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Program: Fellowships for Advanced Research on Japan*
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FO-262028-19

Jun Uchida
Stanford University (Stanford, CA 94305-2004)

Provincial Merchants and Japanese Imperial Expansion

Research and writing leading to publication of a book on the global activities of entrepreneurs from the Japanese province of Omi (present-day Shiga) and their role in Japanese imperial expansion.  

I seek support to write a global history of the so-called Omi merchants, entrepreneurial peddlers from the province of Omi (present-day Shiga) whose wholesale activities once spanned the early modern Japanese archipelago. In the course of prior research on colonial Korea, I was surprised to discover that Omi merchants and their descendants played a disproportionate role in Japan’s empire, creating a transpacific diaspora that stretched from Seoul to Vancouver. My forthcoming book shows how Omi-Shiga natives capitalized on the commercial legacies of their forebears to expand into new domains during the modern era—from foreign trade and emigration to work, study, and travel abroad. By comparing this little-known merchant diaspora with its Chinese and European counterparts, the project brings into productive dialogue the seldom-paired histories of region and empire, even as it bridges the disciplinary divides between early modern and modern, local and global, colonialism and migration.

Project fields:
East Asian History; Economic History; Immigration History

Program:
Fellowships for Advanced Research on Japan

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$60,000 (approved)
$60,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2019 – 8/31/2020


FO-263411-19

Amy Stanley
Northwestern University (Evanston, IL 60208-0001)

Stranger in the Shogun's City: A Japanese Woman and Her Worlds, 1800-1853

Research and writing leading to publication of a book on the social history of the Japanese city of Edo (now Tokyo) and its place in the world, based on the surviving handwritten letters of an ordinary nineteenth-century Japanese woman.  

This project uses the history of an ordinary Japanese woman to reconsider the social history of Edo from the perspective of a rural migrant to the city. Aimed at a general audience, it introduces readers outside the field to the history of the city and the position of Japan in the world during the first half of the nineteenth century.

Project fields:
East Asian History; Urban History; Women's History

Program:
Fellowships for Advanced Research on Japan

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$30,000 (approved)
$30,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2019 – 6/30/2019


FO-263438-19

Tara Alexa Rodman
University of California, Irvine (Irvine, CA 92617-3066)

Transnationalism, Modernism, and the Orient in the Career of Japanese Dancer and Choreographer Ito Michio (1893-1961)

Research and writing leading to publication of a book on the international career of the Japanese dancer and choreographer Ito Michio (1893-1961).

Performing Exceptionalism examines the full career of Japanese modern dancer and choreographer Ito Michio (1893-1961), whose transnational itinerary traversed three continents, spanned both World Wars, and intersected with modernist artists ranging from Ezra Pound to Martha Graham to Ishii Baku. Ito’s five-decade career exhibits a consistent strategy, one I call exceptionalism, in which he sought to leverage his outsider status as a source of expertise and a basis for belonging. The project is grounded in extensive new archival research integrating English and Japanese sources and scholarship to reveal Ito's significance to previously unrecognized groups and events, such as California's Japanese-American community, or Japan's Imperial war effort. Tracing Ito's career across the globe and over five decades reveals the continuities of his performance practices and the interrelation of sites, institutions, and cultural practices seemingly separated by geography, race, language, and war.

Project fields:
Dance History and Criticism; East Asian Studies; Theater History and Criticism

Program:
Fellowships for Advanced Research on Japan

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$60,000 (approved)
$60,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2020 – 8/31/2021


FO-258281-18

Michiko Takeuchi
California State University, Long Beach Foundation (Long Beach, CA 90840-0004)

Early Coalitions Between Japanese and American Feminists, from World War I to the U.S. Occupation of Japan

Writing and manuscript revision leading to publication of a book on the relationship between the American and Japanese women's movements prior to the U.S. occupation of Japan.

This proposal requests support for my book project, “Trans-Pacific Left Feminism: Japanese and American Old Left Women, from World War I to the US Occupation of Japan.” The award will allow me to write this book about the little-known relationship between Japanese and American feminists in the first half of the twentieth century. My research has revealed that the so-called “liberation of Japanese women” during the US occupation of Japan (1945–52), rather than being invented on the spot, was instead the result of decades of collaborative labor activism by Japanese and American women. By examining how Japanese and American feminists worked together across national and racial boundaries to improve the status of women in Japan, the book project highlights a transnational network of feminists centered on the Young Women’s Christian Association. The book contributes to a growing field of scholarly inquiry in the humanities: the role of women in transnational history and politics.

Project fields:
East Asian History; U.S. History; Women's History

Program:
Fellowships for Advanced Research on Japan

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2018 – 8/31/2019


FO-258291-18

Sakura Christmas
Bowdoin College (Brunswick, ME 04011-8447)

Nomadic Borderlands: Imperial Japan and the Origins of Ethnic Autonomy in Modern China

Research and writing leading to publication of a book on the role Japanese imperial administrators in the 1930s played in shaping modern Chinese policies on environmental engineering and ethnic minorities.

This project examines how and why imperial Japan demarcated the nomadic borderlands between Manchuria and Inner Mongolia in the 1930s. This mottled landscape of pastoral and agrarian livelihoods posed fundamental problems around governance and legibility for Japanese authorities after they invaded Northeast China in 1931. Japanese planners collaborated with Mongol elites to pursue radical solutions in ethnic cleansing and environmental engineering in order to draw an internal border in this zone of mixed settlement. This border continues to define the eastern limits of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region today. This study therefore offers an alternate understanding to the beginnings of the multiethnic framework of the People’s Republic. Instead of only seeing the origins of Communist rule as forged in the fires war against imperialism, this project points to the significance of Japan in shaping the ethnic and ecological bounds of modern China.

Project fields:
East Asian History

Program:
Fellowships for Advanced Research on Japan

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2018 – 5/31/2019


FO-258256-18

Robert J. Pekkanen
University of Washington (Seattle, WA 98105-6613)

Populism in Japan

Research leading to publication of two peer-reviewed articles and a book on populism in Japanese politics of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

Populism is on the rise across the globe. In reaction, scholars are hard at work to develop our understanding of populism. However, Japan has been ignored in the process of concept formation and in investigating causal relationships with populism. This impoverishes our conceptual development and theory building, and at the same time potentially diminishes our understanding of Japanese political phenomena. With the first English-language book on populism in Japan, this project seeks to incorporate the study of Japan into broader discussions to mutual benefit.

Project fields:
Comparative Politics; East Asian Studies

Program:
Fellowships for Advanced Research on Japan

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$25,200 (approved)
$25,200 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2018 – 12/31/2018


FO-252221-17

Aaron S. Moore
Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ 85281-3670)

Engineering Asian Development: The Cold War and Japan's Post-Colonial Power in Asia

Research and writing leading to publication of a book on Japan's rise as a donor of development aid on the Asian continent, covering the time from its pre-World War II empire to 1989.

My project examines the history of Japan's overseas development system in Asia from its origins in Japan's colonial rule over much of Asia before 1945 to its rise into the world's leading aid donor by the Cold War's end in 1989. By analyzing how Japan’s international development system evolved at major project sites in East and Southeast Asia, I examine how Japan projected economic and political power as a US Cold War ally through overseas development based on its earlier colonial legacies and networks in Asia. Challenging a Western-focused narrative of the Cold War, I examine the concrete flows of capital, ideas, people, and technology at specific Japanese infrastructure projects throughout Asia, thereby highlighting how regional dynamics and exchanges within Asia over the trans-war era dynamically shaped the Cold War.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
East Asian History; Economic History; Political Science, Other

Program:
Fellowships for Advanced Research on Japan

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$46,200 (approved)
$46,200 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2017 – 7/31/2018


FO-252232-17

Amy Borovoy
Princeton University (Princeton, NJ 08540-5228)

Organ Donation and Medical Practices in Modern Japanese Culture

Research and writing leading to publication of two articles on the cultural, economic, and ethical issues affecting live organ donation in contemporary Japan.

In technologized societies, traditional moral notions of kinship obligation are being stretched and challenged as medical advances extend life. I seek to explore how imperatives to care for others are being conceptualized and materialized in the context of emerging choices around organ donation and life extension in Japan. Japan is an important site to explore these tensions, a country with the highest per capita rate of people on kidney dialysis in the OECD, and a small yet growing number of citizens living with kidney transplants, mostly received from living donors who are family members. The project seeks to explore medical decision-making and the cultural and social meaning accorded to live kidney donation in the context of the massive business of dialysis in Japan and a system of social welfare that relies heavily on women’s care for family members.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Anthropology; Cultural Anthropology

Program:
Fellowships for Advanced Research on Japan

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$33,600 (approved)
$33,600 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2017 – 8/31/2017


FO-232442-16

Dennis J. Frost
Kalamazoo College (Kalamazoo, MI 49006-3295)

The Paralympic Movement, Sports, and Disability in Postwar Japan

Research and writing leading to publication of a book on the Paralympic Movement in Japan and its influence on perceptions of the disabled.

Offering the first comprehensive examination of the history of the Paralympic Movement outside a Euro-American context, this project traces the evolution of discourse and practice related to sports for the disabled in Japan, arguing that such sports have played a critical and overlooked role in shaping Japanese approaches to disability. I frame my analysis around five international sporting events held in Japan for athletes with disabilities. Beginning with Japan's initial encounters with the Paralympic Movement in the 1960s and concluding with Tokyo's current preparations to host the 2020 Paralympic Games, this study demonstrates how such events have affected disability-related policies and perceptions both on and beyond the playing field. By examining the impact of these five events in Japan, my work highlights the historically and culturally contingent nature of disability and explains why sporting events have proven a mixed blessing for individuals with disabilities.

Project fields:
East Asian History; East Asian Studies; Social Sciences, Other

Program:
Fellowships for Advanced Research on Japan

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$29,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2016 – 1/31/2017


FO-232742-16

Max Ward
Middlebury College (Middlebury, VT 05753-6004)

Ideological Conversion and Thought Reform in Interwar Japan

Research and writing leading to publication of a book on the Japanese state’s efforts to reform political criminals in the 1930s.

My project explores the prewar Japanese state’s efforts to reform political criminals in the 1930s. In the existent literature, the suppression of political activists in the Japanese empire and their subsequent rehabilitation has been explained as a smooth process in which the imperial state skillfully used nationalist sentiments to induce activists to "ideologically convert." However, my research reveals the contingent way this conversion policy was deployed across Japan’s empire and how it was wrought with ambiguity. For officials attempting to “convert” ex-communists into imperial subjects, it was unclear what constituted Japan’s imperial essence and thus how one should properly reform as a loyal subject. This problem was most explicit in Japan’s colonies, where anti-colonial activists were urged to express loyalty to a uniquely Japanese emperor. To this end, my project engages with current debates about the nature of the prewar Japanese state and its colonial project.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
East Asian History; East Asian Studies; Political Theory

Program:
Fellowships for Advanced Research on Japan

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$25,200 (approved)
$25,200 (awarded)

Grant period:
3/1/2016 – 8/31/2016


FO-50243-15

Jacques Hymans
University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA 90089-0012)

The International Politics of Sovereign Recognition: The West and Meiji-Era Japan

In recent years, the international relations field has become increasingly interested in explaining the phenomenon of sovereign state recognition. Studying sovereign recognition goes to the heart of the broader debate about how we should understand the world of states overall: as a thin "system," or as a thick "society." This book project explores the international politics of sovereign recognition through a rigorous comparative case study of Western states' decisions to recognize the sovereignty of Japan at the end of the 19th century, a key turning point in international history. The project will make a substantial contribution both to international relations theory and to the historiography of the long 19th century. Specifically, during the fellowship year I will conduct historical archival research on the evolution of attitudes toward recognizing Japan in the four leading Western states of that time period: Great Britain, France, Germany, and the US.

Project fields:
Diplomatic History; International Relations

Program:
Fellowships for Advanced Research on Japan

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2015 – 5/31/2016


FO-50251-15

Mary Alice Haddad
Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT 06459-3208)

Environmental Politics in East Asia: Strategies that Work

This project uses the Japanese experience to uncover and explain which environmental advocacy strategies are the most successful in generating pro-environmental behavior change among governments, businesses, and individuals. The study combines the quantitative analysis of two original large-n datasets of environmental organizations and events with qualitative case studies of environmental politics in Japan, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of China, and the Republic of Korea. It finds that the strategies that have been most effective in Japan and East Asia are also the most common and effective environmental advocacy strategies around the world although they have gained less academic attention than the strategies more prevalent in North American and Western Europe. The work will be a contribution to Japanese studies, comparative politics, and environmental studies, demonstrating how Japan can be a starting place for new theories and understandings of environmental politics.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Comparative Politics; East Asian Studies

Program:
Fellowships for Advanced Research on Japan

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$33,600 (approved)
$33,600 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2015 – 8/31/2015


FO-50226-14

Andrew Bernstein
Lewis and Clark College (Portland, OR 97219-7879)

Fuji: A Mountain in the Making

I am currently working on a book manuscript entitled "Fuji: A Mountain in the Making." By resituating and augmenting conventional views of Fuji, this project offers something both novel and accessible to academics and general audiences alike: a comprehensive "environmental biography" of Japan's celebrity volcano that does it justice as an actor in, and product of, both the physical world and the human imagination. When completed, the book will consist of six chapters (in addition to an introduction and conclusion). Thanks to a 2012 NEH summer stipend, I have already completed the first chapter and made considerable progress on the second. In the summer of 2013 I will finish the second chapter and write the introduction. During the term of the fellowship I will complete the remainder of the book (Chapters Three through Six as well as the conclusion).

Project fields:
East Asian History; East Asian Studies; History of Science

Program:
Fellowships for Advanced Research on Japan

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2014 – 8/31/2015


FO-50237-14

Noriko Manabe
Princeton University (Princeton, NJ 08540-5228)

How Music and Musicians Communicate the Antinuclear Protest Message in Post-Fukushima Japan

The Fukushima nuclear crisis has inspired the largest citizens' movement in Japan since the 1960s. Based on fieldwork and musico-textual analyses, my monograph-in-progress examines how musicians are communicating the antinuclear message. Eyerman and Jamison have observed that social movements engage music from the past. I take this observation a step further by proposing a typology of intertextuality—a recurrent feature of Japanese antinuclear songs, which incorporate music from past movements and quote recent announcements. I examine the role of music in different venues—demonstrations, cyberspace, festivals, and recordings—and the evolution of sound demonstrations with the stage of the movement. I consider the range of roles taken by musicians, who see themselves as ordinary citizens rather than representatives of their fans (cf Street). Drawing from ethnography, musical analysis, sound studies, and literary theory, I consider how music communicates messages in contentious politics.

[Grant products][Prizes]

Project fields:
East Asian Studies; Ethnomusicology; Music History and Criticism

Program:
Fellowships for Advanced Research on Japan

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$37,800 (approved)
$37,800 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2014 – 9/30/2014


FO-50203-13

Tomomi Kinukawa
University of the Pacific (Stockton, CA 95211-0110)

Health Disparities and Immigration Politics in Cold War Era Japan: The Case of Korean Diaspora Communities

"Health Disparities and Immigration Politics in Cold War Era Japan: The Case of Korean Diaspora Communities" is a pioneering historical and transnational study on the link between health disparities, racial projects, and immigration politics. My book examines: (1) biopolitics (the politics of health) as an ethno-racial project in Cold War era Japan, and (2) the ways in which various groups of Zainichi (resident) Koreans, including medical professionals, medical students, community leaders, and entrepreneurs articulated their critique of U.S.-Japanese neo-imperialism in East Asia by focusing on the issue of health. My study will reconstruct the social, cultural, and political history of Zainichi health movements, based on oral history interviews and original archival research. The Zainichi movements provide an innovative model for reducing health disparities that critiques the standard assumption that assimilation and citizenship is the only and the best measure for improving health.

Project fields:
History and Philosophy of Science, Technology, and Medicine

Program:
Fellowships for Advanced Research on Japan

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2013 – 5/31/2014


FO-50204-13

Louise Conrad Young
University of Wisconsin, Madison (Madison, WI 53715-1218)

Sociology and "Social Problems" in Prewar Japan, a Monograph on the History of Japanese Social Thought

The early twentieth century was a critical moment in the production of social knowledge in Japan as elsewhere. Scholars, government leaders, activists, and journalists created the core categories, institutional foundations, and circuits of production and exchange that would shape the study of society for decades to come. The rise of sociology closely tracked the emergence of "social problems" as a central political concern. Early concepts of "society" were linked to "social problems," and both became a code for fault lines in Japanese politics and society. My book project, Sociology and "Social Problems" in Prewar Japan, argues that interlinked intellectual and social developments within three sites of knowledge production—the academy, government bureaucracy, and social movements—profoundly shaped ideas about society and their political impact. Based on primary research conducted in Japan during 2010-11, this proposal seeks support for write-up of the book manuscript.

Project fields:
East Asian History

Program:
Fellowships for Advanced Research on Japan

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2013 – 5/31/2014


FO-50182-12

Chikako Ozawa-de Silva
Emory University (Atlanta, GA 30322-1018)

In the Eyes of Others: Suicide and Meaning in Contemporary Japan

Discourse in Japan on suicide prevention has focused almost exclusively on the state of the Japanese economy and mental illness. Increasing evidence suggests that a lack of positive mental health may be more important than the presence of mental illness in predicting future suicide attempts, and also that treatment of mental illness alone may not address the lack of psychological and social well-being implicated in suicidality. This book project intends to mend the current gap in our understanding of suicide and its prevention by making several contributions: it will provide accounts of subjective experience currently lacking in the study of suicide in Japan; it will provide a culturally-situated account of positive mental health in Japan by employing ethnographic methods alongside survey data; and it will critically assess the potential of traditional Japanese practices to bolster positive mental health and thereby play a role in suicide prevention.

Project fields:
Anthropology

Program:
Fellowships for Advanced Research on Japan

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2013 – 12/31/2013


FO-50146-11

Yukiko Koga
Brown University (Providence, RI 02912-9100)

Accounting for Silence: Narration, Nation, and the Politics of Redress in China and Japan

This project is an anthropological, legal, and historical exploration of postwar compensation for Japanese colonial violence and injustice in the first half of the twentieth-century. I examine the politics of redress through the lens of postwar compensation surrounding Chinese forced laborers. While considerable recent studies shed light on the wartime slave labor practice, surprisingly little research exists on what happened to them after the war ended. My fieldwork draws attention to a pervasive and academically under-explored silence that many survivors maintained until the 1990s when they became plaintiffs in lawsuits against the Japanese government and corporations. This study explores how the dramatic disappearance and reappearance of the survivors and their archival traces—in both Japan and China—have produced distinct forms of giving voice to past injustice. This, in turn, allows for an exploration of what it means to account for silence.

[Grant products][Prizes]

Project fields:
Interdisciplinary Studies, General

Program:
Fellowships for Advanced Research on Japan

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2012 – 6/30/2013


FO-50116-10

Mireya Solis
American University (Washington, DC 20016-8200)

Japan's Preferential Trade Agreements: Implications for Domestic Liberalization and Regional Integration in East Asia

Japan's ever-growing free trade agreements (FTAs) pose fundamental questions: Will these trade deals finally open the Japanese market? Can Japan deliver cohesive trade integration in East Asia? To assess the domestic determinants of Japanese FTA quality (dependent variable), I employ two independent variables: 1) lobbying incentives for societal actors in preferential trading, 2) centralization of government trade policy. I make a contribution to existing literature by highlighting the ways in which FTAs create a set of distinctive challenges and opportunities that do not arise in MFN multilateral liberalization; and by elucidating the impact of centralized trade policy institutions for the prospects of market opening. I also offer new insights to the political economy of Japan by analyzing the shifting balance of power between Executive and Legislative, and changing lobbying patterns with the fragmentation of powerful umbrella associations.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Political Science, General

Program:
Fellowships for Advanced Research on Japan

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2010 – 8/31/2011


FO-50118-10

Christopher Bondy
DePauw University (Greencastle, IN 46135-1736)

Beyond the Buraku: The Negotiation of Burakumin Identity in Contemporary Japan

The burakumin, an "invisible" Japanese minority, present a paradox about Japanese identity, with implications for the study of stigmatized identities more generally. My longitudinal project examines how youth learn of their buraku background, and explores the negotiation of identity from youth to adulthood. The first completed stage, based on interviews with 40 youth, examined the role of school and community in shaping a buraku identity. In the second stage of research, I will resume interviews with the 40 informants (now in their early 20s) and pay particular attention to issues surrounding marriage and employment, where previous research suggests discrimination is at its most severe. I will use the remaining time to complete the book manuscript. Providing a study of how minorities manage a stigmatized identity over time broadens the audience of the work beyond Japanese studies to a wider social science audience.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Sociology

Program:
Fellowships for Advanced Research on Japan

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$29,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2011 – 3/31/2012


FO-50098-09

Steven Kent Vogel
University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, CA 94704-5940)

Designing the Market: Institutions and Reform in Japan and Other Advanced Industrial Countries

This book project will examine market institutions and market reform in Japan and other advanced industrial countries. It builds upon two previous book projects ("Freer Markets, More Rules" and "Japan Remodeled") yet it seeks to present a broader and bolder argument designed to incite scholars to reconsider how they study political economy and to prompt government officials to re-evaluate the way they assess policy options. The book will focus on two primary country cases, the United States and Japan, with additional comparisons with Western Europe. It will develop two broad issue cases (financial markets and competition regimes), with supplementary cases on intellectual property rights and creating new markets. It will address both government regulation and the private governance of markets, and the interaction between the two.

[Grant products][Media coverage]

Project fields:
Political Science, General

Program:
Fellowships for Advanced Research on Japan

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$29,400 (approved)
$29,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2009 – 7/31/2009


FO-50102-09

Saori N. Katada
University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA 90089-0012)

Fragmented Regionalism: Japan's Approach to East Asian Economic Institutions

Has Japan's dream of taking regional leadership ended with its economic downturn and the rise of China? After more than a century of mixed results, it may appear that Japan has given up and retreated. I argue that this is not the case. To the contrary, the Japanese government is more interested than ever in engaging in East Asia, especially in the form of building regional economic institutions. My book, "Fragmented Regionalism," will be the first to examine in depth Japan's emerging strategy to influence the "regional economic architectures" of East Asia. These regional architectures include free trade agreements, and funding and currency cooperation, which are crucial to securing East Asia's continued stability and prosperity. By focusing on Japan's initiatives in building institutions in these areas, my book examines the sources of Japan's policy priorities, the implications of those priorities on the regional economy, and the future of Japan's leadership in the region.

Project fields:
International Relations

Program:
Fellowships for Advanced Research on Japan

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$46,200 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2009 – 6/30/2010


FO-50061-08

Kiyoteru Tsutsui
SUNY Research Foundation, Stony Brook (Stony Brook, NY 11794-0001)

Global Human Rights and the Transformation of Minority Politics in Contemporary Japan

This book project examines how the rise of global human rights in the last few decades has transformed minority politics, giving rise to political activism by disadvantaged ethnic minorities in many corners of the world. Focusing on three minority social movements in Japan, Ainu people, Korean residents and the Burakumin, the project illustrates how the global human rights regime has provided new venues for contestation for minorities, growing flows of mobilizational resources for disadvantaged groups, and new vocabularies for framing their claims. These processes led to greater activism by all three minority groups in Japan, although the influence varied according to their historical backgrounds. Further, the movements all contribute back to the global political arena and elevated global human rights standards, demonstrating a feedback loop to the global regime. The book presents detailed accounts of these processes, using archival documents and interviews as main data sources.

Project fields:
Sociology

Program:
Fellowships for Advanced Research on Japan

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2008 – 8/31/2009


FO-50063-08

Philip C. Brown
Ohio State University (Columbus, OH 43210-1132)

The Impact of Floods, Landslides, and Other Natural Disasters on the Modernization of Japan, 19th-20th Centuries

I explore how Japan's transition from a decentralized to an increasingly centralized government altered technical and social responses to widespread flood risk. I examine how local, prefecture and national organizations used old and new technologies along with policy to ameliorate natural hazard risks emphasizing the case of Niigata Prefecture. I explore 1) conditions of successful technology transfer and domestic diffusion (e.g., technological adaptations to accommodate new socio-cultural/political contexts), 2) how users select/modify the technologies they employ and 3) how social policy, e.g., zoning, complements technological solutions in the 19th and 20th centuries. Japan's experience offers insights into social and environmental opportunities/risks faced by developing societies today as they become more integrated and are governed by more powerful governments that undertake riparian projects for social benefit, international prestige, and to enhance their self-image as "modern."

Project fields:
East Asian History

Program:
Fellowships for Advanced Research on Japan

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2009 – 6/30/2010


FO-50039-07

Jennifer Ellen Robertson
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1382)

Robotics, Technology, and the Japanese Family

The emerging field of humanoid robotics is nowhere more actively pursued than in Japan. Japan accounts for nearly 52% of the world’s share of operational robots and leads the postindustrial world in the development of humanoid robots designed specifically to enhance and augment human society. The five-year Humanoid Robotics Project was launched in 1998 with the mandate to develop a robot that could use human tools and work in human environments, including the domestic household. Innovations in robot technology are linked not only to new markets in information technology, but also to new conceptualizations about human life, the structure and formation of Japanese families and kinship systems, and the meaning of citizenship.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Anthropology

Program:
Fellowships for Advanced Research on Japan

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$24,000 (approved)
$24,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2008 – 11/30/2008


FO-50053-07

Sarah Thal
University of Wisconsin, Madison (Madison, WI 53715-1218)

The Roles of the Aristocracy in the Creation of Modern Japan, 1869-1900

“Aristocratic Connections: Creating Imperial Japan, 1869-1900” examines the newly expanded aristocracy of the Meiji period as a key player in the creation of modern Japan. By focusing on the aristocracy as a political tool of the Meiji oligarchs, as a contested symbol of imperial identity, and as a mediating structure between regional elites and metropolitan leaders, this project addresses the key issues of political centralization, social restructuring, and increased identification with the emperor in the Meiji era. Drawing upon qualitative and quantitative methods of analysis, the project will produce an historical monograph and a relational database of Meiji-era people and organizations that will be made available to other scholars.

Project fields:
East Asian History

Program:
Fellowships for Advanced Research on Japan

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2007 – 7/31/2008


FO-50017-06

Yoshikuni Igarashi
Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN 37240-0001)

Postwar Japan and Visions of Mass Consumer Society

This project focuses on the radical economic, social, and cultural transformation of Japanese society in the late 1960s and the early 1970s and analyzes the ways in which members of Japanese society responded to this paradigmatic shift.

Project fields:
Asian Studies

Program:
Fellowships for Advanced Research on Japan

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2006 – 12/31/2006


FO-50026-06

Karen Esther Wigen
Stanford University (Stanford, CA 94305-2004)

Geopolitics and Geopieties in 20th-Century Nagano

This project maps the shifting shape of the Nagano highlands across Japan’s twentieth century, in the national as well as the local imagination. Focusing on the core genres through which knowledge of Japanese regions has been transmitted—maps, museums, textbooks, and tourist literature—the study highlights three tensions in this archive: between the insider’s idiom of native place (kyodo) and the outsider’s trope of landscape (fukei); between the competing ways in which Nagano has been located in the nation, Asia, and the world over time; and between the anti-political quality of most regional rhetoric and the ideological work that this genre has historically performed.

[Grant products][Media coverage]

Project fields:
Geography

Program:
Fellowships for Advanced Research on Japan

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2006 – 5/31/2007


FO-50004-05

John C. Campbell
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1382)

Japan Confronts the Aging Society

I propose to study old-age policy making, and policy, in Japan. The project will include an account of major policy changes from 1990 until now, concentrating on the initiation and implementation of the public, mandatory long-term-care insurance (LTCI) system that started in 2000; and an analysis of at least two reform processes that will be underway while I am in Japan. These are comprehensive pension reform, perhaps even including integration (already getting underway), and the scheduled 5th-year LTCI review (to be drafted in 2005 for implementation in 2006). The product will be a book that explains what the Japanese government has done about the aging-society problem, and how and why it did it. The first part of the book, perhaps 80-100 pages, will be an account of old-age policy from the mid-1950s until 1990, as summarized from my book of several years ago. This will be followed by four or five chapters based on the research proposed here. The book is intended for readers interested in Japanese politics, comparative welfare states, or policy for the elderly.

Project fields:
Political Science, General

Program:
Fellowships for Advanced Research on Japan

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2005 – 1/31/2006


FO-50014-05

Gary R. Saxonhouse
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1382)

The Evolution of Labor Standards in Japan: Human Rights, Scientific Management, and International Economic Conflict

This project seeks to understand how Japanese labor standards came to be transformed between the mid-1880s and the mid-1930s, and the extent to which these changes actually improved the welfare of working Japanese. Japan's experience, in particular, can be a laboratory within which competing claims about the relative efficacy of ILO (International Labor Organization) dialogue versus international trade sanctions can be explored.

Project fields:
Economics

Program:
Fellowships for Advanced Research on Japan

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2005 – 6/30/2006