Graduate Student Funding

CJS Fellowship in Japanese Studies

The Shinjo Ito Chair Fellowship in Japanese Buddhist Studies

Japan Foundation Institutional Project Support (IPS) Grant

Faculty-Graduate Student Field Research Training Trips to Japan

We are moving into the final year (of three) for the Institutional Project Support (IPS) Grant from the Japan Foundation to support two field research trips to Japan in Summer 2016. The grant will provide roundtrip airfare plus meals and accommodations for a one-week trip. We have funding for 5 students for each trip, but we may be able to accommodate one or two more. Students may also apply for additional funding in the spring to stay beyond one week to develop news stories or research projects on their own.

Trip 1: Field Research Methods for Reporting on Japan [Application closed]

Students in the Graduate School of Journalism as well as graduate students in other disciplines who might benefit from training in journalistic research methods will spend one week in Japan with former New York Times Tokyo Bureau Chief Martin Fackler. We expect that participants will spend one day at the Yomiuri Shimbun, the world’s largest newspaper, and several days on site in Fukushima, the region hit by the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster in March 2011.

Students participating in this trip will be required to take the two-unit Pro-Seminar in Japanese Studies (see below for details) in Spring 2016.

Trip 2: Buddhism and Sacred Space [Application deadline: January 15, 2016]

Graduate students in the Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences with an interest in the study of sacred space in Japan (broadly defined and chronologically open) will spend one week in Japan visiting a selection of libraries, archives, and museums in the Kansai Area with visits to a select number of religious and historical sites.

Led by Mark Blum (East Asian Languages and Cultures; Buddhist Studies) and Greg Levine (History of Art), the trip will provide orientation to a number of resources and sites as well as practical guidance regarding archival research methods, copyright permission requests, and other aspects of fieldwork. Students may stay on in Japan following this week to conduct independent fieldwork. A preliminary list of resources and sites includes:

  • Libraries at the monasteries Tōdaiji (Nara) and Enryakuji (Kyoto)
  • Libraries at Bukkyō Daigaku (Kyoto), Ōtani Daigaku (Kyoto)
  • International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Kyoto)
  • Kyoto Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan, Nara Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan
  • Kyoto Furitsu Sōgō Shiryōkan
  • Tōji, Daitokuji, Seiryōji, Kamigamo Jinja, Nishi Honganji; Tōdaiji and Kasuga Taisha (Nara); Kongōbuji (Wakayama)

Students applying to participate in the field research methods trip should take EALC255 Seminar in Prewar Japanese Literature: Sacred Space and Modern Japanese Fiction (see below for details) in Spring 2016. In addition, two mandatory planning meetings will be held during the semester.


To apply, please submit the following documents as email attachments in PDF format to the Center for Japanese Studies (cjs@berkeley.edu).

  1. Application cover sheet PDF format
  2. One-page Personal Statement (400 words max)
  3. Berkeley transcript (unofficial transcript acceptable)
  4. CV or short biography including the names and contact information for two references. (We do not require letters of recommendation, but we may contact your references if we have specific questions.)

In your statement, please briefly describe your relevant academic and/or work experience, and state your goals for the trip, including potential topics you might like to explore during the trip. Also please note in the statement when you would be available to travel to Japan for one week between mid-May and mid-August 2016.

The Pro-Seminar on Research Methods in Japanese Studies [Steven Vogel]

This course will examine the study of and writing about Japan by social scientists and journalists. It will survey disciplinary perspectives on Japanese studies from Political Science, Sociology, Anthropology, Economics, and Business Administration. It will also study the media in Japan, and news coverage of Japan by the foreign media. It will include at least one session on the March 2011 earthquake and its aftermath. Given the focus on the social sciences and journalism, it will cover field research techniques appropriate in these fields, especially interviews and ethnographic research. We will invite several outside specialists to the seminar over the course of the semester.

This is a 2-unit course. It will meet for 2 hours approximately every other week. The reading load will be light, and students will be expected to write up a short research proposal for their summer field research trip or other project. Graduate students from any department are encouraged to participate. The course is currently slated for Mondays 2-4 PM, but we may be able to shift the time if we find another time that better suits the selected participants.

Japan 255 - Seminar in Prewar Japanese Literature: "Sacred Space and Modern Japanese Fiction" [Daniel O’Neill, Mark Blum]

This course will look at the influence of place, especially sacred space, in modern Japanese fiction. We will read and discuss both modern and some premodern Japanese texts in which place figures prominently, and also discuss scholarship about sacred space in Japan. We will explore how these works describe and confront these spaces to suggest diverse ways of thinking about the sacred and its relation to the social. The overall question is why certain places have such strong spiritual impact in Japanese culture and how and why they continue to do so today.

Please contact the Center for Japanese Studies at <cjs@berkeley.edu> with any questions you may have.

CJS Graduate Student Travel Grants