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Ian Nish
Ian Nish

Ian Hill Nish CBE (3 June 1926 - ) is a British academic, a specialist in Japanese studies, and Emeritus Professor of International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He is an expert on the Anglo-Japanese Alliance and Japanese foreign policy.

Early life

Nish was born in Edinburgh in 1926.

World War II gave opportunity to many young non-Japanese to become specialists in Japanese studies; and Ian Nish was one of them..

He studied at the School of Japanese Studies in Simla and Karachi in British India.

He earned a master's degree (M.A.) at the University of Edinburgh. He was awarded a doctorate degree (Ph.D.) at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London.


Nish taught in the history department of the University of Sydney from 1957 to 1962.

From 1962 through 1991, Nish taught at the London School of Economics in London. He retired in 1991.

Selected works

In a statistical overview derived from writings by and about Ian Nish, OCLC/WorldCat includes roughly 200+ works in 300+ publications in 4 languages and 7,000+ library holdings.

  • Britain & Japan: Biographical Portraits (1994), with James Hoare
  • The History of Anglo-Japanese Relations: The Political-diplomatic Dimension (2000)
  • The Russo-Japanese War, 1904-5] (2003)


Nish argues that "a foreign scholar of Japan is often only a middleman attempting to distill the ideas of Japanese scholars".

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