Herbert P. Bix, historian and teacher, was born in Boston in 1938 and grew up in the nearby suburb of Winthrop. After attending the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, he joined the U.S. Naval Reserve and served a tour of duty aboard ships stationed in Japan. He attended Harvard University during the height of the Vietnam War. While a graduate student there, he helped establish and become a mainstay supporter of a new, independent journal in the field of Asian studies: the Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars. He has written extensively, in leading journals in the U.S. and Japan, on modern and contemporary Japanese history, in ways that have challenged long-established assumptions. His published articles on the Showa emperor and his court entourage, the surrender of Japan, and the war responsibility debate of the occupation period have already provoked a rethinking of the Japanese emperor's role in the twentieth century.
He is currently a professor in the Graduate School of Social Sciences at Hitotsubashi University, one of Japan's outstanding national universities. Nearly fifteen years of living in Japan and continuous contact with Japanese historians have contributed to his effectiveness as an historian and enabled him to play a role in promoting intellectual exchange between Japanese and American scholars.