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.
The Interdisciplinary Institute for the Humanities is launching an exciting new MA course from 2020 on Interdisciplinary Japanese Studies. For more information, please click here to see the course listing.
CJS Research Seminar: Dr Hannah Shepherd on 'A Tale of Two Cities: Fukuoka and Pusan in the Japanese Empire'
On the 5th December, Dr Hannah Shepherd very kindly came to give us a talk on her research of imperial urbanisation only two days after having arrived back from a research trip in Japan. As such, she was able to give us a very fresh look at her research on the shifting of power and people across the Tsushima Strait between the two port cities of Fukuoka, Japan and Pusan, Korea during Japanese imperial rule. Her research challenges the notions of metropole-focussed approachs in study of empires by demonstrating how previously peripheral cities grew in importance once regular access was established with colonised neighbouring cities. This also challenges studies of western empires which suggest culture and modernity flowed one way from coloniser to colonised by studying regional change rather than focussing on any one city. This allows a focus on migration patterns of both Japanese and Koreans across the Tsushima strait from the days of Japanese-colonised Korea, with large influxes of Japanese to Busan and movement of Korean labourers by Japanese oligarchs, to the immediate post-war period and the calamatous repatriations of Japanese and Koreans unfamiliar with their ‘homelands’.
Dr Shepherd’s talk was a brief insight to her upcoming book Cities into Empire: Fukuoka, Pusan, and Japan’s Imperial Urbanization 1876-1953, the adaptation of her PhD thesis into a monograph. More details can be found on her Cambridge University profile here.
CJS Autumn Newsletter
Welcome to our CJS blog, where you can find out about all the latest Japan-related events that CJS has been engaged in.
CJS Research Seminar: Dr Lindsay Black on Human (in)security in Japan-Myanmar Relations
On Thursday 14th November, Dr Lindsay Black came over from Leiden University to give a talk on his latest research topic exploring the rhetoric behind Japan's 'chequebook diplomacy' in Myanmar. His talk covered Japan's consistent economic support in the 'rehabilitation' of Myanmar as it sought to cast off its 'pariah' status on the international stage and engage economically with world powers, particularly in the face of ongoing war crimes committed by the dominant military there. Key to Dr Black's discussion was the glaring ahistoricity of Japanese rhetoric on supporting Myanmar, positioning itself in contrast as a leading nation of Asia with complete disregard for its militarist past with then-Burma. Instead, they described Myanmar's reintegration to the world stage as it's own 'Meiji restoration', casting a problematic teleological perspective on national development in Asia.
More information can be found on Lindsay Black's work through his Leiden University profile here.
Unfortunately our next seminar with poet Anthony Thwaite has been postponed. Currently our next scheduled seminar is with Dr Hannah Shepherd on Fukuoka and Pusan in Imperial Japan on the 5th December. More details can be found under News and Events.
Sasakawa Studentship Alumni Event
On the 8th November, Sasakawa alumni from UEA presented en masse at the Sasakawa Studentship Alumni Event hosted at SOAS. The day consisted of quick-fire 5 minute presentations on individual research topics, displaying the huge range of topics covered by Japanese Studies researchers from male grooming practices amongst salarymen to the role of satire and humour in the development of Japan into a modern nation state. This was followed by constructive, tailored feedback from senior academics. A quick lunch and tea break saw much networking as attendees excitedly inquired about one another’s fields in between bites of sandwiches and sips of tea and coffee.
Afternoon discussions provided valuable information for budding researchers on the ins and outs of the world of publication, with representatives from Taylor & Francis, the Journal for Japanese Studies and Japan Forum. Future workshops and funding opportunities were then presented by representatives of the Japan Foundation, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and the Embassy of Japan. The day was rounded off by a warm reception, where UEA attendees thanked their wonderful hosts with a commemorative photo.