BAJS Japan Chapter


The BAJS Japan Chapter was launched in 2009.

It has two main aims:

  1. to hold symposiums and workshops in Japan presenting the research of members and other invited guests.
  2. to promote links and collaboration between Japan-based BAJS members.

At present there are two events a year (spring and autumn) which alternate between Tokyo and other parts of Japan. 


Forthcoming Events

  • Preparations are continuing for our events in 2020. One event will be held in November at Kyushu University. Please see the information below for further details. Another will probably be in early December in Tokyo. More details on this event will be posted in due course.

Kyushu University November 6 and 7, 2020 - online/onsite event

Contesting Memorial Spaces in the Asia Pacific 

History and memory are particularly sensitive topics in and among the states of East Asia, with antagonistic assertions of sovereign memory recently leading to domestic political scandals, heritage disagreements, territorial disputes, and history wars. What unites these issues is that they constitute overt assertions of national identity made at and through particular sites. Such sites of heritage and memory—ranging from disputed islands to the national museums celebrating them, controversial sculptures outside embassies in Seoul, and information centers for UNESCO-listed sites in Tokyo—all serve as symbolic repositories for social assertions of history and identity. They are therefore open to deployment both within and between political communities.

On 6-7 November 2020, Kyushu University will host an international conference devoted to the operation and conceptualization of such contested memorial spaces. Building upon two earlier events, “Borders of Memory” in December 2016, and “Heritage, conflicted sites and bordered memories in Asia” in July 2020, this inter-disciplinary event aims to bring insights from recent work on the politics of heritage and the social construction of territorial disputes into explicit dialogue.

The aims of this event are threefold:

· To consider the ways in which the significance of sites of memory operates across political scales, from the intensely local to the national, international, and global;

· To understand how these spaces provide a point of contact at which understandings and expressions of collective memory, as well as competing political claims, meet; and

· To reflect on whether it is possible for such sites to be transformed from places of antagonistic memorial contestation into spaces able to accommodate political difference.

In so doing, attention will be drawn to the tensions inherent to these sites as spaces through which national identity is able to be affirmed and contested.

The Conference invites scholars conducting theoretical and empirical work both within and beyond the confines of the Asia-Pacific to contribute to the discussion. The event will consist of a series of joint online/onsite events, whose exact configuration will be determined nearer the time.

We invite interested scholars to first submit abstracts (of up to 250 words) to the organizers by August 31, 2020, at [email protected] Full drafts of papers should be submitted by October 15; these will be shared within sessions to facilitate discussion. A selection of papers will be subsequently developed for publication.

Thanks to the generosity of the British Association of Japanese Studies, there will be three awards (of 25,000 JPY each) available to support the in-person attendance of early career scholars from Japan or, potentially, East Asia (hopefully!). Please indicate if you wish to be considered for one of these awards when submitting your abstract.


Ted Boyle: [email protected]

Edward Boyle
Faculty of Law
Kyushu University
九州大学法学研究院 助教
Motooka 744, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka 819-0395 JAPAN
〒819-0395 福岡市西区元岡744
Office: +81-(0)92-802-5311
On twitter @BorderStudiesRM


Please get in touch if you wish to join the BAJS Japan Branch or present a paper at an upcoming event. Priority is given to members of BAJS, but papers given by non-members are also very welcome. 

Previous Events:


  • Online conference based in Fukuoka (Kyushu University): “Heritage, conflicted sites and bordered memories in Asia” Part 2: "Contesting and Memorializing Sites of Heritage" July 31 2020. (Karii Shimizu, Hokkaido University; Edward Boyle, Kyushu University: Jason Mark Alexander, Kyushu University; Kaori Yoshida and Huong Bui , Ritsumeikan Asia-Pacific University; Dasom Lee, Independent Scholar; Julia Gerster and Flavia Fulco, Tohoku University). 
  • Online conference based in Fukuoka (Kyushu University): “Heritage, conflicted sites and bordered memories in Asia” Part 1: "Materials and Modes for Narrating the Past" July 18, 2020. ( Ying-Kit Chan, Leiden University; Joshua Lee Solomon, Hirosaki University; Arisha Satari, Kyushu University; Raluca Mateoc, University of Geneva; Gabriel Gee, Franklin University Lugano; Justin Aukema, Kyoto Women's University).
  • Symposium in Nagoya (Aichi Prefectural University): “Health and Well-Being in Contemporary Japan”, 31 October 2015. (Eugene Ryan, Toyohashi University of Technology; Nicolas Tajan, Kyoto University; Emma E. Cook, Hokkaido University; Miho Ushiyama, Waseda University). 
  • Symposium in Osaka (Osaka City University): “British Media Images of Japan Seventy Years After World War II”, 30 May 2015. (David McNeill, The Independent, The Economist, The Irish Times; Justin McCurry, The Guardian; Eric Johnston, The Japan Times; Garren Mulloy, Daito Bunka University; Aleksandra Jaworowicz-Zimny, Hokkaido University; Philip Seaton, Hokkaido University). 
  • Symposium in Tokyo (University of Tokyo) “Symposium on Postdoctoral Career Development in Japanese Studies and Undergraduate Education in English at Japanese Universities”, 1-2 November 2014. Eight papers and three roundtables. 
  • Symposium in Hikone (Shiga University) “Symposium on Risk, Society and Politics in Contemporary Japan” and PhD Workshop “Building an Academic Career in Japan”, 24-5 May 2014. (William Bradley, Ryukoku University; Mayumi Ishikawa, Osaka University; Scott North, Osaka University; Tom Gill, Meiji Gakuin University; keynote speech Koichi Nakano, Sophia University). 
  • Symposium in Akita (Akita University and Akita International University) “Sustainability and Revitalization in Rural Areas of Japan”, 2-3 November 2013. (Anthony Rausch, Hirosaki University; Donald C. Wood, Akita University; Adrian Favell, Science Po Paris; Sebastian Boret, Tohoku University; Peter Ackermann, University of Erlangen; Susanne Klien, Hokkaido University; Peter Matanle, University of Sheffield). 
  • Symposium in Kyoto (Kyoto University) “Reflections on Politics, Law and Human Rights in Contemporary Japan”, 18 May 2013. (Ian Neary, Oxford University; Mari Miura, Sophia University; Koichi Nakano, Sophia University; Mark Fenwick, Kyushu University; Colin Jones, Doshisha University).
  • Mini-Conference in Sapporo (Hokkaido University), 3-4 November 2012. Keynote Session, ‘Exploring Risk in Post-3/11 Japan’ (Chair – Jun Kaneyama; Speakers – Andrew DeWit, Hiroko Takeda & Piers Williamson; Discussant – Jiro Yamaguchi). Session co-hosted by the Research Faculty of Media and Communication, Hokkaido University. The conference included 15 other papers.
  • Meeting in Kyoto (Ritsumeikan University) “Rethinking Cool Japan”, 19 May 2012. (Stephanie Assmann, Akita University; Philip Seaton, Hokkaido University; Takeshi Okamoto, Kyoto Bunkyo University; Akiko Sugawa, Kansai Gaidai University).
  • Mini-Conference in Sapporo (Hokkaido University), 28-9 May 2011.
  • Meeting in Kyoto (Doshisha University), November 2010. Session 1: Bakumatsu/Early Meiji (Ian Ruxton, Kyushu Institute of Technology; Eleanor Robinson, Osaka University; John Breen, International Research Centre for Japanese Studies); Session 2: Professional Development Session (Peter Matanle, Sheffield University; Greg Hadley, Niigata University of International and Information Studies).
  • Meeting in Tokyo (University of Tokyo), May 2010. Theme: The First Year of the Hatoyama Administration: When “Change” Came to Japan? (Takamichi Mito, Kwansei Gakuin University; Andrew Staples, Doshisha University; Garren Mulloy, Daito Bunka University).
  • Symposium in Kyoto (Kyoto Koka Women’s University), 7 November 2009. Theme: “Japanese Universities and the Globalization of Higher Education” (Takamichi Mito, Waseda University; Carolyn Wright, Kyoto Koka Women’s University; Harumi Takiguchi, Hokkaido University; Philip Seaton, Hokkaido University).
  • Inaugural Work in Progress Seminar in Tokyo (Waseda University), 21 February 2009. Theme: “Remembering a Gendered Nation at War” (Beverley Yamamoto, Osaka University).