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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.

Over the coming months, we will be posting a weekly e-bulletin detailing the ongoing COVID19 situation in Japan as well as recommendations for Japan-related activities that anyone can do from home. The latest edition and back copies can be found on our CJS Newsletters page.

Our Japanese-language guide to UEA can be found here.


2020 Summer Schools 2020 Summer Schools

Unfortunately, due to COVID19, the summer schools have been postponed until 2021. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. More details will follow shortly. Information on the summer schools can still be found on the Summer Study at UEA website.

TIFO Japan Orientation Scholarship

Ishibashi Foundation Scholarship

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.

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

Upcoming Events Upcoming Events


Castles Across Ages and Lands: An Interdisciplinary Seminar, in tandem with the School of History and Norwich Castle

Dr Oleg Benesch of University of York & Dr Ran Zwigenberg of Pennsylvania State University

POSTPONED                               DATE TBC

Join us after the Easter break for an especially interdisciplinary CJS Research Seminar, where we will be hosting Dr Oleg Benesch and Dr Ran Zwigenberg to discuss their long-running collaborative project researching the history of Japan's castles and their social function from the 19th century to the present day. For this event, a special collaboration with Norwich Castle will provide a comparative perspective for the roles that these ancient fortresses play throughout the changing times they have endured through. More information will be released shortly. You can read more about the project on Dr Benesch's website here.

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.

Jomon Contemporary: influences from ancient Japan with Professor Simon Kaner

CJS Director Simon Kaner is currently in Budapest giving a series of talks on his specialist field of Jomon archaeology for the Japan Foundation. Any undergraduates hoping to hear more like this can apply for the Japan Orientation summer school, where a range of our resident Japan specialists will be broadening the horizons of Japanese Studies through such fields as interpreting ancient Japanese artworks, grappling international relations and considering the 'Japaneseness' of Japanese gardens.

CJS Research Seminar: Extending Virtual Kyoto with Professor Keiji Yano

On 5 March, we were visited by Professor Keiji Yano of Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, who gave a talk on his long-running project 'Virtual Kyoto'.

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). Professor Yano explained how Virtual Kyoto has evolved into various ways since 2002, adapting new technologies as well as new materials on Kyoto. This was demonstrated through stunning visuals of the street-by-street reconstructions of central Kyoto, the incredible amount of information and source material that had been used to put together such a detailed reconstruction that spanned several eras. This included not just key landmarks such as Nijo Castle and the Imperial Palace, but also the 50,000 traditional kyo-machiya houses that dot the city with meticulous accuracy as well as many industrial era Western-style buildings.

The talk also covered the various spin-off projects that had derived from Virtual Kyoto, including: an Augemented Reality smartphone app that provides a window into Virtual Kyoto as you walk the streets of Kyoto yourself; an open high-resolution database of historic maps; and high quality scans of modern buildings throughout the city.

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

On 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.







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