Japan Research Centre


The Japan Research Centre (JRC) has been the forum for Japan related research activities at SOAS since 1978.

The centre develops and coordinates academic research and teaching, drawing upon the expertise of Japan specialists based in various departments throughout the School.

With one of the largest concentration of Japan specialists outside Japan, the JRC acts as a national and international centre for Japanese studies. The JRC also hosts research associates and visiting scholars who are working on projects relevant to the Centre.

Meet the members.

Contact us

The Centres and Institutes Office oversees the administration of the Japan Research Centre. For further information about any event, or to propose a talk, contact the Centres and Institutes Office team.

The Centres and Institutes Office is open Monday to Thursday from 10:00am to 4.30pm

Email distribution list

If you would like to be added to the JRC email distribution list please send an email to centres@soas.ac.uk stating the Centre you wish to join, your email address and your First Name and Surname, or use the online eBulletin sign up below.

Once you have joined the list you will receive emails informing you of seminars and events organised by the Centre, and news from other academic institutions that may be of interest to you.

Japan Research Centre
c/o Centres and Institutes Office
SOAS, University of London
Thornhaugh Street
Russell Square
London WC1H 0XG

Satsuma-ware dish, Saneyuki Hirota, Japan, 2001

JRC news and updates

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With 22 permanent members – and a corps of dedicated research associates and distinguished visiting scholars – the JRC fosters a vibrant research environment host to the largest concentration of Japanese Studies scholars in the United Kingdom and Europe.

JRC members research and publish in a wide range of disciplines including: Anthropology; Archeology; Cinema, Television and Media Studies; Drama; Economics; Financial & Management Studies; History; History of Art; Language Acquisition and Pedagogy; Linguistics; Literature; Philosophy; Politics; Religion; and Sociology.

The JRC as an intellectual community and centre for research excellence offers support for well-qualified doctoral students to study under the guidance of members working in their specialist disciplines.

Doctoral students studying under the guidance of JRC members have unrestricted and usually free access to a range of seminars, conferences and workshops being held in SOAS or within easy reach. The unique combination of individual supervision, taught courses and regional and discipline based seminars enables the majority of doctoral students complete their degrees within four years.

Most importantly, doctoral students at SOAS attend regular disciplinary seminars in their home department as well as the bi-weekly JRC seminar, which invites scholars from around Europe and the world to present their latest research.

The JRC maintains close links with the Institutes within the University of London as well as Cambridge, Oxford, Sheffield and Manchester, which run their own research seminars. These relationships give research students at SOAS many opportunities to meet with a wide range of active scholars.

The SOAS Library maintains an excellent Japanese language research collection, easily supplemented via quick research trips to neighboring universities or the Inter Library Loan system. SOAS doctoral students have free access to the nearby British Library (including the Far Eastern and Oriental Collections), to the British Library Newspaper Library at Colindale, to the National Archives, and to a vast array of other collections, including the libraries of most other London colleges and universities.

Doctoral research on Japan is expensive and the JRC also serves as a conduit for small amounts of research funding through scholarships, bursaries and research awards.

The JRC also maintains a list of awards most commonly won by SOAS students doing research on Japan, and JRC members actively support doctoral students in their applications for internal and external research funding.

In 2018, to mark its 40th year since establishment, the JRC launched the 40-40 Fuwaku Fund.  The meaning of Fuwaku (不惑) is to ‘follow the right course past the age of 40’. The goal of the 40-40 Fuwaku Fund is to sustain the JRC through its next 40 years of activities (2018-2058), with a minimum target of 40 donors over 40 years contributing toward core JRC research activities.