Professor Christopher Goto-Jones

Key information

Japan Research Centre Research Associate


Chris was educated at Cambridge and then (via Keio University, Tokyo) Oxford University, from where he received his MPhil and DPhil in Politics and International Relations. He taught at a number of universities in the UK, including SOAS, Oxford and Nottingham, before moving to Leiden, where he held the chair in Modern Japan Studies before taking up the new chair in Comparative Philosophy & Political Thought. His research is concerned with modern political and ethical thought, particularly as found in Japan and East Asia, but also with finding ways to disrupt the ethnocentricism of conventional academic disciplines that tend to marginalise or ignore these kinds of non-European traditions of thought.  In 2009 Chris received the VICI award for research innovation from the NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research).  

His books include Political Philosophy in Japan: Nishida, the Kyoto School and Co-Prosperity; Re-Politicising the Kyoto School as Philosophy; A Very Short Introduction to Modern Japan.  His new book, Beyond the Samurai: Bushidô as Philosophy, Ethics, and Ideology, is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press.

Research interests


Chris is the principal researcher in the 1.5 million euro NWO-funded ‘VICI’ project: Beyond Utopia – New Politics, the Politics of Knowledge, and the Science Fictional Field of Japan.  This 5-year project is part of an overall interest in expanding the frontiers of philosophy and political thought to include non-European and non-textual resources; an agenda that also finds expression in the new Political Arts Initiative

Chris is also working on a new treatment of the bushidô tradition in modern Japan as a resource for inquiries into the ethics of violence and the philosophy of death.

Contact Christopher