When Emperor Showa passed away in 1988, Yoshiko Shimada began to create artworks about violence, war, women and Japanese history and nationalism. With her research of the roles of women in a male-centric environment, she attempts to look critically at conventional feminism. Her works address the power structures within organisations such as the Japan Women's Association, the roles and responsibilities of Japanese women, and what sorts of positions they held along with Korean "comfort women" during and after the Second World War. In addition, her performance works deal with alternative perspectives on transsexuals.
In recent years, she has collected fieldwork not only about women during the war period but also women in Asian families and communities, such as the Philippines, South Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, and so forth. In her work titled, "Family Secrets- Bones in a Tansu" (2004), the audience can discover a family's hidden secrets.
Born in 1959 in Tokyo, where she now still lives and works, Yoshiko Shimada has created a controversial but nonetheless poignant body of work on nationhood and gender. She received a BA in Fine Art from Scripps College in California in 1982, and later studied etching under Katsuro Yoshida at Bigakko, Tokyo. Her sculptures, installations and prints have travelled widely to exhibitions such as "There: Sites of Korean Diaspora" at the Gwangju Biennale (2002); "Felt Experience", Catalyst Arts, Belfast (2007); and most recently "Art, Performance & Activism in Contemporary Japan", Pumphouse Gallery, London (2012).