Call for Applicants: Funded MA research, University of Alberta

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to draw your attention to opportunities for students to pursue a funded MA degree in East Asian Studies at the University of Alberta (in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada):

In particular for H-Japan members, students can specialize in diverse areas of Japan Studies under Drs. Anne Commons (Japanese literature), David Quinter (Japanese religions and East Asian Buddhism), Walter Davis (Chinese and Japanese art history), Yoshi Ono (Japanese linguistics and pedagogy), and Jeffrey Roberts (East Asian music). Comparative topics working with our colleagues in China and Korea Studies are also encouraged.

Graduates of our program have been admitted into PhD programs at Cambridge, Columbia, McMaster, Stanford, Toronto, UBC, Illinois, USC, UCLA, and Alberta, among others. Former students are working in diverse academic institutions, including the University of Alberta; University of Calgary; universities in China, Japan, Singapore, and the United States; and the Japan Foundation.

Tuition costs at the University of Alberta are very reasonable compared to those at other North American universities. In addition, we have been able to provide financial support, including teaching assistantships, to a high percentage of our MA students, in contrast to many programs, which only fund PhD students.

Students can focus on any of the following areas:

  • Chinese Linguistics/Pedagogy
  • Chinese Literature
  • Chinese Art History
  • Japanese Linguistics/Pedagogy
  • Japanese Literature
  • Japanese Art History
  • Japanese Religions
  • East Asian Buddhism
  • East Asian Music
  • Korean Literature
  • Taiwanese Film

Our full list of faculty, their areas of specialization, and their contact information can be found here:

Students interested in any of these areas should feel free to contact the relevant professor directly.

For further information, please visit the graduate pages on our website:

or contact:

Dr. Yoshi Ono, Associate Chair, Graduate

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Call for Applicants: Summer Luce Postdoc Research Fellowship


The Ricci Institute for Chinese-Western Cultural History
University of San Francisco (USF)

The USF Ricci Institute is a premier global resource for the study of Chinese-Western cultural exchange with a core focus on the social and cultural history of Christianity in China. Besides its more than 80,000 volumes of books in Chinese and Western languages, its library also includes (1) a digital copy of the Japonica-Sinica Manuscript Collection from the Roman Archives of the Society of Jesus (ARSI); (2) the Francis A. Rouleau Microfilm / Digital Archival Collections’ (3) the Canton Diocese Archival Collection; (4) a digital copy of the Passionist China Collection; (5) the Anthony E. Clark Collection; (6) Pre-Modern Japanese & Korean Christian Materials; and (7) other archival materials.

The Ricci Institute invites applications for new Luce Post-doctoral Research Fellowships for the summer of 2020 as part of a project supported by the Henry Luce Foundation in New York. For detailed information about this international research initiative, please visit:

This fellowship is open to post-doctoral level applicants, including Junior Faculty members and researchers (i.e. normally within five years of having received the PhD degree). We invite research proposals primarily based on the archival collections at the Ricci Institute in preparation for research publications.

Topics of enquiry may include Chinese-Western cultural history, history of Christianity in East Asia (China, Japan, and/or Korea), comparative studies of Christianity and cultures in China, Japan, and Korea, and Vietnam. The aim of the fellowship is to offer recipients the unique opportunity to conduct research and to prepare manuscripts for publication that focus on archival, historiographical, and methodological issues that are relevant to different areas of Christianity and cultures in East Asia. Recipients are also expected to present their work and actively participate in all regularly organized research seminars at the Ricci Institute.

This fellowship requires a mandatory residence of three months from June 8 through September 4, 2020. All successful applicants will be expected to participate in the mandatory orientation on Friday, June 5, 2020Late arrivals and early departures will only be accepted for extraordinary reasons and will require approval well in advance. The stipend is up to $4,500/month. Candidates are highly encouraged to apply for any necessary supplemental funding for their travel and stay from their home institutions.

Applicants who are not U.S. citizens or Legal Permanent Residents will need to contact the Ricci Institute well in advance for information regarding proof of English proficiency, visa, health insurance requirements, and other documentations.

Applicants should submit the following no later than January 8, 2020:

(1) a most recent Curriculum Vitae;

(2) a 5-10 page double-spaced statement with an outline of the proposed research and related activities, the contribution the scholar hopes to make in the relevant field(s), tentative plan for the publication of the research results, and how the research is related to and enriched by resources available at the USF Ricci Institute;

(3) a proposed budget and other funding sources, if any;

(4) two up-to-date letters of recommendation. All required documents must be in English.

Successful applications will be announced by the end of February 2020.

All application documents should be submitted by email to with the subject line: “2020 Summer Luce Post-doctoral Fellowship Application”. Previous participants of the international workshops administered by the Ricci Institute in 2017, 2018, and 2019 are not eligible for this fellowship. For more information about these workshops, please visit:

Letters of recommendation must be submitted directly from the recommenders on institutional letterhead either electronically to the above e-mail address or by regular mail to:

Luce Post-doctoral Fellowship Review Committee
The Ricci Institute for Chinese-Western Cultural History
University of San Francisco, LM 280
2130 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94117-1080

For more information about the USF Ricci Institute’s resources, please visit.

For more information about previous activities of the Ricci Institute’ Research Fellows, please visit:

Also see our new Youtube Channel:

Contact Info:

Ricci Institute for Chinese-Western Cultural History
University of San Francisco, LM 280
2130 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94117-1080

Contact Email:


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Fun Link Friday: Ukiyo-e project and modern prints

Image from the Ukiyo-e Project

We’ve covered modern takes on and uses of ukiyo-e prints from early modern Japan a handful of times for our Fun Link Fridays here at Shinpai Deshou. The latest way in which ukiyo-e can be seen persisting in the cultural imaginary is through the Ukiyo-e Project‘s desire to bring modern stars into this centuries-old printing technique.

The Ukiyo-e Project recently gained notoriety through an article on Masuki Ishikawa’s David Bowie prints, bringing famous photos of the musician to life alongside mystical creatures. But the project as a whole seeks to portray numerous pop icons and artists through traditional woodblock printing.

Their site now features designs by the illustrator, woodcarver, and printer collaborators that depict Bowie, Kiss, and Iron Maiden (seen above), promising more pop legends in the future. Their site also features some fun details, like showing the sequence of printing that occurs for some pieces:

Explore the site to check out their other prints, learn more about the artists behind the work and the project, or even to buy some of their excellent work at their store. Happy Friday!

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Resource: Accessible Japan

With the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics in Japan fast approaching, the question of accessibility has been a topic of much debate. But how accessible are different areas of Japan? Where can you find information on what you might need, especially if you don’t speak fluent Japanese? The site Accessible Japan addresses many of these issues while also creating a community space for the exchange of information.

Originally created by Josh Grisdale, the site features an abundance of information for people with a wide variety of needs, including topics such as transportation by air or train, mobility scooters and aids, the Japanese braille system, guide dogs, and many others. Helpfully, these explanations include current laws or rules that one would not necessarily be aware of without living in Japan, and they often link to relevant articles for further reading.

One particularly useful section on Essential Japanese guides Japanese speakers and non-speakers alike through helpful phrases that would facilitate smoother communication on topics that seldom get taught in a typical Japanese classroom.

A Hotels section includes a list accessible hotels, divided up by major cities like Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka as well as other locations throughout the archipelago. There is detailed information on each hotel (both the standard fare of price, location, etc., as well as various accessibility features like hearing loops or flashing alarms), and explanations also include photos (and sometimes maps) of the inside. Site members can also personally review the location.

The Attractions section is set up in a similar fashion, with great explanations of tourist spots in Tokyo, Kyoto, and other areas throughout Japan that are typical tourist destinations. In addition to the overviews of the locations (with tons of excellent photos!) and its accessibility, there are links to PDFs or websites that have further information on specific access routes and other accommodations. Accessibility Japan has also partnered with some tourist agencies to create accessible tour plans, which is wonderful for those who have never been to Japan or just don’t want to spend their energy doing all the planning themselves. Accessible Japan also maintains forums for people who still have questions or can’t find the information they need elsewhere and a blog on a wide variety of subjects related to accessibility and Japanese culture and travel.

This site is a wonderfully informative and important contribution to all communities who are interested in learning about and traveling to Japan. They maintain a variety of presences across social media, and you can also support their work on Patreon. Be sure spend some time exploring the site and sharing it with any organizations that could benefit from sharing this information with travelers!


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Funding: 2020 Moeson fellowship (LC’s Asian Division)

Applications are now being accepted for the Asian Division’s 2020 Florence Tan Moeson fellowship, which supports a minimum of five business days of research in the Asian Reading Room of the Library of Congress (Washington, D.C.). Here’s the link for the online application: 

Deadline is midnight January 31, 2020. All research trips need to be completed before September 15, 2020. After notification, Asian Division staff will work with awardees on scheduling their trip to the Asian Reading Room.

The Moeson fellowship is open to undergraduate and graduate students, faculty at all levels, librarians, and independent scholars and researchers. Applications from outside the United States are accepted, but please be advised that the Library of Congress cannot assist in the procurement of any visa toward the use of this fellowship. Please share this announcement far and wide with your contacts.

More info on LC’s Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Mongolian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Tibetan collections is available on the Asian Reading Room homepage: The homepage also includes several research guides, including one for the South Asian collection ( and the new LibGuide for South Asian manuscripts at the Library of Congress (

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Book Announcement: Locating Heisei in Japanese Fiction and Film: The Historical Imagination of the Lost Decades

Locating Heisei in Japanese Fiction and Film:
The Historical Imagination of the Lost Decades
By Marc Yamada

This book provides the first interdisciplinary examination of the popular fiction and film of the “lost decades” of Japan’s Heisei period (1989–2019).

Presenting original analysis of major Heisei writers, filmmakers, and manga artists, the chapters examine the work of Urasawa Naoki, Kurosawa Kiyoshi, Murakami Haruki, and Shinkai Makoto, among others. Through the work of these cultural figures, the book also explores the struggle to define the history of Heisei—three decades of economic stagnation, social malaise, and natural disaster. In particular, it explores the dissonance between the dominant history of Japan’s recent past and the representation of this past in the popular imagination of the period. In so doing, this book argues that traumatic events from the years leading up to Heisei complicate the narration of a cohesive sense of history for the period, requiring works of fiction and film to explore new connections to the past.

Incorporating literary and film theory to assess the works of culture, Locating Heisei in Japanese Fiction and Film will be useful to students and scholars of Japanese culture, society, and history.

For more information:

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Funding: 2020-21 Fellowships in Japanese Studies, Harvard University



During the 2020-21 academic year, the Program on US-Japan Relations, part of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs (WCFIA) at Harvard University, will offer postdoctoral fellowships for outstanding scholars in the social sciences, in a broad range of fields, including anthropology, economics, (modern) history, law, political science, public health, and sociology. Japanese language knowledge is not required.

Deadline: January 7, 2020 (Tuesday)

Appointment Term: 10 months, commencing September 2020.

Grant Amount: $60,000 stipend (10 months); health insurance coverage for grantee; up to $5,000 in research funds.





The Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies (RIJS) at Harvard University will offer several postdoctoral fellowships in Japanese studies to recent PhD graduates of exceptional promise, to provide the opportunity to turn dissertations into publishable manuscripts and to continue research in Japanese studies. Postdoctoral fellows are expected to reside in the Cambridge area during the appointment term, participate in RIJS activities, and give a presentation at the Japan Forum lecture series. Applicants must have received their PhD in 2015 or later, in Japanese studies, in any area of the humanities or social sciences. Selected fellowship recipients must have a registrar-certified PhD by June 30, 2020. RIJS especially encourages applications from those who have not previously held postdoctoral appointments at Harvard.


Applicant Deadline: December 17, 2019 (Tuesday), 5pm EST

Recommender Deadline: January 7, 2020 (Tuesday), 5pm EST

Appointment Term: 10 months, commencing September 2020.

Grant Amount: $60,000 stipend (10 months); health insurance coverage for grantee; up to $5,000 in research funds.



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