John Curtis Perry

Henry Willard Denison Professor of Japanese Diplomacy

  • PhD, History, Harvard University
  • BA, Chinese Studies, Yale University
  • MA, Chinese Studies, Yale University


John Curtis Perry, Henry Willard Denison Professor of Japanese Diplomacy, attended Friends schools in Washington D.C. and New York City, subsequently graduating from Yale College and receiving the PhD from Harvard. Before coming to Fletcher in 1980, he taught at several American liberal arts colleges and in Japan. He studies history and defines it as one of the humanities. In his earlier career, his teaching and research focus was American-East Asian relations, especially Japan, about which he published several books. The Japanese Government awarded him an imperial decoration, the Order of the Sacred Treasure, for his contributions to American-Japanese relations. In 2000, Fletcher students and friends established the John Curtis Perry fellowship for a deserving Fletcher student. For the past ten years or so, human interactions with the salt water have dominated Perry’s interests, and he is now finishing a book on that subject. At various times he has been a consultant to several foreign governments and currently advises a maritime startup company. He is president of the Institute for Global Maritime Studies, a non-profit research organization. With his artist wife, he lives in an old house, which constantly battles the ravages of wind, sun, and salt, on the shores of Ipswich Bay. Their five children and ten grandchildren visit, especially to enjoy the pleasures of the summer. Two dogs are year round residents.

Professional Activities
  • Director, Maritime Studies Program, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
  • Past Director, North Pacific Program, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
  • Senior Advisor, Japan Society of Boston
  • Director, Japan America Society of New Hampshire
  • Consultant, Policy Planning Branch, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea

  • Maritime Studies Program

Research Interests
  • International (oceanic) history and American-East Asian relations
  • Contemporary oceanic history including how and to what effect humankind is currently using the oceans
• The Flight of the Romanovs: A Family Saga (1999).
• Facing West: Americans and the Opening of the Pacific (1995), published in Japanese as "Nishi E!" (1998).

"The Deep Blue Highway", New York Times, 2 January 2007, op-ed by John Curtis Perry, Scott Borgerson, and Rockford Weitz.
• "Navigating the Swirling Currents of Change", Straits Times (Singapore), 10 July 2006, op-ed by Rockford Weitz, John Curtis Perry, and Scott Borgerson.




Email Address

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Office Location
Cabot 502

Office Hours
Tuesday 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Mailing Address
The Fletcher School, Tufts University, 160 Packard Ave
Medford, MA, 02155

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