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Japanese Studies Seminar: Seeds in the Heart and Leaves of Words: Traditional Japanese Poetry Beyond the Haiku
15/12/2023


We were honoured to invite Dr Thomas McAuley, Senior Lecturer in Japanese Studies at the University of Sheffield, to give the talk, Seeds in the Heart and Leaves of Words: Traditional Japanese Poetry Beyond the Haiku on Thursday 7 December at 18:30, in the event hall at Japan House London.


We embarked on a journey into traditional Japanese poetry, focusing on ‘Yamato-uta’, or ‘Waka’ (和歌 (Waka) = (Wa): Japanese, (Ka): Song or Poem), to introduce us all to a different poetic form that predated the poetic form of Haiku that is so well known around the world. How poetry was so integral in the daily life of nobles, used to show status, in courtship, in expressing themselves, was rendered to us through Dr McAuley’s enthusiastic and engaging poetic examples and demonstrations.



For an hour, it felt as though we were transported to Japan. The talk was enthusiastically received, according to the large number of questions during the Q&A at the end, and the positive comments from our audience members afterwards.


Here are a small handful of comments we received:


‘[The] speaker was lively, vivid, always interesting and his talk really illuminated waka poetry. Fabulous talk!’


‘Dr Macauley’s astounding expertise and facility in the topic together with his measured and very entertaining and accessible style [were the highlights].’


‘It was all interesting and completely new to me. Excellently delivered and illustrated talk.’


Thank you to everyone who came along for the fun and fascinating evening! We would also like to thank Dr Thomas McAuley for his time, and Japan House London for their assistance in hosting the event.


We will be planning more talks in the future. Keep an eye on our website, Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) or sign up to our e-bulletin so you don’t miss out!



UCL-Japan Youth Challenge 2023
15/12/2023


UCL-Japan Youth Challenge 2023


This year, the UCL-Japan Youth Challenge returned for its ninth iteration and we were proud to support the programme once again.


For the first time since 2019, the programme was able to take place in person. 49 pre-university students from Japan came to England to meet 27 students from around the UK for this week-long prestigious summer school.


On the first day of the programme, the students gathered at Rikkyo School in Surrey, England. The 76 student participants introduced themselves to one another through group presentations, learning about each others’ school programme in Japan as well as their extensive hobbies and interests.


They then enjoyed a relaxed start to the week with fun ice breaking activities and a typical British experience of a barbecue on a rainy summer’s day.


After the welcome day, the students enjoyed a varied and interesting programme, including visits to Cambridge University, UCL and Camden Town Hall. They experienced university-style lectures and talks spanning multiple disciplines, all around the theme of ‘Resilience’!


At Cambridge University, the students had a real university experience, staying for two nights in Robinson College. The programme included sightseeing and punting, as well as university-style lectures.


Sir Laurie Bristow KCMG, president of Hughes Hall Cambridge, described the resilience needed during his work as the Ambassador to Afghanistan during the fall of the Taliban in 2021, which gave the participants much food for thought.


They then heard from academics about how soft materials could be used in robotics, air pollution toxicology, and more fascinating talks.



Students listen to a lecture on air pollution in Robinson College, Cambridge.


After an illuminating programme in Cambridge, the students travelled down to London for a few days at University College London (UCL). At UCL, they again experienced lectures from experts and academics, including a visit to Camden Town Hall to meet the Mayor of Camden Town.


Teamwork was also key, as the students were split into groups during workshop sessions, to discuss and prepare their presentations for this year’s theme of ‘Resilience’, as part of the UCL Grand Challenge. With the help of experienced workshop leaders, all participants participated in engaging and inspiring discussions about what ‘Resilience’ could mean, and how the world could be more resilient.



Students exploring ideas of resilience during a workshop in UCL.


The students presented their ideas during the UCL Grand Challenge Symposium, which took place in a large lecture theatre in UCL, to members of the public. The presentations were made in English, with each student able to present their own ideas. It was so inspirational to hear what solutions pre-university age students had for issues in the world.


Topics included: diversity in the workplace, artificial intelligence, cultural understanding, and environmental issues. It was fascinating to hear the speeches made by our Japanese and UK student participants. They compared their experiences from the perspective of both countries, and lots of interesting ideas were shared.


We are already looking forward to next year’s UCL-Japan Youth Challenge and hope that many new students will join us.


To find out more about this year’s programme and keep up to date with information about future programmes, visit the UCL-Japan Youth Challenge official website at: https://www.ucl-japan-youth-challenge.com/programme-2023/



illustrated by Scriberia



*Applications Now Open* – Japan Foundation Fellowships jointly organised with Tobunken and Nichibunken.
01/09/2023


*Applications Now Open* - Japan Foundation Fellowships, jointly organised with Tobunken and Nichibunken


To promote Japanese Studies overseas, the Japan Foundation has jointly organised two separate Fellowship programs, together with the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia of the University of Tokyo ("Tobunken") and the International Research Centre for Japanese Studies, National Institutes for the Humanities ("Nichibunken").


Each Fellowship provides post-doctoral researchers in the field of Japanese Studies with opportunities to conduct research in Japan, while belonging to the corresponding institution.


Fellows will also be expected to gain experience as project facilitators through operation and management work at various meetings or workshops, and to form and expand networks with people involved in international exchange.


For each program, a few (around three) Fellows will be invited to stay continuously in Japan, for a maximum of 24 months. The proposed commencement date for the Fellowship must fall between September 1, 2024 and March 1, 2025.


Eligibility:


All of the following criteria must be met:


a. Applicants must have received their Ph.D. within six years (regardless of their job status) as of April 1, 2024


b. Applicants must hold nationality or lawful permanent resident status in countries that have diplomatic relations with Japan


c. Applicants must be in good health and proficient in either Japanese or English


Application deadline: Friday 1 December, 2023


Full details, terms and conditions, as well as application guidelines and application forms, can be found on the webpage for each institution.


Click here to view application guidelines and application form for the JF-Nichibunken Fellowship Programme


Click here to view application guidelines and application form for the JF-Tobunken Fellowship Programme


Information about the programme will become available on the Japan Foundation official headquarters website (https://www.jpf.go.jp/) from Monday 4 September.


Please note, the two programmes are separate from the Japan Foundation Fellowship Programme, for which applications have not yet opened. If you apply for one of these programmes, you may still apply for the Japan Foundation Fellowship Programme once we start taking applications.


If you have any questions, please email r_info@jpf.go.jp



BAJS/Japan Foundation Postgraduate Workshop 2023
29/03/2023


The Japan Foundation/British Association for Japanese Studies Postgraduate Workshop 2023


On Saturday 18th March, we held our annual PhD Workshop, which is joint organised with the British Association for Japanese Studies (BAJS)!


Despite plans to hold the event in person, industrial action affecting transport meant that the event was reorganised last minute to take place online, to give all registrants equal opportunity to attend. 34 students and 6 academics across a variety of disciplines joined the event for a full day of intellectual exchange around the theme of Fieldwork in Japan.



Our day started off with welcome speeches from Mr TANAKA Shin-ichi, Director of the Japan Foundation, and Prof. Peter Kornicki, President of BAJS. Both impressed upon the attendees the importance of events such as this one in bringing together students from across the country and the desire to continue to support Japanese Studies in the future.



The day was split into two parts. During the morning session, students were split into groups based on their areas of study. They presented their research to one another, this year with focus placed on issues they were having with their fieldwork or research.



After each presentation, the students received individual questions and feedback from the academics in their group and their peers. The morning session was lively, despite the online format! Both the academics and the other attendees challenged the presenting students by asking them pertinent questions about their work. Although the morning session was almost three hours long, enthusiasm did not wane and each student received some helpful feedback that should aid them in their study or fieldwork.



The afternoon session was split into two presentations and a Q&A session. We were lucky to hear two detailed presentations from academics who had been through the experiences that our PhD students had faced.



Dr Christopher Hayes, Lecturer in Tourism and Events at Teesside University, gave an insightful talk on Information on Japanese Resources at UK Universities.



Dr Hayes outlined possible difficulties researchers could face in travelling to Japan for fieldwork, and instead gave plenty of alternatives for fieldwork within the UK, at universities and other institutions.



Prof. Peter Kornicki, Emeritus Professor at the University of Cambridge and President of BAJS followed Dr Hayes with his talk: Institutes, archives and resources in Japan: how to find them and how to overcome the ‘gaijin valve’.



Prof. Kornicki painted a detailed picture of his years of conducting fieldwork within Japan and how to make the most out of your time in archives. He told funny stories of his own valuable experiences visiting institutions in Japan.



Following both talks, the six academics in attendance (Prof. Peter Kornicki, Dr Chris Hayes, Prof. Jennifer Coates, Dr Marcos Centeno, Dr Ruselle Meade and Dr Fabio Gygi) assembled for a Q&A session which took up the rest of the afternoon. During this Q&A session, the attendees were invited to ask anything they wanted to know about fieldwork and research in the field of Japanese Studies.



The Japan Foundation, London would like to thank the British Association for Japanese Studies for all their efforts in organising this event. A special thanks as well to the academics who joined us, for giving up their valuable time.


We would also like to thank the funding organisations that sent materials and prepared video presentations for us to send to the attendees.



Next year, we hope that the event will be back to being face-to-face! Please keep an eye on our website for further details in the future.



UCL-Japan Youth Challenge 2022
06/09/2022


Between 2nd August and 23rd August 2022, the UCL-Japan Youth Challenge held its 8th annual summer school programme for pre-university students. This year, due to continuing difficulties posed by COVID-19, the programme took place online. More than 100 students from the UK and Japan joined to participate in the 3-week course. This year’s theme was “Innovative Enterprises for Sustainable Future”.


Over the course of the programme, the students participated in a wide variety of lectures and workshops. These were delivered by university academics in both the UK and Japan. The topics were diverse and included “The Genes and Neurons of Sleep”, “An Introduction to Linguistics and Linguistics Olympiad”, “Using Stem Cells to Understand and Treat Vision Loss”, alongside lectures which aligned with the programmes theme, such as “Emissions trading and climate policy”.


Although most of the programme took place online, participants within the UK were also invited to spend the day at the UCL campus. Lectures were delivered face-to-face, and attendees were given a tour of the UCL facilities, including their newly built Japanese Garden in the UCL Student Centre.



The students also took part in cultural exchange, with UK students learning about Japanese culture and vice-versa. The students also received advice from various organisations about study abroad options, career options, and how to learn about each other’s cultures. Students were often placed into separate groups to discuss different topics with one another, share ideas, and build friendships.


The programme ended with the “Grand Challenge” final presentation day. The students displayed their knowledge, teamwork and skills gained during the course of the programme by delivering presentations on different topics that they had worked on in groups.


The sheer amount of work put in by the students was evident as different groups spoke concisely and confidently on innovative ideas to contribute to a more sustainable future. These ranged from promoting gender equality in the workplace, to creating a rewards based app to encourage consumers to be more sustainable with their buying habits. Each idea was unique, well-researched and professionally presented.


We were very impressed with this year’s participants and their enthusiasm. Throughout the three weeks, they were motivated, engaged, and asked insightful questions.


We were truly inspired by the students and already look forward to next year’s programme in 2023!


For more information and to view the full 2022 programme, please visit the UCL-Japan Youth Challenge official website at: https://www.ucl-japan-youth-challenge.com/programme-2022/


Image Credit: UCL-Japan Youth Challenge 2022, UCL Grand Challenge Workshop illustration by Scriberia



Japan Foundation / BAJS Postgraduate Workshop 2022
10/03/2022


This year The Japan Foundation and The British Association for Japanese Studies were able to come together again in person for the 11th Postgraduate Japanese Studies Workshop. This time the event was held at the University of East Anglia. Students who had waited two years to gather face to face came from across the UK from a variety of institutions. The day involved lectures, presentations, and plenty of networking opportunities. The workshop’s aim this year was to provide students with help and advice on funding opportunities.



The first session was a student presentation session. Broken into separate groups, students had the opportunity to present their research to their peers. The students took on the challenging task of introducing their subject matter and research objectives within a short time frame. For many, it was the first time presenting their ideas in-person. It was great to hear such passionate and varied presentations from those who were at varying stages in their research. They then received feedback from both their peers as well as from academics in their field, with a broad range of expertise.


During lunch, it was inspiring to see students engaging in lively discussions, networking, and sharing comments and ideas for each other’s research, with people both inside and outside their own research areas.


After lunch, the students gathered in the Thomas Paine Lecture Theatre for session two. Dr Christopher Hood (Cardiff University, president of BAJS), kicked off the presentations. Dr Hood guided students through the various shapes that collaboration can form, and how to undertake collaborative work alongside individual research. Next, Dr Jennifer Coates from the University of Sheffield and BAJS took the podium. With multiple case studies of her own experiences, and advice on how to write successful funding applications, Dr Coates gave the students in-depth and personal insights into the often-overwhelming process of applying for funding.


For the third session of the day, representatives from The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation and The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation joined the organisers to introduce the funding opportunities that are available at their organisations, aimed specifically at students in Japanese Studies.



Session four saw Professor Simon Kaner on the podium as keynote speaker. As the Executive Director of SISJAC (Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Culture) and Director of the Centre for Japanese Studies at UEA, Professor Kaner was the perfect speaker to give students his expertise on large-scale funding, including how smaller grants can build up to receiving larger ones in the future, and how to keep a track of the reach and impact of your publications. Professor Kaner’s talk was followed by a Q&A session with the panel of assembled academics. Questions ranged from funding to job opportunities within the Japanese Studies sector. With a panel consisting of academics from different disciplines and backgrounds, each question had in depth answers.



For the final session of the day, the attendees at the workshop had the immense honour of welcoming Ambassador Hayashi from The Embassy of Japan in the UK. Ambassador Hayashi gave an impassioned and encouraging speech acknowledging the importance of the relationship between Japan, the UK, and the rest of the world. He thanked all students and other attendees for their continued dedication to their work and laid out the embassy’s vision for increased multicultural exchange. It was a privilege to hear the ambassador speak and provided encouragement for all attendees after such a tumultuous two years. After the final session, there was a sake and sushi reception for all the attendees, academics, and representatives to get together and network and discuss the day’s events.


The Japan Foundation would like to thank the British Association for Japanese Studies for all their efforts in co-organising this event as well as the academics for giving up their valuable time. We would also like to thank the University of East Anglia and the Sainsbury Institute for Japanese Arts and Culture for their hard work and assistance in hosting the event. Thank you to all the funding institutions (The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation and The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation) and The Embassy of Japan in the UK who spoke in the final session, and a special thanks to the students for making our first event in two years so memorable. 



UCL-Japan Youth Challenge 2021
22/10/2021

The UCL-Japan Youth Challenge returned for its 7th annual summer school programme. The programme took place online to ensure the safety of all participants. Between 3rd and 24th August, a total of 100 students from Japan joined 35 UK-based students over the course of 4 weeks. This year’s focus was, Art and Design for Sustainable Future.


Over the course, the students took part in lectures and workshops from a wide range of disciplines, delivered by academics from universities in both the UK and Japan. Some of the lectures included “Future Technology: Learning from Intelligence of Insects”, “History of Japanese Calligraphy and Sumi painting” and “Design and Technology for Storytelling”.


The students also took part in cultural exchanges, with UK students learning about Japanese culture and vice-versa. Alongside this, students were guided by various organisations about how they could continue to learn about each other’s cultures and the study abroad options that were available to them.


As always, the summer school culminated in student presentations from the UCL Grand Challenge, themed around the school of the future. The students worked in intercultural groups to showcase what they had learnt over the past few weeks and apply their knowledge to the theme.


For more information about the UCL-Japan Youth Challenge, please visit their website https://www.ucl-japan-youth-challenge.com/



Japanese Documentary Filmmaker Haneda Sumiko: Authorship and Gender Discourses
22/10/2021

The Japan Foundation, London partnered with Birkbeck, University of London to present a two-part event: Japanese Documentary Filmmaker Haneda Sumiko: Authorship and Gender Discourses”.


Two symposia were convened featuring speakers from around the globe speaking on the highly influential film maker Haneda Sumiko. The speakers covered a wide range of disciples and fields including Gender Studies, Film Studies and Authorship.


The first symposium was held on July 22nd. Professor Koji Toba (Waseda University) gave the opening talk entitled, Visualising Invisible Contamination: Haneda Sumiko's TV Programs on Environmental Pollution. This was followed by two panels discussing various aspects of Haneda’s work.


Attendees were also able to view a rare online screening of one of Haneda’s works, Into the Picture Scroll-The Tale of Yamanaka Tokiwa (2004).


The second Symposium, which took place on September 30t, saw a full day schedule. The event was opened by Professor Mitsuyo Wada-Marciano (Kyoto University) with his talk, Making Meaning of Haneda's 'Japanese Women': A Women's College in the Village (Mura no fujin gakkyu, 1957) and The Cherry Tree with Gray Blossoms (Usuzumi no sakura, 1977).


 The speakers throughout the day were interspersed with screenings of The Work of Haneda Sumiko: Notes on the Circulation and Distribution of Japanese Documentary and Dedicated Treasures of Horyuji-Temple (Hōryūji ken'nō hōmotsu, 1971). The day was closed with a roundtable discussion looking at multiple aspects of Haneda and her work and a look forward to future research on Haneda Sumiko.


Finally, participants were able to view another work of Haneda online The Japanese Settlers to the Manchuria and Inner Mongolia of Mainland China (Aa Manmō Kaitaku-dan, Haneda Sumiko, 2008).



Japan Foundation / BAJS Postgraduate Workshop 2021
09/03/2021

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2021 marked the 10th anniversary of the Postgraduate workshop jointly organised by The Japan Foundation, London and the British Association for Japanese Studies. Over the course of two mornings, the workshop saw 38 students and 12 academics come together virtually to reflect on how COVID-19 has changed the Japanese Studies landscape.


Day one saw the students broken up into smaller groups to present their research to their peers and academics from similar research backgrounds. The range of topics currently being research offered a great insight into the broad interest of the next generation of Japanese Studies researchers. From early-stage MA students, to 5th year PhD students, everyone had a chance to present their research and receive feedback and advice from others in the room. We are very grateful to all of the researchers, who gave such insightful advice.


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The second day we were joined by a variety of academics who took us through some of the key changes in the world of Japanese Studies. First, we were joined by Dr Victoria Young (University of Cambridge), who explained how life and the work environment has changed for teaching academics. She also gave invaluable advice on mental wellbeing and staying motivated in a virtual environment. She was followed by Dr Christopher Hood (Cardiff University), the President of BAJS, who talked students through the creation and functions of a blog about their research. He led a detailed discussion on how to build an online presence that will affect research profiles in a positive way.


The third session was led by Dr Hannah Osborne (University of East Anglia), the incoming editor of Japan Forum. Dr Osborne explained the process for journal submission and answered some important questions about getting research published. Thanks to this event taking place online we were able to hear directly from a Japan-based academic. We were joined by Prof KAWAMURA Kohei (Waseda University) who spoke positively about the academic situation in Japan, both in terms of international collaboration and career opportunities. 


The final third of the programme started with Dr Christopher Hayes (SISJAC), who took us through his progress as an early career academic. Dr Hayes’ frank and upbeat talk was a fabulous end to the academic programme and provided many of the attendees with hope and a bright outlook for their own careers.


Finally, we were joined by the Embassy of Japan in the UK, The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, the Daiwa Foundation, and the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation. Each of these UK-based funding organisations took the attendees through the programmes they offer which could be of help.  


The Japan Foundation, London would like to thank the British Association for Japanese Studies for all their efforts in organising this event as well as all of the academics for giving up their valuable time. We would also like to thank the funding organisations that spoke in the final session.


Next year, we hope to be able to return with a face-to-face event. Please keep an eye on our website for future details.



16th Hakuhodo Japanese Research Fellowship
11/06/2020

The Hakuhodo Foundation is now accepting applications for the 16th Hakuhodo Foundation Japanese Research Fellowship.


With the goals of further strengthening the fundamentals of international research into Japan and deepening international understanding of Japan, the Hakuhodo Foundation Japanese Research Fellowship invites leading international researchers of the Japanese language, Japanese language education, Japanese literature and Japanese culture to Japan to conduct residential research.


Application period: June 1 - October 30, 2020


Fellowship period:
Long-term (1 year) and short term 6 month fellowships are available


For further details please visit the Hakuho Foundation’s website:
https://www.hakuhofoundation.or.jp/en/program/



Report: Japan Foundation/BAJS Postgraduate Workshop 2020
16/03/2020


Once again The Japan Foundation and The British Association for Japanese Studies worked together on the 9th iteration of the Postgraduate Japanese Studies Workshop. Students from across various UK institutions came to SOAS, University of London for a day of workshops, presentations and networking. The aim of this year’s workshop was to give students help and advice on academic publishing.



The first session was a hands-on feedback workshop, looking at work that students had submitted that they were hoping to turn into a publication in the future. Broken into smaller groups, they were helped by a panel of academics with a broad range of expertise and a wealth of experience in publishing their own works as journals, chapters and monographs.


Following a networking lunch, the students returned for session two, a Q&A session with the panel of assembled academics. The questions covered everything from politics sensitivities, to work-life balance in academia and with such a diverse panel from a wide range of disciplines and backgrounds, there was no shortage of interesting responses to each of the questions.



Session three saw Prof Ian Reader (The University of Manchester), take up the role of keynote speaker. A veteran of publishing with countless works to his name, Prof Reader aimed to guide students through the nuts and bolts of publishing a monograph, including how to select a publisher, the etiquette of submission and what to expect once you have submitted. Prof Reader was followed by Mr Laurence Green, the Managing Editor of Japan Forum. Mr Green gave important insider knowledge on the process of journal publishing and the work that goes into selecting which articles are published and what the submission process was like.


For the final session of the day, representatives from The Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science, The Embassy of Japan in the UK, and The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation joined the organisers in discussing the funding opportunities that were available to students of Japanese Studies from their organisations. After the final session, a reception was held for all the attendees, academics and representatives to network and discuss the day’s workshop.


The Japan Foundation would like to thank the British Association for Japanese Studies for all their efforts in co-organising this event as well as the academics for giving up their valuable time. We would also like to thank all the funding institutions that spoke in the final session, Nikkei Europe and Kinokuniya Publication Services for displaying their services, and SOAS for hosting the event. 


 



Report: UCL Japan Youth Challenge 2019
24/09/2019

The 10-day-long 2019 UCL Japan Youth Challenge summer school has come to a close. Jointly organised by the Japan Foundation and UCL, this year saw 52 students from 16 schools across Japan and 36 students from 29 schools around the UK come together to discuss some of the most important challenges facing the UK, Japan and the rest of the world. Throughout their time on the programme, the students also took lessons in each other’s languages to aid mutual understanding.



This year’s theme was Accessibility for All – Sports, AI and Robotics, with the students’ aim being to research, discuss and create innovative solutions to accessibility issues. After getting to know each other, the students heard from senior academics at both Cambridge and UCL to help give them some ideas surround this year’s theme.


The students used their new found inspiration and tackled the issues in small groups, each one deciding on an accessibility theme that they felt was important to them. The wide range of chosen topics included LGBT+ inclusion, visibility of para-sports, access to education and many others. The students discussed the issues and potential solutions at great length, creating a manifesto on how the issues should be approached by various bodies.



The UCL Youth Challenge culminated in the Grand Challenge Symposium. During this event, the students and members of the public were able to listen to a series of talks from researchers and practitioners, including former and current Paralympians, on their experiences surrounding accessibility. This symposium was also a fantastic chance for the students to present their own research on their chosen issues, with each group presenting to both the public and assembled speakers.



The Japan Foundation would like to thank our co-organisers, UCL, and all of the sponsors and volunteers who made this programme such a great success.



Report - What is Manga? Exploring Japanese manga and visual narratives
30/08/2019

 


 The Japan Foundation was proud to have teamed up with the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures (SISJAC), to organise the manga symposium, What is Manga? Exploring Japanese Visual Narratives. This event saw 16 speakers, come from Japan, Europe and North America to discuss the most important aspects of manga.


Chaired by SISJAC and UEA’s own Dr Eugenia Bogdanova-Kummer, the day’s opening keynote speaker was Prof Jaqueline Berndt from Stockholm University. Her lively and engrossing talk on manga studies as a multidisciplinary area gave a fantastic insight into manga’s emerging genres, audiences, and its place in the academic world.


 
Prof Takemiya Keiko and Tomoko Yamada

The day continued with Panel 1. Various scholars provided an insight into manga theory and manga iconography. Professors Ito Go and Natsume Fusanosuke gave a live drawing session, showing the importance of specific icons and lines within manga and demonstrating how a single line can change an entire story. This was followed by Tomoko Yamada and Prof Keiko Takemiya’s on stage discussion of Shojo (girls’) manga – drawing a particular focus on the early pioneers of shojo manga (of which Prof Takemiya was one) and their artistic styles. The final speaker was Prof Yoshimura Kazuma, who provided information on manga literacy and the ways in which people learn to read manga effectively from a young age, also touching on manga designed for those with learning difficulties. The panel was kindly wrapped up by Prof Toshio Watanabe, who provided the audience with much to think about.


 
Prof Ronald Stewart discussing the life of Kitzawa Rakuten

Panel 2 saw a shift in focus onto manga’s history and its development to the modern day, with Dr Ryoko Matsuba going back to the very early roots of manga and linking it to what we now call manga. Prof Ronald Stewart then explored the life and works of Kitazawa Rakuten, known by some as the first professional manga artist. He also highlighted some of the non-Japanese influences on early manga. The panel was neatly and enthusiastically summed up by Prof Adam Kern, asking the audience to reflect on the internationality and interconnectedness of comics.


 
Simon Klingler discussing his work on Hokusai x Manga

The final panel of the day look at manga in museums. First two members of Kyoto Seika University and Kyoto International Manga Museum, Ito Yuu and Yoo Suukyung spoke on the planning of manga exhibitions in Japan and drawing in audiences, later discussing the behind the scenes work and difficulty of archiving original manga drawings. Simon Klingler from Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, spoke on his experiences as the curator of the Hokusai x Manga exhibition at his museum and the processes involved in making it a success. Finally, Prof Nicole Rousmaniere, curator of the hugely successful British Museum’s manga exhibition, spoke about her journey through curating the exhibition and the challenges and thoughts behind the exhibit. This panel was neatly wrapped by Dr Ian Hague.


 


 
From left to right: Prof Ronald Stewart, Simon Klinger, Ito Yu, Yuu Sookyung, Prof Nicole Rousmaniere, Dr Roger Sabin – taking part in the final round table discussion.

A round table was held at the end of the day with each of the speakers invited to discuss various topics surrounding manga. Alongside audience questions, Prof Roger Sabin of UAL acted as chair of the discussion, guiding the speakers onto the key topics of the day.


 


The Japan Foundation would like to thank all of the speakers, our co-organisers SISJAC, The British Library for hosting the event, and the British Museum and Prof Nicole Rousmaniere for their initiative in creating this symposium. We would also like to thank all of the audience members who came to learn more about the fascinating subject of manga.



The 15th Hakuho Foundation Japanese Research Fellowship
13/06/2019

Hakuho Foundation Logo


The Hakuho Foundation is now accepting applications for the 15th Hakuho Foundation Japanese Research Fellowship.


With the goals of further strengthening the fundamentals of international research into Japan and deepening international understanding of Japan, the Hakuho Foundation Japanese Research Fellowship invites leading international researchers of the Japanese language, Japanese language education, Japanese literature and Japanese culture to Japan to conduct residential research.


Application period: June 3 - October 31, 2019


Fellowship period:
Long-term (1 year): September 1, 2020 - August 31, 2021
Short-term (6 months): September 1, 2020 - February 28, 2021 (Round 1), or March 1 - August 31, 2021(Round 2)


For further details please visit the Hakuho Foundation’s website:
https://www.hakuhofoundation.or.jp/en/program/



Report: Countdown to Kickoff
25/09/2018

September 20th 2018 marked exactly one year to go before the Rugby World Cup kicks off in Japan. To mark this event, the Japan Foundation and SOAS held a symposium on the topics of rugby in Japan and sporting mega-events themselves. This event was the third in its series and the speakers presented to an excited full house at the SOAS Alumni Lecture Theatre. 


Our first speakers, offering a joint presentation on the history of rugby in Japan until the outbreak of World War Two, were Phil McGowan (World Rugby Museum) and Mike Galbraith (De Montford University). Their talks gave great insights into how rugby came to Japan and how it blossomed into a fully-fledged sport whilst showcasing their work into tracing Japanese rugby back to its earliest game. 


This was followed by Helen Macnaughtan's (SOAS) wonderful talk about how rugby flourished with the help of with the help of heavy industry companies following World War Two. Finally Bringing us right up to the present day and the current state of rugby in Japan and the national and local teams. 


The third speaker, Hilary Frank (Cornwall Council), gave us a series of personal insights into her work at the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics, the 2002 Korea-Japan FIFA World Cup, and the 2019 Rugby World Cup. This personal approach gave the audience a chance to hear a side of the story that is rarely told. 


Our final speaker was Simon Chadwick (Salford University), who was able to show the economic side of these mega-events and offer a balanced and animated talk on the benefits and losses associated with hosting them. The talks were finished off with a Q&A session hosted by J. Simon Rofe (SOAS), with the audience providing some challenging questions for the speakers. 


Finally, to cap the evening off, there was a reception hosted by Sake Samurai, featuring two sommeliers on hand to offer tastings and give advice on sake. This gave the audience a chance to informally speak to the speakers and organisers, and to chat to each other about the evening. 


A full video of the event can be found on the SOAS Youtube page



Report: Japan Foundation/BAJS Japanese Studies Postgraduate Workshop 2018
26/02/2018

Japanese Studies Postgraduate Workshop 2018 Images


This February 16 2018 saw the return of the annual Japanese Studies postgraduate workshop, the seventh jointly hosted by the Japan Foundation London and the British Association for Japanese Studies (BAJS). Held at SOAS University of London and attended by 36 postgraduate students from 22 different UK universities working on Japan related research in diverse disciplines across the humanities and social sciences, the workshop was a great opportunity for these emerging researchers to receive practical advice on their research from senior academics, and to network with fellow postgraduate students.


The year’s theme focused on how emerging academics in the UK can help to bridge the academic worlds of the UK and Japan through their research.


Each of the 36 student participants were given the opportunity to make a five minute presentation on their Japan related research and why they believe it is important for the advancement of Japanese Studies in the UK and Japan in front of an audience of peers and senior academics. This was followed by lively group discussion sessions on how to make your research relevant to a wider audience in Japan and the UK. 


The afternoon saw a series of talks by leading figures from UK Japanese Studies taking on key challenges relating to conducting and disseminating research in Japan. Topics tackled included ‘Challenges of short fieldwork trips’ (BAJS president Dr Christopher Hood, University of Cardiff); ‘Ethical issues when doing fieldwork in Japan’ (Dr Erica Baffelli, University of Manchester); ‘Postdoctoral career development in Japan and the UK’ (Dr Peter Matanle, University of Sheffield); ‘Your role as a foreign researcher/academic in Japan’ (Prof Robert Aspinall, Doshisha University) and ‘Publishing in Japan’ (Dr Aya Homei, University of Manchester).


The next session welcomed Prof Takehiko Kariya from the University of Oxford who provided a fascinating view from a Japanese scholar and sociologist on the different communities of Japanese Studies in the UK and the Social Sciences disciplines in Japan, and what emerging researchers in the UK can do to help bridge the gap between them.


The workshop finished with a session on ‘Funding to continue your career in Japan and the UK’ with presentations from representatives of the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, Embassy of Japan in the UK, Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, British Association for Japanese Studies and the Japan Foundation London introducing the wide range of potential sources of funding for Japanese Studies including funding to support research in Japan.


Participants and speakers took to twitter to enthusiastically express their feedback on the workshop using the hashtag #JapanPostGrad


Some comments from student participants include:


‘The workshop this time was the best among previous ones. I like the way the workshop is evolving each time. The aspects of what to expect in Japanese academia were very useful. I also enjoyed the morning session which allowed me to improve my presentation skills.’


‘It [The workshop] was very inspiring and undoubtedly useful – I'm still digesting all the stimuli that we received.’


Thank you very much to all participants and speakers for making the event such a great success. We hope to see you again at a future workshop! If you are a PhD student undertaking research on Japan and are interested in attending a similar event in future, please get in touch!



The 13th Hakuho Foundation Japanese Research Fellowship
21/06/2017


The Hakuho Foundation is now accepting applications for the 13th Hakuho Foundation Japanese Research Fellowship.


With the goals of further strengthening the fundamentals of international research into Japan and deepening international understanding of Japan, the Hakuho Foundation Japanese Research Fellowship invites leading international researchers of the Japanese language, Japanese language education, Japanese literature and Japanese culture to Japan to conduct residential research.


Application period: June 9-October 31, 2017


Fellowship period: September 1, 2018-August 31, 2019 (6 months or 12 months)


For further details, please visit the Hakuho Foundation’s website:


http://www.hakuhofoundation.or.jp/english/program/tabid/196/Default.aspx



Report: Japan Foundation/BAJS Japanese Studies Postgraduate Workshop 2017 – Make an Impact
28/03/2017


February 24 2017 saw the return of the annual Japanese Studies postgraduate workshop, the sixth the Japan Foundation has held in co-operation with the British Association for Japanese Studies (BAJS), and the second to be held outside London. This year’s workshop held at the University of Sheffield, was attended by 36 postgraduate students from 18 different universities in the UK and Europe working on Japan related research in diverse disciplines across the humanities and social sciences.


The theme of this year’s workshop focused on how emerging academics can expand the impact of their research on wider academia and society outside the Japanese Studies community.


The workshop opened with a series of inspiring case studies from senior academics at the University of Sheffield’s School of East Asian Studies.  Prof Hugo Dobson, Dr Mark Pendleton and Dr Peter Matanle discussed their own experiences of conceiving, generating and recording the impact of their research covering diverse perspectives from international relations and ‘translating’ research for the media, working with policy-makers, to creative collaboration with visual artists.


The presentations were followed by a series of hands-on workshop sessions led by Dr Thomas McAuley, Lecturer in Japanese Studies at the University of Sheffield, during which students worked in small groups to define their research for an audience of non-specialists, and to put together a statement on the potential impact and audience for their research.


The workshop finished with a session on ‘Funding your Research’ with presentations from representatives of the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, British Association for Japanese Studies and the Japan Foundation introducing the wide range of funding programmes available to emerging researchers in Japanese Studies.


Some comments from student participants include:


‘I have heard suggestions on how to expand my research and enhance its impact in ways that I hadn’t even considered before.’


‘The research impact workshop was brilliantly designed – extremely useful and practical. One of the best events I have attended during the three years of my PhD.’


Thank you very much to the British Association for Japanese Studies, the University of Sheffield and all participants and speakers for making the workshop such a great success. We hope to see you again next year! If you are a PhD student undertaking research on Japan and would like to attend a future workshop, please do get in touch!



Report: Japan Year Abroad Programme (J-YAP) Coordinator Conference
01/12/2016

On Saturday 5th November the Japan Foundation London held the first Japan Year Abroad Programme (J-YAP) Coordinator Conference at the Royal Asiatic Society in London. As the inaugural meeting of the new J-YAP Coordinators Network, the conference was the first opportunity for staff members involved in the administration of Year Abroad Programmes within Japanese/Japanese Studies degree courses at universities across the UK to gather to share information on how to combat common administration challenges and help enable students make the most of their unique Year Abroad programme opportunities. Participating in the discussions were 14 Year Abroad Programme Coordinators and related staff members from 11 universities which offer Japanese/Japanese studies degree courses, and members of the British Association for Japanese Studies and other key Japanese Studies related organisations.


The conference was divided into three themed sections led mainly by current Year Abroad Programme Coordinators. 


The first session opened with a lively discussion on ways to utilise returning 4th year students as resources to deliver student guidance and support before and during the Year Abroad and therefore lighten the workload of J-YAP administrators, focusing on two case studies of innovative strategies put in place by UK universities. 


Session 2 addressed challenges experienced by universities when sending students with diverse needs to Japan, such as negotiation with Japanese partner universities and student placement. Current Year Abroad Programme coordinators introduced their own experiences and led a discussion during which participants shared and developed practical and collaborative strategies  to deal with these challenges. During this session, The Japan Foundation’s own  Chief Language Advisor Makoto Netsu also  introduced the JF Standard (Japanese site/English pamphlet) as an objective measure which can be used to standardise the evaluation of student’s Japanese language proficiency before and after the Year Abroad so that students can continue their language study in Japan building on their previous achievements at their home university.


The third and final session examined ways to help students make the most of the unique opportunities during the Year Abroad to help prepare for further studies on return to the UK and their future career beyond graduation.  Dr Chris Perkins (British Association for Japanese Studies) explored how to integrate preparations for the fourth year dissertation not only into the Year Abroad itself, but also into the full four year degree programme as a whole. Ms Kiko Hill (Disco International Ltd.) introduced ways that students can use their time during the Year Abroad to prepare themselves for careers in Japan or Japanese companies. 


Some of the feedback from participants included:


“A wonderful initiative that has the potential to have a big impact on Year Abroad coordination”


「貴重な機会をありがとうございました。15年前にあったら私の人生ももっと楽だった…」


(“Thank you for this valuable opportunity. If this conference existed 15 years ago my life would have been a lot easier...”)


Following the conference the Japan Foundation has set up the Japan Year Abroad Programme (J-YAP) Network JiscMail Mailing List as a platform for university staff members to continue to share information and ideas relating to Japan Year Abroad Programmes to help each other combat common challenges and strengthen and promote Year Abroad programmes. If you are involved in administrating a Year Abroad Programme within a Japanese/Japanese Studies degree course and would be interested in joining this network please do get in touch with the Japan Foundation by emailing: j-yap-request@jiscmail.ac.uk


Thank you to all participants and speakers for making the J-YAP Coordinator Conference such a great success and we look forward to future J-YAP network activities!



The 12th Hakuho Foundation Japanese Research Fellowship
12/07/2016


The Hakuho Foundation is now accepting applications for the 12th Hakuho Foundation Japanese Research Fellowship.


With the goals of further strengthening the fundamentals of international research into Japan and deepening international understanding of Japan, the Hakuho Foundation Japanese Research Fellowship invites leading international researchers of the Japanese language, Japanese language education, Japanese literature and Japanese culture to Japan to conduct residential research.


Application period: June 10-October 31, 2016


Research period: September 1, 2017-August 31, 2018 (6 months or 12 months)


For further details, please visit the Hakuho Foundation’s website:


http://www.hakuhofoundation.or.jp/english/program/tabid/196/Default.aspx



Natsume Soseki Japanese Essay Competition: Call for entries!
18/05/2016


To mark the 100th anniversary of the death of Natsume Soseki (1867-1916), the Asahi Shimbun Co., in co-operation with the Japan Foundation, Iwanami Shoten Publishers and Ferris University, is inviting entries for an international essay contest on the continuing appeal of the influential Japanese author’s works among foreigners.


Soseki, one of Japan's most famed and popular authors, lived in Japan’s period of transition to a modern society. His works have been extensively translated overseas and his representative work, “Kokoro” (Heart), has been translated into more than 20 languages.


Content of Essay:  Participants are required to write essays in Japanese about Soseki’s appeal, which remains strong even today. The theme of the competition is “Soseki and I”, and essays submitted should include the circumstances about when the participant read Soseki’s work for the first time (title of the work, when, where, in what language and why). Essays must be 2,000 Japanese characters or less.


Eligibility: Entries for the essay competition will be accepted from those living overseas or in Japan whose native language is not Japanese. For those residing in Japan, their stay in the country must be less than two years. International students studying in Japan are also eligible to participate.


Prizes: Three winners (including one first prize winner, and two runners up) will be invited to attend a symposium on Natsume Soseki which will be held at the Yurakucho Asahi Hall in Tokyo on 10th December 2016.


Deadline for entries : Applications are now open and will close on 10 August 2016.


For further information including details on how to apply, please visit: http://www.asahi.com/shimbun/sosekiessaye.html


Good luck to everyone taking part!


Note: The Japan Foundation is not responsible for receiving applications



Report: 5th Japan Foundation / BAJS Post-graduate Workshop
10/05/2016

February 4th 2016 saw the return of our annual Post-Graduate Workshop, the fifth organised by the Japan Foundation in collaboration with the British Association for Japanese Studies (BAJS). This year’s workshop, hosted at the Holiday Inn Bloomsbury in London, was attended by a full house of 40 postgraduate students in Japan related fields representing a record number of 22 universities across the UK. The workshop was a great opportunity for these emerging researchers to receive practical advice on their research from senior academics, and to network with fellow postgraduate students.


During the day four PhD students presented their research and received constructive comments and questions from fellow-postgraduate students and senior academics in discussion sessions chaired by BAJS President Professor Caroline Rose.  The four presentations were chosen from a number of excellent and diverse proposals, and covered topics ranging from disaster mental health in Japan (Ben Epstein, UCL), technology and Japan in the British press (Christopher Hayes, Cardiff University),  ‘Expressive’ women and Western attire in Japanese cinema (Lois Barnett, SOAS, University of London), and child guidance centres in Japan (Michael King, University of Oxford).


The workshop also featured several practical sessions by BAJS committee members and senior academics who provided practical advice on real problems affecting emerging Japanese studies researchers. Dr Susan Townsend (University of Nottingham) gave some excellent advice on carving academic and career opportunities outside ‘East Asian studies’ departments, drawing from her own experience as a Japan specialist working in the Department of History at the University of Nottingham. Later in the afternoon, to tackle some of the challenges faced by students using Japanese language in their research careers, Dr Thomas McAuley (University of Sheffield) and Dr Luli van der Does-Ishikawa teamed up to lead a very enjoyable and practical session which explored how to use social media to promote your research and raise your profile in Japanese academia using Japanese language.


Responding to feedback received during last year’s event which identified securing postdoctoral positions as a key challenge for emerging researchers, this year’s workshop introduced a panel session featuring three early career researchers and lecturers in Japanese studies who were able to offer career advice from recent experience. Dr Jonathan Service (University of Oxford), Dr Gitte Marianne Hansen (Newcastle University) and Dr Ruselle Meade (Cardiff University) each introduced their individual career paths, and then took questions from the audience in an interactive panel discussion. Dr Hansen and Dr Meade had participated in our very first post-graduate workshop as PhD students in 2012, and it was inspiring to have them participate four years later as established lecturers!


Early Career Development Panel Discussion:


 


The workshop finished with a session on ‘Funding your Research’ with presentations from Susan Meehan (Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation), Chigusa Ogaya (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science),  Rory Steele (Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation),  and Julie Anne Robb (Japan Foundation) introducing the wide range of funding programmes available to researchers in Japanese Studies.


All sections received great feedback with one participant commenting that they ‘really enjoyed the positive, constructive and non-combative atmosphere’, and another noting that ‘all aspects of the event offered valuable insights from the PhD presentations, through to the funding options to career considerations’. Another participant commented that ‘I have just started my PhD, and I thought this workshop would help me to familiarise myself with the opportunities of funding open to PhD candidates in Japanese Studies in the UK. Moreover, I wanted to attend the workshop to listen to the presentations, which I found deeply inspiring!


The event was followed by a networking dinner reception, generously funded by BAJS.


Thank you to all participants and speakers for making the workshop such a great success.  We hope to see you again next year! 



Fellowship Programme FY 2016
29/09/2015

The application forms for the Japanese Studies Fellowship Programme 2016 have now been released on our Tokyo website here.


This programme provides opportunities to outstanding scholars in Japanese Studies who wish to conduct research in Japan. It is split into three categories: Long-Term Scholars and Researchers, Short-Term Scholars and Researchers, and Doctoral Candidates.


To  learn more about the programme contact Julie Anne Robb or visit the programme list on our Tokyo site.


Application deadline:  1st December, 2015


Please discuss your eligibility with the Japan Foundation before applying.  



News Archive

ESRC-AHRC UK-Japan SSH Connections grants
The 14th Hakuho Foundation Japanese Research Fellowship
Grant Programme for Intellectual Exchange Conferences 2016-2017
Japan Foundation Japanese Studies Student Survey 2015
Japanese Studies Local Grant Programmes 2015-16
Fellowship Programme FY 2015
Japanese Studies Local Grant Programmes Renewed
3rd Japan Foundation / BAJS Post-graduate Workshop
Lecture Series with Hiroshi Kainuma 20-23 January, 2014
Fellowship Programme FY 2014
Book Launch & Talk - Aesthetic Strategies of the Floating World, by Alfred Haft
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2nd Japan Foundation / BAJS Post-Graduate Workshop
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