The University of Tokyo
Global Japan Studies Summer Program 2020


July 6-16, 2020

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 early summer 2020 in Tokyo!

Number of Participants:
About 25 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 or college in any country, 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 does NOT require Japanese language proficiency and Japanese language lessons are offered by the program. Knowledge of Japanese, however, will be helpful for your participation in the program.

Course Credits:
This summer program constitutes two course credits of the University of Tokyo.

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. Besides two course credits, participants will also receive a University of Tokyo summer program certificate upon successfully completing the program.

Japanese Language Lessons:
Japanese lessons are offered by 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, health insurance, lunches and refreshments, exclusive of participants’ round-trip air fare and fieldtrip transportation expenses (bus and subway fares).

Detailed directions will be provided on how to make fee payment. Only online credit card payment is accepted.

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

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:
Participants will be considered for the JASSO scholarship if it becomes available.


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. (indicate if you have learned Japanese and if so the level of proficiency: elementary, intermediate, proficient);
  3. your most updated and official transcripts issued by your university;
  4. passport copy;
  5. photo (unprocessed).

How to Apply:
To apply, please send the above materials to gjs@ioc.u-tokyo.ac.jp. Please enter APPLICATION TO GJS SUMMER PROGRAM in the subject space of your email.
All applications should be submitted through email. No paper submission is accepted.

Application Deadline:
There are two deadlines for this year’s application.
Early bird deadline: January 31, 2020 (Fri.), 23:59 Japan Standard Time
Second deadline: February 29, 2020 (Sat.), 23:59 Japan Standard Time

Applicants can submit their applications by February 29, 2020 if they were unable to meet the deadline of January 31, 2020. Regardless of the difference in deadline, all applications will be reviewed under exactly the same criteria.

What Happens after You Applied:
The program committee will carefully evaluate the entire dossier of every application before making decision on admission and if applicable, scholarship. Acceptance decisions will be announced about two weeks after application deadline to all applicants. Accepted participants are required to make credit card payment of program fee to the University of Tokyo by March 2, 2020 (Mon.) for Jan. 31 applications, and March 31, 2020 (Tue.) for Feb.29 applications.

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.

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 gjs@ioc.u-tokyo.ac.jp.

Program Schedule

Download the schedule プログラムをダウンロード

Program Lecturers

Christopher GERTEIS

Christopher GERTEIS
(Academic Editor and Associate Professor of Modern and Contemporary Japanese History at the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, The University of Tokyo and SOAS University of London)
Dr. Christopher Gerteis is Founding Series Editor of the scholarly monograph series SOAS Studies in Modern and Contemporary Japan, published in association with the UK publisher Bloomsbury (https://tinyurl.com/repqm22). From 2014 to 2019 he was Chief Editor of Japan Forum, the journal of the British Association for Japanese Studies (https://tinyurl.com/yx7tw7se). From 2019 to 2024 he is in residence as Academic Editor and Associate Professor at the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, The University of Tokyo. Gerteis' first book, Gender Struggles: Wage-earning Women and Male-Dominated Unions in Postwar Japan (Harvard, 2010), is an interdisciplinary study of the forgotten history of wage-earning Japanese women who during the 1950s militantly contested the socialist labor movement's revival of many prewar notions of normative gender roles. His second book, Mobilizing Japanese Youth: The Cold War and the Making of the Sixties Generation (forthcoming from Cornell University Press in 2020), examines the forces that shaped the political consciousness of Japanese youth who chose to engage in political violence during the 1960s and 1970s. A third book project examines the impact of celebratory histories of industrialization formulated by multinational corporations in Japan. Manufacturing Memory: Marketing Modern Heritage in Contemporary East Asia investigates how corporate managers recast public memory of their companies' support for Japanese imperialism through the acquisition of UNESCO World Heritage status for so-called 'industrial heritage' sites implicated in the use of forced laborers before and during World War II. The project is an examination of how managers and politicians have used UNESCO status to deflect the diplomatic blowback, and fiduciary risk, associated with public memory of the darker history of Imperial Japan.


(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 City Planning Institute of Japan Paper Encouragement Award in 2004 (City Planning Institute of Japan), Landscape Installation Award in 2013 and Literature Award in 2015 (Japan Association for Human and Environmental Symbiosis). Co-authored English books 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), Towards the Implementation of the New Urban Agenda: Contributions from Japan and Germany to Make Cities More Environmentally Sustainable (Springer, 2018) and Urban Systems Design: Creating Sustainable Smart Cities in the Internet of Things Era (Elsevier, 2020). Prof. Murayama participates in many urban planning and community design practices across Japan.

Yoshiko NAKANO
(Associate Professor of Japanese Studies, The University of Hong Kong & Visiting Fellow (2015, 2019), Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, The University of Tokyo)
Professor Nakano grew up in Kawasaki, went to graduate school in Washington, D.C, and moved to Hong Kong in April 1997, three months before the territory's historic return to Chinese sovereignty. After joining the University of Hong Kong's Department of Japanese Studies in 2000, Professor Nakano began looking into the globalization of "Made in Japan" products. Using the rice cooker as an example of this process, she has examined how this electrical appliance was localized for the Chinese market, and how it has followed in the footsteps of Asian migrants and made its way around the world. The resulting book is Where There are Asians, There are Rice Cookers: How “National” Went Global via Hong Kong (Hong Kong University Press, 2009). Her most recent article entitled "Wings of the New Japan: Kamikaze, Kimonos, and Airline Branding in Postwar Japan" (2018) examines Japan Airline's advertising frontier in the 1950s, when a small domestic airline became Japan's national carrier and expanded into the international market.


(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.


(Associate Professor of International relations, Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, the University of Tokyo)
Prof. Sahashi specializes in international politics and is currently focusing on East Asian security as well as Japanese security policy. His recent book is In a Search for Coexistence: the United States and Two Chinas during the Cold War (Tokyo: Keiso, 2015). He published numerous articles in Chinese, English and Japanese and is writing his next book on East Asia security order and architecture. He received his B.A. from International Christian University and his Ph.D. with honor from the Graduate Schools for Law and Politics at the University of Tokyo. He also studied at Department of Political Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Yijiang ZHONG

Yijiang ZHONG
(Associate professor of Japanese history and religion, Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, the University of Tokyo)
Prof. Zhong's research fields include modern Japanese history, Japanese religions, nationalism, and Japanese empire. He is also guest associate professor at International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Nichibunken) in Kyoto. His first book, The Origin of Modern Shinto in Japan: The Vanquished Gods of Izumo (Bloomsbury Academic 2016), explores how Shinto both enabled and compromised the creation of the modern nation-state in Japan in the Meiji period (1868-1912). Prof. Zhong is currently looking at the history of the Sea of Japan in relation to modern capitalist development and overseas colonial expansions. Prof. Zhong is one of the main organizers of the GJS summer program.

For reference, please see summer program reports and participants feedback of 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019.


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

Prof. ZHONG Yijiang (person in charge)
Tel: (81)3-5841-5867
Fax: (81)3-5841-5898