Job Opening: Professor of Japanese Studies

job opening - 5The Board of Electors to the Professorship of Japanese Studies invite applications for this Professorship from persons whose work falls within any field of the study of modern or pre-modern Japan (humanities and/or social sciences) to take up appointment on 1 October 2015 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Candidates will have an outstanding research record of international stature in Japanese Studies and the vision, leadership, experience and enthusiasm to build on current strengths in maintaining and developing a leading research presence. They will hold a PhD or equivalent postgraduate qualification.

Standard professorial duties include teaching and research, examining, supervision and administration. The Professor will be based in Cambridge. A competitive salary will be offered.

Further information is available at: or contact the Academic Secretary, University Offices, The Old Schools, Cambridge, CB2 1TT, (email:

Applications, consisting of a letter of application, a statement of current and future research plans, a curriculum vitae and a publications list, along with details of three referees should be made online no later than 9 February 2015.

Informal enquiries about this Professorship may be directed to: Professor Roel Sterckx, Head of the Department of East Asian Studies, (e-mail or Dr Barak Kushner (e-mail

Please quote reference GX04876 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Apply online

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Funding: Japan Fund for Global Environment -Conservation Grants 2015

money [150-2]The Fund makes grants to legally registered non-profit organizations in Japan and developing countries for field projects in environmental conservation. Priority is for activities to protect migratory birds that stop in Japan, and for wildlife species that are globally important. Average grants are 4 million yen for projects in Japan, and 6 million yen for projects in developing regions. Each non-Japanese applicant needs to have an agent in Japan to apply in Japanese language on behalf of the applicant. The application period is 19 December 2014 through 14 January 2015

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Job Opening: Postdoctoral Fellow in Japanese Studies, Freie Universitaet Berlin

job opening - 5Institution:   Freie Universitaet Berlin, Graduate School of East Asian Studies
Location:   Germany
Position:   Post-Doctoral Fellow, Japanese Studies

The Graduate School of East Asian Studies at Freie Universitaet Berlin (Germany) is inviting applications for a postdoctoral research fellowship

limited to 2 years with a focus on Japan beginning on 1 September 2015.

Job description: The Graduate School merges research in East Asian Studies (Japanese, Korean and Chinese Studies) with training in the social sciences (Political Science, Economics, Law, Social and Cultural Anthropology) as well as History and Cultural Studies. The training program is interdisciplinary with special emphasis on historically and culturally informed social science inquiry. The post-doctoral position involves undertaking research in the context of the Graduate School’s research focus on institutions in East Asia, coordinating teams of graduate student-researchers, and teaching a small semester-long seminar.

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Book Announcement: Zen Past and Present, by Eric Cunningham

Zen Past and PresentZen Past and Present

Eric Cunningham

ISBN 978-0-924304-64-4. 98 pages. Paperback.

Zen Past and Present provides readers with a concise but comprehensive survey of the history of Zen Buddhism. Because it examines Zen from historical, religious, literary, artistic, and political standpoints, it is an ideal supplemental text for a wide variety of disciplines. Zen Past and Present covers the evolution of Zen thought and practice from the foundations of Buddhism in ancient India up to the most recent interpretations of Zen in the contemporary postmodern world. Students should find this booklet readable, entertaining, and thought-provoking. It is a perfect addition to any Asian studies reading list.

“This booklet of less than eighty pages is miraculously a comprehensive coverage of key aspects of Zen Buddhism from its origin in India to Japan and the West. Nothing crucial for the understanding and appreciation of Zen tradition is omitted, including history, doctrine and practice, and texts and figures. Eric Cunningham even finds space to highlight the impact of indigenous culture on the development of Zen as an East Asian form of Buddhism that in turn was accepted into the Western culture. Zen Past and Present will serve as a useful launching pad to inform students and readers and to stimulate further readings and discussions on contextual factors and scholarships.”

Kyoko Tokuno
Senior Lecturer of East Asian Religions
University of Washington

“The golden carp is out of the net! This clear and confidently written overview of the development and dissemination of a key element of the Buddha’s practice—meditation leading to self-knowledge and insight—is a welcome contribution. While not shying away from the paradox and play of Zen, including its often controversial worldly involvement, Professor Cunningham avoids attachment to numbing pedantry, and thoughtfully presents highlights of the understandings and explanations of Zen as they arose in varied historical and cultural contexts. We are offered a multi-colored string, continuous but not identical, and come to appreciate Zen as a trajectory of appropriation, shaping, imprinting, legacy, and ongoing transmission. Share the coolness!”

Andrew Edmund Goble
Departments of History and of Religious Studies
University of Oregon

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Workshop: Intensive Workshop in Japanese Early-modern Textual Scholarship 2015

J-PATS (Japanese Palaeography and Textual Scholarship Network; www.jpats), The University of Cambridge (Department of East Asian Studies) and Emmanuel College (Cambridge) are organizing the first Intensive Workshop in Japanese Early-modern Textual Scholarship. This three-day intense course offers an introduction to the bibliography and materiality of Japanese illustrated woodblock-printed books, 1615-1912. The goal of this workshop is to enhance understanding of and access to Japanese illustrated books. It is aimed at a broad constituency that encompasses curators, librarians, art historians, cultural historians, and historians of the book.

While the focus of the workshop is on illustrated books, the skills learned in it may, of course, be applied to all other categories of commercially printed books of the Edo period.

Period: Thursday 19 – Saturday 21 March 2015

* You are requested to arrive in Cambridge on March 18 and leave Cambridge on March 22.


The workshop is based at:

Emmanuel College (Cambridge) – Harrods Room
St Andrews Street
CB2 3AP Cambridge

Some of the sessions will take place at:

Fitzwilliam Museum
Cambridge University Library – Aoi Pavilion

Topics to be covered will include:

  • the physical characteristics of the books and their modes of production;
  • the bibliographic information contained in books (on title slips, in front matter and back matter, prefaces etc.) and how to interpret it;
  • early, late and variant printings of books from the same set of blocks;
  • online resources available for the study of Edo-period books;
  • the creation of meaningful bibliographic descriptions of books;
  • marketing strategies — the commodification of artists — the descriptions of books in publishers’ blurbs;
  • the major categories of illustrated books (painting manuals/copy books, picture books ‘without words’, poetry anthologies, popular fiction, erotica, gazetteers, histories, encyclopaedias).

For whom is this workshop useful?

-    Librarians and curators who are in charge of antiquarian and archival materials of the Edo period.
–    Art historians
–    Cultural historians
–    Historians of the book
–    PhD students and scholars who deal with Japanese primary sources and want to know how to handle them, how to quote them, how to assess them.


Knowledge of Japanese is required.

Teaching staff

Dr Ellis Tinios (primary instructor)
Dr Craig Hartley
Dr Laura Moretti

Teaching style

Lectures; viewing and comparing copies of woodblock-printed books; creating bibliographic descriptions of assigned books; working with online resources.

Tuition fees

This workshop is free of charges.

Accommodation costs

Accommodation will be provided in Emmanuel College. You can choose between basic rooms (with bathroom in common) for £30 a night including breakfast or ensuite rooms for £50 per night. No children are admitted in college.

How to apply

By 10 January 2015 send you application via email to (Dr Laura Moretti).

Subject of the email: Application Summer Course on Edo Cambridge / SURNAME

Body of the email: please include the following contents:

-        a statement about why you need to take part in this course (be as detailed and concrete as possible)
–        an explanation of how this course relates to your current research work (if a PhD, a scholar, a librarian or a museum curator), your studies (if an undergraduate student), your daily work with your collections (if a librarian or a museum curator)

We can only accept 10 participants. If the requests go beyond this number a selection will be made on the basis of the relevance of the course to your work.

For any inquiry please send an email to:
Dr Laura Moretti

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Fun Link Friday: チンする、お茶する、ググる

languagelogIf you’re into quirky notes about language use, and especially if you don’t mind some jargony linguistics writing, Language Log is a great blog co-run by Prof Victor Mair and a bunch of other prominent linguists & scholars. Recent posts have discussed the conception of the “future” in various languages (does “mirai” 未来 imply a pessimistic view of something that has not come, and might never come, while futurus is optimistic, pointing to what /will/ be?), a quirk that causes the Hebrew for “Please return to me” to be mistaken by Google Translate for “please me like an alien creature,” and the etymology for the English name of a Chinese tea. Often, the comments threads on Language Log – unlike on many other parts of the internet – are filled with insightful, informed discussion expanding on the topic of the post. I often get so much more out of reading the comments, too, than only the post.

Anyway, for a little fun this Friday, Have you ever heard someone in Japanese use ググる that way? ググります、ググって、ググりたい, and so on? Here, let me Google that for you.

A Language Log post from back in October shares with us a whole bunch of other ~ru (~る) verbs invented into colloquial use in recent years, or decades, though some are apparently not so common, so be careful using them ^_^

My personal favorite is チンする (chin suru) – to microwave, to nuke something, to zap it – after the “ding” (or, “chin!”) the microwave makes when it’s done. 「あ、冷たっ! これ、チンしてくれない?」

Saboru (サボる) is apparently one of these loanword verb constructions, too. I’ve heard it just often enough that I thought it a standard word in the language… which I guess it is now, with over 86% of people surveyed saying they use it. Meaning “to skip class,” or “to skip out,” it apparently comes from the French for sabotage?

And then, the post touches upon a few words which a large percentage of people have come to think means something different from its original meaning, and therefore use it differently. I thought this was quite interesting, as I also thought 世間ずれ (seken zure) meant “out of sync with the world,” or out of sync with the normal ways of doing things, seeing things, etc. More than half of those native Japanese speakers surveyed thought the same as I did (do?), but apparently the origin of the phrase is as an abbreviation of seken o watatte zuru kashikoku natte iru 世間を渡ってずる賢くなっている (roughly: “made wiser/more clever by experience”). How about that.

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Job Opening: Asian History, Monmouth College

job opening - 5Institution: Monmouth College, History
Location: Illinois, United States
Position: Tenure-Track, Assistant Professor of Asian History

Monmouth College, a private liberal arts college and member of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, seeks applications for an entry-level, tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Department of History to begin August 2015, in Asian History. Requirements include a passion for teaching, a strong commitment to the liberal arts, and a doctoral degree in hand by the time of appointment. We are looking for a scholar to complement our existing areas of specialization, who takes a transnational approach to linkages between peoples and regions, and who has the ability and desire to teach courses outside Asia, including thematic classes without a specific geographic focus.

The successful candidate will teach a variety of courses in our unique History curriculum as well as general education offerings in Monmouth’s innovative Integrated Studies program. Evidence of teaching excellence and/or potential must be addressed in letters of recommendation. Expectations include outstanding teaching, student advising, supervision of student research, collegial involvement in the Department, and enthusiastic engagement in the life of the College. All Monmouth faculty are required to maintain an active program of professional growth and scholarly activity.

Email letter of interest, curriculum vitae, statement of teaching philosophy, copies of student evaluations, a copy of graduate transcripts, and three letters of recommendation to: Dr. Stacy Cordery, Chair of History Search, Monmouth College, at For full consideration, applications should be received before January 10, 2015.

Monmouth College, an Equal Opportunity Employer, is committed to diversity and encourages applications from women and minority candidates.

EOE/Nondiscrimination Statement

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