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We produce, on a fortnightly basis during term time, a News and Updates eBulletin which provides information about the activities of the SOAS Japan Research Centre.

The eBulletin highlights the latest events, funding and knowledge being shared and other topical opportunities that we think will be of interest to you.

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Launch of the 40-40 Fuwaku (不惑) Fund

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.  The JRC welcomes donations from corporate, institutional and individual donors to sustain JRC research activities within the spirit of Fuwaku (不惑).  Read in full.....

Celebration of 40 Years of the SOAS Japan Research Centre

On 10th October 2018 the Japan Research Centre (JRC) held an event celebrating 40 years since its establishment at SOAS in 1978. The 40th celebration was attended by the Japanese Ambassador to London, His Excellency Mr Koji Tsuruoka who gave welcome remarks, reinforcing the Centre as vital for mutual growth and cooperation between the UK and Japan. JRC members gave short presentations highlighting the range and depth of Japanese Studies research, and the celebration was attended by SOAS staff, students, members of the public, and long terms supporters of the JRC including the Japan Foundation London and the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation. The Celebration was in the spirit of ‘Fuwaku’ (translation: “following the right course after 40 years”) and launched the “40-40 Fuwaku Fund”, an initiative which aims to target 40 sponsors over the next 40 years to sustain and expand the research activities of the Japan Research Centre up to 2058, and beyond. Read in full......

Facts and figures

Celebrating 40 years of the SOAS Japan Research Centre


  • With over 1000 undergraduate and postgraduate students at SOAS whose interdisciplinary studies include an aspect centred on Japan or Japanese no other institution in Europe has such a high concentration of students with a focus on the field.
  • There are two Meiji Jingu Japanese Studies Research Scholarships available. Each scholarship is valued at £7,000 in total.  
  • The Sasakawa Postgraduate Studentship is open to any full-time Postgraduate Taught Masters Degree Programmes at SOAS.
  • The SOAS library holds some 160,000 monographs for Japanese studies.
  • With one of the largest concentration of Japan specialists outside Japan the fields covered by academic members of staff include anthropology, art and archaeology, drama, economics, geography, history, language and literature, law, media, music, linguistics, politics, religion and sociology. 
  • We rank 2nd in the UK in the Times & Sunday Times University League Table 2015, 5th in the Complete University Guide 2015 (East & South East Asia) 
  • The number of specialists in Japan located in the various departments of the School makes the BA degree one of the largest Japanese studies programme in the world.


The JRC weekly seminar series examines the fundamental issues facing Japan today and provides unique opportunities to gain insight into Japan through the perspectives of internationally respected experts from both inside and outside of Japan.  

The JRC Annual Review reports the activities of the Centre and its member and lists past and forthcoming events in SOAS

Read Japanese Studies at SOAS, University of London by Professor Andrew Gerstle and Dr Alan Cummings

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Slavery and Consent in Meiji Japan
Slavery and Consent in Meiji Japan

The talk investigates one of the rare moments when fundamental concepts that define the modern - property in person and contractual consent - are made and modelled in front of our eyes in Meiji Japan.