about Japan at the Hebrew University
Meron Medzini (Japan’s
Nissim Otmazgin (Japan’s Modern History, Japan’s Politics and Foreign Relations,
Japan-Southeast Asian Relations, Research Methods in Japanese Politics)
Kinneret Noy, adjunct professor, (Japan’s Traditional History, Noh
and Kabuki theaters)
Helena Grinshpun, adjunct professor, (Japanese Society, Consumption & Culture
Sigal Ben-Rafael Galanti, adjunct professor, (Japan After the War)
Shalmit Bejarano, adjunct professor, (Japanese Traditional Art)
Ayelet Zohar, adjunct professor, (Visual Culture in Japan)
Courses: Prof. Andrew Plaks
(Japanese and Chinese Texts), Dr. Kumiko Yaiyama, Ms. Noa Oppenheim, Ms. Anna
Wolfson, Ms. Nikki Littman.
The 10th Annual Conference of Asian
Studies in Israel
This conference was held at the Hebrew
University of Jerusalem on May 24-26, 2011. The conference was, to date, the largest
event of its kind to be held in the Middle East, having had 175 participants
from around the world and 45 panels on Japan, China, India, Korea, Southeast
Asia, and Central Asia (for more information see http://asi11.huji.ac.il/home).
Thirty six of the papers in the
conference focused on Japan,
with 12 of the presenters having come from Japanese universities and
research institutions. These include Toda Masako (Tokyo University); Mizuno
Norihito (Akita International University); Mikami Takanoro, Namami Akiko, Inoue
Mika (Hiroshima Shudo University); Porkarier Christopher, Erez Golani (Waseda
University); Johns Adam (Rikkyo University); Etty Gissis (Gakushuin
University); John Breen (Nichibunken); Ueda Kiyoshi (Hosei University); and Doron
Cohen (Doshisha University). The conference was
made possible with the support of the Japan Foundation.
Conference on "Cultural Industry and Cultural Policy in East
conference took place at the Truman Institute in June 2009, supported by the
Japan Foundation, with three of the participants having come from Japan.
An edited volume based on this conference, entitled “Popular Culture and the State
in East and Southeast Asia” was published by
Routledge in November 2011.
Workshop for Young Japan
this workshop, which has taken place annually since 2008, young Israeli scholars (especially PhD
students) researching Japan
meet to discuss ways to overcome their methodological difficulties and to
develop the theoretical parts of their research. In May 23, 2011, the 4th
methodological workshop was held with the participation of Professor John Breen
(Nichibunken) as guest speaker.
Japanese Book Collection and Database
to the generosity of private donors and the Japanese Embassy to Israel,
and with the support of the Freiberg Centre for East Asian Studies, we have
been able to build a collection of more than 3,000 books in Japanese, focusing on
the topics of Japanese history, society, and language. The books are available
for our researchers and students at a designated section in the library. We
hope to further expand the collection and purchase a few important Japanese
language data bases.
to a special donation from the Dr. Polonsky Fund, we have been able to secure 2
years access to “Yomidasu Rekishikan” 「ヨミダス歴史館」. This important database enables students
and researchers to look for research materials in the Yomiuri Shinbun
publications starting from 1874.
Recent Lectures Given by Foreign Scholars
H.E. Mr. Takeuchi Hirohisa, Ambassador of Japan
to Israel: "Japan's
Contemporary Foreign Policy".
Barak Kushner, University
"Dealing with the Devil: Analyzing Postwar Chinese Trials of Japanese War
3. Ishida Kunio, Nanzan
University: "Israel and Japan's
Middle East Policy, 1952-56".
Maruyama Naoki, Meiji
"Japanese-Jewish Relations in the Turn of the 20th
Hosoya Yuichi, Kieo University: "Japan's
Foreign Policy Under Hatoyama: Where Does Japan Goes?"
Marco Pellitteri, London Metropolitan University:
"Manga in Europe: Models, Strategies, and
Eri Hotta, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies: "From Tea to
Co-Prosperity: The Making and Unmaking of Japanese Pan-Asianism"
Scholarships and Exchange
Programs Available for our Students
Monkasho Scholarship: Every year, Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture and Sciences
awards special scholarships for 4-7 exceptional Israeli students to peruse
post-undergraduate studies or research in Japan.
Beit Shalom Scholarship: Awarded every year to a student at our department
to study Japanese for one year at Doshisha University in Kyoto in exchange for
teaching Hebrew at the local "Beit Shalom" community once a week.
Shillony-Blum Scholarship: Thanks to the generous support of Mr. Jim
Blum and a matching fund from The Louis Freiberg Centre for East Asian Studies,
starting from 2012 we will offer a $8,000 USD research scholarship for an advanced M.A
student to peruse a few months of research in Japan (visit archives and
libraries, conduct interviews, access data).
Shinyoen Prize: Awarded every year to 6-9 outstanding students in Japanese
Studies in appreciation for their achievements, and as a way to encourage
others to follow in their example.
Exchange Program: As a part of an exchange program between the two
universities, every year one of our students is awarded a one year scholarship
to study Japanese at Soka University in Tokyo.
Social and Cultural
year, students from our department volunteer to go to high schools in Jerusalem and teach an introductory class about Japan:
its geography, some history and culture, and a few words. The purpose of this
project is to reach out to new layers of Israeli society and introduce Japanese
culture and society through interactive presentations given by outstanding
students from our department. The program was highly successful in the first year
(2009-10), with eight participating high schools in Jerusalem. With the support of the Japanese
Embassy, we almost doubled the number of students participating in this program
in the second year (2010-11), in nine high schools in Jerusalem. This year (2011-12), the numbers
have surged: twenty university students teach introductory classes about Japan in twelve highs schools and youth
movements in Jerusalem
in front of approximately 1,200 high schools students.
Students Conference (IJSC)
the past sixteen years, students from our department majoring in Japanese
studies have met with Japanese students interested in the Middle
East. The Japanese students belong to a cross-university
organization called “the Middle East Club,” arriving in Israel after participating in similar
conferences with students from Syria,
Jordan, and Egypt.
The conference is organized entirely by the students, who participate in the
meetings and invest their time and resources for the purpose of formulating
ties of friendship between Israel
through direct communication between students.
the past four years, Professor Usuda Taigen, one of Japan's
most renowned calligraphers, has arrived to the Hebrew University
accompanied by 4 of his aids to lead a five-day calligraphy workshop for our
students. All the materials are sent from Japan at his expense. In 2009, 45
students participated, in 2010, this number reached 64 participants. In November
2011, Professor Usuda and his students conducted a fourth workshop at the Hebrew University
with 45 participating students. Professor Usuda’s latest workshop was supported
Agency for Cultural Affairs.
Agency for Cultural Affairs, in December 2010, Professor Noda Tetsuya, a well known
Japanese woodblock print (ukiyo-e) artist and winner of numerous important
prizes in the field, lead a one week woodprints workshop to 15 of our students.
The workshop included both theoretical and practical lessons, for which the
materials were sent from Japan.
year, our students have organized a special day full of events related to Japan:
lectures, workshops (origami, sushi-making, Japanese flower arrangement
(ikebana), calligraphy etc.), and performances (tea ceremony, traditional
dance, martial arts). This day usually includes a special ceremony granting
prizes to outstanding students.
"Nippon" Students Club
special club initiated and organized entirely by students interested in
Japanese contemporary culture. The students belonging to this club occasionally
meet to discuss their common interest and exchange views. They also organize
special movie screenings and lectures on topics related to Japanese animation,
literature, cinema, and music.