BAJS Council


Dr Christopher Hood
Cardiff University

My research revolves around a number of issues. The one thing that connects them all, to date, is Japan. The second aspect that features in much of my research is memorialisation, symbolism and identity. This was a part of my research on the education reforms embarked on by Prime Minister Nakasone. After that, it has been a feature of my research on the shinkansen and also about the flight JL123 crash. Consequently, the third feature of much of my research has been about public transportation in Japan. For further details please see the following page Christopher P. Hood (

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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.

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Honorary Secretary

Dr Jennifer Coates
University of Sheffield

My research and teaching is situated at the intersection of Japanese Studies, Film Studies, History, History of Art, and Anthropology, and can best be characterized as Japanese Cultural Studies. My wider research interests include Japanese and East Asian cinema, photography, gender studies, filmmaking, and ethnographic methods. I have published on these topics and others in Cultural Studies, Participations, Japanese Studies, Japan Forum, the U. S.-Japan Women’s Journal and The Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema. My first book, Making Icons: Repetition and the Female Image in Japanese Cinema, 1945-1964  was published by Hong Kong University Press in 2016.

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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.

Dr Robert Aspinall, Director of the BAJS Japan Chapter
Doshisha University

Robert W. Aspinall received his doctorate from St. Antony's College, Oxford. He carries out research into the educational and political systems of Japan and the UK. He is the author of Teachers Unions and the Politics of Education in Japan (SUNY, 2001) and International Education Policy in Japan in an Age of Globalisation and Risk (Brill, 2013).