European Association for Japanese Studies

EAJS 2023 Opening keynote

Opening keynote: Asianization of Asian Studies and its impact on Japanese Studies

Prof. Shigeto Sonoda, University of Tokyo

Since the end of the Cold War, a new concept of “Global Asia” has emerged, triggered by growing attention to the path(s) of globalization. The gravity of Asia and its growing political and economic influence on the global landscape has coincided with increasing awareness of social connectivity; connections between development, the environment and health; and concern for inequality within Asia and beyond. Simultaneously, the limited “ownership” of these issues by researchers residing in Asia has prompted calls for the “Asianization of Asian studies”.

Conventionally, Japanese scholars have separated Japan from other part of Asia and regarded Asian studies as “area study” to study “them” rather than “us.” The speaker estimates, however, that Asianization of Asian studies has had huge and extensive impacts on Japanese studies in Asia as well as Asian studies in Japan. The boundaries of Japanese studies and (other) Asian studies have become blur, and the frame of “Japan in Asia” is gaining ground among scholars in Asia.

In this talk, the speaker introduced some observations of changing characteristics of Japanese studies in Asia (mainly in China) and new developments of Global Japan Studies as one area of Global Asian Studies in Japan to explore the possibilities of further collaboration between Asian scholars and European scholars in Japanese studies.

Prof. Shigeto Sonoda sitting in front of a bookcase
Prof. Shigeto Sonoda

Prof. Shigeto Sonoda is Professor of comparative sociology and Asian studies at the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), the University of Tokyo. He has been serving as director of Beijing Center for Japanese Studies at Beijing Foreign Studies University in China as well as program advisor of Collaborative Research Workshop for Young Aspiring Scholars in Japanese Studies hosted by the Japan Foundation since 2018. His major publications include Asiabound of Japanese Company (Yuhikaku, 2001) and National Sentiments in Asia (Chuo Koron, 2020) as well as edited books including China Impact (with David S. G. Goodman, University of Tokyo Press, 2018) and Global Views of China (with Yu Xie, University of Tokyo Press, 2021).


Other EAJS2023 pages

Conference Timeline

2023年8月17日〜 20日