The Sophia University Institute of Comparative Culture
Critical Japanese Studies in Asia Network

Political Cultures and the Politics of “Japanese Studies” in Japan and the Asia Pacific

DATE: July 4, 2016
TIME: 10 am-5 pm
LOCATION: Sophia University, Yotsuya Campus, Library Building; Room L- 911

“Japanese Studies” is different things in different places and different times. What constitutes it as an academic pursuit, a coherent field of inquiry, a productive site of relevant knowledge about and for Japan shifts accordingly. With each shift we see a different mobilization of scholarly and economic resources; with each new initiative, a new politics is developing. This conference is devoted to identifying some of these emerging politics in the study of Japan within Asia.

By inviting innovative scholars from 8 top Japanese Studies universities across Asia and the Pacific to address these issues with our Sophia faculty, we are hoping to widen the scope of inquiry.

The "Critical Japanese Studies in Asia Network" is designed to bring together scholars working on the study of Japan in the global context of the Asia Pacific. Japan’s connection to the rest of Asia is often overlooked by Japanese Studies scholars, and yet these connections are necessary for any full understanding of Japan in today's globalized world As such, our effort is to enhance and enlarge Japan scholarship beyond national boundaries, and to better understand the multiple perspectives and dynamic sets of regional and indeed global connections within Asia.


Sugimura Miki, Vice-President of Academic Affairs, Sophia University
Why Japan? Why Asia? And the Importance of Developing a Critical Japanese Studies
David H. Slater, Director of the Institute of Comparative Culture, Sophia University

Morning Panel : The Politics of Popular Culture
Afternoon Panels :
1:30 pm: Civil Society and Engagement
3:30 pm: Japanese Politics in and Across Asia


The Politics of Popular Culture
・Kono Shion, Sophia U., Area Studies as a Mode of Reading Literature
・Jinghuei Tsau, National Taiwan University, Current Status and Future Perspectives of Japanese Studies in Taiwan
・Jin Ying, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Another Japan: The Influence of Japanese Pop Culture on Chinese Citizens
・Karl Ian Cheng Chua, Ateneo de Manila University, The Use of Popular Culture for Historical Research: Japanese Manga and Historical Memory
・Kukhee Choo, Sophia U., The Politics of Cool Japan in Asia and Beyond

Civil Society and Engagement
・Thang Leng Leng, NUS, Studying Japan in Southeast Asia: “Asia as Method” and Japan + Model in Japanese Studies
・Lynne Nakano, CUHK, Parallel Life Course Developments in Asia, with Reference to Single Women in Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Shanghai
・Hyojin Kim, Seoul National University, Crisis of Japanese Studies? Japanese Studies in Korea after 3.11
・David H. Slater, Sophia U., Japanese Youth Activism and the Rise of Protest Cultures Across Asia

Japanese Politics in and Across Asia
・Sven Saaler, Sophia U., Studies on Transnationalism in Asia
・Simon Avenell, ANU, Rethinking Civil Society in Postwar Japan through the Lens of “Asia”
・Mark Mullins, U. of Auckland, Contemporary Japanese Nationalisms: Unraveling the Cultural, Political, and Religious Dimensions
・Koichi Nakano, Sophia U., Challenges of Neoliberalism and Democracy in Post-Cold War Asia

Language: English
Free of charge
No prior registration necesssary
You maybe asked, however, to sign in when entering the Library

For more information, please contact d-slater(at) or the ICC office at diricc(at)