Europe Japan Research Centre

About us


The Europe Japan Research Centre (EJRC) was launched in 2001 and, since then, has brought over 200 academics, artists and other performers from around the world to Oxford Brookes University for scholarly talks and other public events. In addition to this seminar series, the EJRC has hosted research conferences, supported visiting researchers, and published occasional papers. At the postgraduate level, we support students working on various aspects of Japanese Studies through the Masters by Research degree as well as through independent Mphil/PhD research.

EJRC has become a home for researchers in Japanese Studies across the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences with a wide range of research expertise, including Japanese cinema, linguistics, language pedagogy, religions of Japan, modern Japanese history, and contemporary Japanese culture.

Japanese ceremony

EJRC is pround to be supported through generous funding from The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation. The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation seeks to promote mutual understanding and cooperation between the UK and Japan through financial support for activities in a number of fields, from arts and culture to humanities and social issues, from Japanese language to sport and education, from science and technology to medicine and health.


Alexander Jacoby

Dr Alexander Jacoby

Senior Lecturer in Japanese Studies and Director of Europe Japan Research Centre

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Name Role Email
Dr Jason Danely Reader in Anthropology of Japan
Dr Alice Freeman Lecturer in Modern Japanese History
Dr Hanako Fujino Senior Lecturer in Japanese Language and Linguistics
Professor Joy Hendry Emeritus Professor of Anthropology
Sumire Hori Language Instructor in Japanese
Dr Alexander Jacoby Senior Lecturer in Japanese Studies and Director of Europe Japan Research Centre
Dr Laurence Mann Senior Lecturer in Japanese Language
Dr Louella Matsunaga Research Associate
Yumiko Ishiwata O'Meara Language Instructor in Japanese
Dr Kerri Russell Senior Lecturer in Japanese Language and Linguistics


Name Thesis Title Supervisors Completed
Dr Sébastien Boret New Buddhist “natural” funerals in Japan Professor Jeremy MacClancy, Dr Mitchell Sedgwick, Professor Joy Hendry 2011
Alexandra Chesters The Joy of Possessions and Decluttering in Japan and the West Dr Jason Danely, Professor Jeremy MacClancy


Dr Paola Esposito Butoh and the West: A Performative Ethnographic Analysis of the Spread of Butoh-dance outside of Japan Professor Jeremy MacClancy, Dr Mitchell Sedgwick 2014
Dr Anna Fraser Medical properties of hot springs in Japan Professor Chris McDonaugh, Professor Jeremy MacClancy, Professor Joy Hendry 2013
Dr Douglas Frewer The social agency of postage stamps: Japanese postage stamps in a global context Catherine Atherton, Professor Jeremy MacClancy, Professor Joy Hendry 2004
Dr Duccio Gasparri Locals, New-locals, Non-locals: (Re)mapping people and food in post-disaster Ishinomaki, Japan Professor Jeremy MacClancy, Dr Louella Matsunaga 2020
Dr Ruth Martin Opportunity and fulfilment: Overseas transfer and the Japanese housewife James Roberson, Professor Joy Hendry 2004
Dr Stephanie Oeben Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games in Europe and Japan: A Comparative Anthropological Study Professor Jeremy MacClancy, Dr Mitchell Sedgwick 2013
Brittany Rapone Cultural Influences Behind Exotic Pet Cafés in Japan and their Relation to the International Pet Trade Professor Anna Nekaris, OBE, Dr Jason Danely


Dr Ayumi Sasagawa Life-choices: university educated mothers in a Japanese suburb Dr Jane Ribbens-McCarthy, Professor Joy Hendry 2001
Dr Phil Sawkins (Not) only connect – investigating the place of the mobile phone in Japanese lives Dr Mitchell Sedgwick, Professor Joy Hendry 2007
Dr Katsunobu Shimizu Spurning the Classroom: The discourse and reality of School Non-Attendance in Contemporary Japan 2009


Name Role Organisation
Professor Sébastien Boret Associate Professor Tohoku University
Peter Wynn Kirby Senior Member University of Oxford
Dr Ruth Martin Associate Lecturer in Anthropology Oxford Brookes University
Hirochika Nakamaki Professor Emeritus Osaka Museum of Ethnology
James Roberson Professor of Anthropology Tokyo Jogakkan College
Dr Mitchell Sedgwick Senior visiting fellow and guest teacher London School of Economics
Dr Bruce White Executive Director The Organisation for Intra-Cultural Development (OICD)


Active projects

Project title and description Investigator(s) Funder(s) Dates

Japan 2020

Major online and in-venue survey of Japanese cinema from the silent era to the 21st century, timed to coincide with the (postponed) Tokyo Olympics now scheduled for summer 2021.

Dr Alexander Jacoby From: January 2020

Eastern Buddhist Editorship

John Lo Breglio moonlights as editor of the academic journal, carrying articles on all aspects of Buddhism as well as English translations of classical Buddhist texts and works by modern Buddhist thinkers. The journal was founded in 1921 by renowned scholar of Buddhism, D. T. Suzuki, and his wife, Beatrice Lane Suzuki. John is currently preparing for the centennial issue.

From: April 2017

Exploring Global Jodo Shinshu Through Ritual Practice: Histories, Transformations and Localisations

Dr Louella Matsunaga, in collaboration with Dr Enrique Galvan-Alvarez (Universidad Internacional de La Rioja-UNIR) and Professor Mitsuya Dake (Ryukoku University).

Dr Louella Matsunaga Numata Foundation From: September 2020

Completed projects

Project title and description Investigator(s) Funder(s) Dates

Comparison of older ex-offender resettlement and community-based organisations for reducing recidivi

This research involved a year of fieldwork with ex-offender rehabilitation NGOs in the Tokyo area and western England.

Dr Jason Danely SSRC, Sasakawa Foundation From: April 2016
Until: April 2020

Kawashima: The Missing Link

Retrospective films by Japanese director Yuzo Kawashima (1918-1963) at Il Cinema Ritrovato, Bologna. The latest programme in an ongoing collaboration with this festival inaugurated in 2012.

Dr Alexander Jacoby From: January 2020
Until: December 2020

Poetry, song, heritage: the Poetic Mind

Dr Laurence Mann John Fell Fund From: January 2019
Until: December 2020

Can the music of poetry transcend cultural and linguistic barriers?

Dr Manon Jones Creative Multilingualism From: January 2018
Until: December 2020

Let's Read Japanese

One of the most frustrating problems for students learning Japanese is the relative absence of good reading material which allows them to both practice the language at different levels, and also learn about Japanese history and society. The Let’s Read Japanese series fulfils this need by providing graded, engaging stories for all learners of Japanese.

The books include famous stories from Japan and other parts of the world - re-tellings of traditional stories, classic tales, Japanese legends and poems, as well as some newly-commissioned stories - all designed to introduce particular aspects of Japanese culture and society. The stories complement any textbook being used by a learner of Japanese anywhere in the world; the books are ideal for those learning in language schools or through self-study.


Europe Japan Research Centre Podcasts

For over two decades, the Europe-Japan Research Centre (EJRC) has brought distinguished guest speakers to Oxford to present on a broad range of topics in Japanese studies. From literature and film, to anthropology and religious studies, EJRC speakers showcase a range of perspectives on Japanese culture, revealing its complexity while making it accessible. The EJRC seminar series is supported by the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation.