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Japanese Studies which are attracting worldwide attention

  • Yuichiro Shimizu
  • Yuichiro Shimizu
  • 2014 (3rd cohort)


Associate Professor, Faculty of Policy Management, Keio University
Dispatched to:
Visiting Scholar, Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Harvard University
On research at the Portsmouth Historical Society
Everyday scene at Harvard University
What are you focusing on during your fellowship period?

Today, when a sense of stagnation is overshadowing democracy, Japan is attracting attention as a successful model for developing countries, and as a developed country facing serious challenges, such as the rapid aging of its population. I am pursuing a comparative study of China, Korea, Taiwan and the U.S. around modern Japan, aiming to explore the relationships between “politicians and bureaucrats” and “governments and legislation.”

Could you explain briefly what exactly you have been doing during the International Fellowship period?

The Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard University, which I was affiliated with, is the center of Japanese Study in the US. To be in the institute means to be able to meet and discuss with researchers of Japanese Studies all over the US. In addition, being encircled by a number of institutes for regional studies, including China and Korea, the Reischauer Institute enhanced my comparative perspective. For the first three months, I prepared to present my study results based on the Institute. After June, I had opportunities to present my work as many as eleven times, in Boston, New York, Seattle and Philadelphia in the US, Montreal in Canada, Oxford, Nottingham and Edinburgh in England, Berlin and Bochum in Germany, Ljubljana in Slovenia and Australia, where I could observe the regional characteristics of Japanese Study directly.

Please give your feedback on the International Fellowship Program.

Although the fellows of the International Fellowship Programs are supposed to be based in one place, my wish to visit several places was kindly accepted. To my utmost gratitude, they also gave extra consideration to make things as smooth as possible.

Furthermore, generous financial support for research expenses such as travel to academic meetings allowed me to work without hesitation. I feel that my research abroad was fully supported by the program.

How do you want to build on your studies in the US after returning to Japan?

say that Japanese Studies will have great significance when we disseminate research conducted in Japan to the world. The perspective, experience and network acquired through this opportunity to study abroad has opened limitless possibilities for me. I hope to expand the range of face-to-face study exchanges with researchers in Japan, the U.S. and Europe, which will give me the opportunity to understand different characteristics of Japanese studies.