Akiko Nosaka

Associate Professor of Anthropology

Akiko Nosaka

Office Location: Xavier Hall - 247

  • Professional
  • Biography


  • Ph.D., Anthropology, The Pennsylvania State University, 1997
  • M.A., The Pennsylvania State University, 1993
  • B.A., Pacific Lutheran University, 1990
  • B.A., Chuo University, Tokyo, 1986

Selected Articles

  • Nosaka, Akiko and Leonetti, Donna. "The Influence of Migration, Education, and Parents on the Fertility of First-Generation Japanese Women in the U.S.." International Journal of Social Sciences Vol. IX(2), 2020: 82-98.
  • Nosaka, Akiko and Leonetti, Donna L. "Fertility of First-Generation Japanese Immigrant Women in Seattle: The Influence of Ken Affiliation, Residential Location, and Employment Status." Journal of Northwest Anthropology Vol. 52(2), 2018: 151-167.
  • "Aspirations and Desires: Women's Education and Fertility Strategies in Contemporary Japan." Human Organization Vol. 71(2), 2012: 188-199.
  • Nosaka, Akiko and Athanasios Chasiotis. "Parental Influence on Fertility Behavior of First Generation Turkish Immigrants in Germany." Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health Vol. 12(1), 2010: 60-67.
  • "The M - Shaped Dilemma: Life Strategies and Fertility Trends among Working Women in Contemporary Japan." Ethnology Vol. 48(1), 2009: 21-38.
  • "Coresidence and Geographic Dispersion of Adult Children and Their Mothers in Germany: Variation in Ethnicity, Gender, and Marital Status." Journal of the Society for the Anthropology of Europe Vol. 9(1), 2009: 13-28.
  • Nosaka, Akiko and Radheshyam Bairagi. "Traditional Roles, Modern Behavior: Intergenerational Intervention and Contraception in Rural Bangladesh." Human Organization Vol. 67(4), 2008: 407-416.


Dr. Nosaka’s core study interests are family and inter-generational relationships, which she approaches by looking at issues such as aging, gender, fertility, migration, and ethnicity.

She conducted fieldwork research on female fertility behavior in relation to socio-cultural values and norms in rural Bangladesh. Her study results have been published in the Journal of Comparative Family Studies (2000) and the Journal of International Women’s Studies (2004).

She also conducted research on the inter-generational family relationships of Germans and Turkish immigrants living in Germany. Some of the conclusions from this research have been published in the book Grandmotherhood: The Evolutionary Significance of the Second Half of Female Life (2005, Rutgers University Press).

More recently, she has examined contemporary Japanese women’s fertility with regard to their family structure and relationships. Her recent work has been published in such peer review journals as Human Organization (2008 and 2012), Journal of the Society for the Anthropology of Europe (2009), Ethnology (2009), and Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health (2010).

Courses she teaches at PLU include “Introduction to Human Cultural Diversity,” “Anthropology of Age,” “East Asian Cultures,” “Ethnic Groups,” and “Exploring Anthropology.” She is now beginning new research on the family demography of Japanese Americans in collaboration with Dr. Donna Leonetti at the University of Washington.