Main Menu

Centre for Japanese Studies


Centre for Japanese Studies

A cross-cultural centre A cross-cultural centre

In May 2011, UEA established a new Centre for Japanese Studies (CJS). Located within the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at UEA, the Centre for Japanese Studies leads and coordinates Japan-related teaching and research at the University.

CJS will help students interested in studying about Japan access a wide range of expertise across the University and the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures.

CJS is dedicated to developing a centre of excellence in Japanese studies at UEA, whilst stimulating the highest quality interdisciplinary research on Japan in Norwich.

The Centre encourages the study of Japanese Arts, Language and Culture through a wide range of interdisciplinary degrees. Our world-class research networks aim to develop a deeper understanding of Japan and its place in the wider world of the past, present and future.

MA Interdisciplinary Japanese Studies MA Interdisciplinary Japanese Studies

The Interdisciplinary Institute for the Humanities is delighted to announce the launch of our new MA programme in Interdisciplinary Japanese Studies beginning this September. More information can be found here.

The course will be run in collaboration with the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Culture.

On the 23 January, we hosted an information session for the upcoming MA where all lecturers from the MA explained their courses and varying fields of expertise so students could find exactly which avenues they want to explore. We will be presenting at the UEA postgraduate open day on 18 March, giving prospective students the opportunity to find out what the course can do for them. More details will be released shortly.

CJS Director Simon Kaner with Course Director Eugenia Bogdanova-Kummer opening the MA Information Session

Upcoming Events Upcoming Events

CJS Research Seminar:

Extending Virtual Kyoto: Using New Technologies and New Materials on Kyoto

Professor Yano Keiji, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto

Thurs 5 March                             Venue TBC

Virtual Kyoto is a virtual time-space created on a computer for the purpose of investigating the past, present and future of the historical city of Kyoto, using the cutting-edge technologies in GIS and VR. (Yano et al., 2008).

This Virtual Kyoto has evolved into various ways since 2002, adapting new technologies as well as new materials on Kyoto.

In this seminar, Professor Yano Keiji will provide current projects related to Virtual Kyoto as follows;

1. Virtual Heiankyo AR on Android and iOS

The new Virtual Heiankyo AR app was developed by augmenting the 3D technology used in Virtual Kyoto with GPS information. When, for example, the app is opened on a smartphone and held up within the grounds of the original location of the Emperor’s Heian Palace, the structures that once existed inside the palace are displayed and can be experienced in AR.

2. WebGIS-based Application for Compering Rakuchū rakugai-zu Folding Screens

The WebGIS-based application more than browsing a folding screen, allows the comparison of multiple folding screens, as well as between the folding screens and old picture maps, current maps and satellite images that corresponding to the folding screens.

3. Panorama photos of Kyoto streetscape around the 1960

This project provides the WebGIS system of comparing the old and current streetscapes as well the streetview VR system using the VR goggle.

4. Map Warper for Japanese old maps and Maplat

The integrated portal site of Japanese old maps we develop consists of three parts; 1) Web-based searching and browsing system for Japanese old maps with no georeference, 2) Web-based searching and browsing system for Japanese old maps with the georeference tool (Map Warper), and 3) Web-based searching and browsing system for georeferenced Japanese old maps.

5. Virtual Yamahiko parade in Gion Festival

We propose a multimodal digital archiving and reproduction of the world cultural heritage "Gion Festival in Kyoto". In this digital museum project, we make "Virtual Kyoto" more highly-developed and detailed, and develop the system where users can experience the things and events related to Gion Festival with several virtual reality technologies.

CJS Research Seminar: Base Politics in Okinawa with Professor Takamine Tsukasa

It is with great regret that we have had to postpone the next CJS research seminar on account of increasing concerns surrounding the COVID 2019 outbreak in China. We hope to reschedule Professor Takamine's fascinating talk in the near future.

Japan Now East

Japan Now East will see Norwich hosting a series Japanese literary cultural events over February. See more info on our News and Events page, or at for the full range of nationwide events.

CJS Winter Newsletter

The winter edition of our Centre for Japanese Studies newsletter is now available to download or read online. We bring in the Year of the Rat with a plethora of news as well as forthcoming events and opportunities at CJS, the UEA, Norwich and beyond. Our key announcements include the launch of our new MA in Interdisciplinary Japanese Studies, Japan Now East events and the opening of applications for this year's Japan Orientation and Ishibashi Foundation Summer Schools.You can also browse previous issues in our archive.

CJS Blog CJS Blog

Welcome to our CJS blog, where you can find out about all the latest Japan-related events that CJS has been engaged in. For a complete account of the events of last semester, download a copy of our CJS Winter 2020 Newsletter.

CJS Research Seminar: Gender and National Image - Representations of figure skating in Japanese anime

On the 4 February, we were delighted to have Dr Michael Tsang visit from Newcastle University to give a talk on how, over the years, Japanese figure skating anime has reflected its real-world counterpart and the broader socio-political shifts of the time.

Such observations included the intimate relationship between multinational characters of Yuri on Ice being a means of conveying the desire of Japanese officials to cooperate internationally, as well as various references to 'bromance' as a reflection of the changing attitudes in Japan today on homosexuality. Dr Tsang also cited the fiery protagonist of Ginban Kaleidoscope as a symbol of female strength and independence, a casting off of 'Yamato Nadeshiko', the traditional Japanese concept of the kind, submissive female archetype. 

A key aspect highlighted was the element of 'non-victory' whereby the protagnists failed to come out on top despite displaying superb skill. Dr Tsang associates this with a Japanese desire to appear as a non-threatening nation full of technical and artistic potential on a global stage and champion its ambition to constantly improve, although Dr Tsang acknowledged that if the protagonist wins outright then the anime is unlikely to get a sequel. The talk was then followed by an engaging Q&A where UEA Japanese Studies students fully took the opportunity to tangle with the notions put forward by Dr Tsang.


CJS Research Seminar: In Conversation with Anthony Thwaite


On the 23 January, following our MA Information Session, the first CJS Research Seminar of 2020 saw esteemed poet Anthony Thwaite join us to give readings of some of his best works to a full house. These were accompanied by Japanese translations provided by SISJAC's Ryoko Matsuba and Junzo Uchiyama, who gave powerful, evocative renditions of the classics. Anthony reminisced on his time in Japan at the University of Tokyo as the nation was rebuilding following the aftermath of the Second World War whilst in conversation with CJS Director Simon Kaner, who also got the opportunity to discuss their shared passion of archaeology. The evening was rounded off with a book signing of Anthony's new poetry compilation and platters of delicious sushi.

A bilingual English-Japanese edition of Anthony Thwaite's collection of poems can be purchased from Copies can be bought and delivered to the UK.







News and Events









Contact Us