Welcome to the EAJS Website
Welcome to the EAJS! We are an association of scholars and researchers focusing on Japan. Japanese studies is now well established as a field of research and an academic discipline, but for many years researchers in Europe did their work in more or less splendid isolation, separated by linguistic or national barriers or by academic conventions and traditions. While this rich heritage of differences has been a source of constant stimulation and inspiration, we have strongly felt the need to form contacts and exchange information, and it was for that purpose that the European Association for Japanese Studies was formed in 1973.
The general aims of the European Association for Japanese Studies (EAJS) are stimulating interest in and encouraging research in Japanese studies in all the countries of Europe as well as USA and Japan, promoting the flow of information and communication in this particular field of studies through its triennial international conference, but also through symposia and workshops. Furthermore, the EAJS aims at a further increase of its membership. EAJS is open especially to the gradually developing Japanese studies community in Eastern Europe, and tries to integrate and support younger scholars in the field of Japanese studies. Bearing in mind European unification and increasing globalisation, EAJS wishes to strengthen its links to and its co-operation with the national associations for Japanese studies in Europe as well as organizations in Japan, rest of Asia and in the United States. In addition to its scholarly purposes, the EAJS also acts as the representative of European researchers on Japan to safeguard their interests vis-a-vis transnational organizations and their bodies responsible for the funding and direction of research at a European level.
The EAJS also encourages and, whenever possible, supports the formation of national associations for Japanese Studies, most of which were formed much later than EAJS itself, acknowledging that there are purposes, scholarly and political, which can better be served within the smaller unit of a national association.
At the same time, however, the EAJS has been sympathetic to the formation of discipline-oriented sub-groups, which often hold their meetings in conjunction with EAJS conferences. We obviously need both - a trans-disciplinary dialogue for which the EAJS forms an ideal platform, and a deepening of discussions within the discipline, for which the individual conference sections supply a very suitable basis.
The further aim of the EAJS is to help to provide a response to the need to formulate language policies to promote the language-education of Japanese in a stronger manner. This activity is being organized in analysis of current language education policies in Europe and networking with European and Japanese Institutions for the implementation of the Common European Framework not only inside language education (AJE) but also in other education contexts as intercultural education.
As we feel that it is in the interest of all scholars working on Japan, we have recently made an effort to intensify networking and have come to an arrangement of joint membership with the Association for Asian Studies. We are convinced that this will help to link up European scholarship with our colleagues across the Atlantic and beyond.
The EAJS issues an annual Bulletin.
The EAJS gratefully acknowledges the assistance of the Japan Foundation, which has generously supported the invitation of Japanese guest speakers to the conferences since the early 1980s. The Japan Foundation also supplied us with a grant for setting up an office in 1994. The present office is located at Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, and takes care of the membership files, the edition of the Bulletin, and the coordination within the Council as well as handling all other external contacts.
Our international conferences are a good chance to meet colleagues from all over Europe and the rest of the world, and I cordially invite you to take part in them and get to know the activities of the EAJS from a close distance.
An important activity started in 2000 was the EAJS PhD workshops helping to bring European students studying in Europe, Japan and the United States working on related topics in contact with each other. In the ideal case, such contacts are then further deepened at EAJS conferences.