Funding: AFRASO Fellowship

money [150-2]Announcement of a Fellowship of the project “Africa’s Asian Options – AFRASO” at Goethe University Frankfurt

Since 2013 AFRASO has been an interdisciplinary and transregional research project at Goethe University Frankfurt funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and organized by the two area studies centers ZIAF (Center for Interdisciplinary African Studies) and IZO (Interdisciplinary Centre for East Asian Studies).

AFRASO is set up as a major research project with a national and international scope focusing on the complexity of African-Asian interactions. It has generated new knowledge on contents, forms, and implications of interactions between African and Asian protagonists on both continents and contributes to an innovative reconceptualization of area studies through its transregional focus on „Afrasian spaces“.

In the current phase, AFRASO focuses on the constitution, stabilization and transformation of Afrasian interactive spaces through the lenses of, firstly, materiality and institutionalization, and secondly, imagination and discursivity. AFRASO systematically explores, conceptualizes and theorizes transregional interstitial spaces.

We are particularly interested in research which deals with the following questions:

  • How are zones and corridors as well as spaces of action and imagination established and stabilized (e.g., in terms of infrastructure)?
  • How do they transform the relationship between various actors and local, national and transregional spatial orders?
  • Which challenges do they pose for scholarship in transregionally conceptualized African and Asian studies?
  • Which new methods need to be developed to conduct transregional research?

AFRASO is encouraging all researchers on the postdoc or professorial level wanting to engage with the Frankfurt AFRASO project to apply. The chosen fellow will have the obligation to attend the AFRASO meetings and events, give a public lecture and do a seminar meeting with AFRASO postdocs to discuss his or her current research.

Funds are available up to 7.500 € to cover all travel and other expenses for a stay from one up  to three months. Please submit a letter of expression of interest, a description of the topics you want to work on during your time at Goethe University Frankfurt, and a short to CV to until 15 March 2017.


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Workshop: Noh Training Project 2017 (Tokyo)

call for papers [150-2]The Kita School of Noh and Theatre Nohgaku are pleased to announce the
Noh Training Project Tokyo 2017–an intensive three-week workshop
focusing on the performance elements of Japanese classical noh
theatre. The workshop will include five hours daily of instruction in
the chant, dance, and musical instruments. In addition, there will be
lectures on the theoretical elements of noh including dramatic
structure, masks and costumes. Participants will attend several
performances of noh. All sessions will be conducted in either Japanese
with English translation or in English.

When: June 25-July 14, 2017

Where: Kita Roppeita Memorial Noh Theatre, Tokyo

Cost: \70,000 (\50,000 for applicants who pay by May 1). Costs include
instruction materials, practice fan, 1 pair white tabi, and tickets to
noh performances. Air-travel, accommodation, food and local
transportation is NOT included.

Affordable accommodation suggestions will be provided on

Program Directors:

Teruhisa Oshima: Shite actor Kita School

Richard Emmert: Theatre Nohgaku Artistic Director

John Oglevee: Theatre Nohgaku Development Director


Noh performers of the Kita School and members of the Noh Performers
Association. Instructors names will be announced in April.

For an application form and further information:

Also see:

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Book Announcement: Honored and Dishonored Guests: Westerners in Wartime Japan

honoredHonored and Dishonored Guests:
Westerners in Wartime Japan 
W. Puck Brecher

About the book:

The brutality and racial hatred exhibited by Japan’s military during the Pacific War piqued outrage in the West and fanned resentments throughout Asia. Public understanding of Japan’s wartime atrocities, however, often fails to differentiate the racial agendas of its military and government elites from the racial values held by the Japanese people. While not denying brutalities committed by the Japanese military, Honored and Dishonored Guests overturns these standard narratives and demonstrates rather that Japan’s racial attitudes during wartime are more accurately discerned in the treatment of Western civilians living in Japan than the experiences of enemy POWs.

The book chronicles Western communities in wartime Japan, using this body of experiences to reconsider allegations of Japanese racism and racial hatred. Its bold thesis is borne out by a broad mosaic of stories from dozens of foreign families and individuals who variously endured police harassment, suspicion, relocation, starvation, denaturalization, internment, and torture, as well as extraordinary acts of charity. The book’s account of stranded Westerners—from Tokyo, Yokohama, and Kobe to the mountain resorts of Karuizawa and Hakone—yields a unique interpretation of race relations and wartime life in Japan.

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Funding: Fellowships at Center for French-Japanese Advanced Studies in Paris

money [150-2]The Fondation France-Japon de l’EHESS is presently recruiting Senior and Junior levels researchers in the framework of the Centre for French-Japanese Advanced Studies in Paris (Centre d’Etudes Avancées Franco-Japonais de Paris, CEAFJP;

The CEAFJP is a research and exchange platform coordinated by the Fondation France-Japon de l’EHESS, and located in Paris, France. The Centre is aimed at supporting researchers who wish to spend between 6 and 12 months in Paris, and to benefit from the excellent work conditions and from academic exchange with our international colleagues in Europe.

This call for applications concerns the five following thematic fellowships:

  1. Air Liquide fellowship: “Dietary Habits and their Sanitary and Environmental Impacts” (
  2. Banque de France fellowship “Macroeconomics and Economic Policy: Which Lessons from the Japanese Experience?” (
  3. Michelin fellowship: “Public Innovation Policies in Japan” (
  4. Renault fellowship: “Uses of the Automobile and New Mobility Services in Japan, in Korea and in Europe” (
  5. Valeo fellowship: “Innovative Technologies for a Sustainable Mobility” (

The deadline for applications is March 31st, 2017. Applications are submitted by email via

The appointed Fellow will take up the post on 1 January 2018 or at a date to be agreed.

We also accept applications from Junior candidates applying for other fields or other themes of research for academic fundings on a competitive basis with the support of the following organisations ( :

  1. AXA research fund for Junior researchers (next campaign will open in Automne 2017)

For further information on the CEAFJP and on how to apply to these fellowship programs, please visit the website of the Centre ( Further particulars and details of the fellowship may be asked directly by email to Mr. Ken Daimaru (

We deeply appreciate if you could encourage qualified researchers around you to apply to our programs.

Sebastien Lechevalier
Fondation France-Japon de l’EHESS
190 avenue de France
75013 Paris FRANCE

Web :
Email :





時下益々ご清祥のこととお慶び申し上げます。日頃より本財団における研究・教育活動をご支援いただき,誠にありがとうございます。この度、フランス国立社会科学高等研究院日仏財団(以下「日仏財団」という)では、パリ日仏高等研究センター(Centre d’études avancées franco-japonais de Paris、略称CEAFJPの2018年度研究フェローを公募します。



1) エア・リキード研究フェロー「食習慣とその健康及び生態系への影響~世界規模の栄養転換を背景とする日本の伝統的食習慣の特殊性を問う」 (

2) フランス銀行研究フェロー「マクロ経済学と経済政策:日本の経験から何を学ぶか?」(

3) ミシュラン研究フェロー「日本のイノベーション公共政策」(

4) ルノー研究フェロー「日本、韓国及び欧州における自動車及び新モビリティ・サービス利用」 (

5) ヴァレオ研究フェロー 「持続可能なモビリティのための革新的技術」 (

以上の5つのフェローシップ公募における締め切りは2017年3月31日までとし,メールでの受付(ffj@ehess.fr宛) を行います。 任務開始時期は原則として2018年1月1日の着任を予定しておりますが、事情に応じて変更も可能です。


  1. AXA学術研究支援プログラム(次回の公募開始は2017年秋)







190 avenue de France
75013 Paris FRANCE




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Fun Link Friday: Kayashima: The Japanese Train Station Built Around a 700-Year-Old Tree

One thing I love doing is Japan is just walking around and exploring, and appreciating, little interesting places. Whether it’s tiny obscure sites of historical interest, or ones with striking architecture or aesthetics, Japan just seems to be full of them. A recent post from Colossal, reposted from Spoon & Tamago, shares with us one such place: a train station literally built around a 700-year-old camphor tree.

Maybe take a little jaunt out to the suburbs and check it out the next time you’re in Osaka. You don’t even have to pay to leave the station to see it!

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3 Best Chat Apps for Practicing Japanese


When studying Japanese or any foreign language, everyone knows that practice makes perfect! But it can be hard to stay motivated to practice everyday, especially if you don’t have any Japanese speaking friends available to talk with.

Luckily there’s an app for that. Actually, there are multiple apps for that! Today I’d like to introduce three great chat apps for practicing Japanese. I’ve personally tried all three and would highly recommend Japanese learners struggling to stay motivated to practice or looking for Japanese speaking friends to try them out.


To Learn: HiNative (

HiNative (from the makers of Lang-8) is the ultimate question & answer community for language learners. Have a question about Japanese grammar? Want someone to correct your pronunciation? Need someone to check if your sentence is correct? With HiNative you don’t have to make friends or wait to be matched, just post a question and it’ll go out to all the native Japanese speakers in the app to answer. Most questions seem to be answered within a few hours, sometimes even within a few minutes!

HiNative is great for helping you practice and polish your Japanese because you can get help from native speakers and other language learners in real time without having to bother friends or classmates 🙂

Tip: You can use HiNative for all kinds of languages, not just Japanese! Also check out their sister service Lang-8 ( for even more language exchange services.

Cost: You can use all of HiNative’s major features for free, but some features (such as voice answers, search of your past questions, priority questions) require a premium membership.


To Have Fun: Festar (

Festar is actually a Japanese chat and dating app, but the international settings and English version make it a great place to find language exchange partners and Japanese speaking friends too! When you sign up you’ll be asked what languages you speak (English, Japanese, or Korean) and what countries you would like to match with. Include Japanese and Japan to and you’re sure to meet some new Japanese speaking friends! Personally I have met a lot of Japanese and Korean users interested in making English speaking friends.

Festar is a 10 minute chat app that matches users based on their hobbies (including mainstream things like cooking and travel as well as minor things like Evangelion and karaoke!). The cool thing is that since online users are matched in real time if you get matched you’ll be talking right away. However you only have 10 minutes to chat so you’ll have to type fast! After the 10 minutes is up you’ll be asked if you want to keep talking to your new friend, and if you both choose yes you’ll be able to message that user anytime. If one of you didn’t feel a connection and says no, oh well! You can go get matched with a new user and chat with someone else, kind of like chatroulette… but without the creepy guys.

Tip: Japanese users are most active in the evening Japan time (GMT+9), so if you aren’t matching with many Japanese users try logging in at a different time. Also make sure to add Japan related interests to your profile, like Japanese food, anime, Kyoto, Tokyo, and more to get matched with other Japan lovers in your home country or other English speaking countries!

Cost: You can use Festar to match and chat 10 minutes a day up to three times a day totally free, but private messaging features and unlimited daily matches require a premium membership.


To Practice More: HelloTalk (

The HelloTalk app is a mix of serious learning and causal chat. Dedicated to language learning, the app focuses on helping getting language learners matched with partners so they can enjoy language exchange and practice each other’s languages. You can sort through a list of users and even search for users near you that speak the language you want to learn and immediately send them a message to see if they want to chat. In addition to text messages you can also exchange voice messages and even call each other, so it’s kind of like a Facebook Messenger or Whatsapp exclusively for language exchange!

Unlike HiNative or Festar there are no specific topics in HelloTalk so what you chat about and where you take the discussion is totally up to you. Many Japanese users want to learn English so you’re sure to find some friends! Remember there may be a big time difference between where you are and Japan though, so replies may or may not be instant.

Tip: Make sure to include some Japanese in your profile to show that you’re interested in speaking more than just English! And don’t get discouraged if someone doesn’t reply to your message, just keep messaging other users until you find a friend you can get along with!

Cost: You can use HelloTalk’s basic features for free, but some advanced features (such as in-app automatic translations) require a monthly subscription.


As with any language learning tool, these chat apps are what you make of them and may or may not work for you. It can be hard to find the perfect language exchange partner that is at your level and willing to help you. Depending on your Japanese language level you might feel a little embarrassed at first or find it hard to say anything meaningful too. But that’s okay! Neither Rome nor Tokyo was built in a day, keep practicing, keep trying, and がんばって!

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Job Opening: Asia Program Research Associate, Committee to Protect Journalists

job opening - 5Via JETWit mailing list.

Employer: Committee to Protect Journalists
Location: New York, New York
Education: Bachelor’s degree

About CPJ

Founded in 1981, the Committee to Protect Journalists is an independent, non-profit organization defending journalists worldwide without regard to their political ideology. Through its work to safeguard journalists, CPJ protects the rights of all people to have access to diverse and independent sources of information.

Job Summary
Position: Asia Program Research Associate

Reports to: Asia Program Coordinator

Location: New York preferred

The Committee to Protect Journalists is seeking a research associate for its Asia program to research, report, and document attacks on the press in a diverse region where freedom of expression has been facing new challenges in many countries.

The ideal candidate will have passion for and knowledge of press freedom and human rights issues in the Asia region.

Strong research, reporting, and writing skills, and the ability to work independently as well as in collaboration with a small team, are a must. Strong oral and written communication skills in English are essential. Fluency in a regional language, especially Chinese, Urdu or Bengali, is an asset. The ability to effectively use social media to promote the Asia program’s work and advocacy goals is also an asset.

Primary Responsibilities:

Conducting daily research, reporting, and writing in English.
Monitoring breaking news and events affecting press freedom and journalists in the Asia region and flagging them to Asia Program Coordinator in a timely manner.
Documenting press freedom violations in the Asia region.
Working with the Asia Program Coordinator and other CPJ staff on regional advocacy efforts.
Maintaining the Asia program’s social media pages on Facebook and Twitter; maintaining and expanding the Asia program’s regional network of contacts.
Working collaboratively with CPJ’s Journalist Assistance Program to help distressed journalists from the Asia region.
In addition, the Asia Research Associate is encouraged to contribute articles on regional press freedom issues to CPJ’s blog and to write such pieces for outside publications.

Education: Bachelor’s degree.
Experience and Skills:

Understanding of press freedom issues in the context of Asia.
Knowledge of the Asia region.
Capability in a major regional language.
Regional experience is an asset.
Proven skills in writing accurately and succinctly.
Research skills.

Full details on Philanthropy News Digest.

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