BAJS Council


Professor Peter Kornicki FBA

University of Cambridge

After several years teaching at the University of Tasmania and Kyoto University, I moved to Cambridge in 1985. I am now emeritus professor of Japanese and a fellow of Robinson College. For much of my career I have focused on the history of the book in Japan and East Asia, and am always happy to get my hands dirty examining old books. Most recently this has involved visits to the National Museum of Denmark where I am working with a Japanese colleague on a study and catalogue of the collection of books and coins made by William Bramsen in the 1870s; this is due to be published in 2023.  In recent years I have also become interested in the wartime Japanese courses conducted in Britain and the people who attended them. This led to the publication of Eavesdropping on the Emperor: interrogators and codebreakers in Britain’s war with Japan (Hurst & Co., 2021;, but since then many people have written to me with queries about their parents’ experiences or with further information and so I am continuing work in this area too. My most recent publication is Ecologies of Translation in East and South East Asia, which I edited with Li Guo and Patricia Sieber (Amsterdam University Press, 2022;

I am also editor-in-chief of the journal East Asian Publishing and Society published by Brill ( and we welcome submissions relating to Japan.

Honorary Treasurer

Dr Ian Rapley
University of Sheffield

Ian is an ex-bartender, ex-accountant, and ex-banker, turned historian of Japan. His work focuses on the late nineteenth/early twentieth century and explores various themes in cultural and intellectual history including transnationality, language, travel, and science. He is also the editor of Asian Literature & Translation ( which welcomes your submissions of translations and other conventional or unconventional research formats. In his spare time he is a part time shepherd and a very part time potter.

Honorary Secretary

Dr Jennifer Coates
University of Sheffield

I am a Professor of Japanese Studies at the School of East Asian Studies, University of Sheffield. My books include Making Icons: Repetition and the Female Image in Japanese Cinema, 1945-1964 (Hong Kong University Press, 2016) and Film Viewing in Postwar Japan, 1945-1968: An Ethnographic Study (Edinburgh University Press, 2022), as well as co-edited volumes War Memory and East Asian Conflicts, 1930–1945 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2023 with Buchheim, E.), Japanese Visual Media: Politicizing the Screen (Routledge, 2021 with Ben-Ari, E.) and The Routledge Companion to Gender and Japanese Culture (Routledge, 2019 with Fraser, L., and Pendleton, M.).

I am an AHRC Innovation Scholar and recipient of the 2021 Philip Leverhulme Prize for Visual and Performing Arts, and my wider research interests include Japanese and East Asian cinema, photography, gender studies, filmmaking, and ethnographic methods. Before joining the University of Sheffield in 2019, I studied, researched, and taught in many areas of the world: as an AHRC Kluge Fellow at the Library of Congress, Washington D.C. (2012), a Visiting Research Fellow at the Australian National University (2011), Assistant Professor at the Hakubi Center for Advanced Research, Kyoto University (2014-2018), and Senior Lecturer in Japanese Arts, Cultures, and Heritage at the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures at the University of East Anglia (2018-2019).

Chief Editor of Japan Forum

Dr Hannah Osborne
University of East Anglia

I am Japan Foundation Lecturer in Japanese Literature for the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing at UEA. My research focuses on the intersections between text, illustration and the avant-garde arts; gender and the body; and women’s writing and translation in modern Japanese literature. My most recent publications include two translations of Kanai Mieko, “The Story of the Inflated Man” and ‘“A Memorandum on the Photograph: Movement and Time in Blurs and Stills” (Review of Japanese Culture and Society, February 2021); and two articles, “The Transgressive Figure of the Dancing-Girl-in-Pain and Kanai Mieko’s Corporeal Text” (Japanese Language and Literature, Autumn 2019) and “The Ai Novel: Kanai Mieko’s Ai no seikatsu and its Challenge to the Japanese Literary Establishment” (Japanese Language and Literature, Spring 2019).  I am currently working on a monograph on Kanai Mieko’s early writings and the 1960s Japanese avant-garde movement.

Chair of the Japan Research Centre at SOAS

Dr Fabio Gygi
SOAS, University of London

I am lecturer in anthropology with reference to Japan at SOAS, University of London. My subject areas are material culture and medical anthropology, with a particular interest in how getting rid of things is understood and facilitated in different cultural contexts. I have undertaken fieldwork on hoarding in Tokyo and Kyoto, and on rites of disposal for dolls all over Japan. I obtained my PhD from UCL and have been assistant professor in sociology at Doshisha University before joining SOAS in 2013. My most recent publications include “Things that Believe: Talismans, Amulets, Dolls, and How to Get Rid of Them,” in the Japanese Journal of Religious Studies (2018), “Hôtes et Otages: Entasser des Objets chez soi dans le Japon Contemporain” (L’Homme, 2019) and “The Great Heisei Doll Massacre: Disposal and the Production of Ignorance in Contemporary Japan,” in Buddhism and Waste: The Excess, Discard and Afterlife of Buddhist Consumption, edited by Trine Brox and Elizabeth Williams-Oerberg (forthcoming).

Council Members

Dr Victoria Young
University of Cambridge

I completed an MA in Japanese Cultural Studies at Birkbeck College, University of London, before spending three and a half years at Waseda University in Tokyo as a research student in the then Institute for Ryukyuan and Okinawan Studies. I was awarded my Ph.D by the University of Leeds in 2016. My thesis focused on works of literature by three writers: Sakiyama Tami, Yi Yang-ji, and Tawada Yōko. Most often associated with the categories of Okinawan, resident Korean (zainichi), and ‘transborder’ literature respectively, my research traced the multiple and intriguing ways in which these works of fiction reinscribe, transcend, and challenge the margins and borders of Japanese literature.While carrying out my Ph.D research, I taught classes on modern and contemporary Japanese literature at the University of Leeds and the University of Sheffield. In February 2017, I became a Teaching Fellow at Newcastle University where I also co-taught a course on contemporary Japanese popular culture. I returned to the Faculty in Cambridge in September 2017.

Sam Bamkin, Director of the BAJS Japan Chapter

University of Tokyo

As Director of the Japan Chapter, I hope to support exchange between members and their collaborators. This will include mini-conferences, presentations, and workshops for developing research-in-progress. I am currently based at the University of Tokyo, researching the gap between education policy and practice in Japan. I am active in promoting study exchange between the UK and Japan, especially in teacher training; and have variously taught courses on Japanese society, policymaking in Japan, comparative education, citizenship education, comparative ethics and moral education, critical theory, intercultural communication and ethnographic methods in policy studies.