Resource: The Barbara Curtis Adachi Bunraku Collection

The recent launch of the The Barbara Curtis Adachi Collection provides a wonderful resource for those interested in traditional Japanese performance arts. The collection was given to Columbia University in 1991 by Barbara Curtis Adachi, a long-time bunraku theater enthusiast who spent decades in Japan working with the Japanese National Bunraku Troupe. Now digitized, her donations provide a visual guide to puppet theater’s modern performance tradition.

The site is divided into several sections. At the outset, it includes short essays on bunraku’s historical context, the texts used in the performance, and audio files on the music and narration that accompany the performance, all of which provide useful background information for those unfamiliar with this particular performance art.

The Special Features section contains two parts, the first of which is an Albums section containing 50 digitized notebooks full of notes on, photographs of, and pamphlets from bunraku performances. Many of these also include scans of negatives from old rolls of film taken during shows, and the photos capture lively scenes of actual performances.

Metadata for each page within the albums cross-references plays, playwrights, locations, players, and other important information so that you can look to the tags to compare particular performances or appearances across the decades, searching out individual writers, actors, plays, scenes, or even architectural features visible in the photos.

The Realia section includes a variety of objects connected to performance, from the actual narrator’s scripts used during each play to dress and puppet limbs, photographed from different angles in high resolution. These objects provide a wonderful glimpse into the materiality of performance, including well-worn narrators’ outfits!

narrator texts

There are also visualizations of information about writers and performers (bar graphs, force-directed network, and dendrogram) formed from the database entries. These are also tagged so that you can cross-reference them with the various forms of media within the collection and see how producers, actors, and characters interconnect.

There are numerous ways to search the material in this collection, so those with specific needs will find it a useful compilation and archive. The Barbara Curtis Adachi Bunraku Collection represents an incredible and intimate assembly of knowledge on Japanese puppet theater that is definitely worth perusing.

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Funding: Toshiba International Foundation Fellowships 2018

Toshiba International Foundation Fellowships 2018

Within the framework of the Toshiba International Foundation Fellowship programme conducted jointly by EAJS and the Toshiba International Foundation, the European Association for Japanese Studies (EAJS) selects candidates for a fellowship to undertake research in Japan.

The next application deadline is 7 May 2018.

To apply please use our online application system.

Applications are invited for Toshiba International Foundation scholarships for a three-month stay in Japan to be completed by the end of March 2019. Grantees can expect a fellowship of not more than 7.000 EUR.

Applicants must be doctoral students, and they should be specializing in any field in Japanese Studies at a European institution.

Applications must include:

  • A curriculum vitae and a brief statement (not more than 300 words) describing the project for which the applicant wishes to pursue their research in Japan. These two documents are to be submitted by the applicant via the online application system.
  • A letter of support from the student’s supervisor or advisor must be sent to the EAJS office separately by the advisor on the student’s behalf. It must be printed on university letterhead and display the advisor’s signature. The letter may be sent by post or in PDF format by email.

Since the purpose of the scholarship is to encourage the academic study of Japan by those who have not already had a long-term experience in Japan, applications by Japanese High School graduates will not be considered.

The EAJS has been asked by the Toshiba International Foundation to administer these scholarships, and the decisions will be made by the Council of the EAJS.

Successful applicants have to be members of the European Association for Japanese Studies in order to receive the fellowship.

For further information on the Toshiba International Foundation, please visit

For further information on the Toshiba International Foundation Fellowships or the EAJS, please feel free to contact the EAJS office.

Contact Info:

Office of the European Association for Japanese Studies (EAJS)
c/o Freie Universität Berlin
Institute of East Asian Studies
Japanese Studies
Hittorfstr. 18

14195 Berlin, Germany
Phone: +49-30-838 50929
Fax:      +49-30-838450931

Contact Email:
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Book Announcement: The Imperial Edicts in the Shoku Nihongi

The Imperial Edicts in the Shoku Nihongi

The imperial edicts from the eighth century comprise a magnificent collection of ancient Japanese prose. Known as the senmyō, they were inscribed in Old Japanese in the court history Shoku Nihongi (Chronicles of Japan, Continued), the language of whose narrative was classical Chinese. As oracular pronouncements of monarchs who considered themselves living gods, they are an invaluable source for early Japanese history, religion, and linguistics. It was these edicts that attracted the attention of the great 18th century philologist Motoori Norinaga, who published a lengthy commentary on these venerable documents. Norinaga was greatly interested in the apparent purity of the ancient Japanese language found in these edicts as well as in the Kojiki andMan’yōshū; his commentary identified the sixty-two senmyō now comprising the canon, and his readings still form the foundation for the study of these texts to the present day.

The senmyō were introduced to the world of Western scholarship in Sir George Sansom’s pioneering but unfinished translation “The Imperial Edicts in the Shoku Nihongi” (1924), and since that time little attention has been paid to them in the West, although there is a complete German translation by Herbert Zachert (1950). Also in 1950 John Kenneth Linn produced a literal translation of Edicts 30-62 in a Yale dissertation. Readers interested in a detailed introduction to the edicts should consult my The Edicts of the Last Empress of Nara Japan, 749-770 (2015).

The present volume is the first complete English translation. An appendix gives the texts and a romanized transliteration. The texts follow the standard edition of the edicts (Kitagawa Kazuhide 1982); they were typed by Keiko and Matt McNicoll and are provided courtesy of their teacher Alexander Vovin. My transliteration follows Kitagawa’s furigana readings and does not attempt to provide hypothetical readings for Old Japanese, for which at present there is no standard romanization system. Interested readers may consult the Oxford Corpus of Old Japanese Texts for one version. Alexander Vovin’s ongoing translation of the Man’yōshū provides the most systematic and detailed transliteration of Old Japanese. It offers copious notes on the grammar as well as extensive commentary and is recommended as a textbook for learning the language.

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Call for Papers: Asia-Africa Encounters

Call for papers

Africa and Asia Encounters: Historical and Contemporary Perspective Conference
28-30 June 2018
Venue: Public Service Institute of Nigeria, Abuja.

Contact between Asia and Africa and other forms of exchange have expanded greatly in recent times. Trade and cultural exchanges have expanded with countries throughout the Asia sub-continent from china to Japan, India, Singapore, Malaysia among other. Today, China has become an important commercial partner in Africa as well as an important provider of aid to African nations. China has invested billions of dollars and is Africa’s biggest trading partner and buys more than one-third of its oil from the continent. The expanding Chinese presence in particular has been viewed with skepticism. Indeed, the shifting attention of African countries to China and other Asian countries has raised concerns at other levels, including the old ideological rivalries that marked the Cold War era and the potential to spread new ideology. There are also concerns about what some have called a “new colonialism” by Asian nations. This emerging political and economic order calls for intellectual discussions on Asia-Africa relationships and Africa’s role in this encounter.

The conference will examine both old and emerging relationship from interdisciplinary and comparative perspectives.

The conference themes include but not limited to:

  • Historical perspectives on African-Asian relations
  • Asia Studies in Africa
  • African Studies in Asia
  • Asian Communities and Diaspora
  • African Diaspora in Asia
  • Cultural and Historic Connections and Exchange
  • Migration and Transnational networks
  • Race and Identity
  • Ethical and global challenges of doing business in Asia
  • Ethical and global challenges of doing business in Africa
  • Private dimensions of the Asia-Africa connections
  • Made in China Goods
  • Marriage, race, and identity

Please submit a 250 to 300-word abstract and a 150-word biography latest by 1 April 2018. The biographical information should mention the presenter’s name and title, affiliation, email address, relevant publications.

Please send your documents to:

Registration fees will be 150 dollars (International Participants). Participants from Africa (only) will pay the registration fee equivalent of N20, 000. Local students may attend for of 5,000 naira.

For all general inquiries please write to:

Please submit your abstract by email:

Conference conveners

Professor Chima J. Korieh, Director Transatlantic Research Institute/University of Nigeria, Nsukka

Professor Michael Mbanaso, Global Institute of Commerce and Technology, Abuja/ Nile University of Nigeria, Abuja

Professor Rapahel Njoku, Idaho State University, Pocatello, Idaho USA

Professor Okpeh O. Okpeh, Federal University, Lafia, Nigeria

Dr Uche Okonkwo, University of Nigeria, Nigeria

Professor Romanus Ejiaga, Federal University, Ndufu Alike, Nigeria

Dr Elizabeth Onogwu, Benue State University, Nigeria

Professor Chidi N. Igwe, University of Regina, Canada

Dr Cajetan Ifeanyi Nnaocha, Kaduna State University, Nigeria


Contact Info:

Dr Chima J. Korieh,

Transatlantic Research Institute

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Job Opening: University of Notre Dame, Postdoc, Asian Art History

Institution: University of Notre Dame
Location:Indiana, United States
Position:Post-Doctoral Fellow

The Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies, in partnership with the Department of Art, Art History & Design, invites applications for a postdoctoral fellowship in the history of the art of China at the University of Notre Dame for AY 2018-19 with the possibility of renewal for AY 2019-20. Priority will be given to candidates working in periods prior to the twentieth century. Applicants may not be more than five years beyond the receipt of the PhD at the start of the fellowship. ABD applicants considered. Fellows will teach one course in each of the two semesters, pursue her/his own research interests leading to publication, give one public lecture, and participate in the intellectual life of the Liu Institute and the College of Arts and Letters.

The fellowship carries a stipend of $48,000 and includes benefits and $3000 for research expenses. The application deadline is March 31, 2018. Fellows must reside in the greater South Bend area for the duration of the fellowship.

The Department of Art, Art History and Design ( has twenty-four full-time faculty members and is located within the College of Arts and Letters. The University of Notre Dame seeks to attract, develop, and retain the highest quality faculty, staff and administration. The University is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and is committed to building a culturally diverse workplace. We strongly encourage applications from female and minority candidates and those candidates attracted to a university with a Catholic identity. Moreover, Notre Dame prohibits discrimination against veterans or disabled qualified individuals, and requires affirmative action by covered contractors to employ and advance veterans and qualified individuals with disabilities in compliance with 41 CFR 60-741.5(a) and 41 CFR 60-300.5(a). Salary is competitive and includes full benefits package.

To Apply: Applicants should submit a CV, cover letter, one-page description of research plans, names and contact information for three references, a syllabus for a proposed undergraduate course, and a writing sample, such as a dissertation chapter or article.

All application materials should be submitted electronically through Interfolio at

Application Deadline: March 31, 2018

This institution is using Interfolio’s ByCommittee to conduct this search. Applicants to this position receive a free Dossier account and can send all application materials, including confidential letters of recommendation, free of charge.

For help signing up, accessing your account, or submitting your application please check out our help and support section or get in touch via email at or phone at (877) 997-8807.


Asssoc. Prof. Michael Schreffler, Ph.D.


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Call for Papers: International Conference on Gender and Sexuality in Asia


Dates: November 12-14, 2018 | Venue: Monash University Malaysia | Abstract deadline: April 30, 2018


Contemporary religious actors and their significance in gender and sexuality justice in Asia

The continuous reification of gender and sexuality norms, roles and expectations has contributed to the suppression of, and aggression towards human expression and embodiment in many parts of the world. The operations of mainstream religious institutions are major factors that galvanise this suppression through the deployment of patriarchal, sexist and heteronormative religious teachings, legalities and thought processes. Conservative interpretations and implementations of faith, in this sense, have played prominent roles in the production of gender and sexuality injustices (Maznah, 2010; Yip, 1997).

Nevertheless, there has been an uptake in religious practices, theologies, spiritualities and faith-based ideas that foster equity and justice in issues of gender and sexuality. The continuing proliferation of feminist, queer and LGBTI works on faith systems attests to this fact (Brazal and Si, 2007; Kugle, 2010; Langenberg, 2015; Shore-Goss et al., 2013). These endeavours, however, have largely resorted to re-renderings of ancient religious and scriptural texts, seers and saints, and theological tenets to canvass for gender and sexuality justice in non-Asian contexts. Less has been done to explore the roles of those whom we refer to as ‘contemporary religious actors’, or twenty-first century ‘key’ religious personages, groups, communities or organisations who/that pursue gender and sexuality justice through alternative, radical and even transgressive thought in a manner that speaks to Asian realities.

Held at the campus of Monash University Malaysia on November 12-14, 2018CoGen 2018 is interested in examining how contemporary religious actors within and outside Asia can dialogue with, challenge, interrogate, and/or contribute to the pursuit of gender and sexual justice in various countries in Asia. As such, we ask the following questions:

  • What happens when the lived experiences, activism, or intellectual and/or creative thought and works of contemporary religious actors become the primary category of analysis in the investigation and appraisal of gender and sexuality justice in Asia?
  • How do the lived experiences, activism, or intellectual and/or creative thought and works of contemporary religious actors inspire, impact and transform epistemological productions in gender and sexuality justice in Asia?
  • How can mainstream Asian conceptualisations of gender and sexuality justice be affected and transformed by contemporary religious actors?
  • What are global, regional and local transformations that occur in matters of gender, sexuality and faith in these exchanges?

We are particularly keen on underrepresented research on the aforementioned intersections, and interdisciplinary collaborations. Academic-activist collaborations are particularly welcome.

We are also looking towards a high-quality publishable outcome from this Conference.

Single and panel abstract submissions of 150-200 words in MS-Word format should be emailed to before or by April 30, 2018. Abstracts should contain the title of the presentation, the name(s) of the author(s) and affiliation(s). An email containing a notification of acceptance or otherwise will be sent out on May 31, 2018. If your abstract is accepted, we expect you to be present at the Conference for your own presentation. The deadline for registration and payment of fees is September 24, 2018.

Conference Committee

Please visit the Conference website for more information. The Call for Papers can also be downloaded here.

For more information, please send an email to

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Job Opening: Research Analyst in the Political/Economic Affairs Section, Consulate General of Japan in Detroit

The Consulate General of Japan in Detroit is seeking a highly motivated, team-oriented individual for the Research Analyst in the Political/Economic Affairs Section at the Consulate office in the GM Renaissance Center, Downtown Detroit.

Candidates must be a U.S. Citizen or U.S. Green Card holder. All candidates will be subject to background checks. Applicant must apply by February 22nd. (Accepting applications immediately and until position is filled.)

General Information

For immediate hire/ Starting from the beginning of March, 2018
The Consulate offers group health insurance, paid vacation and sick leave. Work hours are from 9AM to 5PM, Monday through Friday, with various weeknight and/or weekend events (paid overtime).

Core Responsibilities

  • Participation in consulate mission to strengthen U.S-Japan governmental and economic ties within the states of Ohio and Michigan; duties include:
  • gathering, organizing and analyzing information on relevant economic and political issues conducting and maintaining annual Japanese Direct Investment Survey
  • drafting speeches and official correspondence for the Consul General and Deputy Consul General


  • Four-year university degree
  • Ability to research, analyze and communicate political and economic topics
  • High proficiency in database management, especially Microsoft Access and Excel, for the purpose of organizing and reporting large data sets
  • High proficiency in data organization, layouts, mapping, image editing software, etc., for the purpose of creating PR materials and internal reports
  • Good verbal and written communication skills


Submit resume, cover letter and three references with contact information by email to

Applications will be reviewed within two weeks of receipt; selected applicants will be contacted directly to schedule an interview



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