Zhaoyuan (Peter) Yu


Ph.D. Student

Peter’s research focuses on the transnational and maritime dimensions of the Japanese Empire, from the late nineteenth century to the eve of World War II. Through the lens of the modern fishing industry, his project aims to add nuances to a burgeoning body of literature that has shifted scholarly attention from Japan’s continental advances in China and Korea to its ocean-oriented expansions in the Pacific. The trans-regional focus will also allow him to examine Japan’s participation in trans-Pacific legal regimes that aimed to curb seal hunting, the distribution of fishery products in occupied China, and the soaring interwar demand for Japanese marine products in Europe and the United States.


B.A. University of Toronto 

M.A. University of Chicago

M.A. University of Pennsylvania 

Research Interests

Maritime history, modern Japanese history, trans-Pacific migration, transnational Asia, comparative empires