Summer Program

The University of Tokyo
Global Japan Studies Summer Program 2018


July. 30- Aug. 10, 2018

This introduction is for international applicants. Information for UTokyo Students will be available soon.

About the Program

Japan’s postwar period is most often described as four decades of high growth “economic miracle” followed subsequently by a prolonged recession dubbed “the lost two decades” (1990-present). Japan’s postwar, however, points to a far more complicated and ongoing process of social, cultural, and political changes, which this program is set to explore.

Participants will be immersed in a ten-day intensive program of 1), interdisciplinary academic lectures (in humanities, social sciences, and engineering), 2), carefully planned fieldtrips in Tokyo and surrounding areas, and 3), Japanese language lessons tailored to individual participant’s needs. Through a well-designed combination of on- and off-campus study, the program challenges participants to critically analyze a variety of sociocultural, political, and technological issues, such as sustainable urban planning, poverty, and historical memory. These issues are key for understanding not only Japan’s postwar itself but also the larger world to which Japan is closely connected and of which Japan is intrinsically a part.

By the end of the program, participants will have

  1. gained a more nuanced understanding of Japan’s postwar as a complex and changing society;
  2. learned analytical skills with which to analyze social phenomena in Japan and other parts of the world;
  3. improved their Japanese language as a result of Japanese lessons and intermingling with Japanese students from the University of Tokyo;
  4. improved their intercultural communication skills as a result of collaboration in research projects and presentations with fellow students from different countries of the world.
  5. perhaps most important of all, you will have made a lot of friends from all over the world who will share your memory of summer 2018 in Tokyo!

Number of Participants:
About 20 in total (including 3-5 undergraduate students from the University of Tokyo).

Eligibility and Language Requirements:
Undergraduate students in all academic majors and currently enrolled in a university of the world, and whose GPA at the moment of application is 2.3 or above on a 3 point scale, are eligible to apply.

The summer program does NOT require submission of proof of English language proficiency such as TOEFL or TOIEC scores, but participants must have sufficient English proficiency to attend lectures and field trips in English and give presentations in English.

This program has NO Japanese language requirement. Knowledge of Japanese, however, will be helpful for your participation in the program. Japanese lessons are offered in the program.

Program Requirements:

  1. participants are required to conduct group research projects and give presentations on the final day of the program. Project topics shall be decided in consultation with program faculty members.
  2. Participants will also be required to complete a program evaluation paper. While the program lectures and fieldtrips do not count toward course credits, participants will receive a University of Tokyo summer program certificate upon successfully completing the program.

Japanese Language Lessons:
Japanese lessons are offered by the program. On the first day of the program, participants’ level of Japanese will be assessed and they will be placed into classes appropriate to their levels.

Program Fee:
JPY 280,000 (inclusive of accommodation, lunches and refreshments, exclusive of participants’ round-trip air fare and fieldtrip transportation expenses (bus and subway fares).

Please refer to the program website for detailed directions on how to make payment. Only online credit card payment is accepted.

We will book hotel for all international participants. International participants do not need make their own reservation.

Visa Application:
It is the responsibility of applicants to apply for a visa to enter Japan. We will issue letter of acceptance or other documentation to assist your visa application. Not all countries need visa to enter Japan. Check with your university to find out if you need a visa. Visa application takes time. Please start your application as soon as possible.

Health Insurance:
International participants will be covered by health insurance during the program period. The insurance premium is included in above-mentioned program fee. No extra fee is required.

Financial Aid:
The summer program makes efforts to obtain external funding to use as scholarship every year. Unfortunately, it is very unlikely that funding is available for 2018. In the very unlikely event that we do get some funding before the program starts, all participants will be considered for scholarship and scholarship decision will be made based on applicants' academic performance at their respective university.


Required Application Materials:

  1. one 3-page double-spaced essay in English outlining why you are interested in this program and what you want to learn from it;
  2. C.V.;
  3. your most updated and official transcripts issued by your university;
  4. passport copy;
  5. photo (unprocessed).

How to Apply:
To apply, please go to the program’s online application portal.
All applications should be submitted at this portal. No paper submission is accepted.

Application Deadline:
April 23, 2018 (Mon.), 23:59 Japan Standard Time
Start working on your application as early as you can. We can’t guarantee that late submissions will be considered.

What Happens after You Applied:
The program committee will carefully evaluate the entire dossier of every application before making decision on admission and financial aid. Acceptance decisions will be announced early May to all applicants. Accepted participants are required to make credit card payment of program fee to the University of Tokyo by May 21, 2018 (Mon.), 23:59 Japan Standard Time.

In case of cancellation of participation after payment, you will be refunded the amount of JPY 280,000 (exchange rate at the time of refunding will apply), but a cancellation fee may apply.

Program Schedule

To Be Announced

Program Lecturers

To Be Announced

For reference, please see summer program reports and participants feedback of 2016 and 2017.

If you have any question, please first check out the Q&A of the summer program. If the Q&A does not answer your question, feel free to contact us at

s Links

Program Host Institution: Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia
Program Organizer: Global Japan Studies (GJS) Research Network
Program Committee Advisers: Prof. SONODA Shigeto, Prof. NAKAJIMA Takahiro
Secretariat: Prof. ZHONG Yijiang, Dr. WATANABE Atsuko

Prof. ZHONG Yijiang and Dr. WATANABE Atsuko (person in charge)
Tel: (81)3-5841-5891
Fax: (81)3-5841-5898