Network Studies (2015-16)

Bettina Gramlich-Oka (

Other members:
Faculty members: Mathew Thompson, Christian Hess, David Slater, David Wank.
Further members of this research group include scholars from Tōkyō and vicinity, such as Linda Grove, Thomas Harper, Kate Nakai, Gaye Rowley, and Fumiko Umezawa. Also many post-docs and PhD students from the Tokyo area, and foreign universities join on a regular basis.

Goal and Purpose:
The ICC unit, which was initiated in 2010 (please see Network studies HP), analyzes cross-cultural networks. As a start-up project we discuss the available theories, methods, and models for our network analysis. This knowledge serves as our foundation for our first focus, on the early modern period in Japan, an understudied era in regards to network analysis. The project “Intellectual Networks in Early Modern Japan and Beyond” focuses on various groups with an integrative analysis of a wide variety of writings. The conclusions will enhance our understanding of both the political realm, which informed policies ordered by the shogunate and the domains of the regional rulers (daimyo), and the practical realm of how these networks operated. The results will emphasize the traffic of ideas and endeavors among people from various backgrounds and stations in life beyond narrow geographic borders.

Activities in Past and Future:
In 2014 the research unit has been active in various forms: (Please refer to our HP, see link above, for details)

a. The unit meets monthly as a reading group, in which primary sources are read.

b. The unit will host December 20, 2014 the Second International Symposium with an expected audience of about 100.

c. With the help of research assistants the prosopographical database is continuously fed.

d. The database undergoes constant improvement including the visualization. Two programmers are working on the frames, and recently the Department of Information & Communication Sciences in the Faculty of Science & Technology has gotten involved in working on new programs to improve the database.

e. The project was represented in 2014 at the following venues (mostly outside of Sophia):

① Sophia Research Festival with a poster session (November 2014)
② Discussant of Panel: “Following the Money in Early Modern Japanese Literature and Drama.” Sponsored by Early Modern Japan Network, at AAS, Chicago, March 26-29, 2015
③ 【招待講演】“Disaster Descriptions and Social Events: Kanagaki Robun (1829–94) and his Reports of the 1850s.” Bettina Gramlich-Oka. Presented at Sainan災難: Discourses of Disaster in Japanese Media over Time, Auckland University, New Zealand, November 1, 2014.
④ 【招待講演】「只野真葛のキリシタン考」 ベティーナ・グラムリヒ=オカ、日本意識の再検討 (2014年度第2回研究会報告), 法政大学, September 26, 2014.
⑤ 【招待講演】Commentator for Watanabe Hiroshi (Hosei University), "Why is the Intellectual History of Tokugawa and Meiji Japan So Interesting?" International House, Tokyo, Sep. 10. 2014.
⑥ 【報告】「欧米における日本経済思想史研究」ベティーナ・グラムリヒ=オカ. Presented at Japanese Economic Thought: Time and Space, Universitätsclub Bonn, Germany, September 1, 2014.
⑦ 【招待講演】“Involuntary Travelers in the Nineteenth Century Japan: the Stories of two Daughters.” Bettina Gramlich-Oka. Presented at IEC, June 19, 2014.

Plans and goals:

a. The unit will continue the monthly meetings

b. The publication of an edited volume generated from the two International Symposia is in planning. Michigan University Press has shown strong interest, and a Japanese version is also being considered. In order to come out with a strong, coherent edited volume with one common focus and theme, two smaller workshops are planned for 2015.

c. The database will grow further (at this point over 1,800 persons are stored) and the visualization will become more elaborate.

d. Bettina Gramlich-Oka applied for a research grant from JSPS for 2015.

e. Bettina Gramlich-Oka applied for the Sophia University Special Grant for Academic Research for 2015.