Funding: Abe Fellowship Competition 2018


The Social Science Research Council (SSRC) and the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership (CGP) announce the annual Abe Fellowship Program competition. Funding for the Abe Fellowship Program is provided by CGP.

The Purpose of the Fellowship

The Abe Fellowship is designed to encourage international multidisciplinary research on topics of pressing global concern. The program seeks to foster the development of a new generation of researchers who are interested in policy-relevant topics of long-range importance and who are willing to become key members of a bilateral and global research network built around such topics. It strives especially to promote a new level of intellectual cooperation between the Japanese and American academic and professional communities committed to and trained for advancing global understanding and problem solving.

Research support to individuals is at the core of the Abe Fellowship Program. Applications are welcome from scholars and nonacademic research professionals. The objectives of the program are to foster high quality research in the social sciences and related disciplines, to build new collaborative networks of researchers around the four thematic foci of the program, to bring new data and new data resources to the attention of those researchers, and to obtain from them a commitment to a comparative or transnational line of inquiry.

Successful applicants will be those individuals whose work and interests match these program goals. Abe Fellows are expected to demonstrate a long-term commitment to these goals by participating in program activities over the course of their careers.

The Abe Fellowship Research Agenda

Applicants are invited to submit proposals for research in the social sciences and related disciplines relevant to any one or any combination of the four themes below. The themes are:

1) Threats to Personal, Societal, and International Security
Especially welcome topics include food, water, and energy insecurity; pandemics; climate change; disaster preparedness, prevention, and recovery; and conflict, terrorism, and cyber security.

2) Growth and Sustainable Development
Especially welcome topics include global financial stability, trade imbalances and agreements, adjustment to globalization, climate change and adaptation, and poverty and inequality.

3) Social, Scientific, and Cultural Trends and Transformations
Especially welcome topics include aging and other demographic change, benefits and dangers of reproductive genetics, gender and social exclusion, expansion of STEM education among women and under-represented populations, migration, rural depopulation and urbanization, impacts of automation on jobs, poverty and inequality, and community resilience.

4) Governance, Empowerment, and Participation
Especially welcome topics include challenges to democratic institutions, participatory governance, human rights, the changing role of NGO/NPOs, the rise of new media, and government roles in fostering innovation.

Across the program’s four dominant themes, projects should demonstrate important contributions to intellectual and/or policy debates and break new theoretical or empirical ground. Within this framework, priority is given to research projects that help formulate solutions that promote a more peaceful, stable, and equitable global society or ameliorate the challenges faced by communities worldwide. Applicants are expected to show how the proposed project goes beyond previous work on the topic and builds on prior skills to move into new intellectual terrain.

Please note that the purpose of this Fellowship is to support research activities. Therefore, projects whose sole aim is travel, cultural exchange, and/or language training will not be considered. However, funds for language tutoring or refresher courses in the service of research goals will be included in the award if the proposal includes explicit justification for such activities.

Policy-Relevant, Contemporary, and Comparative or Transnational Research

Rather than seeking to promote greater understanding of a single country—Japan or the United States—the Abe Fellowship Program encourages research with a comparative or global perspective. The program promotes deeply contextualized cross-cultural research.

The Abe Fellowship Program Committee seeks applications for research explicitly focused on policy-relevant and contemporary issues with a comparative or transnational perspective that draw the study of the United States and Japan into wider disciplinary or theoretical debates.

Policy Relevance

The program defines policy-relevant research as the study of existing public policies for the purpose of (a) deepening understanding of those policies and their consequences and (b) formulating more effective policies. Policy relevance can also be found in research questions that are pertinent to understanding public dialogue on contemporary issues of concern to various sectors of society. All proposals are expected to directly address policy relevance in theme, project description, and project structure.

Contemporary Focus

The program is concerned with present day issues and debates. Thus, proposals in history or with a historical component must demonstrate how the research is specifically intended to inform contemporary concerns.

Comparative or Transnational Perspectives

The Abe Fellowship Program does not support research on a single country. Priority is accorded to comparisons of processes, problems, and issues across time and space. Successful proposals will explicitly address how the project will be comparative or transnational in construction and goals.

Typically projects involve data collection in more than one country or across several time periods. Data from a single country may be collected under the auspices of the fellowship only if the purpose of collecting that data is explicitly comparative or transnational. Single-country proposals that merely imply that the data have broader comparative relevance will be eliminated from the fellowship competition. Further, it is not sufficient for a proposal to implicitly suggest a comparative perspective because of the pervasive or global distribution of the phenomenon being studied.


  • This competition is open to citizens of the United States and Japan as well as to nationals of other countries who can demonstrate strong and serious long-term affiliations with research communities in Japan or the United States.
  • Applicants must hold a PhD or the terminal degree in their field, or have attained an equivalent level of professional experience at the time of application.
  • Previous language training is not a prerequisite for this fellowship. However, if the research project requires language ability, the applicant should provide evidence of adequate proficiency to complete the project.
  • Applications from researchers in professions other than academia are encouraged with the expectation that the product of the fellowship will contribute to the wider body of knowledge on the topic specified.
  • Projects proposing to address key policy issues or seeking to develop a concrete policy proposal must reflect nonpartisan positions.

Please note: Past recipients of the Abe Fellowship are ineligible. You may hold only one fellowship sponsored by the Japan Foundation, which includes the Abe Fellowship, during any one Japanese fiscal year, which runs from April 1 through March 31. Current recipients of a Japan Foundation Fellowship and those who will commence that fellowship by March 31, 2017, are ineligible to apply for an Abe Fellowship in 2016. Fellowship awards are contingent upon receipt of funding from the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership.

Fellowship Terms

Terms of the fellowship are flexible and are designed to meet the needs of researchers at different stages in their careers. The program provides Abe Fellows with a minimum of 3 and maximum of 12 months of full-time support over a 24-month period. Fellowship tenure must begin between April 1 and December 31 of a given year. Fellowship tenure need not be continuous, but must be concluded within 24 months of initial activation of the fellowship.

  • The fellowship is intended to support an individual researcher, regardless of whether that individual is working alone or in collaboration with others.
  • Candidates should propose to spend at least one third of the fellowship tenure in residence abroad in Japan or the United States. In addition, the Abe Fellowship Committee reserves the right to recommend additional networking opportunities overseas.
  • Abe Fellows will be expected to affiliate with an American or Japanese institution appropriate to their research. Fellowship funds may also be spent on additional residence and fieldwork in third countries as appropriate to individual projects.
  • Fellows will be required to attend specific Abe Fellowship Program events.


The application deadline is September 1 annually. Applications must be submitted online at For further information, please contact the program directly at

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Book Announcement: The History of Japanese Psychology: Global Perspectives, 1875–1950

The History of Japanese Psychology: Global Perspectives, 1875–1950, by Brian J. McVeigh, Bloomsbury Press, 2017.

During the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries the individual became the basic, self-contained unit of society whose interior life was increasingly privileged.  This “inward turn” resonated with new forms of governance and constitutionalism that demanded self-determining citizens.  Meanwhile, burgeoning capitalism required workers to become isolatable but interchangeable parts for mechanized economic production.  Around this time the nascent social sciences began theorizing about the autonomous though alienated subject.  Such developments were part of a broader psychological revolution that valued “inner experience.”  How did this interiorization of the person play out in Japan?  This book explores the origins of Japanese Psychology.  By highlighting the contributions of pioneers such as Motora Yūjirō (1858–1912) and Matsumoto Matatarō (1865–1943), it charts cross-cultural connections, commonalities, and the transition from religious–moralistic to secular–scientific definitions of human nature.  Emerging at the intersection of philosophy, pedagogy, physiology, and physics, Psychology confronted the pressures of industrialization and became allied with attempts to integrate individual subjectivities into growing institutions and organizations.  Such social management was accomplished through Japan’s establishment of a schooling system that incorporated Psychological research, making educational practices both products of and the driving force behind changing notions of selfhood.  In response to new forms of labor and loyalty, applied Psychology led to and became implicated in intelligence tests, personnel selection, therapy, counseling, military science, colonial policies, and “national spirit.”  The birth of Japanese Psychology, however, was more than a mere adaptation to the challenges of modernity: it heralded a transformation of the very mental processes it claimed to be exploring.  Richly supplemented with appendices contextualizing and shedding new light on the development of Psychology worldwide, this book is useful for courses on Asian studies, comparative intellectual history, and the globalization of the social sciences. 

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Job Opening: Research Associate, Japanese History, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf

Institution: Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf
Location: Germany
Position: Doctoral Fellow

The Department of Modern Japanese Studies at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf invites applications for the position of Research Associate in Modern Japanese History (75%, EG 13 TV-L on the German public service scale) to take up appointment on 01. Oct.2018. This is a fixed term research position (3 years). The fixed-term nature of these contracts is based upon the Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz (WissZeitVG) with the objective of promoting the scientific qualification of the academic employees.

This position is part of the German Research Foundation (DFG) funded project on gender and fascism. This project focuses on the question in which ways visual depictions of gender but also of ‘race’, ethnicity, culture and other categories of differentiation were utilized for ‘writing’ a varied and sometimes contradictory fascist ‘script’. Central sources of this empirical and theoretical analysis are illustrated propaganda magazines produced for overseas or domestic consumption.

Your profile:

  • An excellent Master’s degree or equivalent in the field of Modern Japanese Studies
  • Solid analytical knowledge of modern Japanese (gender) history since 1868, specifically of wartime history and its surrounding discourses in Asia
  • An excellent command of Japanese and English
  • An interest in visual studies and media-related research questions

The salary will be up to pay grade 13 TV-L.

Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf aims at increasing the percentage of employed women. Applications from women will therefore be given preference in cases of equal aptitude, ability and professional achievements unless there are exceptional reasons for choosing another applicant. Applications from suitably qualified severely disabled persons or disabled persons regarded as being of equal status according to Book IX of the German Social Code (SGB – Soziales Gesetzbuch) are encouraged.

For further inquiries you may contact Prof. Andrea Germer PhD (

Candidates are requested to submit their applications (CV, transcripts of records, contact details of two referees, 2-page-abstract of current or planned PhD or postdoc project or MA thesis, if applicable a list of publications and further relevant material such as MA thesis or up to three copies of publications) by 26 June 2018, citing Reference No. 116 T 18 – 3.1 preferably in digital form to and or by postal mail to:

Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf

Institut für Modernes Japan
Prof. Dr. Andrea Germer
c/o Ms Platz, Ms Chilarska
Geb. 24.21, Ebene 004
Universitätsstr. 1
D-40225 Düsseldorf


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Fun Link Friday: Food Waste Tableware

An image of three bowls made from food waste: white, green, and brown. The brown bowl has a "A New Life For Food Waste" pamphlet in it.

Kosuke Araki. food waste ware research booklet and moulds. Via Design Boom

Anyone who has the pleasure of working with me knows I take food waste and garbage sorting Very Seriously. I found this Design Boom article on Japanese designer Kosuke Araki, who

creates series of tableware and vessels using daily food waste with the intention to make users reflect on their daily consumption patterns. The anima collection is made from carbonized vegetable waste mixed with animal glue and finished with urushi, a Japanese lacquer that historically has a close relationship with food. techniques to adjust the viscosity of urushi involve mixing it with foods such as rice or tofu – an aspect which the designer has revisited in a contemporary way.

Check it out on Design Boom!


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Resource: Japanese Archaeology and Cultural Heritage

For those looking for more educational resources to use in the classroom, today we’ll briefly introduce a resource developed by the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures with sponsorship from Hitachi: The Online Resource for Japanese Archaeology and Cultural Heritage (ORJACH).

ORJACH is a free, public, online tool for educators and students that introduces various aspects of early Japan, including history, environment, food culture, geography, and religious studies. This interactive site is broken down into three main modules: Food, Landscape, and Religion, though you can choose to progress either through the main grid layout (such as the unit seen to the right) or through timeline and map features.

Each of the main units has three thematic subsections, each of which include brief narrative summaries of historical background information and two separate lessons. The lessons typically include a variety of visual materials (seen below) drawn from museums, particularly archaeological and architectural features, with short descriptions of each item and helpful pronunciation guides for Japanese terms, making them very accessible.

At the end of each subsection is a student activity that includes discussion questions to help focus student analyses of the materials, and if you register for an account with ORJACH, you can also get teachers notes that are downloadable to complement each lesson.

Exploring the timeline section, you can put the lessons from across the different units into conversation with one another chronologically. These timeline entries feature a “meanwhile, elsewhere in the world” feature that helps students contextualize the developments in Japan more globally. A full timeline is also downloadable with notes, if you want a quick reference or don’t intend to work with the interactive features on the site.

With the map option, you can sort the site’s entries by one or more of the three themes or simply click through them at their various locales, getting a sense of what objects or developments occurred across what parts of the archipelago. In the main menu section there is also a handy glossary for quick references to unfamiliar terms.

While the site is geared towards a younger audience of students (for use in upper secondary or senior high school teaching in English language speaking countries), anyone who isn’t familiar with Japan’s early history will find the site useful for its introductory information and great selection of archaeological and visual materials and material culture. Be sure to check it out!

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Call for Papers: Cultural Broadcasting in the Asia-Pacific Region

Conference and book theme: Cultural Broadcasting in the Asia-Pacific Region
Venue: Department of Music, University of Nottingham (UK)
Dates: 19-20 October 2018
Editors: Dr Lonán Ó Briain (University of Nottingham) and Dr Min Yen Ong (University of Nottingham)
DEADLINE for abstracts: 15 July 2018

Professor Ruth Finnegan, Open University
Dr Bart Barendregt, Leiden University

Cultural broadcasting can promote solidarity. By reaching wider audiences than live performance, these productions can be used to encourage multiculturalism and inclusivity, raise awareness of indigenous or minority rights, garner action and resilience towards climate change or other pressing geopolitical challenges, connect and unite communities post-disaster, help to sustain musical traditions, or serve as a bridge towards reconciliatory processes. Forms of cultural broadcasting can also be used to favour certain political ideologies, construct or reshape regional, national and transnational identities (e.g., ASEAN), buttress or challenge geopolitical boundaries, and foment political or social discontent across borders.

This conference investigates the impact of the distribution of musical and other performing arts media via radio, television and digital broadcasting (online radio, YouTube, mobile phones, etc.) on communities in eastern Asia and the Pacific nations. We are interested in papers which focus on national and regional broadcasters, pirate stations, state-society relations mediated through broadcasting, mobile listening, transnationalism, regional alliances and cross-border noise, the emergence of local music industries, broadcasting social activism, and iconic voices in the Asia-Pacific region. We encourage an interdisciplinary approach, and welcome scholars working in ethnomusicology, sound studies, anthropology, media studies, cultural studies and other fields related to the Asia-Pacific region.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

Cultural Broadcasting in Historical Perspective
Ethnographic Research on Production and Reception
Mediation of the Performing Arts
Re-production of Intangible Cultural Heritage
Adaptation from Stage to Screen or Sound Media
Geopolitical Broadcasting Networks
Propaganda and Revolutionary Broadcasting
Indigenous Music Industries and Audiences
Audiences Across Borders and in Diaspora
Reconciliation and Healing via Mediated Performances
Audience Engagement in Participatory Media Arts

Speakers at the conference will have an opportunity to revise their papers as chapters for an edited volume on the subject. The deadlines for contributors to the book are as follows:
Conference abstracts due: 15 July 2018
Conference at UoN: 19-20 October 2018
Chapter drafts due: February 2019
Revised drafts due: August 2019

Volume sent to publisher: December 2019

Please send abstracts of 250-300 words and a short biography to by 15 July 2018.

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Job Opening: Visiting Assistant Professor or Instructor, History, Western Washington University

Institution Type: College / University
Location: Washington, United States
Position: Visiting Assistant Professor

One-Year Visiting Assistant Professor or Instructor – Japan

Department of History


One-year Visiting Assistant Professor or Instructor of History beginning on September 16, 2018, through June 15, 2019.  The position is open to historians of Japan.


The successful candidate will teach seven courses over three quarters.


Required:             ABD and the ability to teach HIST 280–Introduction to East Asian Civilizations, HIST 374–Premodern Japanese history, and upper-level courses in the history of Japan.

Preferred:            A Ph.D. in the history of Japan. Candidates who show promise as a teacher and ability to work effectively with a diverse campus community.


The Department of History at Western Washington University consists of nineteen tenured or tenure-track faculty whose courses serve a very active history major and make significant contributions to the university’s general education curriculum. History courses cover nearly every historical era and much of the globe. The department encourages its faculty to participate in interdisciplinary programs such as East Asian Studies, Women Gender and Sexuality Studies, International Studies, Latin American Studies, Canadian-American Studies, and the Honors program. Faculty in the department provide high quality courses that prepare majors and non-majors with skills in research, analysis, and writing. The department likewise houses a small but strong M.A. program in history and a nationally recognized M.A. program in Archives and Records Management.


WESTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY is located in Bellingham, Washington, a city of approximately 85,000 situated between Seattle, Washington, and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, both of which have substantial research universities, archives, and libraries to which WWU faculty have access.  The University enrolls approximately 15,000 students in eight colleges. The Department of History is in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Salary: Commensurate with qualifications and experience; benefits eligible.

Bargaining Union: United Faculty of Western Washington

Application Instructions and Requested Documents: Please log in below and submit your application via WWU’s Electronic System for Employment (PageUp).

Required application materials: (1) letter of application; (2) graduate transcript; (3) C.V.; (4) a pre-modern East Asian history survey (HIST 280, which covers material to roughly 1600) and an upper-level Japanese history course; and (5) three confidential letters of reference.  The Western PageUp application system will automatically send out the requests for confidential letters to your references.

For general questions contact the Department Administrator Jennie Huber at (360) 650-3457 or email

Apply online at

Application review begins June 25, 2018; position is open until filled. 

Western Washington University (WWU) is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. In compliance with applicable laws and in furtherance of its commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity, WWU does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy and parenting status), disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status or genetic information in its programs or activities, including employment, admissions, and educational programs. See WWU’s Policy on Ensuring Equal Opportunity and Prohibiting Discrimination and Retaliation. Inquiries may be directed to the Vice Provost for Equal Opportunity and Employment Diversity, Title IX and ADA Coordinator, Equal Opportunity Office, Western Washington University, Old Main 345 (MS 9021), 516 High Street, Bellingham, WA 98225; 360.650.3307 (voice) or 711 (Washington Relay);

WWU is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request. To request this document in an alternate format or to request an accommodation, please contact Human Resources Disability Services, 360.650.3774 or 711 (Washington Relay).

All new employees must comply with the immunization policy and show employment eligibility verification as required by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service before beginning work at WWU. A thorough background check will be conducted on all new hires.

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