Japanese research on the Iwakura Mission can be divided into two stages, namely that of pre and post Second World War. The work of the pre-war period focused on the two fields of diplomatic and economic history. The post-war period has shown much more diversification and internationalization, especially in the field of comparative history of thought and cultures. Research into the Burlingame Mission to the late Qing China began in the United States, and also included the results of Japanese scholars. Research into the history of China-US relations undertaken in the People's Republic of China have also born fruit. Chinese scholars have made achievements building upon the work of their American counterparts. Recently a new "shared history" approach, aimed at reinterpreting the history of China-US relations has attempted to provide a completely new and transnational historical approach to the study of the Burlingame Mission. This paper will investigate the various secondary literature on both the Iwakura and Burlingame Missions in order to understand the historical development of research in this area.