Shaun O’Dwyer

University Teacher, Researcher and Part-time Journalist

Featured Works

Front cover of my book Confucianism’s Prospects: A Reassessment published by State University of New York Press in August, 2019

My Work


I have published peer-reviewed papers, reviews and a book on topics in a wide range of academic philosophical fields, including American philosophy, modern Confucian philosophy, the philosophy of history and memory and the philosophy of education. I am currently editing a book on Confucian Thought in Modern Japan for the Japan Documents Imprint. My academic articles and abstracts are archived here: https://kyushu-u.academia.edu/ShaunODwyer

Journalism and Magazine Publishing

Since 2012 I have been writing both feature and op-ed articles with the Japan Times. Recently I have also written for magazines including Philosophy Now and Palladium. My feature, op-ed and online magazine articles are archived here: https://muckrack.com/shaun-odwyer


So far, a single short story – a ghost story – written for Kyoto Journal. I have high hopes of adding to this list!

About Me

Born in New Zealand, I spent my schooling and university life in Australia. Since 2004 I’ve lived in Japan, teaching at colleges and universities. I am now an associate professor at Kyushu University in southern Japan

I enjoy writing in different fields and genres, doing my best to cultivate the rigor and technical precision expected in academic writing, and to cultivate a more conversational, accessible style in my newspaper and magazine writing.

Confucius famously spoke of commencing his lifelong cultivation of moral and intellectual excellence at the age 30, when “I took my stand” ( δΈ‰εθ€Œη«‹ ). I feel like it took an extra 20 years for me to reach this starting point, but I hope that with perseverance, hard work and longevity I can acquit myself reasonably well in my next life stages, as a scholar, teacher, writer, father, husband, friend and human being.

I live with my family in the south-western Japanese city of Fukuoka, in Japan’s Kyushu Island. There are beaches very near us where we like to swim and go beach combing, and we also take part actively in our local community and school life. As for myself, I enjoy reading novels, visiting historic sites and cities and drinking the occasional Belgian beer on Friday evenings with a good movie.

Since July 2011 I have worked as an emergency relief volunteer in North Japan following the March 2011 Tsunami disaster and subsequently in flooding, typhoon and earthquake damaged districts in South Japan and in Leyte Island in the Philippines. I am currently a co-director in the small emergency relief organization It’s Not Just Mud


Faculty of Languages and Cultures, Kyushu University


Send Me a Message

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