Kiyoshi Inoue, professor emeritus of modern history at Kyoto University, died of pneumonia at a Kyoto hospital on Friday evening. He was 87.
Born in Kochi Prefecture and a graduate of the University of Tokyo in 1936, Inoue wrote a controversial book in 1946 criticizing the Emperor system and became a leading Japanese historian.
In 1961, he became a professor at Kyoto University, where he remained until his retirement in 1977.
His research primarily involved Japanese history after the Meiji Restoration of 1868.
During students riots that escalated in 1969, Inoue found himself at odds with the government by expressing support for the students, who were demanding the scrapping of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty.
Even after his retirement, Inoue remained active, often making remarks critical of the Emperor and leading a movement seeking solidarity with Asian nations.