SOAS University of London

Stay connected with the JRC

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.

ebulletin sign up:   SOAS students sign up   SOAS visitor sign up

Donation from Mr Ichikawa to support and promote Japanese studies research at SOAS

The SOAS Japan Research Centre has received a donation from Mr Makoto Ichikawa to support and promote Japanese Studies research at SOAS and to further develop the friendship between the UK and Japan.

The donation will support the JRC Seminar Series for 2018-19. The Series has been running for 40 years since its establishment in the Autumn term of 1978. It contributes to SOAS’s specialist teaching and learning environment for students undertaking BA/MA/PhD Japanese Studies degrees, and provides a regional focus for students combining an element of Japan-focused study within other discipline-based degrees offered across SOAS.

The public seminars are delivered by established Japanese Studies scholars from the UK, Europe and beyond, providing opportunity for wide debate on a diverse range of research issues within the field of Japanese Studies. The JRC Seminar Series has a positive effect on the Japanese Studies research community within SOAS, and extends to a broader community with external visitors comprising half the audience at weekly seminars. 

Mr Makoto Ichikawa is the President of Ichikawa Jin Company Limited, a customer relations and advertising company based in Kyoto and Tokyo, first established in 1945.  The donation was inspired by the long friendship of 45 years between Mr Ichikawa and Stephen McEnally, JRC Senior Fellow, the wish to promote an enhanced understanding of Japan in the UK, and to further develop the friendship and close ties that exist between the two countries.

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

Sir Hugh Cortazzi GCMG (1924-2018)

Sir Hugh was the most distinguished Japanese specialist of his generation in the Foreign Office and made immeasurable contributions to the advancement of the UK-Japan relationship.



Experience traditional Japanese stories told through the art of Rakugo and performed in english for all to hear.