Faculty & Staff




Professor of Law
Director, Pacific-Asian Legal Studies Program
Director, University of Hawai'i Center for Japanese Studies


BBA, University of Michigan, 1980
JD, Yale Law School, 1983
LLM, University of Washington, 1990


日本語 (PDF)

Professor Levin joined the Richardson Law School faculty in January 1997 from the Law Department of Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Japan. After graduating from Yale Law School in 1983, Professor Levin developed an interest in Japan while working in international business and financial transactions at Masuda and Ejiri, one of Tokyo’s leading international law offices at the time.

From 1984 to 1986, he clerked for U.S. District Court Judge John C. Coughenour in Seattle, Washington, and then practiced in Seattle for five years as a corporate attorney, representing numerous Japanese clients. Professor Levin also earned an LL.M. from the University of Washington’s Asian Law Program (Japanese Law Emphasis) in 1990.

In 1992, Professor Levin was one of the first recipients of a Blakemore Foundation Grant for Advanced Asian Language Study, which enabled him to study at the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies in Yokohama for one year. This was followed by a Japan Foundation Fellowship for one year of research at the Tokyo University Faculty of Law. He was then invited to Hokkaido University to become the first non-Japanese person given full status as a faculty member in the law department, teaching a variety of subjects concerning American law and advising graduate student researchers on related topics.

Professor Levin’s scholarly publications consist of diverse topics including judicial administration and procedural justice in Japan, smoking and tobacco regulation in Japan, legal education in Japan, and the legal circumstances of race and indigenous peoples in Japan. His briefer writings have looked at Japanese legal history, Japan’s lay judge system and criminal justice in Japan, and the April 2007 Japanese Supreme Court decision concerning the nation’s history of sexual slavery and forced labor during mid-20th century wartime engagements in Asia and the Pacific. His works have been published in leading law journals in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

In addition to several shorter works, Professor Levin’s recent research has been centered around a multi-year project focusing on gender and law in Japan. Completed components of the project  include a bibliography (with Kallista Hiraoka, WSRSL ‘20) of English language publications in the field through 2018, a working paper examining Japan’s first women lawyers and related subjects, and an extensive piece exploring the history and status quo of women in the Japanese legal academy, which has been published in full in English and a portion of the work in Japanese (with Makoto Kurokawa, WSRSL ‘20).

In January 2024, Professor Levin was elected to serve as chair of the American Association of Law Schools’ Section on East Asian Law and Society. He has also served on the Editorial Advisory Board of The Journal of Japanese Studies, the Hawai‘i Supreme Court Committee on Certification of Court Interpreters and its Permanent Committee on Equality and Access to the Courts, and as Vice-Chair of the State of Hawai‘i Tobacco Prevention and Control Trust Fund Advisory Board from 2007 to 2009. In 2015, Professor Levin was selected as a member of the 5th cohort of the University of Hawai‘i President’s Emerging Leadership Program. He has also served on the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Faculty Senate and as chair of the Japan Studies Endowment Committee.

In addition to his role at the Law School, Professor Levin concurrently serves as the Director of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s Center for Japanese Studies and the Chair of the University’s East Asia Council, serving as the Principal Investigator for over $2.3 Million of Title VI federal funding on a four year cycle for student scholarships and programming.


  • Presence and Voice: The History and Status Quo of Women Law Professors in Japan. Asian-Pacific Law & Policy Journal, Vol. 23, No. 2, 2022. APLPJ
  • Gender and Law Scholarship in the Law in Japan Field: A Comprehensive Bibliographic Study. Asian-Pacific Law & Policy Journal, Vol. 21, No. 2, 2020. APLPJ
  • Puffing Precedents: The Impact of the WHO FCTC on Tobacco Product Liability Litigation in Japan.  Asian Journal of WTO & International Health Law and Policy, vol. 11, no. 1, 2016. HeinOnline | SSRN
  • Relational Dynamics between the U.S. Federal and State Constitutions: The Trajectory of Marriage Equality Cases from Baehr to Obergefell (アメリカ合衆国における連邦憲法と州憲法の関係のダイナミクス – 婚姻平等(同性婚)を例として ). 法律時報Hōritsu Jihō, Vol. 87, No.5, 91-97, May 2015. SSRN
  • Considering Japanese Criminal Justice from an Original Position (「無知のヴェール」から日本の刑事司法を考える). 世界 SEKAI, no. 857, pp. 112-121, (May 8, 2014). SSRN
  • Inside the Supreme Court of Japan – From the Perspective of a Former Justice, Miyakawa Koji, Translation by Mark A. Levin and Megumi Honami Lachapelle (June 14, 2014). Asian-Pacific Law & Policy Journal, Vol. 15, No. 2, pp. 196-212, 2014. SSRN
  • Circumstances that Would Prejudice Impartiality: The Meaning of Fairness in Japanese Jurisprudence, Hastings International and Comparative Law Review, Vol. 36, No. 2, 475-516 (2013). HeinOnline | SSRN
  • Truth or Consequences of the Justice System Reform Council: An English Language Bibliography from Japan’s Millennial Legal Reforms, Asian-Pacific Law & Policy Journal, Vol. 14, No. 3; Journal of Japanese Law / Zeitschrift für Japanisches Recht, Vol. 17, No. 35, 299-311 (2013) (with Adam Mackie). HeinOnline | SSRN
  • Tobacco Control Lessons from the Higgs Boson: Observing a Hidden Field Behind Changing Tobacco Control Norms in Japan,  American Journal of Law & Medicine, Vol. 39, 471-489 (2013). HeinOnline | SSRN
  • Civil Justice and the Constitution: Limits on Instrumental Judicial Administration in Japan, Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal, Vol. 20, No. 2, 265-318 (2011). HeinOnline | SSRN
  • Lighting up the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: A Case Study of U.S. Tobacco Industry Political Influence Buying in Japan, North Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation, Vol. 34, No. 2, 471-519 (2009). HeinOnlineSSRN
  • 裁 判員の守秘義務:裁判員制度にかくされた陥穽, in 季刊刑事弁護(Quarterly Keiji Bengo), No. 60, 91-99 (Winter 2009) (translation of Japan’s New Citizen Judges: How Secrecy Imperils Judicial Reform, listed below, Enomoto trans.). SSRN
  • Japan’s New Citizen Judges: How Secrecy Imperils Judicial Reform, The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 19-6-09 (May 9, 2009) (with Virginia Tice). SSRN
  • Continuities of Legal Consciousness: Professor John Haley’s Writings on Twelve Hundred Years of Japanese Legal History, Harris Institute for Global Legal Studies Festschrift Papers for John Owen Haley, Washington University Global Studies Law Review. Vol. 8, No. 2, 317-332 (2009). HeinOnline | SSRN
  • Commentary on Important Legal Precedents for 2007: Trends in Constitutional Law Cases, Teruki Tsunemoto, Translation by Mark A. Levin and Jesse Smith, Asian-Pacific Law & Policy Journal, Vol.11, No. 1, (2009). 
  • Japan’s “Comfort Women,” Case Comment: Nishimatsu Construction Co. v. Song Jixiao et al.; Kō Hanako et al. v. Japan, American Journal of International Law, Vol. 102, January 2008. HeinOnline | SSRN
  • 批判的人種理論と日本法―和人の人種的特権について (The Wajin’s Whiteness: Law and Race Privilege in Japan), 法律時報(Hōritsu Jihō), Vol. 80, No.2, 80-91 (February 2008) (in Japanese, Ozaki trans.). SSRN
  • Japan’s New Law Schools: Elite, Cautious, Regional, and Idealistic, 法社会学(Japanese Journal of Law and Society), Vol. 139 (2005). 
  • Tobacco Industrial Policy and Tobacco Control Policy in Japan, Asian-Pacific Law & Policy Journal, Vol. 6, No. 1, Winter 2005 (U.S. re-publication of book chapter listed directly below).
  • 日本におけるたばこ産業政策とたばこ規制政策(Tobacco Industrial Policy and Tobacco Control Policy in Japan, in Tobacco Free*Japan: Recommendations for Tobacco Control Policy, November 2004, (in English and Japanese, Inks trans.). HeinOnline
  • Essential Commodities and Racial Justice: Using Constitutional Protection of Japan’s Indigenous Ainu People to Inform Understandings of the U.S. and Japan, New York University Journal of International Law and Politics, Vol. 33, 419 (2001). HeinOnline(link is external) | SSRN(link is external)
  • Kayano et al. v. Hokkaidō Expropriation Committee (The Nibutani Dam Decision): Introductory Note and Annotated Translation, International Legal Materials, Vol 38, 394 (1999). SSRN(link is external)
  • Smoke Around the Rising Sun: An American Look at Tobacco Regulation in Japan, Stanford Law and Policy Review, Vol. 8, 99 (1997). HeinOnlineSSRN
  • Tobacco Law and Policy: Law Journal Articles Database, principal site developer. Version 1.0, online from June 2000. Version 2.0, fully redeveloped, online from June 2006, last updated August 2008.


  • 5th Cohort, University of Hawai’i President’s Emerging Leaders Program, 2015-16.
  • Editorial Advisory Board, Journal of Japanese Studies, May 2011 – May 2015.
  • Advisory Board, Blakemore Foundation, Seattle, Washington, 1998 – 2008 
  • Supreme Court Permanent Committee on Equality and Access to the Courts, Supreme Court of the State of Hawai‘i, July 2004 – June 2007.
  • Hawai‘i State Tobacco Prevention and Control Trust Fund Advisory Board, April 2007 – June 2009; Vice-chair, November 2007 – June 2009.
  • University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Faculty Senate, March 2011 – August 2012.
  • Visiting Scholar, Hokkaido University Law School, Sapporo, Japan, June-July 2007, June-July 2009, July-August 2011.
  • Visiting Lecturer, Meijo University Law School, Nagoya, Japan, June 2007.
  • Visiting Lecturer, San’in Law School, Matsue, Japan, March 2007.
portrait photo


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