Rei Okamoto Inouye was born in Tokyo and raised in Saitama, Japan. After graduating from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo (B.A. in English and American Literature), Rei worked as a Book Editor in the fields of Psychology, Psychiatry, Religion, and Social Work. She came to the United States to pursue her graduate degree and received a Master’s degree in Journalism and a Ph.D. in Mass Media and Communication from Temple University. While at the graduate school, she began teaching Japanese language and popular culture courses at Temple and Rutgers Universities. As a Ph.D. candidate, she also taught full-time at Oberlin College for one year.
Having completed her Ph.D., Rei came to Northeastern in 1998 and has taught Japanese language courses at all levels, Introduction to Japanese Pop Culture, and Japanese Film. Her research interest is in Japanese mass media and popular culture, particularly wartime manga and anime. Her dissertation focused on pictorial propaganda in Japanese comic art during World War II; she has published book chapters and journal articles on wartime manga. Her latest essay, “Theorizing Manga: Nationalism and Discourse on the Role of Wartime Manga,” came out in Mechademia 4: War/Time in Fall 2009.