Summer Program

The University of Tokyo
Global Japan Studies Summer Program 2018


July. 30- Aug. 10, 2018

Global Japan Studies summer program 2018 has been concluded successfully. You can click here for the summer program 2018 report. Information for the summer program 2019 will soon be available on this page. Please check back soon. Summer Program 2018 Report

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

Download the program

Program Lecturers (in alphabetical order)


(Professor of Japanese Studies and GLP-GEfIL Program Director at the Center for the Development of Global Leadership Education, the University of Tokyo)
Dr. Nicola Liscutin received her MA from Hamburg University, and her PhD in Japanese Studies at Cambridge University, UK, and spent a couple of years on research at Kyoto University and Waseda University. Prior to coming to the University of Tokyo in 2013, she was for ten years the Head of the Japanese Department at Birkbeck College, University of London, where she built up the department and its various BA, MA and PhD degree programs in Japanese Cultural Studies. She also held positions as Guest Professor at the Institute for the Study of Global Issues of Hitotsubashi University; as a Senior Research Fellow at the German Institute for Japanese Studies in Tokyo (DIJ); as Lecturer in Japanese Studies at SOAS, University of London, and as a guest lecturer at Jissen Women’s University and Waseda University. While she started her teaching career as a specialist for classical Japanese literature and performing arts, her research and teaching interests since the late 1990s have focused on ‘memory cultures’ and their ‘gendering’ in a range of media, especially film and manga.

MATSUDA Yasuhiro

MATSUDA Yasuhiro
(Professor of International Politics, Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, the University of Tokyo)
Yasuhiro MATSUDA (1965- ) received his Ph.D. in law from Graduate School of Law at Keio University in Tokyo. He spent sixteen years in the National Institute for Defense Studies (NIDS), Japan Defense Agency (later, Ministry of Defense), as an assistant and a senior research fellow. He moved to the Institute of Oriental Culture (later, Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia) of the University of Tokyo in 2008. He is specializing in political and diplomatic history of Asia, politics and foreign relations in the PRC and Taiwan, the Cross-Strait Relations, and Japan’s foreign and security policies. He was a member of the Council on Security and Defense Capability in the New Era, the advisory group of the Prime Minister in 2010. He is the winner of the seventh Yasuhiro >Nakasone Award of Excellence in 2011. He has published numerous books and articles in Japanese, English and Chinese. His most recent publication in English is “Engagement and Hedging: Japan’s Strategy toward China,” SAIS Review, vol. XXXII, no. 2, Summer-Fall 2012.


(Associate Professor of Urban Planning, Department of Urban Engineering, School of Engineering, the University of Tokyo)
Prof. Murayama graduated from the department of urban engineering in the school of engineering at the University of Tokyo in 2004 and started to work at the University of Tokyo from April 2014. He received the City Planning Institute of Japan Paper Encouragement Award in 2004 (City Planning Institute of Japan) and the Landscape Installation Award in 2013 (Nihon Mokuzai Seisounen Dantai Rengokai 16th Wood Utilization Contest). His co-authored English publications include "Living Cities in Japan: Citizens' Movements, Machizukuri and Local Environments" (Routledge, 2007), "Innovations in Collaborative Urban Regeneration" (Springer, 2009), "Urban Resilience: A Transformative Approach" (Springer, 2016) and “Towards the Implementation of the New Urban Agenda: Contributions from Japan and Germany to Make Cities More Environmentally Sustainable” (Springer, 2018). Prof. Murayama participates in many urban planning and community design practices across Japan.


(Professor of Resource Politics, Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, the University of Tokyo)
Professor Sato Jin’s research focuses on natural resource governance and foreign aid. He has a joint affiliation with Princeton University (as a Global Scholar and Visiting Professor at the Woodrow Wilson School). His English publications include an edited volume, Governance of Natural Resources: Uncovering the Social Purpose of Materials in Nature (United Nations University Press, 2013) and a co-edited book, The Rise of Asian Donors: Japan’s Impact on the Evolution of Emerging Donors (Routledge, 2012). In addition to the four single authored books in Japanese, he has numerous publications in international peer reviewed journals such as Comparative Studies in Society and History, World Development, Journal of Development Studies, Development and Change, and Sustainability Science on foreign aid and natural resource politics in Asia. He won the Japan Academy Medal in the field of humanities and social sciences for the year 2013.


(Professor of Sociology, Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, the University of Tokyo)
Professor Shirahase’s main research interests are empirical study of social stratification and socio-economic inequalities, demographic transformation, and gender and generational relations. Issues related to family change and social security systems also form part of her on-going research. One of her major research questions, for instance, is how to make the roles of public and private institutions shared in order to maintain livelihood security for every member of society. Professor Shirahase also takes the lead in conducting large-scale research projects as a principal investigator and completed the seventh national survey of social stratification and social mobility, which has been conducted every 10 years since 1955. A large variety of surveys are being vigorously carried out in different academic fields, but when we come to actually getting something out of the data, if the data themselves are collected in a sloppy manner then the subsequent argument will be made on shaky ground and be less convincing.

MATSUDA Yasuhiro

SONODA Shigeto
(Professor of Sociology, Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, the University of Tokyo)
Prof. Shigeto Sonoda is professor of sociology and Asian studies at the University of Tokyo. Prof. Sonoda has taken initiatives in conducting researches including AsiaBarometer 2003-2008, Asia Student Survey 2008-2013, Tianjin Annual Survey 1997-2011. His special interest is in social stratification and globalization of cultures in Asia, and localization process of Japanese company in Asian countries. His latest publications include: Sino-Japan Relations, 1972-2012 IV. Private Sector, University of Tokyo Press (editor, 2014, in Japanese), Risk in East Asia, Keiso-shobo (editor, 2013, in Japanese), Sino-Japan Relations, 1972-2012 III. Society and Culture, University of Tokyo Press (editor, 2012, in Japanese), China Issues: How Experts See the Future of China, University of Tokyo Press (co-editor, 2012, in Japanese), Emerging Middle Classes in East Asia, Keisho-shobo (editor, 2012, in Japanese), Can Education Solve Social Inequality?, Iwanami Shoten Publishers (with Atsuko Shimbo, 2010, in Japanese), Social Inequality in Contemporary China, Chuo Koron (2008, in Japanese, awarded Special Prize of 20th Asia-Pacific Award), Where Chinese Society is Heading for?: Dialogue with Chinese Sociologists, Iwanami Shoten Publishers (editor, 2008, in Japanese). Prof. Sonoda initiated a lot of research/academic activities, including “Frontier of Comparative Studies of Asian Studies” (2010-12 FY) and “Educational Program for Young Scholars on ‘Asia Globalization Studies'” (2009-2012 FY), both of which were financially supported by Japan Society for Promotion of Science. Prof. Sonoda is now one of the core members of new type of graduate education program “Integrated Human Studies for Cultural Diversity” in the University of Tokyo.

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