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 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

Related courses


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 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
John LoBreglio Senior Lecturer in Japanese Studies
Dr Laurence Mann Senior Lecturer in Japanese Language
Dr Louella Matsunaga Programme Lead for Anthropology and Geography
Mrs 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, Professor Joy Hendry, Dr Mitchell Sedgwick 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, 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 Professor Joy Hendry, Dr Mitchell Sedgwick 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.
John LoBreglio 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

Specialism in Japanese Anthropology

Oxford Brookes has been a centre for the Anthropology of Japan for many years. Jason Danely, lecturer for the Anthropology course, talks about modules you can take that specialise in Japanese Anthropology, as well as the Japan Room, study abroad options and the Europe Japan Research Centre. 

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 fulfills 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.


Fantastic Empire Science Writing and Science Fiction in Modern Japan, 1900-193‪7‬

Recorded 21 February 2019

Science fiction existed in Japanese since the early years after the Meiji Restoration (1868), but primarily as translations of Western canonical works. Between 1890 and 1910, new stories were written by Japanese authors, which quickly gained an enthusiastic audience. After WWI, however, popular scientific journals, catering to educated middle class readers and non-specialists began publishing speculative science writing and science fantasy. Researchers, engineers, and technical specialists also were involved, both in the production and critique of these new visions of Japan's future. 

In this talk, Moore explores the intersection between fiction writing, imperial politics, and the dissemination of scientific knowledge. Using scientific studies to structure their imagination of possible futures, Japanese writers asked: what will space travel be like? Can we make artificial humans? Will super-weapons change the global political order? And what role will the Empire of Japan play in this new world?

High Speed Icons of Japan: Planes, Trains and Understanding Japanese Societ‪y‬

Recorded 28 November 2018

For over 50 years, the shinkansen has been transporting people across Japan punctually, quickly, comfortably and safely. When it began services on 1 October 1964, in time for the Tōkyō Olympics, it heralded a new age in railway transport and since that time the shinkansen network has continued to grow with many changes since the break up and privatisation of the railways in 1987. 

Meanwhile the aviation market has also continued to evolve, with ANA becoming Japan’s biggest airline in recent years, the construction and expansion of airports, and the introduction of low cost carriers. But there is more to these trains and planes than merely means of transportation; they also reflect a range of aspects of Japanese society. This paper will look at a range of issues relating to their design and usage that will reveal ways in which they can help us to understand Japanese society.