Japanese Studies Today

Student volunteers William, Julia, Sophie, and Nanase at a recent lecture event.

Our Japanese Studies undergraduate program offers modules that situate Japan in the global context.

The course encompasses modules in East Asian History, Comparative Politics and ancient and modern Japanese History. Specialized courses are offered to advanced level undergraduates which allow the students to explore classical Japanese, Japanese literature and modern Japanese society. All third year students are required to undertake a year of study abroad providing them with the opportunity to hone their language skills and become immersed in Japanese society and culture. In their final year, undergraduate students are required to produce dissertations on a research topic of their choice.

At postgraduate level, our students collaborate on the latest research, delving into major topics such as the Cold War and International Relations of East Asia. Our postgraduate programmes attract the best British and international students not only in Japanese Studies, but also East Asian Studies and Politics and International Relations.

Faculty members and postgraduate students from the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (FAMES) are regular recipients of research support and training from Japanese research foundations, including the Aoi Global Scholars Fund, Gates Foundation, Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, Toshiba Foundation, the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, and the Japan Foundation.

Alongside our formal teaching, Japan features strongly in the Faculty’s flourishing series of cultural events including music concerts, film screenings and a festival of Japanese culture, as well as lectures on various topics related to Japan which are open to members of the public.

Mickey Adolphson giving his inaugural lecture, Japan and the World: The Continent and Japan’s First Economic Miracle, on 21 October 2016.

On 21 October 2016, our new Keidanren Professor, Mikael S. Adolphson, welcomed a large group of foreign dignitaries, representatives from a range of businesses and organizations, university staff and students, and others as he gave his inaugural lecture. The transcript can be found here.

Last year, we hosted scholars and artists from across the world, highlighted by a talk by former US Ambassador to the Asian Development Bank, Dr Robert Orr.
Cambridge’s connections with Japan are extensive and span the University’s academic departments and colleges. Academic collaborations with Japan include the Nanoscience Centre and the Departments of Archaeology, Education and Engineering, as well as the high-tech initiatives via the Cambridge Research Laboratory – Toshiba and the Hitachi Cambridge Laboratory.

brochure2Staff at many of the colleges, including Downing, Emmanuel, Corpus Christi, Peterhouse, and Trinity, have long-standing connections with Japan, including through student exchanges programmes with partner institutions.

Members of FAMES have close ties with and have taught at the Universities of Waseda, Keio, Hitotsubashi, Doshisha, Kyoto and Osaka. Our faculty also receives academic visitors from Japan – essential to the broader process of educational and cultural engagement.

Academic Faculty
Prof. Mickey Adolphson, Keidanren Professor of Japanese Studies, Fellow of Trinity College
Dr. Barak Kushner, Reader in Japanese History, Fellow of Corpus Christi College
Dr. Laura Moretti, Lecturer in Pre-Modern Japanese Studies, Fellow of Emmanuel College
Dr. John Nilsson-Wright, Senior Lecturer in Modern Japanese Politics and International Relations, Fellow of Darwin College
Dr. Matthew Shores, Lecturer in Japanese Studies, Fellow of Peterhouse
Dr. Brigitte Steger, Senior Lecturer in Modern Japanese Studies (Society), Fellow of Downing College

Language Teachers
Dr. Miki Kawabata, Senior Language Teaching Officer in Japanese, Fellow of Trinity Hall
Mrs. Toshimi Boulding, Lector in Japanese
Ms. Yongsuk Song, Sessional Language Instructor (Japanese and Korean)