Guest Lecture Series

The Modern Japanese Studies Program Lecture Series is a series of guest lectures given by researchers from outside the university, or other people whose professional experience is relevant to Japanese Studies. The lectures aim to broaden students’ interests in the many aspects of Japanese Studies.
Here is a list of past and forthcoming guest lectures:


 Mr. Roland Kelts discussing representations of Anime, Sushi & Cosplay. (Dec, 2015)  

Upcoming Lectures in Spring 2021

Important: All lectures and workshops ​will be held online in Spring 2021 semester,​ using one of the many services for online meetings and conferences. Further details will be announced by e-mail and on the MJSP website in the following weeks.



Past Lectures

77) Representatives from 豊田通商
Title: 企業研究2020
16th January, 2021

76) Dr. Chelsea Szendi Schieder (Aoyama Gakuin University) 
Title: “Coed Revolution: The Female Student in the Japanese New Left” 
7th January, 2021

75) Dr. David Hopkins (Tenri University)
Title: “The post-war musical avant-garde and the creation of a new Japanese identity (or is it the recreation of an old Japanese identity?)”
10th December, 2020

74) Mr. Andrew Le (University of Tokyo)
Title: “Does the Party Ever Stop? Regulation and Resistance of Tokyo Nightclubs”
26th November, 2020 

73) Dr. Giancarla Unser-Schutz (Rissho University) 
Title: “Komyushō and problematized communication in contemporary Japan”
12th November, 2020

72) Dr. Gavin Furukawa (Sophia University) 
Title: “Activism on the Streets of Japan: Queer Challenges to Heteronormativity through Social Media”
29th October, 2020

71) Mr. Eric Johnston (Japan Times)
Title: “Just the Facts, Ma’am!”
22nd October, 2020

70) Dr. David Leheny  (Graduate School of Asia-Pacific)
Title: “From Commemoration to Crisis and Back: The Meiji 150th Anniversary, the Tokyo Olympics, and COVID-19”
7th August, 2020

69) Dr. ​David Hopkins(Tenri University)
Title: “Indigenizing Popular Music in Japan, 1960s and 70s”
17th July, 2020

68) Dr. ​Clinton Godart (Tohoku University)​
Title: “Nichiren Buddhism in Modern Japan”
3rd July, 2020

67) Mr. Shun’ichi Ito​ (Freelance)​
Title: “A transnational, translocational contemporary urban migrant and alternative spaces of hope”
25th June, 2020    

66) Dr. ​Marta Szczygiel​ (Tokyo University)​
Title: “Is poo a taboo in Japan? An Examination of Japan’s toilet culture”
17th June, 2020 

65) Dr. ​Raymond Yamamoto (Aarhus University)​
Title: Is China’s rise a threat to Japan? A critical assessment of the rivalry argument from the perspective of development assistance
4th June, 2020

64) Mr. Dennis Chia​ (Boundless) 
Title: Designing an Alternative Career Path in Japan (Case Study: Opportunities in Rural Japan)
22nd May, 2020

63) Mr. Eric Johnson (Japan Times)
Title: From Marco Polo to MASK Culture: Western “Media” Images of Japan Throughout History
6th February, 2020

62) Dr. Hisako Omori (Akita International University)
Title: Reciprocity and Trust: Cases of Children in State Care in Japan
13th December, 2019

61) Dr. Nathaniel Smith (University of Arizona)
Title: Kabukicho Renaissance: Multiculturalism, Marginality, and Urban Renewal in Tokyo
5th December, 2019

60) Mr. Iida Yoshichika (Hokkaido University)
Title: On Start-ups
25th November, 2019

59) JR East Japan
Title: Working in the railway industry
18th November, 2019

58) Dr. Sachiko Ito
Title: 業界研究の基礎
14th November, 2019

57) Mr. Ito Shunichi (Gungendo)
Title: What an Insider-Outsider-Foreigner-Native can accomplish in the inaka: From producing beer, making English content, and creating new exchange between the city and inaka
13rd November, 2019

56) Professor Tom Gill (Meiji Gakuin University)
Title: Doyagai: Japan’s Skid Row
18th October, 2019

55) Professor Chris Winkler (Seinan Gakuin University)
Title: Déjà vu all over again? Conservatism in the Age of Identity Politics
16th October, 2019

54) Professor Edward Boyle (Kyushu University)
Title: Japanese overseas development aid (ODA), concreate geopolitics and Northeast India
1st August, 2019

53) Professor Irina Holca (Tokyo University)
Title: Writing about animals and nature: the realistic prose of Shimazaki Toson, Shiga Naoya and Hirotsu Kazuo
18th July, 2019

52) Professor Taishō Nakayama (Kushiro Public University of Economics)
Title: Living with the Border: Remaining Japanese and Koreans in Sakhalin
11th July, 2019

51) Professor Nathan Hopson (Nagoya University)
Title: The Life, Times and Afterlives of “Tōhoku as Japan’s Oldest Colony
20th June, 2019

50) Dr. Sumiyo Nishizaki (Ritsumeikan University)
Title: Postwar experiences of Japanese civilian repatriates: A case of South Manchuria Railway employees
31st May, 2019

49) Dr. Ed Pulford
Title: Communism in Northeast Asia after Japanese imperialism
6th December, 2018

48) Dr. Flavia Fulco and Dr. Robin O’Day 
Title: “Seeking Asylum in Japan: Oral Narratives of Refugees and the Strategies of Integration”
5th November, 2018 

47) Mr. Samuel Gordon (Deloitte Tohmatsu)
“A Tokyo insiders view: Reflecting on Tokyo’s role as a financial center 10 years on from the Lehman Crisis” 
9th November 2018 

46) Professor Florian Coulmas (University of Duisburg-Essen and Visiting Professor at Sophia University) 
“Japanese Times” 
22nd October 2018 

45) Mr. Eric Johnston (Japan Times)
Scandal Rags or Fearless Journalism? A Guide to Japan’s Tabloid Press
11th October 2018 at 16:30

44) Dr. Kathryn Goldfarb (University of Colorado, Boulder)
“Materializing relationships: Embodying absent kinships in Japanese child welfare”
13th July 2018 at 16:30

43) Professor John Traphagan (University of Texas, Austin)
“Rethinking Japan’s Countryside: The Emergence of Neo-rurality”
6th July 2018 at 16:30

42) Dr. Wooyeal Paik (Yonsei University)
“Evolving International Relations between India and Northeast Asia (Japan, China and South Korea) in Comparative Perspective”
3rd July 2018 at 18:15

41) Prof. Ted Goossen (York University), Emeritus Prof. Motoyuki Shibata (University of Tokyo), Mr. Hideo Furukawa (Author) Special Panel Session: “Modern Japanese Literature and Hokkaido”
18th June 2018 at 16:30

40) Professor Marie Anchordoguy (University of Washington)
“Japan’s Ecosystem for Start-up Companies: Changes since the late 1990s”
15th June 2018 at 16:30

39) Dr Patrick Galbraith (Tokyo University)
“‘Otaku’ Research:” Problematic Manga/Anime Fans in Japan in the Past, Present and Future”
7th June 2018 at 18:15

38) Professor Helen Hardacre (Harvard University).
“The Japanese Enthronement Ceremonies of 2019: Pageantry and Politics.”
30th May 2018 at 18:15

37) 祁答院 弘智 (株式会社リレイション)
14th November 2017 at 18:15

36) Dr. Kato Etsuko (International Christian University)
“East Meets West, then East: Asia as Practice, Site and Discourse for Self-searching Japanese Migrants in English-speaking Asia?”
27th October 2017 at 18:15

35) Dr. Kato Fumitoshi (Keio University)
“Curry Caravan: An approach for communicative placemaking”
23rd October 2017 at 18:15

34) Mr. Eric Johnston (The Japan Times)
“The Legal and Social Environment of Journalism in Japan”
19th October 2017 at  18:15

33) Professor Joy Hendry (Oxford Brookes University)
“An Anthropological Lifetime in Japan”
13 October 2017 at 16:30

32) Dr. Hisako Omori (Akita International University)
“Revisiting Japanese Sense of Self: The Case of Roman Catholics in Tokyo”
14 July 2017 at 16:30

31) Dr. Tosh Minohara (Kobe University)
“The Path to Pearl Harbor: Japan’s Challenge to the International Order and the Realization of the Thucydides’ Trap”
6 July 2017 at 16:30

30) Dr. Dan White (Hosei University)
“Ironman Japan: Fieldwork Training Regimes for an Affective Anthropology”
30 June 2017 at 16:30

29) Dr. Eyal Ben-Ari (Kinneret College)
“Bringing Dead Soldiers to Rest in Peace: The Japanese Case in Theoretical and Comparative Perspective”
14 June 2017 at 18:15

28) Dr. Kenneth Mori McElwain (University of Tokyo)
“What Do People Mean When They Talk About Constitutional Revision?”
26 May 2017 at 16:30

27) Dr. Sven Saaler (Sophia University)
“From the ‘history problem’ to the ‘history war’: Historical Revisionism
in Twenty-First Century Japan”
12 May 2017 at 16:30

26) Dr. Ken Victor Leonard Hijino (Kyoto University) 
“Local Politics and National Policy in Japan”
23 January 2017 at 18:15.  

25) Mrs. Yumiko Manzaki (Former TV broadcaster at HBC)
“Pronunciation and Presentation Skills in Japanese” 
24 November 2016 at 18:15.

24) Mr. Dominic Al-Badri (Delegation of the European Union to Japan)
“EU-Japan Relations: More Than Just Trading Partners”
11 November 2016 at 18:15.

23) Dr. Vivian Blaxell
“Undead Empire: Ruins of Japanese Imperialism”
1 November 2016 at 18:15.

22) Dr. Ofra Goldstein-Gidoni (Tel Aviv University)
“Professional Housewives, Salaryman and Ikumen in Contemporary Japan: Are We Facing a New Gender Contract?”
27 October 2016 at 18:15.

21) MJSP Student Talk Event
Shintotsukawa Revitalization through local/global food making Shintotsukawa Workshop: Students’, Locals’ and Faculty’s Experiences
21 October 2016 at 18:15.  See the event poster here.

20) Mr. Eric Johnston (The Japan Times)
“On the Front Lines: The Realities of Reporting Japan”
17 October 2016 at 18:15.

19) Dr. Philip Seaton (MJSP, Lecture given as part of the Nitobe College Lecture Series)
“What is Internationalization?”
7 October 2016 at 18:15. See the event poster here.

18) Dr. Akiko Takeyama(University of Kansas)
“Staged Seduction: Selling Dreams in a Tokyo Host Club”
8 July 2016.

17) Dr. Kathryn Goldfarb (University of Colorado Boulder)
“Beyond Blood Ties: Intimate Kinships in Japanese Foster and Adoptive Care”
7 July 2016.

16) Dr. Keith Jackson (Doshisha Business School, SOAS)
“Developing and Expressing Multi-Cultural Identities: A Conflict Resolution Perspective”,
23 June 2016.

15) Dr. Allison Alexy (University of Michigan) 
“Gender, Fantasy, and the Reasons of Divorce”,  22 June 2016.

14) Dr. John Person (State University of New York, Albany) 
“The Rightwing in Imperial Japan”,  10 June 2016.

13) Dr. Huiyan Fu (Regent’s University) 
“Exclusion and Unequal Inclusion: Interrogating Labour Flexibility Through the Lens of Temporary Agency Work”,
25 May 2016.

12) Dr. Johannes Wilhelm (Vienna University) 
“Doing Fieldwork in a Japanese Fishing Village”,
29 January 2016.

11) Dr. Alexander Bukh (Victoria University of Wellington)
“Imperial Japan and Soviet Soft Power Strategies in Asia: A Comparative Analysis”, 27 January 2016.

10) Mr. Roland Kelts (author of Japanamerica:How Japanese Pop Culture has Invaded the US, contributing writer for The New Yorker and The Japan Times, and visiting scholar at Keio University),
“Anime, Manga, Sushi & Cosplay: How Japan Enchants the West”, 4 December 2015.

9) Prof. Ted Goossen (York University, Toronto, Canada),
“Translating Murakami Haruki, from ‘Hear the Wind Sing’ to ‘Scheherazade’ ”, 13 November 2015. 

8) Prof. Angus Lockyer (SOAS, University of London),
“Japan in the World:Why Studying One Country Isn’t Enough”, 5 November 2015.

7) Mr. Chris Pickering (Executive Director, Hokkaido Tourism Management),
“Inside the Niseko Tourism boom” and Emeritus Prof. Peter Ackermann “Far from home – Migration, tourism and transcultural encounter in Japanese perspective.”, 28 October 2015.

6) Prof. Christoph Wulf (Freie Universitaet Berlin),
“Anthropology in a globalized world. Challenges and New Perspectives”, 20 October 2015.

5) Mr. Eric Johnston (Deputy Editor, The Japan Times, Osaka Office),
“Japanese Journalism: A Foreign Journalist’s View”, 19 October 2015.

4) Dr Garren Mulloy (Daito Bunka University),
“Peaceniks vs Gunji (Military) Otaku in Japan”, 9 October 2015.

3) Dr Michele Mason (University of Maryland),
“Comingling Histories: Ikezawa Natsuki’s Novel Representations of Colonial Hokkaido”, 7 August 2015.

2) Dr John Traphagen (University of Texas),
“Entrepreneurs and Return Migration in Rural Japan”, 24 July 2015.

1) Dr Nathaniel M. Smith (University of Arizona),
“Rightist Relativity: How Post-3.11 Civil Society, the Rise of Xenophobic Activism, and Abe’s Agenda have differentiated the Right”, 10 July 2015.


Inaugural MJSP Lecture Series: “Reconstruction in Tohoku as experimental ground for pioneers? Current projects, challenges and perspectives”

■5 February 2015: H.E. Bruce Miller, Australian Ambassador to Japan: “Australia and Japan – relationships for the future: Tohoku, a case study”

■3 February 2015: Dr. David Slater, Associate Professor, Sophia University: “Service Learning in Tohoku: Oral Narratives of 3.11” Haruka Danzuka, Tokyo University: “Fukushima Mothers: Fear, Evacuation and Mobilization” Robert Mangold, International Disaster Relief Organization Kyoto: “Overcoming obstacles in the aftermath: the IDRO’s missions and challenges”

■27 January 2015: Chiba Takahiro, COO, Ishinomaki Laboratory: “Ishinomaki laboratory: Fun rather than common sense”石巻工房:常識に囚われず、楽しむ」” Matsuzaki Ben, President, Herman Miller Japan: “Ishinomaki laboratory: A “unique” phoenix venture born in the disaster area”

■20 January 2015: Iida Akio, Producer, Art buyer, Dentsu Razorfish: “Work Style 2.0 after 3.11 / 3.11以後に生まれた働き方2.0” Dr Tom Gill, Meiji Gakuin University: “Fukushima and Furusato: Rural Community after Nuclear Disaster”