skip to Main Content
We offer grants to non-profit academic and research institutions for projects related to Japanese Studies.

Japanese Studies Grant Recipients

Japanese Studies Fellowship Program

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.

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.

Hannah Gould

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 butsudan. Butsudan 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.

Note: Information correct as at May 2017.

Awarded: 3 (of 15 applicants)
Note: one awardee funded under different regional allocation and therefore not included in 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?


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.


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.

Note: links and information correct as at April 2017.

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.

Japanese Studies Projects

Note: Japanese Studies Project Grants were offered for the first time in 2017-18.

Awarded: 2 (of 5 applicants)

Asia Institute
University of Melbourne
September 17-19, 2018

International Conference on new Frontiers in Japanese Studies

This conference will be a kickoff conference for the Modern Japanese Studies Consortium – a new academic initiative aimed at institutionalizing a global research hub in Japanese Studies at the University of Melbourne in Australia. Japanese Studies scholarship is nowadays successfully spreading globally. Along with the United States, Australia has been playing a significant role in producing unique Japanese Studies scholarship. Australian scholarship in Japanese Studies tends to be very interdisciplinary, shedding light on diversities in society and culture. The Consortium will help improve new collaborative international research in Japanese Studies and expand student exchange opportunities. Our efforts also include a link to emerging places and scholars of Japanese Studies in the Asia Pacific region. We will integrate multiple perspectives on Japanese society into the scholarship. We believe our efforts will result in pushing the existing boundaries of
scholarship forward and exploring a new frontier, and the conference will be a starting point for creating this dialogue on future scholarship.

ANU Japan Institute
Australian National University
September 6, 2017

Japan Update: Peak Japan
This project brings speakers to the Australian National University to participate in a themed panel discussion that forms the centerpiece of the annual Japan Update conference, alongside regular panels on politics, foreign policy and the economy. The Japan Update conference is an important event that aims to increase the understanding in Australia of major issues in Japan. It provides an opportunity each year for an audience of academics, policymakers and business people to come together to hear thought-provoking speakers and to engage in an exchange of ideas about the future of Australia-Japan relations. The conference takes place on a single day in Canberra with related activities in other cities. It brings prestigious international speakers to Australia and forges new relationships between specialists and generalists with an interest in Japan. These relationships continue to support the development of Japanese studies in Australia after the conference is over. At the 2018 conference, the panel will address the topic of demographic change.

Awarded: 1 (of 6 applicants)

Australian National University (ANU)

ANU Japan Institute
Australian National University
September 6, 2017

Japan Update: Innovation in Japan
This project brings speakers to the Australian National University to participate in a panel discussion that forms the centerpiece of the annual Japan Update conference. The Japan Update conference is an important event that highlights major issues that are of concern in Japan and that impact Australia. It provides an opportunity each year for an audience of academics, policymakers and business people to come together to hear thought-provoking speakers and to engage in an exchange of ideas about the future of Australia-Japan relations. The conference takes place on a single day in Canberra with related activities in other cities. It brings prestigious international speakers to Australia and forges new relationships between specialists and generalists with an interest in Japan. These relationships continue to support the development of Japanese studies in Australia after the conference is over. At the 2017 conference, the panel will address the topic of innovation.

Intellectual Exchange Conferences

Awarded: 0 (of 1 applicants)

Awarded: 2 (of 5 applicants)

Griffith Asia Institute
Griffith University, Queensland
December 2017

The Politics Behind the Story:  Sixty Years on from the 1957 Australia-Japan Commerce Agreement
The 2017 Australia-Japan Dialogue will consist of a workshop bringing together experts from academia and government to examine the significance and legacy of the 1957 Commerce Agreement across four main session themes: ‘The Return of Japan and Australia’s Asia Awakening (1952-1975)’; ‘Legitimacy without Power without Legitimacy’; ‘Old Fears in a New Era? Australia-Japan Security Relations and the US (1991-2017)’; and ‘Present Trends and Future Directions: Trade, Investment, Culture, Security and Beyond’. The dialogue will provide a retrospective analysis of the bilateral relationship’s development since the 1957 Commerce Agreement. The aim of this retrospective, however, is not simply to revisit the well-known trade and economic benefits produced by the Agreement, nor only to trace the bilateral relationship’s largely untroubled evolution since 1957; this Dialogue instead seeks to assess the still largely neglected political and strategic drivers of the relationship and look for evidence of continuity and change to explain the relationship’s resilience over time.

Digital Humanities Group, School of Humanities and Communication Arts
Western Sydney University
October-December, 2017

Japan in Australia
This is a one-year research project involving scholars from Australia, Japan, the United States and Southeast Asia to critically analyse the role and impact of the Australia-Japan Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation (signed in 2007 and celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2017). Particular attention will be placed on analysing how Australia and Japan identify common security interests and the extent of collaboration between Australian and Japanese defence personnel. Key objectives of the project are: a review of the first ten years and in particular, an assessment of the impact of the Australia-Japan Security Agreement; an identification of key areas of cooperation between Australia and Japan in the period 2007-2017; an analysis of the human framework of the Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation—human trafficking, climate change, piracy and natural disasters—and the relevance of the Joint Declaration for bilateral cooperation between the nations; the opportunity for scholars from Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines to offer regional (Southeast Asian) perspectives on the Australian-Japan contribution to Asia Pacific security architecture; and the opportunity for postgraduate and high-achieving undergraduate students at Western Sydney University and Meiji University to interact with workshop participants on topical security issues in the Asia Pacific.

Awarded: 3 (of 4 applicants)

Hawke Research Institute
University of South Australia

March 22-24, 2017

Mobile Cultures of Disaster
The aim of this event is to facilitate scholarly interchange between international scholars who share an interest in the cultural and mobile aspects of disasters. The conference features some of the field’s leading scholars, with a strong emphasis on Japanese researchers, such as Professors Shunya Yoshimi and Masahiro Ogino, who are internationally recognised for their contributions to social and cultural theory. The conference will put Japanese researchers in dialogue with their counterparts from Australia, United Kingdom, Singapore, and the United States, who are engaged in intersecting lines of inquiry.


Asia Institute
University of Melbourne
February 2-3, 2017

Civil Society in Asia: International Conference in Melbourne
The proposed conference is part of an ongoing book project titled The Routledge Handbook of Civil Society in Asia, an interdisciplinary reference resource that focuses on civil society. Thirty-eight globally active scholars specialising Asian civil society are participating in this book project, and key chapter contributors will be invited to present and share their work at the proposed conference held at the University of Melbourne.

School of Languages and Cultures
University of Queensland
November 25-27, 2016

Japan in Australia
2016 is the 50th anniversary year of the Japanese Program at the University of Queensland. The whole year is dedicated to the theme of Japan in Australia celebrating the achievements of students, staff and the institution in the area of Japanese language and studies. The Japan in Australia conference will form an important component of these celebrations. It will attract academics, researchers, students and educators from around Australia, Japan and further afield to explore historically, socially, culturally and politically the theme of the conference. We will focus on the past, present and the future with a variety of speakers from different disciplines exploring Japan’s impact in this country, how that can be understood and some new directions for the way forward.

Awarded: 1 (of 2 applicants)

Griffith Asia Institute
Griffith University, Queensland 
December 10, 2015

Australia Japan Dialogue 2015
The 2015 Australia-Japan Dialogue seeks to locate Japan’s political and security reforms within this context by examining the level of convergence and divergence between Australian and Japanese policy responses to contemporary international pressures. The Dialogue is aimed at identifying the extent to which Japan’s emerging identity as a more active international actor is being driven by structural and material change in the global order and to what extent it is being shaped by domestic factors in Japanese politics. Australia and Japan’s similar political systems and values; strategic alignments; and foreign policy priorities, including the further development of trade and investment ties, provide a strong basis for gauging the level of external influence on domestic policy and debate in both countries.

Mini Grants

School of Architecture
University of Technology, Sydney (UTS)
August 30-31, 2018

Japan Lecture Series: OnishiMaki + HyakudaYuki architects
Public Lecture and Review Session

The UTS School of Architecture’s Japan Lecture Series is a 3-semester program of lectures by some of the most relevant figures in contemporary Japanese architecture, as part of an ongoing project of relocating the School within the Indo-Pacific area and establishing further architectural relationships with Japan. Onishimaki+Hyakudayuki, Junya Ishigami, Go Hasegawa, Ryue Nishizawa and Tezuka architects are among the proposed speakers for the series. In addition to their practice, the candidates also hold important academic positions.

The lecture will be a free event open to the public at UTS. Onishi and Hyakuda will lead the audience through practice projects and explain some of their renowned completed projects, followed by conversation with a UTS faculty member.

The Review Session is a day-long event where international experts evaluate work by Master students. Selected students will present their work, and the speakers will establish a conversation with the students though their projects in a traditional architectural reviews session. The speakers will be part of a team of 3-4 external reviewers who will engage in conversation about the projects based on their own experience and practice, with 5-10 faculty and 60-120 students in attendance throughout the day.

Japan Lecture Series: OnishiMaki + HyakudaYuki Create Spaces with Diversity

Macquarie University

Macquarie University (NSW)
March 2018

Collaborative Robotics: Communication and Social Acceptance
This project aims to lay the foundation for interdisciplinary collaborative opportunities between Macquarie University and Kyoto Institute of Technology in the area of communicative robots with AI capabilities. The project’s focus is to identify cross-cultural differences in how robots’ communicative performances are received in society, particularly in Japanese and Australian contexts, and to conceptualise strategies for developing AI for use in communicative robots in cross-cultural situations.

School of Languages and Cultures
University of Queensland
February 6-7, 2018

Unlocking the International Possibilities of Shōjo Studies
This project comprises a small symposium consisting of a public panel discussion, masterclass and informal networking sessions. These events aim to foster intellectual exchange in the field of Japanese shōjo (girl) studies, with a particular focus on Japanese texts that depict the world outside Japan, as well as on the position of shōjo texts, theory, and practices beyond Japan’s borders. This project will bring together Japanese Studies scholars with connections to the United States, Australia, and New Zealand, and aim to share knowledge and experience across three ‘generations’ of researchers in the field: established experts; emerging specialists; and both undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Listen to the podcast

Note: Information correct as at December 2017.


Asia Institute
University of Melbourne
November 15-18, 2016

Workshop & Masterclass: ‘Language and Global Media’
This project comprised a workshop and masterclasses in which leading international scholars from Ireland, New Zealand and Japan and local early career researchers presented their research in fields including writing systems, global media, discourse, language and identity, translation, and queer and gender studies. Cross-disciplinary discussion was a key outcome of the project, as was facilitating knowledge sharing between established academics and emerging researchers, and establishing networks for future collaborative work.

Note: links and information correct as at April 2017.

See all Japanese Studies Grants
Other grants offered by The Japan Foundation

Can’t find what you’re looking for?
Take a look at these funding opportunities offered by other organisations.

For enquiries about Japanese Studies Grant Programs, please contact

Back To Top