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Application deadline: December 3, 2018

Japan Foundation Fellowships provide support for doctoral candidates and established scholars in the humanities and social sciences conducting research in Japan. For further information, please see the documents below.

Past Fellowship Recipients

Awarded: 1 (of 10 applicants)

Dr Takeshi Hamamura
Curtin University
Long-term Fellowship (Scholars and Researchers)

Widespread Pessimism in Contemporary Japan: A Computational Social Science Analysis

Dr Takeshi Hamamura is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology at Curtin University. This fellowship will allow Dr Hamamura to undertake research for a project that seeks to understand why pessimism is becoming increasingly widespread in Japan. Through computational coding and analysis of Twitter content, the study aims to identify patterns and trends including whether pessimism levels fluctuate or are stable in individuals over time. The project builds on Dr Hamamura’s previous research in the area which has found that pessimism is more prevalent in Japan than in Western countries.

(June 2018)

Awarded: 2 (of 8 applicants)

Laura Clark
University of Queensland
Fellowship for PhD candidates

The Performance of State-sanctioned Masculinities in the Second Sino-Japanese War in the novels of Haruki Murakami
Laura Clark is a second-year PhD candidate with the University of Queensland. Her main research interests are Haruki Murakami’s fiction and the intersection between Japanese society and its fictional representation in popular culture. Her PhD thesis explores the shifts in gendered ideals in contemporary Japan through three of Murakami’s major works. Laura’s project will focus on the construction of relational masculinities amongst soldiers during the Second Sino-Japanese War, and how this relates back to Murakami’s depiction of soldiers in his works.

(May 2017)

Hannah Gould
University of Melbourne
Fellowship for PhD candidates

The Meaning and Materiality of Ancestor Worship in Contemporary Japan
Hannah Gould’s research focuses on contemporary transformations to the tradition of Japanese ancestor worship. Hannah will investigate changes to the material and symbolic practices through which people form relationships with their dead, via an ethnographic study of the production and consumption of Buddhist altars, or butsudanButsudan have been at the centre of Japanese religious life and homes since the 7th century, but currently face an uncertain future, as death rituals undergo rapid change.

(May 2017)

Awarded: 3 (of 15 applicants)
Note: One awardee was funded under a different regional allocation and therefore is not included in the above tally.

Associate Professor (Reader) Tomoko Akami
Australian National University
Short-term fellowship

See academic profile

Japanese International Law Experts and International Organisations in International Politics, 1873-1951
This project identifies international law experts as crucial actors in international politics, and examines the role of these experts of Japan in international politics in 1873–1951. The project asks: could International Law experts from ‘lesser powers’, such as Japan, as opposed to hegemonic powers and colonial/post-colonial countries, argue for structural reforms for greater equity and justice in the international system, or would their argument inevitably be a justification of their greater power in the existing system?

(April 2016)

Dr Ki-sung Kwak
University of Sydney
Short-term fellowship

See academic profile

Television in Transition in East Asia: Comparative Insights
This project examines the development of television broadcasting and policy-making in three of the most dynamic and advanced East Asian countries: Japan, Hong Kong SAR and South Korea. It will explore the policy regimes guiding the introduction and development of television broadcasting as a powerful institution, and the extent to which new forms of television have become part of each country’s contemporary media mix.

(April 2016)

Dr Masafumi Monden
University of Sydney
Long-term fellowship

See academic profile

Fashion, Body and Male Identity in Contemporary Japan: A Cultural Investigation
Dress and its relationship to the body play a crucial role in the construction of images and the workings of visuality. This project will attempt to examine the inter-relationship of Japanese fashion and contemporary Japanese men as a social, aesthetic and mindful concept, creating a new perspective that brings together sets of knowledge and discourses concerning Japanese men, society, leisure, body, and identity.

Koon Fung (Benny) Tong 
Australian National University
Fellowship for PhD candidates

See academic profile

Negotiating Old Age Through Music: Understanding the Japanese Popular Music Genre ‘Enka’ as Ageing Practice and Discourse 
The purpose of this research project is to investigate the basis of the image of enka as a Japanese tradition, in terms of the discourse of ageing and the practices of the music genre’s older producers and consumers. To achieve this, Tong will look at how enka producers and consumers participate within the processes of musical production, mediation and consumption.

(April 2016)

Awarded: 4 (of 14 applicants)

Ben Ascione 
Crawford School of Public Policy
Australian National University, Canberra
Fellowship for PhD candidates

See academic profile

The Influence of Domestic Politics on Japan’s Foreign Policy
Ben’s doctoral research focuses on the influence of domestic politics on Japanese foreign policy outcomes. In particular, the role of right-leaning Japanese domestic political actors in shaping foreign policy in the post-Cold War era is being investigated in relation to three case studies: the legal strictures binding the Japan Self-Defense Forces (SDF), Japan’s Senkaku (Diaoyu) Islands policy, and Japan’s North Korea policy.

Dr Helen Kilpatrick
School of Humanities and Social Enquiry
University of Wollongong
Short-term fellowship

See academic profile

Dealing with Feeling in Post-3.11 Fiction for Children
This project will produce an innovative study of emotion in children’s fiction which relates to the March 2011 triple disaster in Fukushima (henceforth ‘3.11’). Representations of trauma in children’s literature are particularly important amid an increasingly precarious and catastrophic world. Fictions and picture books – as opposed to actual accounts or reports – offer young people imaginative models, not only for how to comprehend and cope with personal adversity, but also to empathise with other people’s difficulties.

Professor Kaori Okano
Department of Language and Linguistics
LaTrobe University, Melbourne
Short-term fellowship

See academic profile

Education in Changing Japan: Transnationalism, Multiculturalism and Social Inequality
Prof Okano’s aims for this fellowship are threefold: to complete a single-authored manuscript for Education in Changing Japan: Social Inequality, Transnationalism and Multiculturalisms (London: Routledge); to conduct interviews for her ongoing longitudinal project on growing up in Japan, to make progress towards a monograph on “middle adults and children 2000-2015”; and to conduct preliminary research on the politics of education about eating, or shokuiku.

Associate Professor Leon Wolff
Faculty of Law
Bond University, Gold Coast
Short-term fellowship

The ‘Drama’ of Socio-legal Change in Japan: A Televisual Analysis of the Impact of Justice System Reforms
Since the turn of the century, Japanese popular culture, especially prime-time television, has dedicated more time to legal themes, characters and settings.The increasing preoccupation in Japanese popular culture with law coincides with a series of major structural reforms to the Japanese legal system. The success (or otherwise) of these reform efforts has already captured a significant corpus of research. But, to date, little work has examined the extent to which they have changed Japanese attitudes towards law: that is, whether or not—and, if so, how—Japanese people themselves think and feel differently about the law.

FAQ: Fellowships

Do I need to be able to speak and/or understand Japanese?

Only PhD candidates need Japanese language skills sufficient to conduct research in Japan. Scholars, researchers and short-term researchers are not required to speak or understand Japanese.

For general FAQ about Major Grants for Researchers and Academics, please see the FAQ section on the Japanese Studies Grants page.

Other Japanese Studies grants
Other grants offered by The Japan Foundation

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