Call for Papers: British Association for Japanese Studies (BAJS)

call for papers [150-2]Call for Papers: British Association for Japanese Studies (BAJS) Annual Conference 2015

Hosted by the Japan Research Centre (JRC), SOAS, University of London

Thursday 10 and Friday 11 September 2015

The British Association for Japanese Studies (BAJS) and the Japan Research Centre (JRC) at SOAS, University of London announce a Call for Papers for the BAJS Annual Conference to be held at SOAS, London on Thursday 10th and Friday 11th September 2015.  This two-day conference will include a guest plenary session, parallel sessions of thematic academic panels, the BAJS AGM and evening networking events.

Call for Papers

We welcome submissions from established academics and doctoral candidates in any field of Japanese studies working within any academic institution internationally. Priority will be given to panel submissions, but individual paper submissions are also welcome and if accepted will be organised into thematic panels.

Panel submissions should organise around a key theme or field of Japanese studies, include an Abstract of each paper within the panel, comprise of no more than four presenters in any one panel, and if possible indicate a panel Chair/Discussant.

All submissions should include:

  1. Abstract of paper(s) 300 words maximum in a word document
  2. Full name, title, affiliation, and contact details of presenter(s).

Submissions should be sent by email by the deadline of Friday 27 March 2015 to: 

Submission outcomes will be advised by the end of April 2015.  If accepted, all contributors will be required to register for the conference by the end of June 2015.

Participants will be responsible for organising their own travel and accommodation.  Registration details will be announced early May 2015.


SOAS, University of London, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG

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Fellowships: 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 its newly established 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. Banque de France fellowship “Macroeconomics and Economic Policy: Which Lessons from the Japanese Experience?” (

2. Michelin fellowship: “Public innovation policies in Japan” (

3. Renault fellowship: “Uses of the car between provided services and property in Japan, Korea, and Europe” (

4. Valeo fellowship: “Innovative technologies for a sustainable mobility” (

5. Air Liquide fellowship: “Dietary habits and their sanitary and environmental impacts” (


The deadline for applications is March 31st, 2015, 12 a.m. (midnight) GMT. Applications are submitted by email via

The appointed Fellow will take up the post on 1 January 2016 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. Research in Paris for Junior researchers (deadline: 23 March 2015)

2. Canon foundation in Europe for Junior researchers (deadline: 15 September 2015)

3. AXA research fund for Junior researchers (next campaign will open in October 2015)


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.


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Job Openings: Postdoctoral Positions: Weatherhead East Asian Institute

job opening - 5WEAI Postdoctoral Fellowships Annoucement

The Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University is pleased to announce four postdoctoral positions for the academic year 2015-16. Three of these positions are part of the Borg Research Program, a three-year initiative to support teaching, research, and public outreach on issues relating the United States and East and Southeast Asia, funded by the Dorothy Borg Endowment. The fourth position is part of the INTERACT program, a pioneering program that focuses on developing global studies in the undergraduate curriculum through a network of postdoctoral scholars focused on cross-regional, trans-regional and interdisciplinary study.

For specific information on individual positions, including how to apply, please see links below:

For more information about any of these postdoctoral positions, please contact Laura Lechner, Student Affairs Coordinator, at

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Book Announcement: Kōmeitō: Politics and Religion in Japan

KomeitoKōmeitō: Politics and Religion in Japan

Ehrhardt, George, Axel Klein, Levi McLaughlin, and Steven R. Reed, editors
Japan Research Monograph 18
2014. 298 pp.
ISBN-13 978-1-55729-111-0
ISBN-10 1-55729-111-X

The book covers Kōmeitō’s founding in Nichiren Buddhist doctrinal mandates and its subsequent development into an institutionally distinct political entity. Much of the volume deals with matters pertaining to political science – policy formation, candidate selection, electioneering, fund-raising, and strategies for operating in coalition – while others detail collaborations and conflicts generated by Kōmeitō’s origins in Sōka Gakkai, Japan’s largest active religious organization. It is the first book-length scholarly treatment of Kōmeitō, in any language, to appear in more than forty years. And it is coming out as Kōmeitō marks its fiftieth anniversary. A blurb and the table of contents:

“Anyone interested in contemporary Japanese politics needs to read this book. Certainly, no student of Japanese party politics can afford not to read it. This volume illuminates Komeito’s history, organization, electoral mobilization, and behavior in and out of power. More importantly, this book reorients our understanding of the intersection of religion and politics in Japan, a topic that has danced along the periphery of academic studies even as it has grabbed headlines in Japan and beyond. My only question is why scholars had to wait fifty years for such an incisive study of Komeito.”

–Robert Pekkanen, University of Washington

Part I. Introduction

  1. Kōmeitō: The Most Understudied Party of Japanese Politics — 3
    George Ehrhardt, Axel Klein, Levi McLaughlin & Steven R. Reed

Part II. The Context

  1. Religious Groups in Japanese Electoral Politics — 25
    Axel Klein & Steven R. Reed

Part III. The History

  1. Electioneering as Religious Practice: A History of Sōka Gakkai’s Political Activities to 1970 — 51
    Levi McLaughlin
    4. Kōmeitō’s Uncertain Decades between Religion and Politics — 83
    Yuki Abe & Masahisa Endo

Part IV. The Structure

  1. How Kōmeitō Politicians Get Elected — 113
    George Ehrhardt
    6. Party Ideals and Practical Constraints in Kōmeitō Candidate Nominations — 139
    Daniel Markham Smith
    7. Sōka Gakkai, Kōmeitō, and Money in Japanese Politics — 163
    Matthew Carlson
    8. Housewife Voters and Kōmeitō Policies — 187
    George Ehrhardt

Part V. The Way to Power

  1. Anti-Kōmeitō Counter-Mobilizations — 215
    Axel Klein & Steven R. Reed
    10. Kōmeitō in Coalition — 240
    Linda Hasunuma & Axel Klein

Part VI. Conclusion

  1. Kōmeitō: Religion and Politics in Japan — 269
    George Ehrhardt, Axel Klein, Levi McLaughlin, Steven R. Reed

List of contributors — 277

Index — 279
Levi McLaughlin

North Carolina State University

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Hello all!

Hope everyone is staying warm in this chilly weather. Just a notification that posts and email responses may slow down over the next three weeks, as I am participating in a three-week study program in Ise, Mie prefecture. Though responses may be slow, it will still be possible to contact the blog as usual via

iconAdditionally, for those of you who were interested in the article I wrote on funding short-term research projects, I’m happy to announce that the start of the digital archive resulting from that project, which was on Edogoma 江戸独楽 (hand-carved wooden tops), can now be found at the following address:

If you’re interested in history or traditional Japanese art, do follow our work there in the following months as we add photos, audio, video, and the fascinating history of the people at the center of the project!

Stay warm, everybody! :)


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Workshop: 2015 JSA Freeman Foundation Summer Institute

The Japan Studies Association, with a generous grant from the Freeman Foundation, will conduct a three-week intensive workshop on Japan for faculty and administrators from U.S. two- and four-year colleges and universities. The workshop is for individuals who have little or no prior academic background on Japan and who wish to begin incorporating Japan Studies into their courses. The program is open to faculty in the Humanities, Social Sciences, Business or Education. Administrators and librarians are also eligible to apply.

The workshop will run from May 25 through June 12, 2015 and will cover a wide variety of topics related to Japan, including history, politics, literature, business, and the arts. Its primary purpose is to introduce faculty/administrators into all aspects of Japanese society so that they can return to their institutions and begin incorporating Japan Studies into their teaching and research.

The workshop will be held at the University of Hawai’i, Manoa campus (UHM) in Honolulu, Hawai’i and will have multiple instructors, primarily drawn from the University of Hawai’i, Center for Japanese Studies but also including noted scholars from other universities and from Japan.

There will be only 12 participants selected for the Freeman Fellowships. Each participant will receive up to $500 to help cover roundtrip airfare to Hawai’i. Single rooms, some meals and a small stipend will be provided. Completed applications are due by March 18th, 2015. Successful candidates will be notified by March 22nd, 2015.

For further details and to apply, please visit JSA’s website at: If you have any questions, address them to Dr. Joseph L. Overton, JSA President, at

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Job Opening: Visiting Assistant Professor of Japanese History

job opening - 5Institution: Oberlin College
Location: Ohio, United States
Position: Visiting Assistant Professor

The East Asian Studies Program and the Department of History at Oberlin College invite applications for a full-time non-continuing faculty position in the College of Arts and Sciences.  Appointment to this position will be for a term of two semesters, beginning fall semester of 2015-16 academic year and will carry the rank of Visiting Assistant Professor.

The incumbent will teach a total of five courses in the general area of Japanese history, including a two-semester introductory Japanese history survey and three other courses, comprising topical courses and seminars.  Ability to teach a course taking a Northeast Asia perspective is welcome.

Among the qualifications required for appointment is the Ph.D. degree in hand or expected by first semester of academic year 2015-16.  Candidates must demonstrate interest and potential excellence in undergraduate teaching.  Successful teaching experience at the college level is desirable.

For information on the Program in East Asian Studies, go to:; and for the History Department, go to:

Oberlin is a four-year, selective liberal arts college in northern Ohio that is also home to an outstanding Conservatory of Music. Together, the two divisions enroll approximately 2900 students. Oberlin College was founded in 1833. It was the first college in America to make interracial education and coeducation central to its mission – traditions that live today within a commitment to positive social engagement. Oberlin College has earned a reputation of excellence based on the quality of its richly diverse student body, outstanding faculty, and excellent facilities and academic and technological resources. For more information, go to

Oberlin College is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to creating an institutional environment free from discrimination and harassment based on race, color, sex, marital status, religion, creed, national origin, disability, age, military or veteran status, sexual orientation, family relationship to an employee of Oberlin College, and gender identity and expression.

To be assured of consideration, a letter of application, a curriculum vitae, graduate academic transcripts, and at least three recent letters of reference* should be sent to David E. Kelley, Director, Program in East Asian Studies, Oberlin College, Peters Hall 316, 50 North Professor Street, Oberlin, OH 44074 by March 6, 2015.  Salary will depend on qualifications and experience.  *By providing these letters, you agree that we may contact your references.

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