Martin, Harris I. (1923-2018)

Martin, Harris I. (1923-2018)

Date Updated




Academic Rank


Year Retired from SJSU


Educational Background

Stanford University, 1959 Ph.D.

Stanford University, 1949 MA

Stanford University, 1947 BA

Teaching Experience

San Jose State University, 1955- 1988

Monterey Institute for International Studies, 1979-1985 (intermittently offered courses on Modern Japan as Adjunct Professor)

CSU, Hayward (summer quarter), 1972

Waseda University, Tokyo, 1964-1965

Stanford University, Visiting Asst. Prof, 1961-1962

Stanford University, TA, 1950-1951


Administrative and Professional Experience

Resident Director of first California State Colleges International Programs student contingent at Waseda University, Tokyo, 1964‑1965.

As Fuibright Senior Research Fellow, I did research at the Center for Japanese Social and Political Studies in Tokyo and was Translation Editor and Editorial Advisor on the staff of The Japan Interpreter, 1970‑1971.

Member, American Historical Association, 1961‑1979.

Member, Association for Asian Studies, 1961‑1996. (Elected to Assoc. for Asian Studies [AAS] Council of Conferences, 1980‑1983, on which I served as Chair, 1982‑1983; member of AAS Board of Directors, 1980‑1983; member of AAS Executive Committee, 1982‑1983.)

Member, American Oriental Society, 1971‑1996.

Charter Member of ASPAC (Asian Studies on the Pacific Coast), 1966‑1996. I was conference Chair of ASPAC (which is a Regional Conference of the Association for Asian Studies) in 1976; I have been a frequent member of the ASPAC Standing Committee, and was ASPAC Executive Secretary, 1986‑1990.

I have read many papers over the years at professional conferences, and have served many times as a panel chair and as a discussant of other scholars' papers.

Military Service: U.S. Navy Reserve, both Ready Reserve and Standby Reserve, 1942‑1972; five years total active service during WWII and the Korean War.

Selected Publications

"Popular Music and Social Change in Prewar Japan," The Japan Interpreter, Vol. 7, No. 3‑4, 1972.

Also in The Japan Interpreter between 1971 and 1974, I published translations of seven Japanese articles on various aspects of Japan's culture and society during the 1920s, 1930s, and 1960s.

Personal Commentary

Most participants in WWII were in some degree aware of their roles, great, small or in between, in an epic drama of epochal change. A highlight of my own experience occurred in the American occupation of Japan during the fateful week at the end of August, 1945. As a very junior officer, I was privileged to be assigned temporarily to Marine Corps Brigadier General Clement as his Japanese language interpreter for the landing in Japan. In that capacity I also interpreted for a Japanese Navy lieutenant Commander who boarded the light cruiser, U.S.S. San Diego outside Tokyo Bay on August 28, 1945, to guide it through the minefields of the outer bay to an anchorage off Yokosuka Naval Base on the west shore of the bay. The first major U.S. ship of the line to enter the bay, the San Diego was the site of a planning session between American and Japanese flag officers (Admiral Badger was the senior American commander participating) to arrange details of the American landing at Yokosuka slated for August 30. I served in that meeting as the American interpreter. After the meeting, I returned with General Clement on a destroyer to the great invasion fleet moored in Sagami Bay, just west of the entrance to Tokyo Bay. We reentered Tokyo Bay two days later on the lead transport, US.S. Grimes, for the initial seaborne landing in Japan, at Yokosuka, just minutes after General MacArthur's airborne landing at Atsugi airfield. I think my later decision to teach history can be traced to that experience.

Date Completed: 9/96

Adapted from: Biographies of Retired Faculty San Jose State University 1997: A Project of the Emeritus Faculty Association of San Jose State University. San Jose, CA: The University, 1997.


Martin, Harris I. (1923-2018)