Research

The research conducted by MJSP faculty members forms the foundation of their teaching. The research areas of the eight MJSP faculty members are as follows:

Emma Cook

Emma Cook (PhD, SOAS: University of London, 2010) is a social anthropologist who researches issues of gender, identity, health and well being in contemporary Japan. She has published on part-time employment, masculinities, adulthood, intimacy and family relations among Japanese youth who work as ‘freeters’, and her first book is titled: Reconstructing Adult Masculinities: Part-Time Work in Contemporary Japan (London: Routledge). She is currently researching aspects of health, well being, emotion, and risk management in relation to food allergies in Japan and the UK.

Clinton Godart

G. Clinton Godart (PhD, University of Chicago, 2009) researches the intellectual history of modern Japan, in particular the relations between the history of science, religion, and ideology. His forthcoming book on the religious reception of evolutionary theory in Japan is titled Darwin, Dharma, and the Divine: Evolutionary Theory and Religion in Modern Japan (University of Hawaii Press). He is also studying the influence of Buddhist utopianism among military figures such as Ishiwara Kanji (1889-1949) and the East-Asia League Movement.

Takayuki Ito

Takayuki Ito (PhD, Kokugakuin University, 2005) researches modern Japanese language history and Japanese language education history. His main focus is the history and development of the Japanese language from the point of view of notation, vocabulary, usage and grammar. He has used transcripts of debates in the Imperial Diet and textbooks for foreign learners of the Japanese language published from the Meiji Period up to World War II as sample texts, and he has used these examples to show the development over time of the Japanese language. He has also investigated the backgrounds of the people who produced such teaching materials.

Susanne Klien

Susanne Klien (PhD, University of Vienna, 2001) researches modern and contemporary rural Japan, specifically anthropological issues relating to subjective wellbeing, intangible cultural property, ritual practices, regional revitalization and tourism, mobility and alternative lifestyles in post-growth rural Japan. She has previously conducted ethnographic research across Japan, including Shimane, Niigata, Miyagi and Iwate Prefecture and has received a variety of grants to support her research including funding from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology. Her current research project focuses on youth culture in Hokkaido.

Hironori Sasada

Hironori Sasada (PhD, University of Washington, 2008) researches the political economy of Japan and East Asia focusing mainly on the processes of institutional development and policymaking in such policy areas as industry, trade, and agriculture. He has also published on nationalism and party politics in Japan. His previous research analyzed the process in which the systems of the Japanese economy evolved with a focus on the impacts of economic ideas of policymakers. He is currently researching the historical development of Japan’s agricultural trade policy between the Meiji era and the 1960s.

Philip Seaton

Philip Seaton (DPhil, University of Sussex, 2004) researches the representation of history (particularly war and conflict) in contemporary Japanese media and tourist sites. His main focus is collective memories of World War II and debates regarding history education (textbooks) and commemorative sites (such as museums or Yasukuni Shrine). He has also published on local history and war memories in Hokkaido and Karafuto (Sakhalin). He is currently leading a research project about contents tourism (tourism induced by film and other works of popular culture), in which his individual contribution is research into tourism at sites relating to the Bakumatsu Period (1853-68).

Etsuko Yamada

Etsuko Yamada (PhD, Durham University, 2008) researches Intercultural Communicative Competence (ICC, or Critical Cultural Awareness) which are the skills and attitudes for operating in multicultural context. Her research also includes other critical theories such as criticality, critical thinking, and critical pedagogy. She is currently focusing on the connecton between intercultural education and the development of critical thinking, based on the empirical study of teaching in international classes. Her research interests also extend to citizenship education and how we can allow learners, especially lower level language learners, to take ownership of language and the right to participate in the community.

Chris Winkler

Chris Winkler (DPhil, University of Munich, 2009) researches postwar Japanese party politics and the history of political thought. His main research interest is elite ideology and its influence on party politics and public policy. He has also published on postwar conservatism and the debate surrounding an amendment to the Constitution of Japan. He is currently engaged in a research project that is seeking to better understand the much discussed “drift to the right” in Japan from a comparative perspective.