Job Opening: Instructor in Japanese, Temple University

The Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Languages and Studies at Temple University has a one-year non-renewable opening for a Japanese-language instructor for the academic year 2019-2020. Temple University is a state-related Carnegie Research University (highest research activity) located in Philadelphia. The College of Liberal Arts is home to 32 undergraduate majors, 32 minors, 23 certificate programs and 15 graduate degree programs.

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Job Opening: Assistant Teaching Professor, Japanese Language, University of Victoria

The Department of Pacific and Asian Studies in the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Victoria is seeking applications for a continuing faculty position at the Assistant Teaching Professor level, with an expected starting date of July 1, 2019.The initial appointment is for four years, with eligibility for a continuing appointment in accordance with the Collective Agreement between the University of Victoria and the University of Victoria Faculty Association. We are seeking candidates with a record of excellence in teaching Japanese language at all levels – from beginner to advanced – in a college or university setting, and a commitment to supporting and developing our Japanese language program into the future. Applicants should have a demonstrated interest in pedagogical enquiry and teaching innovation, as well as in other teaching-related activities (e.g., pedagogical research, publication, conference participation, outreach).

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Job Opening: World/Asian history, Idaho State University

The Department of History at Idaho State University seeks applicants for a tenure-track, assistant professor position who can teach courses in world and Asian history, with research emphasis in either field. The position is based at ISU’s Idaho Falls campus, and the time period of specialization is open. We seek candidates who demonstrate a growing record of scholarship, commitment to effective teaching, and potential for successful grant funding. This assistant professor will contribute to the existing undergraduate and graduate curricula and develop courses in their areas of specialization. Teaching duties in a 3/3 load include in-class, broadcast, and online formats. Student advising is essential. The successful hire, whose office will be based on the Idaho Falls campus, will be a full member of the History Department, which delivers degree programs to both Idaho Falls and Pocatello.


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Job Opening: Postdoctoral Research Assistant/Associate in Japanese Studies, University of Cambridge

The Department of East Asian Studies, within the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Cambridge, is seeking to appoint to a 3-year, fixed-term postdoctoral research associate post in Japanese Studies. The post will start in September 2019 and last until August 2022. We are open to any speciality within Japanese Studies but preference will be given to candidates whose research and teaching interests complement those of the current staff. We also welcome applications from candidates who embody our “Japan and the World” campaign and with an interest in comparative studies in relation to the rest of East Asia.


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Funding: Tanaka Fund Grant to Support Promising Junior Japanese Studies Scholars

Historical Background

The Tanaka Fund was established in 1974 as the result of an exchange of gifts between the governments of Canada and Japan. Canada offered $1,000,000 to Japan to promote Canadian studies in Japanese universities, while Japan provided 300 million yen for the enhancement of Japanese studies in Canadian universities. The funds were used to establish the “Japan Foundation Trust Fund for the Promotion of Japanese Studies in Canadian Universities”. Guidelines developed by The Japan Foundation stipulated that the Trust Fund would be administered as an endowment and that the income thereof should be made available for the support and promotion of Japanese studies at universities and colleges in Canada. Universities Canada has administered the Fund since 1975. Until 2016, support for Japanese language lectureship at Canadian Universities was funded. In 2018, the Tanaka Fund was restructured to focus support towards young emerging scholars in order to foster the next generation of Japanese Studies scholarship in Canada.

Universities Canada and the Japan Foundation, Toronto are pleased to announce the call for applications for the 2018 Tanaka Fund Grant to Support Promising Junior Japanese Studies Scholars.

Annual Value: A total of $30,000 is available for this year’s awards.
Value of Grants Masters or Doctoral level students at Canadian Institutions: Grants up to a maximum of $10,000
are available

Duration: A maximum of three months in Japan


  1. Open to Canadian citizens or permanent residents only.
  2. Doctoral or Master’s level students who:
    • are enrolled in a Canadian university;
    • are conducting research related to Japan (comparative research included) with methods in the humanities and social sciences;
    • will have completed the necessary course work before undertaking activities funded by this award;
    • find it necessary to visit Japan to complete their thesis or dissertation.
  3. Master’s students who are doing research towards their master’s thesis.
  4. Doctoral students who are doing research towards their dissertation proposal.
  5. PhD candidates are NOT eligible.
Contact Email:
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Book Announcement: Unbinding the Pillow Book: The Many Lives of a Japanese Classic

Unbinding The Pillow Book
The Many Lives of a Japanese Classic

Gergana Ivanova

An eleventh-century classic, The Pillow Book of Sei Shōnagon is frequently paired with The Tale of Genji as one of the most important works in the Japanese canon. Yet it has also been marginalized within Japanese literature for reasons including the gender of its author, the work’s complex textual history, and its thematic and stylistic depth. In Unbinding The Pillow Book, Gergana Ivanova offers a reception history of The Pillow Book and its author from the seventeenth century to the present that shows how various ideologies have influenced the text and shaped interactions among its different versions.

Ivanova examines how and why The Pillow Book has been read over the centuries, placing it in the multiple contexts in which it has been rewritten, including women’s education, literary scholarship, popular culture, “pleasure quarters,” and the formation of the modern nation-state. Drawing on scholarly commentaries, erotic parodies, instruction manuals for women, high school textbooks, and comic books, she considers its outsized role in ideas about Japanese women writers. Ultimately, Ivanova argues for engaging the work’s plurality in order to achieve a clearer understanding of The Pillow Book and the importance it has held for generations of readers, rather than limiting it to a definitive version or singular meaning. The first book-length study in English of the reception history of Sei Shōnagon, Unbinding The Pillow Book sheds new light on the construction of gender and sexuality, how women’s writing has been used to create readerships, and why ancient texts continue to play vibrant roles in contemporary cultural production.

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Funding: Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Fellowships

Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Fellowships provide recipients with an opportunity to work in a scholarly environment conducive to completing a publication project. The Fellowships are available to academics who have received a PhD in any area of Japanese culture. Preference will be given to Early Career Researchers working in the fields of visual studies, including but not limited to history of art, cultural heritage, archaeology, architecture, film studies, and digital humanities. During their appointment Fellows are encouraged to contribute to our Third Thursday Lecture Series and to organise a symposium in Norwich. They may also contribute to the Japan Research Centre Seminar Series at SOAS. Fellowships are one year (preferred option, value of £24,000, start date September 2019) or six months (value of £12,000, start date subject to negotiation). Fellows will be given shared office space and are expected to live in Norwich during their appointment. A good level of spoken and written English is required, and application documents should be completed in English.

Further details and application form can be found on our website: If you have any queries please email us:

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