Book Announcement: The Global Repositioning of Japanese Religions: An Integrated Approach

The Global Repositioning of Japanese Religions:
An Integrated Approach
Ugo Dessi
(Routledge 2017)

The Global Repositioning of Japanese Religions: An Integrated Approach explores how Japanese religions respond to the relativizing effects of globalization, thereby repositioning themselves as global players. Organized around concrete case studies focusing on the engagement of Japanese Buddhism, Shinto, and several new religious movements in areas such as ecology, inter-religious dialogue, and politics, this book shows that the globalization of Japanese religions cannot be explained simply in terms of worldwide institutional expansion. Rather, it is a complex phenomenon conditioned by a set of pervasive factors: changes in consciousness, the perception of affinities and resonances at the systemic and cultural levels, processes of decontextualization, and a wide range of power issues including the re-enactment of cultural chauvinism.

The author investigates these dynamics systematically with attention to broader theoretical questions, cross-cultural similarities, the definition of religion and the perils of ethnocentrism, in order to develop his Global Repositioning model, which constitutes an integrated approach to the study of Japanese religions under globalization.

An empirically-grounded and theoretically-informed study of the effects of global trends on local religions, this book will appeal to scholars and students with interests in globalization, religious studies, Japanese studies, Hawaii, sociology, anthropology, and ecology.

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Fun Link Friday: The Secrets of Soy Sauce

Though it can be found in various forms across Asia, soy sauce is easily one of the most iconic elements of Japanese cooking. With a long and diverse history, some families have maintained secret recipes for hundreds of years and regional variations bring prized flavors to their local food.

Recently, National Geographic featured a short film on this beloved part of Japanese cuisine, highlighting the soy sauce production of Yuasa in Wakayama prefecture, including the tale of a thirteenth-century priest who brought back the skill of soy-sauce making from China and a peek at what production looks like today. See the video below for the Short Film Showcase, which is only a few minutes long. Happy Friday!

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Job Opening: Program Associate, Carolina Asia Center

*Position: Program Associate (full-time)
*Institution: Carolina Asia Center, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
*Application Deadline: 29 May 2017

Carolina Asia Center

The Carolina Asia Center is the University of North Carolina’s flagship organization for Asia-related activities. In 2014, we became the first Title VI-funded pan-Asia National Resource Center in the southeast United States. The Center’s mission is to positively transform our understanding of and relationship with Asia and to equip students and others with the knowledge of Asia to assume leadership roles. The Center develop resources for engagement with Asia-related topics through seminars, language study, outreach, cultural competency, study abroad and visiting scholars programs.

The Center is a unit of UNC-Chapel Hill’s College of Arts and Sciences and work with various professional schools, departments, centers and student organizations on campus. Beyond Carolina, we collaborate with regional and international institutions to develop and implement educational programs on Asia.

Position Description

The Carolina Asia Center is a National Resource Center (NRC) funded by Title VI of the US Department of Education. Funding for the NRC supports initiatives to provide educational and outreach programs at local, regional, and national levels for K-12 and post-secondary educational institutions as well as for business, media, government, and the general public. The Program Associate will support the coordination and implementation of day to day activities of the Carolina Asia Center. The Program Associate will be supervised by the Center’s Associate Director, and will work with Center’s Director, Business Manager, and Program Manager for the Phillips Ambassadors program as well as Center’s partners. The duties include, but not limited to the following: coordinate, plan, organize and implement Asia related events on campus and beyond; work with faculty working groups and student organizations to organize and implement Asia related events; provide administrative and logistic support to implement programs; assist with research, data collection and report writing; support outreach program to K-12 and Community Colleges, Business, Media and Government at local, regional and national levels; and support drafting web updates and newsletters and compiling and distributing weekly Asia-related opportunities and events listings.

Other duties include, but are not limited to: manage the Center’s listservs; attend Asia-related events as required; provide support to run fellowship/grant programs including Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowship program; provide support for the CAC Visiting Scholars program as needed; evenings and weekend work may be required, but partially flexible schedule and provide other support as required to develop or implement programs to achieve the Center’s mission and strategic goals.

High school diploma or equivalency; or demonstrated possession of the competencies necessary to perform the work.

The selected candidate must have excellent written and verbal communication skills, strong interpersonal and intercultural skills, and strong organizational skills. In addition, selected candidate must have strong problem-solving and analytical skills, and be able to work as a member of a close-knit team. The ability to work independently is also essential. The selected candidate must have experience in organizing events and supporting program implementation. Proofreading and editing skills are also required.

Preferred Qualifications
Preferred qualifications for this position include a bachelor’s degree and academic training in Asian Studies. Experience developing and writing e-newsletters is a plus. The ability to interact with diverse personalities including faculty, staff, students, K-14 educators, representatives of government agencies, and the general public is also preferred. At least one or two years of experience in organizing events is highly preferable.

Through UNC Careers Website:

Required Documents: (1) Cover Letter, (2) CV or Resume, (3) List of References

If you experience any problems accessing the system or have questions about the application process, please contact the Office of Human Resources at (919) 843-2300 or send an email to

Please note: The Office of Human Resources will not be able to provide specific updates regarding position or application status.

Further information can be found at:

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Job Opening: Postdoc in Transnational Asian Studies

*Position: postdoctoral research fellowship in Transnational Asian Studies
*Institution: Chao Center for Asian Studies (CCAS) at Rice University
*Location: Houston, Texas

The Chao Center for Asian Studies (CCAS) at Rice University in Houston, Texas is currently accepting applications for the Annette and Hugh Gragg postdoctoral research fellowship in Transnational Asian Studies to begin July 1, 2017. By “transnational,” we mean an approach that devotes particular attention to the movement of peoples, products, ideas, technologies, etc. across established borders and boundaries. The search is open to geographical/conceptual areas of transnational Asia, including Asian diaspora, and to a broad historical time of research.

The annual stipend is $50,000, with an additional $5,000 for research and travel expenses, and a one-time relocation allowance of $3,000 will also be provided. Renewal for the second year will be contingent upon the appointee’s performance in the first year.

Applicants must have a Ph.D. degree in hand by the time of appointment in one of the following fields: Anthropology, Art History, Asian American Studies, Asian Studies, Cinema, Comparative Literature, Cultural Studies, Ethnic Studies, Global Health Studies, History, Political Science, Religion, Science and Technology Studies, Sociology, or Women’s/Gender/Sexuality Studies.

We are particularly interested in applicants whose research concerns transnational science and technology studies.

Job Responsibilities
Job responsibilities for this 12-month position: (1) Teaching one class per year, and (2) Active participation in the Center’s Transnational Asia Research Initiative (TARI) leading to one public seminar and two publishable articles per year.

This position has no application deadline and will remain open until filled. APPLICATIONS ARE ACCEPTED ONLY THROUGH Rice University’s electronic system, and complete instructions are available at

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Job Opening: Study Abroad Coordinator, Temple University Japan Campus

job opening - 5From JETWit jobs  Facebook group.

Please note, TUJ is able to sponsor a visa for this position.

Employer: Temple University Japan Campus
Location: Tokyo
Education: not listed
Type: Full time
To be filled immediately, desired start date is June 2017

Department: Office of Student Services

Visa Requirement
Temple University, Japan Campus (TUJ) is able to sponsor a visa for this position

Overview of Position

The Office of Students Services (OSS) provides high quality services to TUJ’s diverse student population to support their success and wellbeing as they become members of the university community. OSS assists incoming students with student visa applications, financial aid, and housing, and organizes orientations to help students adapt to the academic and social life at TUJ. OSS also works with Student Government and other student organizations to encourage social interaction among students with different backgrounds by creating events and activities that appeal to all TUJ students.In order to support the increasing inquiries for study abroad program participation from our growing undergraduate population, TUJ is creating a new full-time study abroad coordinator position. The coordinator will work with offices at TUJ and on Main Campus in Philadelphia to expand existing services, localize the application process, promote study abroad and campus exchange initiatives, and support students throughout the application and pre-departure process.As a member of OSS the applicant will also be asked to support new student orientations, student activities and events, and other office initiatives.Please see our Student Services page for more details.

Individual responsibilities

  • Work with related departments at TUJ and at Main Campus in Philadelphia to support students interested in studying abroad. Work with existing Main Campus study abroad exchange partners to develop relationships with TUJ and promote programs between universities.
  • Develop materials for study abroad applications, promotion, departure orientation, and study abroad information sessions; develop content for promoting study abroad on TUJ’s website, and update website as needed.
  • Work with Main Campus and TUJ-related departments to enhance services for students preparing to study at Main Campus

Team responsibilities

  • New Student Orientation
  • Student activities
  • Departmental initiatives

Qualifications & Experience

  • Bilingual in English and Japanese (written and spoken)
  • Study abroad experience
  • Strong communication / interpersonal skills
  • Detail-oriented
  • Ability to work some nights and/or weekends for student trips
  • Strong PC skills (database, Excel, Word, PowerPoint)
  • Working knowledge of CRM systems a plus
  • Work experience in higher education and/or study abroad a plus

For full details and to apply:

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Book Announcement: Transformed Bodies and Gender: Experiences of Women Pro Wrestlers in Japan

Aiba, Keiko. (2017). Transformed Bodies and Gender: Experiences of Women Pro Wrestlers in Japan. Osaka, Japan: Union Press.
Women’s pro wrestling in Japan has always been controlled by an independent organization of which the members have only been women. Their bodies are extremely unique, transformed into those that deviate from the ideal female body image in Japan (i.e., young, thin, and cute-looking) to enable them to engage in pro wrestling. In addition, through professional training, they acquire “combat skills”(i.e., physical skills for defense against violence). This kind of physique is different from the body many women in Japan are encouraged to attain. The author has investigated how women wrestlers perceive their transformed bodies, how they apply combat skills to resist male
violence in daily life, and benefits they gain and challenges they face as they attain a “wrestler’s body” and perform pro wrestling. The author also expounds on whether their performance reproduces or transforms gender norms in Japan. This book finally suggests that women, who are constrained by the “ideal female body” image or narrowed by physical vulnerability, can liberate themselves from this normative image and recover their physical strength through the practice of “physical feminism.”

The ISBN is 9784946428814 and how to order the book is to be found here:

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Fun Link Friday: Learning Kanji through Poop

With the growing ubiquity of technology, Japanese and Chinese societies fret over “character amnesia“– the loss of knowledge of kanji in the younger generation, the generation who don’t have nearly the same need to memorize written characters as those for whom typing was not an option. So what’s the solution for computer- and phone-driven youngsters who aren’t enthusiastic about learning their kanji? Poop, of course!

Last month featured an article on the new elementary-school kanji learning craze, a six-volume book set known as Unko kanji doriru (Poop Kanji Drills), full of over 3,000 example sentences for character learning that feature the word “poop.” What could be more enticing? Especially with a poop-themed character, Unko-sensei, the glasses-wearing mustachio’d poop teacher prepared to keep you motivated. What do you think? Should we start using this fella for our Japanese 101 students too? 😉

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