Kuroda Akinobu is Professor of East Asian History in the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia at the University of Tokyo. His research covers comparative studies of monetary history in East Asia, India, Africa, and Europe, as well as specific studies of China's monetary history. The concept of complementarity among monies, which he developed, has had some influence across monetary studies, economic history and anthropology. He has argued that the character of money can be determined according to degrees along two axes: first, to what extent is the relationship between persons making transactions biased in either the direction of cohesiveness or anonymity; and second, to what extent has the conversion between currency for local transactions and that for inter-regional settlements worked according to fixed or flexible conversion rates. He is also the editor of the International Journal of Asian Studies.
His publications include ‘What is the Complementarity among Monies?: An Introductory Note’ (Financial History Review 15-1, 2008); ‘Anonymous Currencies or Named Debts?: Comparison of Currencies, Local Credits and Units of Account between China, Japan and England in the Pre-industrial Era’(Socio Economic Review 11-1, 2013) and Kahei sisutemu no sekaishi: hi-taishosei o yomu (in Japanese)[World history of monetary systems: Interpreting the asymmetric phenomenon] (Iwanami 2003, (new version) 2014, translation in Korean 2005, in Chinese 2007), Chuka teikoku no kozo to sekai keizai (in Japanese)[The Structure of the Chinese Empire and the World Economy] (Nagoya UP 1994).