my B.A. in Government-Journalism (1988) were received from California State University, Sacramento.

Since 2012 I have worked in various capacities for the State of California in Sacramento. Currently I am the editor at the Office of Professional Examination Services (OPES), part of the California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA). I edit test questions for the State's various professional licensure exams.


From 2008 to 2011, I worked as a Technical Writer (Japanese Translator) at NEC's semiconductor manufacturing facility in Roseville, California. As Japanese Document Control supervisor for the Line Maintenance Department, I wrote and translated a broad range of operation manuals, schematics, reports and personal correspondence, while maintaining a bilingual document database. As Technical Training Facilitator, I provided interpretation support for visiting Japanese engineers and played a key role in the delivery of advanced training to local technicians.


From 2006 to 2008, I worked as an Assistant Professor at Kurume Institute of Technology (KIT), the four-year university where I originally worked from 1997 to 2001. I also worked as an Assistant Professor at Fukuoka Jo Gakuin University (FJGU) from 2001 to 2006. Student evaluations of my teaching averaged 4.5 on a 5-point scale.

Courses taught at FJGU included “Japan and America,” “Politics and Society,” “Mass Media,” “American Culture,” “Debate,” and English courses in all four skills areas. At KIT I employed computer-assisted language learning (CALL), while teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL) and English for Specific Purposes (ESP: English for Science and Technology”).

These 11 years of professional experience as a university professor in Japan involved curriculum and materials development, course design, lesson planning, content delivery and testing. I performed a broad range of administrative office functions while implementing university programs and policies. 

I also served on the editorial committee and the steering committee for the Kyushu-Okinawa Chapter of the Japan Association of College English Teachers.


I have a strong track record of research, writing and public speaking, having published numerous articles in university journals and presented academic papers at regional, national and international conferences. I have spoken at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan, and delivered lectures by invitation at Stanford University in March 2010 and George Washington University in July 2010. (See the Resume page for details.)

My graduate research, focusing on historical reparations movements stemming from World War II, involved contemporary intersections between history and political science. The title of my doctoral dissertation was "The Reparations Movement for Chinese Forced Labor in Wartime Japan: Seeking a Place in the Global Trend toward Repairing Historical Injustices." The title of my master's thesis was "Making Amends: The Japanese American Redress Movement, a Sacramento Perspective."


From 2005 to 2010 I served as an Editorial Coordinator for The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, a peer-reviewed open source journal available at Many of my research articles are archived at the site, while I also editorially supervised the publication of manuscripts and graphics submitted by other researchers in various countries. (See the Research Articles page for details.)

My first two years in Japan, from 1991 to 1993, were spent in a scenic fishing village in Aomori Prefecture, where I taught English at junior high schools through the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program. Prior to catching the "Japan bug," I worked as a Staff Writer for weekly newspapers in northeastern California from 1988 to 1991, receiving statewide and regional writing awards.  

As a Freelance Writer until 2010, I contributed dozens of non-fiction articles to publications such as American Legion Magazine, Asahi Evening News, Far Eastern Economic Review, Maturity News Service, Rotarian, Sierra Heritage, South China Morning Post, World & I, and Yale Global Online. 

I have been quoted regarding my doctoral research by media organizations such as The Economist, the New York Times, Reuters, Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Voice of America. (See the Quotes & Credits page for details.) I'm fluent in written and spoken Japanese.

Photo from "Ima koso Shinshi ni Torikume: Kyosei renko sosho no yukue ha" (Now is the Time for Sincere Action: The future of forced labor lawsuits) ... feature article introducing my research in the Nishinippon Shimbun (860,000 circulation), by Shigekawa Eisuke ... May 26, 2006 ... PDF of full article here