Book Announcement: Uneven Moments: Reflections on Japan’s Modern History

Uneven Moments
Reflections on Japan’s Modern History

Harry Harootunian
Columbia University Press

Few scholars have done more than Harry Harootunian to shape the study of modern Japan. Incorporating Marxist critical perspectives on history and theoretically informed insights, his scholarship has been vitally important for the world of Asian studies. Uneven Moments presents a selection of Harootunian’s essays on Japan’s intellectual and cultural history from the late Tokugawa period to the present that span the many phases of his distinguished career and point to new directions for Japanese studies.

Uneven Moments begins with reflections on area studies as an academic field and how we go about studying a region. It then moves into discussions of key topics in modern Japanese history. Harootunian considers Japan’s fateful encounter with capitalist modernity and the implications of uneven development, examining the combinations of older practices with new demands that characterized the twentieth century. The book examines the making of modern Japan, the transformations of everyday life, and the collision between the production of forms of cultural expression and new political possibilities. Finally, Harootunian analyzes Japanese political identity and its forms of reckoning with the past. Exploring the shifting relationship among culture, the making of meaning, and politics in rich reflections on Marxism and critical theory, Uneven Moments presents Harootunian’s intellectual trajectory and in so doing offers a unique assessment of Japanese history.

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Call for Applicants: Kuzushiji Summer Workshop

The Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Chicago invites applicants to its annual Kuzushiji Summer Workshop, which offers advanced undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and independent scholar intensive week-long instruction in reading print and manuscript materials from the Tokugawa and early Meiji periods. This year’s workshop will meet from June 17-21 and conclude with an informal symposium on June 22nd.

The workshop has two tracks. The introductory level, led by Dr. Nobuko Toyosawa (PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), meets for the first three days of the workshop, after which participants can join the intermediate/advanced group. This year’s instructor for the intermediate/advanced group will be Prof. Fujikata Hiroyuki of Tohoku University’s Northeast Asia Center (

The workshop will be conducted in Japanese and participants should have familiarity with bungo and hentaigana. There is a $100.00 program fee, which covers the cost of lunches and materials. Participants are responsible for their own travel and housing expenses, but there are limited funds available for those coming from institutions unable to provide support. For information and to apply, please see:

Questions can be directed to Professor Susan Burns at

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Call for Applicants: 2019 Kambun Workshop at USC

2019 Kambun Workshop at USC: Fujiwara Yorinaga in His Own Words

This summer’s Kambun Workshop at the University of Southern California will focus on reading selections from the late Heian Taiki courtier journal of Fujiwara Yorinaga (1120-56), son of the viceroy Tadazane.Yorinaga’s leadership at court was a significant factor in the Hôgen rebellion of 1156. Some documentary materials related to the journal will be read as well, according to interests of members of the Workshop.

A specialist whose work on the journal is well know, Professor Yosuke Onoe of the University of Tokyo Historiographical Institute, will lead this summer’s workshop with Professor Joan Piggott of the USC Project for Premodern Japan Studies (PPJS). Participants will need to have had at least an introductory course in Kambun. The workshop will be conducted in Japanese. Dates for the month-long program are July 15 to August 9. Housing in a USC campus apartment will be available. Please see the PPJS website for more details and an application form. Costs for tuition and housing will be $3210. Some financial support will be available. Questions can be directed to Professor Piggott at <>.

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Call for Applicants: Traditional Theater Training, Kyoto

Come spend a few weeks in Kyoto this summer to train with masters of traditional theater and dance! This summer will be the 35th annual Traditional Theater Training (T.T.T.) 2019, held at the Kyoto Art Center.

T.T.T. is a three-week summer intensive training program that introduces the traditional arts of nō, kyōgen, and Nihon buyō. There is also an optional kotsuzumi (noh shoulder drum) course open to those interested. The program is based on the practice-recital approach, and aims to allow participants to learn the skills and spirit of traditional performing arts. Each year, we welcome around 24 students, professional performing artists, and academics from at least ten countries, including Japan.

This year’s program will take place from July 17th to August 10th. We will begin accepting applications shortly, through April 30th, 2018. Applicants will be notified of the results no later than the end of May (those requiring letters of invitation/support to help secure funding should contact Matt Shores ( directly).

The instructors will be Katayama Shingo, Tamoi Hiromichi, and Oe Nobuyuki (nō); Shigeyama Akira, Maruishi Yasushi, and Shigeyama Sennojō III (kyōgen); and Wakayagi Yayoi and pupils (Nihon buyō). Fluency in Japanese is not required of participants, though lessons will typically be given in the language (with interpreters on hand). Our final recital will be held in Japan’s oldest commerical family noh theater, participants professionally dressed.

For application forms or more information, contact Kyoto Art Center (in Japanese or English) at, or contact Shores directly. You may also call +81 (0)75-213-1000 or visit the KAC website at

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Japanese Studies Summer Programmes at the UEA, UK

Japan Orientation, 29 June – 13 July 2019

Level: Undergraduate

Eligibility: The course is suited to those who are interested in Japan, East Asia and the latest approaches to Japanese Studies. No specific prior knowledge is required, except a desire and willingness to learn and engage.


The significance of Japan today is based upon a fascinating past which informs the present in a multitude of ways. Japan is at the forefront of issues challenging human society in the 21st century, from demographics to sustainable development, and the impact of new technologies and advances in communication. The course draws upon the Centre’s dedication to producing excellent interdisciplinary research on Japan and provides an introduction to generating a deeper understanding of the past, present and future of Japan. Delivery will focus on stimulating discussion with contributions from a number of programme speakers who are leading researchers in the field of Japanese Studies. Day trips to London and Cambridge to visit cultural sites such as the British Museum and the Cambridge University Library. There is also likely to be some time spent off campus in Norwich at the Sainsbury’s Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures.

This course is delivered by Centre for Japanese Studies, in partnership with the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures.

Funding: The Toshiba International Foundation (TIFO) is supporting funded places to applicants from Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech-Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. Once you have completed your Summer Study at UEA application form, you will be sent a link to submit your supporting statement. There are a small number of additional bursaries available for students from other countries provided by the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures.

For more information and to apply see:  


Ishibashi Foundation Summer Fellowship, 27 July – 17 August 2019

Level: Postgraduate

Eligibility: The course is suited to those who are interested in Japan, East Asia and the latest debates in Japanese arts, cultures and heritage. No specific prior knowledge is required except a strong desire and willingness to learn and engage.


The Centre for Japanese Studies at the Interdisciplinary Institute for the Humanities invites applications for an intensive three-week postgraduate level programme in Japanese Arts and Cultural Heritage. With the support of the Ishibashi Foundation we offer full bursaries to successful applicants accepted on to the course. The bursary covers tuition, accommodation, breakfast and lunch on working days, study trips and a contribution towards travel costs. Applications are invited from any country from advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students with a demonstrable interest in the field.

Classes will take place on the UEA campus, home to the renowned Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, and at the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures in the historic centre of the city of Norwich. Taught by leading specialists in the field, this programme offers an exceptional opportunity for students to develop an in-depth appreciation and understanding of Japanese arts and cultural heritage. Field trips will include visits to major museums with Japanese collections and significant cultural heritage sites in London and Norfolk.

Funding: The Ishibashi Foundation is supporting a number of funded places for the Ishibashi Foundation Summer Fellowship at UEA. Once you have completed your Summer Study at UEA application form, you will be sent a link to submit your supporting statement.

For more information and to apply see:

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Book Announcement: Producing Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Literature, Film, and Transnational Politics

Producing Hiroshima and Nagasaki:
Literature, Film, and Transnational Politics

Yuko Shibata

National, disciplinary, and linguistic boundaries all play a role in academic study and nowhere is this more apparent than in traditional humanities scholarship surrounding the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. How would our understanding of this seminal event change if we read Japanese and Euro-American texts together and across disciplines? In Producing Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Yuko Shibata juxtaposes literary and cinematic texts usually considered separately to highlight the “connected divides” in the production of knowledge on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, shedding new light on both texts and contexts in the process.

Shibata takes up two canonical works—American journalist John Hersey’s account, Hiroshima, and French director Alain Resnais’ avant-garde film,Hiroshima Mon Amour—that are traditionally excluded from study in Japanese literature and cinema. By examining Hersey’s Hiroshima in conjunction with The Bells of Nagasaki (Nagai Takashi) and Children of the A-Bomb (Osada Arata), both Japanese bestsellers, Shibata demonstrates how influential Hersey’s Hiroshima has been in forging the normative narrative of the hibakusha experience in Japan. She also compares Hiroshima Mon Amour with Kamei Fumio’s documentary, Still It’s Good to Live, whose footage Resnais borrowed to depict atomic bomb victimhood. Resnais’ avant-garde masterpiece, she contends, is the palimpsest of Kamei’s surrealist documentary; both blur the binaries between realist and avant-garde representations. Reading Hiroshima Mon Amour in its historical context enables Shibata to offer an entirely new analysis of Renais’ work. She also delineates how Japanese films came to produce the martyrdom narrative of the hibakusha in the early postwar period.

Producing Hiroshima and Nagasaki allows us to trace the complex and entangled political threads that link representations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, reminding us that narratives and images deploy different effects in different places and times. This highly original approach establishes a new kind of transnational and transpacific studies on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and raises the possibility of a comparative area studies to match the age of world literature.

For more information, see the University of Hawaii Press website at:

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Funding: Toshiba International Foundation Fellowships 2019

Toshiba International Foundation Fellowships 2019

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 5 May 2019.

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 2020. Grantees can expect a fellowship of not more than 7.000 EUR.

The TIFO Fellowship programme aims at enabling Ph.D. candidates to pursue research in Japan for their ongoing Ph.D. projects. Applicants must be doctoral students by the time of applying as well as by time of the scheduled research stay in Japan. They should be specializing in any field in Japanese Studies at a European institution. Applications by postdoctoral researchers cannot be accepted. Furthermore, only candidates pursuing their first Ph.D. degree are eligible to apply.

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 promote the academic study of Japan by those who have not already had a long-term experience in Japan (i.e. a maximum of two years in total), 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 Email:
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