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Center for Japanese Studies 50th Anniversary
Hybrid Japan

Japanese Studies at Berkeley and in the U.S.: Past, Present, and Future
December 06, Sunday

On Sunday, December 6th, 2009, the Center for Japanese Studies at UC Berkeley and the Japan Foundation jointly assembled for the first time, the directors from all of the most prominent and active Japanese Studies Centers in the country, in addition to supporting organizations from both the US and Japan, to engage in the issues and challenges that lie ahead for the field of Japanese Studies in the United States.

In the first half of the conference, the former UC Berkeley Center for Japanese Studies chairs assembled to cull from their experiences in developing the field of Japanese Studies. For the second half of the program, leaders from the top centers in the United States and Canada were invited to look directly at the future by sharing their best practices and ideas.

In between the morning and afternoon sessions, there was a roundtable discussion by funding organizations, including the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Japan Foundation, and U.S.-Japan Friendship Commission, to discuss the current status and future plans from the funders' perspectives. This was followed by a keynote lecture by Patricia Steinhoff (Professor, University of Hawaii, Manoa) to provide her analysis on the surveys of Japanese specialists and Japanese studies institutions in the US and Canada, which she has been helping the Japan Foundation conduct for over the last twenty years.

The conference was successful in opening up discussion between chairs and funders on how to work together to identify the challenges and priorities that lie ahead for Japanese Studies, and in beginning to develop strategies for Japanese studies in the university context, how to present arguments on the validity and importance of research to chancellors and deans, and how to continue stimulating both scholars and the general public on topics related to Japan.


Event Program

Location: Alumni House, Toll Room, UC Berkeley
Time: 9:00am-5:00pm

Presentations by Former Center for Japanese Studies Chairs

Japanese Studies at Berkeley and in the US image

UC Berkeley, Japanese Studies, and Area Studies

Irwin Scheiner (History)
Mary Elizabeth Berry (History)
Andrew Barshay (History)

Roundtable Discussion by Major Foundations

Supporting Japanese Studies

Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
Seishi Takeda (Director, JSPS San Francisco Office)

Japan Foundation
Isao Tsujimoto (Director General)

Japan-United States Friendship Commission
Eric Gangloff (Executive Director)

Keynote Lecture

"Japanese Studies in the U.S.: A Global View"
Patricia Steinhoff (Sociology, University of Hawai'i)

A Roundtable Discussion by Current Directors/Chairs of Centers for Japanese Studies

The Future of Japanese Studies in North America

Steve Covell (Director, Western Michigan University Japan Center)
David Edgington (Director, University of British Columbia Centre for Japanese Research)
Robert Huey (Director, University of Hawai'i Center for Japanese Studies)
Ken Ito (Director, University of Michigan Center for Japanese Studies)
Greg Pflugfelder (Director, Columbia University Donald Keene Center for Japanese Culture)
Susan Pharr (Director, Harvard University Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies)
Michael Thies (Director, UCLA Paul I. & Hisako Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies)
Duncan Williams (Chair, UC Berkeley Center for Japanese Studies)

Co-Sponsored by: The Japan Foundation