Confidence is not easy to build.
I think that willing to go for the things that you really want to go for, giving it a try and not being afraid of failing, is a really important thing.
ARC Laureate Fellow
Professor of Japanese History - Australian National University
It's while working in London shortly after obtaining her undergraduate degree that Tessa was suggested to go to Japan to teach English. Tessa spontaneously took on the challenge and embarked on an adventure that saw the origins of her passion for Japan and its history.
Tessa has long been fascinated by how in Japan, there is a big divide between the state level of politics with one almost unshakable dominating party and grassroots movements where "all sorts of amazingly interesting things happen, with people doing quite remarkable things in their own little community, which we don't really hear about". Grassroots politics in Japan and other places in Asia is a topic that she enjoys researching with her team.
Tessa wasn't predestined to become an academic and in the video, Tessa shares her journey from a challenging time studying her undergraduate degree to becoming an ARC Laureate Fellow and later a Fukuoka Prize winner for her respected work linked to different parts of Asia.
You can listen to Tessa openly talk about how she learned from her mistakes and how being bold made a difference in her career.
Tessa recognises the high demands placed on academics nowadays and in the podcast, Tessa reflects on her own challenges earlier in her career and imparts tips to young female academics.
Highlights of our conversation with Tessa Morris-Suzuki
Tessa Morris-Suzuki on becoming an academic, dealing with the challenges of her early career and building confidence.