Job Opening: Japanese Studies, Lecturer/Senior Lecturer, Monash University

job opening - 5Institution:   Monash University
Location:   Australia
Position:   Tenure Track Faculty; Lecturer/Senior Lecturer, Japanese Studies

Monash University is seeking an enthusiastic individual to join the Japanese Studies Program, School of Languages, Literature, Cultures and Linguistics. Your area of specialisation may include one or more of: contemporary or 20th Century Japanese studies, cultural, literary, or film studies, applied linguistics, language pedagogy, social sciences, or other relevant fields related to the study of Japan.

You will be required to teach units in Japanese and English, undertake supervision of research students, engage in original and innovative research, be prepared to collaborate in research, team teaching, and curriculum development as well as undertake a share of administrative tasks within the program and/or school.

You will have a dynamic research and teaching profile and a strong track record in Japanese studies and language teaching experience. At Senior Lecturer level you will have a demonstrated track record in teaching, research supervision, success in grant applications and a national and/or international publication profile.

Appointment will be made at a level appropriate to the successful candidate’s qualifications and experience.

As the successful candidate, you will ideally be able to commence in January 2015 or sooner.

This role is a full-time position; however, flexible working arrangements may be negotiated.

Your application must address the selection criteria. Please refer to “How to apply for Monash Jobs”

NOTE: Monash University uses Australian / British academic titles: Lecturer and Senior Lecturer correspond to the US or Japanese titles Assistant and Associate Professor.

Contact: Professor Carolyn Stevens
Phone: +61 3 9902 0456




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Job Opening: Japanese Studies, Okinaga Junior Research Fellowship

job opening - 5Institution:   University of Oxford, Wadham College
Location:   United Kingdom
Position:   Post-Doctoral Fellow, Research Professional; Okinaga Junior Research Fellowship in Japanese Studies

Applications are invited for a Junior Research Fellowship in Japanese Studies, to be held from 1 October 2014 for two years in the first instance, and renewable for a further year. The successful candidate will be expected to undertake a programme of research at post-doctoral level and will be required to make an annual report. Candidates are expected to be proficient in using Japanese sources, but there is no restriction as to the field of research within Japanese Studies. The holding of a doctorate is not a prerequisite, although the committee anticipates that plausible candidates will at least be close to finishing their PhD studies. Preference will be given to those who have not previously held a JRF at an Oxford or Cambridge College, and to those who have not been appointed to a tenured post in a university.

The Fellow will be a member of the Governing Body and charity trustee of the College and will hold the Fellowship under the terms of the Statutes and Bye-Laws in force for the time being. The stipend will be on the University’s Grade 6 scale, starting at GBP 26,527 pa.. The Fellow will have the right to lunch and dinner free of charge when kitchens are open, and will be offered the use of a work-room, though this may possibly be shared. A research allowance of up to 1,000 per annum will also be offered. Single accommodation in College would be available with a reduction in stipend of (currently) GBP 3,065.

Further particulars about the post and information on how to make an application can be found on the College website:

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Book Announcement: Ancient Ryukyu: An Archaeological Study of Island Communities

pearsonancientryukuVia University of Hawai’i Press.

Ancient Ryukyu: An Archaeological Study of Island Communities

Author: Richard Pearson
36 illus., 20 maps
432pp. November 2013
Cloth – Price: $55.00
ISBN: 978-0-8248-3712-9

Who are the people of the Ryukyu Islands? How could they survive and prosper on small, isolated islands? How did the independent Ryukyu Kingdom become a major player in East Asian medieval trade?

Ancient Ryukyu explores 30,000 years of human occupation in the Ryukyu Islands, from the earliest human presence in the region up to A.D. 1609 and the emergence of the Ryukyu Kingdom. It focuses on the unique geopolitical position of the islands, their environment, and the many human communities whose historical activities can be discerned. Drawing on the impressive work of dozens of local archaeologists who have brought the islands’ early history to life, Richard Pearson describes explorers and sojourners and colonists who arrived thousands of years ago, and their ancient trade links to Japan, Korea, and China. Through a case study focused on the medieval castles and palaces of the Ryukyu Kingdom, he demonstrates the vigorous trade taking place in East Asia before the arrival of the Europeans in the sixteenth century A.D. He also shows how archaeologists have sought to reconstruct monuments on Okinawa Island that were obliterated in the Battle of Okinawa in 1945.

Through analysis of work completed at about 120 sites described in dozens of rare Japanese government reports with limited circulation, Pearson is able to show that many modern features of the culture, politics, and economy of the Ryukyu Islands have very deep roots. The book concludes with a discussion of aspects of Ryukyu archaeology that are significant for world archaeology and the archaeology of islands. Ancient Ryukyu offers an up-to-date treatment of an unusually long span of human history in the Ryukyu Islands and will become the definitive work in English on the pre-modern era.

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Call for Papers: The World’s Fair Since 1964

call for papers [150-2]October 24-25, 2014

Location: Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation of the
Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

This workshop proposes to examine world’s fairs since (and including) 1964, a period marked by tremendous variability in the location and impact of the genre.  Participants may wish to cover any of the fairs from 1964 to the present, as well as fairs planned for future dates.  The themes below are of interest.  Asian themes, and comparative Asian/western themes are particularly encouraged.

+Formal International Expositions since 1964

+National-level world’s fairs since 1964

+World’s fairs proposed but never realized

+Urban planning/development and the world’s fair

+Cold War and Post-Cold War international relations and the world’s fair

+New technologies and science, new design aesthetics and the world’s fair

+Comparative analysis of fairs pre and post-1964

+World’s fairs and historical memory

+World’s fairs and identity (race, class, gender, ethnicity and nationality)

+The emergence of Asian world’s fairs

+Key historical figures in recent world’s fairs

+Comparative analysis of world’s fairs and Olympics, (and other international events)

+Other themes welcome!

Though the core analytical focus will be historical, scholars from across the humanities, social sciences, and art/design fields are welcome to participate.  Participants will prepare an essay (2500-5000 words) to
circulate one month in advance of the workshop.  The workshop will consist of brief presentations, followed by in-depth discussion of each paper, as well as thematic sessions looking at cross-cutting aspects of the works presented.

Accepted participants may receive a subsidy to defray expenses.

This workshop is supported by the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation of the Smithsonian Institution, the College of Arts and Sciences of Drexel University, and the Department of the History of Science and Technology, Johns Hopkins University. Please send abstracts of 250 words to Scott Gabriel Knowles ( and Robert H. Kargon ( by April 21, 2014.

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Fun Link Friday: Viscount Hayashi in The Lady’s Realm Magazine

This week’s fun link is a combination of my enjoyment of first-person accounts, historical ladies magazines, and the late Meiji period. This article from The Lady’s Realm (1903-4), a British women’s magazine, details the lifestyle of Viscount Hayashi and his wife Misao. I always find the authors’ biases to be the most telling (and sometimes infuriating) parts of such sources:

Indian tea, taken in the barbarous fashion, as they consider it, with milk and sugar, is tabooed, and real Japanese tea, in tiny porcelain cups, pale and fragrant, and without milk or sugar, is served to the guests, supplemented by dainty Japanese sweetmeats and dishes.

Also, a prize for world’s most baffling explanation of the Meiji Restoration: “The Mikado, being a wise man, made friends with those of his subjects who had taken up arms against him when the Civil War came to an end.”

This article is a short insight into how Japan was discussed in Europe at the time. A more legible version is on Edwardian Promenade and the original can be accessed as a free ebook on Google Books. Be sure to check out the portraits of the Crown Prince (later Emperor Taisho) and Princess.

Bonus: the magazine also includes a printing of the fable “Buddha’s Crystal,” translated by Ozaki Yei. You can find the whole book Buddha’s Crystal and Other Fairy Stories (1908) on Would any folktale buffs like to weigh in?

Added bonus: the typo of nutsuké for netsuke.

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Podcast Recommendation: TBS文科系トークラジオLife

Image via TBS Radio

Image via TBS Radio

I am heart-broken that the radio show Suntory Saturday Waiting Bar Avanti ended–it was one of my favorite podcasts. To fill the gap for Japanese podcasts about culture, I’ve started listening to a new podcast: TBS文科系トークラジオLife (Life: TBS Cultural Talk-Radio). It’s sort of like This American Life in that that hosts discuss topics centered around a theme, but instead of going out to record stories like Avanti did and TAL does, they just talk with their guests. For example, the February topic was “Transcendence! The poemization of society” (超絶!ポエム化化社会) and focused on slogans, linguistic trends, and poetry.

The full show airs on the radio station TBS 954 from 1-4 am on the fourth Sunday night (read: Monday morning) of even-numbered months; the podcast version shows also come out on the fourth Sunday of even-numbered months and are released day-by-day in 20-minute episodes, usually nine episodes total, including an introduction and two spillover episodes. You can also read over the outlines at the website to improve your comprehension and vocabulary!

There are some faults: the website is pretty clunky–it took me a while to find the バックナンバー section of prior podcasts (scroll far down on the right) and navigation of them is also difficult. iTunes can’t pick up older episodes, though they are available online.

I would recommend this show to listeners who are around the N1 level as the topics can be difficult and the main presenter, Suzuki “Charlie” Kensuke, speaks extremely fast. It’s a great chance to listen to several people having a conversation about contemporary culture rather than listening to one person present the news. (NHK News is another podcast I would recommend, but it’s good to try a lot of styles and subjects, of course!)

Check it out on iTunes or online at

What Japanese-language podcasts do you recommend?

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Job Opening: Program Assistant, Asia Center, Harvard University

job opening - 5Institution: Harvard University
Location: Cambridge, MA
Posted: 04/04/2014
Department: Asia Center
Education: n/a

Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Works primarily with the Associate Director, and also with other Asia Center staff including the Senior Program Manager to support the fast-paced and broad array of programs ongoing throughout the academic year.
  • Provides logistical support to the Associate Director for events (seminars, conferences, workshops, receptions, etc.) including coordinating dates and times, finding and booking venues, ordering food, arranging travel, ordering supplies, preparing materials, putting up posters, producing nametags and speaker tent-cards, assisting with print materials and announcements, assisting with timelines, setting up before events, providing on-site support during the event and clean up afterward. Assists speakers with reimbursement forms, and ensures timely submission to the Asia Center finance team.
  • Provides planning support for new programs as needed, including: arranging planning meetings, booking rooms for planning meetings, taking and distributing meeting notes, etc.
  • Works with Asia-related centers’ event staff on an ad hoc basis, and attends centers year-long planning processes to anticipate deadlines and times of greatest need for assistance.
  • Assists with database entry, shared calendar maintenance, and facilitation of announcements and communication.

Please note: Schedule may involve work after 5:00 or on weekends but comp time or changes in work schedule will accommodate these occasions.

Basic Qualifications:
2-3 years of office experience. Experience with with Windows, Word, Outlook required.

Additional Qualifications:

  • Ability to work independently as well as a collaborative team member.
  • Superior interpersonal and organizational skills.
  • Events experience strongly preferred.
  • Harvard experience, proofreading and editing experience or skills are also preferred.

Additional Information:
This is a one year, term position with possibility of renewal.

Full details on

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