A warm welcome to the National Institute of Japanese Studies (NIJS). The Institute is an international Centre of Excellence funded by a number of British sources. It was originally funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) following a successful £4 million bid under the 2006 Language Based Area Studies initiative. From 2012-16 funding came from the AHRC and the British Academy.

The Institute is a collaborative endeavour between the departments of East Asian Studies at the universities of Leeds and Sheffield under the umbrella of the White Rose East Asia Centre and the White Rose University Consortium.

The two universities celebrated their golden jubilee in 2013-14. For over 50 years, the two universities have been two of the main national providers of training and supervision in modern East Asian languages and area studies at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The Institute pools our joint resources and expertise in language provision, and in the social sciences and humanities, in order to create a unified and focused Centre of Excellence for research and postgraduate training on Japan. It brings together researchers organised in four research clusters to address the major social, cultural, political and economic issues facing modern East Asia:

  • Business, Political Economy and Development
  • East Asian Identities and Cultures
  • Regionalisation and Globalisation
  • Social Change and Transition in East Asia

These research clusters act as the umbrellas for a number research strands and ongoing projects.

The Institute provides a lively and stimulating home for taught Masters students, research students, and post-doctoral and advanced researchers. Complementing our long-standing research degree programmes, a range of Masters degrees offers the necessary training in Japanese language and area studies to enable graduates to go on to advanced study or enter the public or private sector. Close ties with users in the world of business, commerce and diplomacy ensure our programmes are relevant both inside and outside of academia. Unrivalled access to the region is available to both staff and students through the Institute's links with partner universities in Japan.

NIJS has organised international conferences and workshops including Negotiating the Boundaries of Postwar Japan; Shifting Boundaries: negotiating identities and challenges for scholarship; Mediating Risk in Japan: the state, market, and societal matrix; Opportunities and Challenges for the G8: lessons for Japan and the UK; and Informal Political Actors in East Asia, Russia and the Arab World. It continues to carry out high quality research with impact on policy-making, society and the wider world.

Professor Glenn D. Hook

Director, National Institute of Japanese Studies