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 now underway for our events in 2020. One event will be held in July at Kyushu University. Please see the Call for Papers below for further details. Another will probably be in early December in Tokyo. More details on this event will be posted in due course.

Call for Papers

“Heritage, conflicted sites and bordered memories in Asia”

Sessions Sponsored by the British Association of Japanese Studies

Kyushu University, Nishijin Plaza, Fukuoka

July 18-19, 2020


On July 18 and 19, Kyushu University will host a two-day international conference on “Identity Politics and the Challenges of Cultural Diversity Across Contemporary Asia”. As part of the program, we will organize a number of sessions with the collective title of “Heritage, conflicted sites and bordered memories in Asia”. These sessions will examine issues of Heritage in contemporary Asia, and will build upon the results of an earlier conference held at Kyushu University in December 2016, on “Borders of Memory”.

Together with the tension emerging from UNESCO recognition accorded particular sites of national heritage in East Asia, there has been increased interest in the possibilities for heritage serving as “cosmopolitan” sites of memory, ones able to transcend national boundaries and function within different mnemonic communities. In these sessions, we are particularly interested in the ways that heritage, and its specific material manifestations, works as a means of transcending borders for memory collectives, whether national or local.

The borders referred to here are both spatial and temporal. One concern is the relation between heritage and spatial division, how particular sites of memory are able to speak to communities located in distinct, and frequently antagonistic, national spaces. A second series of borders in which we are particularly interested are the ways sites of heritage “concretize” narratives across temporal boundaries, providing the material foundations for the channelling of contemporary claims about the past.

In bringing together an interdisciplinary group of scholars to reflect on how memories are made, materialized and memorialized within and across societies, these sessions will deepen and enrich our understanding of the significance of heritage for national identities and international relations in the Asia-Pacific and beyond.

We invite interested scholars to submit abstracts (of up to 250 words) to the session organizer by March 31, 2020.

Thanks to the generosity of the British Association of Japanese Studies, who will sponsor these sessions on Heritage, there will be three awards (of 25,000 JPY each) available to support the attendance of graduate students or early career scholars. Please indicate if you wish to be considered for 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:


  • 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).