I am currently a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania. Having submatriculated, I have spent the summer between earning my undergraduate degree and my final year of graduate school studying East Asia as a fellow at ICAS. In my time as an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania pursuing a double major in International Relations and East Asian Languages and Civilizations, I was able to both intern as a research assistant and study abroad in Japan. Becoming a summer fellow at ICAS allowed me to combine those two experiences into a wholly new and rewarding experience.
This summer, I acted as a research assistant for Dr. James Brown, who is on the TUJ faculty and a specialist on Japan-Russia relations. As my focus area is primarily East Asia, this position gave me the opportunity to expand my base of knowledge with respect to Russia and its position in the global political environment. Under Dr. Brown’s supervision, I did research into visa-free zone agreements between Russia and European nations and helped to evaluate their potential as precedents to a resolution for the Northern Territories dispute between Japan and Russia. Additionally, I conducted research into the impetuses for periods of cooperation between Japan and Russia in the past several decades.
What I appreciated as a summer fellow at ICAS was not only the interesting projects that I was given, but also the independence with which I was allowed to complete them. ICAS gives its fellows a great deal of flexibility in how they get their work done. One does not always need to be in the ICAS office in order to complete their work, and the events they attend vary depending upon who their supervisor is. Often, I would spend the morning working out of a coffee shop before joining my supervisor at a meeting with a diplomat or a talk by a foreign minister. I was often asked for my input in which events I would find most helpful to attend, and ICAS would set up meetings with people who worked in areas which were specifically interesting to us. As such, being a summer fellow at ICAS gave me the opportunity to tailor the experience to my own needs, which was as rewarding as it was challenging.
Having recently graduated from the Asian University for Women in Bangladesh with a major in Economics and double minors in Development Studies and Mathematics, I could not have asked for a more rewarding summer to become integrated with what is commonly perceived as the ‘Real World’. The experience of working as a summer fellow at the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies (ICAS) at Temple University, Japan was in many ways an opportunity for finding a possible career interest in the obscure arena of post-graduation life.
This summer I worked with Robert Dujarric, the director of ICAS. My research topic was the “Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and Japan’s role as the leader of the trade bloc.” Being an Economics major, Japan remained a wonder for me for a long time with its rapid economic growth in the post-war period. However, my knowledge about the rich Japanese culture, society and polity remained limited. Through this research, I can definitely say that I have a greater understanding about Japan now than I had before. My project also allowed me to understand better the nature of trade bargains, the stakeholders, the negotiations, and the politics of multi-lateral trade agreements. Throughout the whole process, I was fortunate enough to interview a lot of professionals from various fields such as ministry officials, trade experts, authors, and diplomats. Those meetings were full of intellectual insights about the politics and economics of Japan. Apart from my research experience, I am highly grateful to ICAS for all the events that I was fortunate enough to attend. The wide range of professional networking made me aware of the possibilities of working in international organizations in future.
Tokyo became a home for me because of the lasting friendships that I formed here. The soccer game nights, the weekends, the mini trips and the infinite dinners are where I found people to rely on in a strange bustling city of which I had little clue about. In the ICAS office, the entire team provided one of the finest working environments one could possibly ask for. I consider myself eternally blessed to have gained the opportunity to work here. Sometimes the clichés turn out to be true. Life may take its turn, but I will forever cherish the home that I made here, with my work and with my friendships!
I am a rising junior at the George Washington University, majoring in International Affairs and Japanese, and I could not have thought of a better way to spend my summer. As a research assistant for Robert Dujarric, I primarily focused on Japan and China in regards to soft power and international visibility. With a specific emphasis on the fields of education and philanthropy, I analyzed the current status of Japanese influence in light of growing Chinese presence. I am grateful for this summer fellowship and how it has taught me the essential skills which I can apply in my academic and professional endeavors.
Beyond my research, I participated in other activities that not only expanded my knowledge but also allowed me to interact with a diverse body of people. The ICAS events deepened my understanding of Japan, and the luncheons and dinners gave me the opportunity to meet people from various professions. In addition, our visits to the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA), the Brazilian Embassy, and Bloomberg further enriched my fellowship at ICAS.
Sharing this experience with the other fellows made it all the more unforgettable. The chance to explore the country alongside them was incredible, and I am beyond thankful for our new friendships. Furthermore, the ICAS staff has always been kind and understanding, which contributed to the ideal office environment. The dynamic nature of this fellowship instilled in me a greater sense of dedication and enthusiasm. I feel fortunate to have been given this opportunity.
Faizah Aziz Aditya
If I had to use one word to explain my internship experience at Temple University, it would be “intense”. Everything about the internship program and experience for me was intense – from learning to navigate myself around a completely new country that did not speak my language to conducting my own research as an independent adult – each and every experience for the two months of being in Tokyo and Temple University was intense. It was first intensely scary, then intensely confusing and complicated, then intensely enjoyable, and finally intensely worthwhile.
Now in my fourth year as an undergraduate student at Asian University for Women in Bangladesh, this internship provided me with an opportunity to learn something new and discover my weaknesses, strengths, and interests more thoroughly. The flexibility offered at TUJ, from how the professors dealt with their students to the very flexible office hours, gave me the ability to pick up a challenge, steer clear of my major at university and learn something completely new over the summer.
Under the supervision of Robert Dujarric, my research focused on the evolution of shonen-ai or boys love manga in Japan, a case study comparing the first pioneering work of the shonen-ai genre, “The Heart of Thomas” with a popular contemporary manga, “The World’s Greatest First Love” over the span of 32 years to see what changes have occurred throughout this time in terms of representation of masculinity, gender, illustration and pinpoint out problematic areas as well as areas of further research.
I attended lectures by Professor Patrick Galbreith which really contributed towards my own research and taught me thoroughly about manga culture in Japan. The public lectures offered at Temple University along with various others in universities around Tokyo offered a great scope for learning about new fields and issues concerning Japan. These lectures, along with field trips to Kamakura, Yokohama, and Akihabara with Japanese students from other universities altogether offered a fascinating glimpse into the Japanese culture, history, society and its people. I learnt throughout my time in Japan, every day and every moment. I will now go back with a wealth of knowledge and an interesting experience up my sleeves.
I am a rising senior at University College London and Sciences Po Paris, majoring in international relations with a focus on Asia and Europe. As part of my dissertation at UCL, I conducted research on China and its political system. I took an interest in the evolution of the Chinese Communist Party and of its legitimacy, seeking to grasp the secret of its longevity. Reading about various trends from the Neo-Left to Neo-Confucianism, I became curious about the ongoing debate regarding the myths, traditions and ideologies modern China is reviving in order to articulate its own definition of political modernity. In short, I was interested in analyzing what is understood as ‘good governance’ in contemporary China. I had the chance to be supervised by Robert Dujarric, who provided me with insightful comments and fascinating readings that initiated discussions beyond my original field of research. Wang Yi, an expert on nationalism in China and currently working towards a PhD at Waseda University, was also kind enough to provide me with advice and assistance on this project.
Besides working on China research, I also helped Mr. Dujarric prepare a conference for the French Institute on Japan and its relative isolation in terms of immigration and education. I learnt a lot about different facets of Japanese contemporary society and was even given the chance to speak for a short moment at the conference. Apart from this event, the internship was rich in opportunities to meet academic experts and professionals. In addition to participating in optional field trips, I attended numerous guest lectures, dinners, and professional luncheons.
Last but not least, I particularly enjoyed evolving in a multidisciplinary and multicultural environment! Working alongside five other interns, all coming from different backgrounds (USA, Bangladesh, China and Taiwan) and various academic interests helped trigger stimulating discussions and broadened my own perspective.
Altogether, I have spent an incredibly stimulating summer at ICAS, and would advise anyone interested in either Japan or East Asia to embark on this incredible adventure.
Stacy (Jungyang) Lin
I am a rising senior at King’s College London, majoring in International Relations in the Department of War Studies. During the internship with ICAS, I was supervised by Commander John Bradford, ICAS Adjunct Fellow. I worked as a research assistant on a project studying the cooperation between the Japanese Self-Defense Forces and ASEAN countries. I also worked as a Programming Director for the Yokosuka Council on Asia-Pacific Studies (YCAPS), where I was also supervised by CDR Bradford, the President of YCAPS. My work included pre-event announcements, advertisements through social media, event logistics, building up the participant database, and helping to grow YCAPS’ outreach initiatives.
ICAS also encourages interns to conduct their own research. The academic experiences were fantastic as I had precious opportunities to get to know and even discuss ideas with important scholars in my research field, which I really appreciated. During this internship, I researched how ‘the rise of China’ might have changed Japan’s security identity. Analysing official reports, I found that through publishing the China Security Report annually since 2011, official narratives are provided to shape domestic and international views on how China has posed a threat to the regional and international community.
My internship with ICAS was one of the most fruitful learning experiences of my life. During the internship, I benefited greatly from ICAS’ interesting public forums, research ideas from fellows, and the private seminars and conferences. Discussing with other interns who had diverse research interests also enlightened my understanding about important issues in the region. The staff and fellows were ready to help facilitate our research interests as well as provide advice for future careers.
I am very grateful to have had this internship opportunity granted by ICAS at TUJ. The things I learnt and people I met during this summer internship will remain very important influences for my future career and most importantly my worldview.
This summer I worked as a research assistant for Professor Cleveland, conducting research and translating documents related to his research on the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The research was focused on guidelines meant to help governments and nuclear-related organizations make decisions about issues such as sheltering and evacuation and how these have changed over time in Japan and around the world. Of course, this research gave me a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the disaster, but it also gave me a window into what conducting high-level, challenging research is like. I was given a lot of freedom to manage my own schedule, which let me make the most of my time in Tokyo.
The staff at ICAS and Temple were very friendly and welcoming. They were always willing to help us with any problems, regardless of whether they were directly related to the internship or not. The program also helped us make connections with a wide array of prominent scholars and professionals in Tokyo and exposed us to a lot of information about topics related to Asian studies. The number of lectures available to attend is staggering. It’s a really great opportunity for anyone with an interest in research on Asia. The program was also a great opportunity to meet motivated and interesting students from around the world.
As a rising senior from Ritsumeikan University majoring in international relations, I truly appreciated the opportunity to intern at ICAS. Since I was raised in mainland China and I’m now spending my college years in Japan and Hong Kong, I have become interested in the transregional interactions of these three areas. This summer, I helped Professor Wang Yi on his project which pertained to the collective memory of Chinese. I collected statistics on publications from the Republic of China era and studies which focused on political propaganda concerning national humiliation and imperialism. Professor Wang’s project had a close connection with my own research project which focuses on the collective memory of Hong Kong people. I looked at reports related to the Anti-Japanese War in Hong Kong’s new media and examined the reasons behind different narratives. With Professor Wang and Robert Dujarric’s suggestions, as well as discussions with my colleagues, I developed a comparative analysis of collective memory and localism in Hong Kong.
During the internship, ICAS provided us with a variety of academic activities including visits to the Japanese Cabinet Office, Yasukuni Shrine, and sessions at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan (FCCJ) and Tokyo University. The schedule was very flexible and every intern could choose activities which fit her research interests. There is no doubt that I have broadened my knowledge on Sino-Japanese relations and Japanese studies through the activities and discussions with guest scholars. The experience of being an intern at ICAS has encouraged me to explore the academic world of international relations.
I am a graduate student studying Japanese translation at Kent State University. Over the course of this internship I worked with Dr. Sachiko Horiguchi on her projects on the Japan English Teacher (JET) Program and communication disorders. The JET project looks at the effects of the program on JET participants, and my work involved transcribing interviews with former JETs. The project on communication disorders attempts to define what communication nouryoku (communication skills) is. For this project I researched komyushou (communication disorders) in Japanese and summarized my findings in English; I also translated and summarized hiring data surveys. The work was quite interesting, and I enjoyed learning more about fields with which I am unfamiliar.
Attending the ICAS lectures and outings was also a great opportunity because they exposed me to other topics and ideas. I was also able to meet and network with many different people. Some of the best experiences on the internship for me were the stimulating (and occasionally heated) discussions I had with various scholars and intellectuals. I had a great time on the internship, and I hope to use what I’ve learned to achieve my academic and career goals.
I am currently a junior at University College London and Sciences Po Paris, majoring in international relations with a focus on Europe and China. During my internship at ICAS, I was given the opportunity to work with Robert Dujarric on Japan’s defense policy, researching the issue of Japan’s maritime disputes with China, focusing more specifically on Europe’s involvement in the matter. This was probably my most enriching professional experience: I learned to conduct serious independent research, both by reading from a diverse set of sources and taking part in thought-provoking lectures at local think tanks, including ICAS, or other institutions in Tokyo. ICAS’s broad network was also a real asset, allowing me to interview leading academics and diplomats who had first-hand experience of my research subject. If I were to describe the main takeaway from this summer, it would be how great it was to finally put classroom material into context. Overall, this internship really added depth to the way I view research in international affairs.
ICAS’s frequent lectures and impressive resources also allowed me to extend my knowledge in various fields far beyond my research subject, not only on Japan but also East Asia as a whole. The internship was flexible and left time for pursuing my own research interests. Working alongside the other interns was a real pleasure too! Everybody was from different backgrounds and researched completely different topics, while all being curious and open-minded, leading to intellectually stimulating conversations and exchanges of ideas.
Under the supervision of Professor Cleveland, I conducted research about the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster and its social and political consequences. Along with another intern, we visited the Tohoku region to conduct interviews with victims, municipal leaders, lawyers and community organizers.
This program is great for students who want to gain experience as independent researchers in a foreign country. The flexible scheduling may be intimidating, but with initiative and hard work, this pays off. Another great feature of the ICAS internship is that it allows interns to visit multinational corporations, attend guest lectures and dinner events. This portion of the program also gave students insight into the many different facets of Japanese society.
I am a graduate student at Kent State University studying Japanese translation. As an ICAS intern I worked with Dr. James Brown on his project regarding Russian-Japanese relations. Our focus was to understand the portrayals of Russia in Japan and determine whether it had an effect on Japanese people’s attitudes towards Russia. Our research focused on these portrayals found in Japanese history textbooks. We looked at 3 different textbooks spanning from junior school to high school and evaluated page count and content concerning mentions of Russia. The translation of these textbooks was challenging for me but I enjoyed learning more about Russia and its relationship with Japan.
The ICAS events were great opportunities to meet new people and get a chance to discuss with other academics in numerous fields. One of my favorite trips was the one to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office. We were able to meet representatives of the office and hear their plans to globalize and prepare for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. It also gave us a chance to ask questions and share our ideas from a foreign perspective.
I am glad I got to work with and meet such great people. I hope to use the experience and relationships I gained on this internship to further my career goals.
This summer I worked with Professor Kyle Cleveland and another intern, Akira Camargo, on the Great East Japan Earthquake and the subsequent accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. As a junior in the School of International Liberal Studies at Waseda University in Tokyo, I had just come back from a one-year study abroad program at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
The first part of the internship was devoted to learning about the Fukshima issue. I also conducted research about the evacuation process right after the disaster. The later part of my internship was dedicated to an interview trip to Fukushima, in which we talked with evacuees, people who administer the temporary housing, lawyers, and professors. Not only was the trip insightful, it also taught me many things about planning, interview process, translation (or the difficulties of undertaking them!). And last but not the least, getting to know the other eight interns who I worked with was a great pleasure. All coming from different backgrounds, it was always interesting to hear their different perspectives on many different subjects.
I recommend this internship to people who are interested in working in the academia field in the future and people who are interested in Japan in any way. Tokyo is a huge city that I love, and I hope the future interns will also get to utilize their time here to explore this lovely metropolis. I also highly encourage students from Japanese universities to join this program, because I believe that I was a unique addition to the internship program this year as the only student from a Japanese university. All interns should come with a clear idea of what they want to achieve during the course of this seemingly long but very short summer internship, and be proactive about their goal throughout the program.
This summer, I worked with Robert Dujarric and my professors back in my home university to split my time between two projects. The first project pertained to how Japan perceives and is perceived by the outside world, involving hunting for statistics that relate to population and migration, and observing how Japanese newspapers reported on current US political events, such as the 2016 primaries. The second research project pertained to my upcoming senior thesis as an East Asian Languages and Cultures major with a focus in Japanese Art History at Bryn Mawr College. Through ICAS’ contacts I was able to establish connections with several knowledgeable professors and museum curators who helped to point me in the right direction, as well as visiting many art museums and attend lectures that were pertinent to my thesis topic.
My summer at ICAS came after finishing up my junior year abroad studying Japanese in Kyoto, and it was the perfect way to end my year in Japan. Through the ICAS internship I was able to not only expand my knowledge of areas of Japanese (and East Asian studies) I did not have a strong background in, but also was able to expand my networking and communication skills in both Japanese and English. I made many valuable contacts through ICAS that I still keep in touch with now, and I feel much more secure and confident in how will be able to utilize these to help me with my career path post graduation. I would like to thank all of the faculty and staff at ICAS, with special thanks to Ms. Kawaguchi, for all of their hard work during the program, and for all of the help and tips everyone was able to give me. My advice for anyone who wishes to intern with ICAS is to have a set plan in mind for what you want to accomplish over the summer. Although my primary research interests did not match any current available professors, thanks to my prior planning and a detailed description of what I wanted to accomplish, my supervisor was able to provide me with contacts and advice that were invaluable to my research. In addition, because I was open to researching new topics, my knowledge of Japanese politics also expanded dramatically, and has even added an additional lens through which I will now approach my senior thesis.
I had a terrific experience at Temple University Japan Campus this summer. I worked on two different projects. One was on the comfort women issue in Japan which was supervised by Robert Dujarric. I looked at the historical background, and implications of the issue in different countries, and also in the present analyzing the relationship between Japan and the countries involved (such as Korea and China). Since I am interested in a career in Conflict Management with a focus on Women in Conflict, I explored how the role of women was defined during the Second World War and how it was politicized.
My second project was on the rise of Islamic terrorism in Bangladesh. I helped Professor Jeff Kingston learn more about the politics in Bangladesh, looking at how religion and nationalism shape the identities of Bangladeshis. Due to the recent terror attack in Dhaka, which happened during the internship, we modified our research to understand why there is a growing trend to shift towards extremist Islam in Bangladesh. Both research projects were related to my interests, which made this internship more enjoyable. Not only did it help foster my research experience and interest, but it also provided me with useful connections with people who share the same interests.
Also, the internship was flexible enough to allow me to observe fasting during Ramadan. Everyone was highly supportive during the Dhaka terror attack as well. The advisors were mentors guiding me throughout the internship to plan thoroughly in order to succeed in achieving my ambition.
I learned a lot through this internship: It taught me to be a global student as I got more acquainted with current world affairs and about issues that were not of particular significance to me before. I was exposed to the corporate world as well as the academic world, met diplomats as well as journalists, visited shrines as well as government buildings. The whole program was composed of various activities, events and field trips which helped me grow personally, professionally and academically.
As a rising senior at Brown University majoring in Education Studies, I conducted research this summer on the internationalization of Japanese higher education. Specifically, I unpacked why there exists a cross-cultural imbalance in the number of domestic scholars exported and in the number of international scholars imported by interviewing experts in the field, analyzing quantitative data, and synthesizing primary and secondary sources. This endeavor would not have been possible without my supervisor who expressed copious interest in my academic pursuits despite his principal expertise being in another field.
Research, albeit being my principal goal, was not the sole focus of this internship. The supplementary experiences played just as big a part in my academic growth as did the research. The weekly ICAS talks and the field trips organized by the program to surrounding areas in the Kanto region enhanced the cultural experience of being in Japan. Visiting the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and Bloomberg as well as ICAS fervent efforts to connect me with his professional network of academics worldwide similarly allowed for ample career development.
My summer would not have been what it was, however, without the wonderful community of interns. The conglomerate of countries (France, China, Bangladesh, Japan, USA) and fields (International Relations, Sociology, Art History, East Asian Studies, Translation, Policy/Economics, Education) represented within the cohort formed the internship’s strongest suit: its international and interdisciplinary nature. The conversations in which I engaged with my fellow interns provoked many insightful ideas and thoughts that I will undoubtedly continue to build upon in the future.
The freedom and autonomy I was given during the internship were great privileges that allowed me to advance my research in the direction with which I wanted it to progress, and I consequently left the program fully satiated. If you’re looking for a flexible and independent summer research experience that is rich to the intellect, I would highly recommend this internship!
I am a rising senior at Pomona College in Claremont, California. My major is Japanese language and literature with a minor in Africana Studies. I had the pleasure of working with Dr. Alistair Howard as well as Ben Karp during my time at Temple University Japan Campus. Dr. Howard and I worked on multiple projects together but our main project was co-authoring an article on international students in higher education. The article proposes a new, meta-institutional approach to addressing the problems and challenges faced by international students, faculty, and their host institutions that are accompanied with the rapid influx of international students on Western campuses. The theoretical nature of the piece made it not only fun to think and write about, but its suggested approach, clashing with theories currently prevalent in the literature, led to many debates with leaders in education and fellow interns at TUJ. Writing this article has thus been an excellent academic exercise, engaging with others’ minds that forced me to view different perspectives and critically think about my own.
Although on a topic and in a field unrelated to the previous work, working with Ben Karp on his project, soon to become a blog titled “Histories and Identities” has been equally rewarding. The blog investigates identities of individuals from across the globe, with anecdotes of their past that helped form who they are today. I was given the task of creating a series of five or so vignettes of the story of Baye McNeil, also known as “Loco in Yokohama”, a freelance writer who has written two books on the Black American experience in Japan. I organized his interview into multiple sections, found visuals to accompany it, and overlapped the audio onto the visual to produce a presentable series of videos. Additionally, for the blog, as a person of mixed-race descent, Ben Karp invited me to create a piece on my identity and story—something I look forward to working on with him further down the road.
Having this kind of internship was life changing for me. As a first generation college student, these past two months have given me insight into expectations and dynamics of a professional environment, the world of networking, and exposure to the rigor of academia beyond undergraduate schooling that otherwise I would have had to clumsily learn on my first job or first day in graduate school. And as a rising senior, the workload, reading and the autonomy in my position gave me the skills and independence I will need to produce a well-written, thought-provoking senior thesis.
Overall, what an intellectually stimulating summer this has been! I am so grateful to have had this opportunity and especially glad to have shared with those who work at the ICAS office, my two advisors, and the other interns. As I move forward in my academic career, their passion, ambition, intellect, and friendship will continue to inspire me to work harder and dream bigger than before.
I am a graduate student in International Relations at New York University. This summer I worked with Professor Jeffery Kingston on three book projects: Religion and Nationalism in contemporary China; Nationalism and regional security in Asia; Nuclear power in Asia. I conducted preliminary research on the academic literature addressing the topic in Chinese-speaking and English-speaking publications, drafted a history timeline of events related to the topic, transcribed interviews that Professor Kingston conducted with intellectuals in the field, and helped the drafting of a literature review of the topics. Before the internship program, I researched nationalism at NYU, but this internship experience provided me a historical approach to examine nationalism in contemporary China—analyzing how the Qing-era version affected present-day nationalism; as well as a complete picture of rising nationalism in Asia—analyzing how nationalism manifests itself differently in Japan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.
I also attended various academic conferences in the field to familiarize myself and helped Professor Kingston get a sense of how the research topic has progressed in the academic field. I attended the Asian Studies Annual Conference at Doshisha University in Kyoto, sessions at the Foreign Correspondent Club of Japan and Sophia University. Apart from assisting Professor Kingston on the book projects, I also used the two months at Tokyo to conduct archival research for my dissertation at NYU. The internship program helped me enhance my research skills and expand my academic network.
I am an upcoming senior at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, majoring in International Studies and Japanese Studies. During my internship, I worked under the guidance of Professor Jeff Kingston on conducting senior thesis research on the history and treatment of comfort women and forced prostitution during WWII. Through the ICAS internship, I am grateful that I was able to access a wide variety of research databases and resources about comfort women as well as meet comfort women historians and activists face-to-face through ICAS-related conferences and seminars.
The ICAS internship also provided me the opportunity to see Tokyo for the first time through various ICAS-funded excursions and events such as trips to Yasukuni Shrine and the Korean Embassy. I additionally enjoyed meeting and hanging out with the other ICAS interns from all over the world at both publicly and privately organized events. Overall, I would recommend this internship as it gives interns an innumerable amount of opportunities to network and meet and work with esteemed experts, professionals, and government officials through ICAS.
This summer, I worked with Professor Kyle Cleveland researching the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. It was a great opportunity to study the subject in depth, and I learned a lot about the science involved and have a much deeper and informed knowledge of the disaster now. I feel especially lucky that the internship gave me a chance to do some traveling within Japan: two trips up to Fukushima and one to Hiroshima. The research interviews we did during these trips were challenging, but very interesting. Particularly, interviewing atomic bomb survivors in Hiroshima was an especially rare opportunity which I was very fortunate to be a part of.
The ICAS fieldtrips were also great opportunities to do things I wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise, such as talking to officials at the Korean embassy or touring a U.S. Navy destroyer. What made these trips even better were the great ICAS faculty and interns. I was happy to be working alongside such amazing people, who made an awesome internship even better!
Sunny Huang is a rising senior Eckardt and Dean’s Scholar at Lehigh University who is studying the intersections between Asian Studies, sociology, and mass communication. She worked with ICAS Adjunct Fellow Ben Karp as his project coordinator, research and teaching assistant in an array of experiences that deepened her understanding of Japanese intersectionality and culture as viewed from diverse perspectives.
As a project coordinator, Sunny set the foundation for ICAS’ History and Identities project and blog that explore multicultural identities in Japan and how definitions of those identities change by initiating and accelerating story ideas, performing outreach, coordinating interviews, and managing social media. As a research assistant, she researched Japan-U.S. gender inequalities in the intersection of marriage and work through secondary source searches and quantitative analysis. As a teaching assistant, she prepared and reviewed materials and assignments for two classes, about “eating cultures” and identity, for study abroad and Japanese undergraduates. She is excited about continuing working with Professor Karp in the fall.
This internship supplemented her thesis research into the “Humans of New York” phenomenon, as it provided her with multiple opportunities to engage all aspects and perspectives of Japan on personal, scholarly, and professional levels. With ICAS’ influence, she and the other interns were able to attend visits to U.S. air and naval bases, discussions with ambassadors and experts, and access to lectures at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan (FCCJ) and Sophia University.
Min Jung Kim
I study Media and Communication & Political Science and Japanese at University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. During my exchange semester at Sciences Po Paris, Robert Dujarric from ICAS visited my class as a guest lecturer. I found his talk particularly fascinating, and during my follow-up research into his work, I found this wonderful internship opportunity with TUJ in Japan, where I could further my interests in East Asian politics and media in Japan.
My two months working as an intern for Professor Jeff Kingston was one of the most important experiences that I had during my college career. We focused upon issues in the bilateral relationship between Korea and Japan.
Working with Professor Kingston was special to me in a number of ways. Although it may have been brief, the opportunity to work with one of the most prominent experts in my field, for whom I have a particular respect, was the best academic experience I could have asked for as a student. Every week, Professor Kingston and I met to analyze the projects. I was challenged by thought-proving statements and criticisms that I truly appreciate because they have helped me become a more understanding and insightful researcher.
What I would like to especially mention is the warm support and opportunities ICAS provided its interns, for our own dreams, passions, and interests. ICAS hosted various events and trips to different institutions of Japanese society, such as U.S. naval and air bases and embassies. Through the talks we were kindly invited to attend, we gained a deeper understanding of the different layers of Japan, we were presented with valuable academic opportunities to engage in discussions with researchers from different aspects of Japan.
I met like-minded, passionate, and inspiring interns, who created an incredible learning environment for insightful discussions, and most importantly, who made my stay in Japan even more memorable and special. I can confidently say that my depth of understanding of Japan could not have broadened to this extent if it were not for the valuable academic opportunities provided by ICAS’ two-month learning opportunity to study Japan from its inside.
I am currently a rising senior at the University of California, Santa Cruz majoring in Language Studies and both Film & Digital Media. This summer I mainly worked with Ron Carr and Irene Herrera of Temple University Japan on a long running project, Urban Villages, that focuses highlighting critical issues in the urbanization of Asia’s fastest growing cities. The project includes short documentaries, each shot in different locations throughout Asia. The hope is that through the Urban Villages website, we will be able to raise awareness and start new conversations about the growth of cities, its causes and the solutions for those struggling to make a living in these urban centers.
During the internship I worked with professors Carr and Herrera to edit four different short documentaries, focusing on Tokyo, Mumbai, Manila, and Dhaka. I also conducted contextual research and learned about many social issues in Asia that I’d never heard about before. My responsibilities included logging footage, adding subtitles, editing and finalizing the projects. I got the opportunity to work closely with talented filmmakers, and learn how to use a variety of editing software. I also recorded and photographed many of the ICAS evening public lecture events, and attended a course on contemporary Japanese film and anime. I was able to go to many of the ICAS events with the other interns such as the embassy and U.S. naval and air bases tours, as well as gain access to events at the Foreign Correspondent’s Club. Through these events and exploring on my own, I got to see more sides of the country and gain insight into options for where to take my career in the future.
Ziji (Leo) Lin
Leo Lin is a student at the Elliott School of International Affairs in the George Washington University in Asian Studies with a minor in religion. He worked with Robert Dujarric over the summer as a research assistant.
The experience over the past two months here were amazing, if not life-changing. Not only was I able to put classroom material into context here in Tokyo; the benefit of being in the city itself during such a crucial time for Japan’s security reforms made my internship even more interesting.
There are two takeaways from this internship that impacted me greatly; these are the need for confidence and independence. The flexibility of the internship taught me that independent thinking is essential for any job. And through the encouragements of the advisors, I became grateful for the “there are no wrong answers” approach. It built my confidence in critical thinking and looking for answers “beneath the surface”.
Without the companionship of the other interns, Tokyo would not be as enjoyable. The high-quality of each intern, and their individual passion were all too impressive to be forgotten.
I am a rising senior at the Asian University for Women (AUW) in Bangladesh pursuing a major in Economics with minors in Development and Gender Studies. Given the chance to pursue this prestigious internship with ICAS in collaboration with AUW, ICAS gave me the opportunity to research with the guidance of Professor Finbarr McCarthy on gender equality laws in Japan. Regarding my academic experience of the internship, due to my particular interest of economic growth on women’s employment, I particularly studied the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of Japan under the considerate supervision of Professor McCarthy. Studying this particular Act helped me to understand legislature measures enacted by Japan to eradicate discrimination against women in employment and to analyze gender equality in the Japanese labor market. Furthermore, I was able to understand the present condition of Japan’s society and economy where the division of labor is categorized by certain gender dynamics and has significant impacts on the effectiveness of such laws. I will be using this valuable information from this study to pursue a comparative analysis of women’s employment in Japan with other countries.
Not only was I able to gain new academic insights of gender equality and discrimination laws of Japan, I also availed the opportunity to attend ICAS events and other seminars supported by ICAS. These discussions not only enriched my knowledge of Japan’s economic, political, and social relations, but also provided me a platform of professional networking which certainly exposed me to the professional world in a globalized environment.
Having been out of my own country for the first time, it has been great honor for me to have the opportunity to explore Tokyo in the two months of my internship, learn a lot about Japan’s unique culture, and to meet different professionals and academics through ICAS. Moreover, I felt highly privileged to meet members of my home university’s support committee in Tokyo, present in a fundraising meeting of my university with a Japanese multinational corporation, and was honored to be invited in a class in another university in Tokyo. These all were not possible without the support and flexibility that ICAS offers to its interns. Overall, I am highly obliged to ICAS for its support and resource that rewarded me with a great turning point of my life with some invaluable experiences that I will cherish for a long time.
This summer I was given the opportunity to work with Professor Kyle Cleveland on his research regarding 3.11 (the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear accident of 11 March 2011). Under his guidance, two other interns and I meandered through books, government documents, news articles, peer-reviewed articles, and interviews, collecting data that was previously known to the public. Through this “investigative” research I was able to reconstruct my preconceptions about 3.11 to better understand the complexities of the disaster. More importantly, I was able to collect data for my own research so that I can share what I have learned about 3.11 with others.
I had many life-changing experiences during this internship and because of that I feel better prepared for my future. I was able to practice sociological research methods by conducting my own interviews with evacuees, researchers, students, and government officials. I learned a lot about Japan through lectures at TUJ, by talking to the other ICAS interns who have studied and/or lived in Japan, and by traveling throughout the country to places like the Hiroshima Peace Memorial. Finally, I was able to meet many incredible and successful people who I am honored to call friends.
I am a 4th year student of the University of Tokyo and major in International Politics. I worked with Professor James D.J. Brown on a research project focused on the territorial dispute between Japan and Russia. I gathered data on this topic and studied the position of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). I collected Japanese news and academic articles, comments by Japanese politicians and former MOFA officials, read some memoirs by those who were engaged in the negotiation about this territorial dispute, interviewed a member of the League of Residents of Chishima and Habomai Islands as well as some former and current MOFA officials. I also attended my academic supervisor’s lectures at Temple University Japan in order to gain some background knowledge.
Because I had not previously studied Russia, Japan’s MOFA or this specific issue, I enjoyed a steep learning curve. On top of that, I really felt the importance of having different perspectives on a topic. Through working with a British professor on this Russo-Japanese dispute, as a Japanese student, I could gain an understanding of different viewpoints, which greatly opened my eyes.
Apart from this research, due to this internship, I was able to be exposed to new aspects of Japan during trips to places that Japanese normally do not have opportunities to visit, and by being constantly surrounded by foreign people I developed a better understanding of the world. I was surprised when I talked with US military officials and felt the strong pressure on Japan to introduce the right of Collective Self Defense. Japan looked really different when looking at it from an external perspective. I also met many new friends through this internship and had so much fun with them.
I learned a lot about my own country which broadened my horizons. I really appreciated this opportunity ICAS provided me. I hope more and more Japanese students like me will apply for this program.
I am a psychology student at Duke University. This summer, I worked with Professor Kyle Cleveland and two other interns on the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Not only did I get to learn about the behind-the-scenes happenings of such an important event and its effects, I was able to take a more proactive role in the research than I expected. We did translation and interpretation, online research, and set up and conducted interviews with various organizations and individuals. Furthermore, we took two trips to Fukushima to interview individuals directly involved in disaster management, and one to Hiroshima to learn about the atomic bombings. This summer was a rare opportunity to get a sense of what it would be like to be a social sciences researcher.
This summer, I worked with Professor Kyle Cleveland on his research about the 3.11 Fukushima Nuclear Disaster. Specifically, my task was mainly to compile and assess firsthand information on topics such as the different assessments by different organizations of the nuclear crisis, technological and political debates among organizations, and the reasoning behind the protective measures taken at the time by parsing through thousands of Japanese government records, international news reports, and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents on its involvement with the 3.11 crisis. Through the research, I was able to gain valuable information, further my capabilities as a researcher, and develop ideas for my own research. Outside of the research, I also enjoyed the various fieldtrips, lectures, and activities that enriched my experience in Japan. I am grateful to ICAS for a wonderful summer in Japan.
I am a first-year student in the MA program on East Asian International Relations at the National Institute of Oriental Studies (Inalco), Paris, with a focus on Japanese defense policies. In this perspective, I was mainly conducting some comparative research on long-term trends in defense expenditures between Japan and countries with a similar profile, under the supervision of Robert Dujarric.
I was impressed by the flexibility of this internship and the plurality of experiences it brought to me. Although focusing on research, the various activities, lectures, dinners, interviews and other opportunities I was given allowed me to understand Japan’s policy “market” from the inside, enhancing both my personal knowledge and professional network. As a European, this very particular American / globalized atmosphere increased my understanding of U.S. presence and posture in Japan, and improved my communication skills in a globalized environment. Finally, the kind and organized support of the ICAS team, as much as the various profiles and motivations of the other interns, provided me the best conditions to benefit from all these eye-opening experiences.
This internship has provided me with a wealth of experiences and knowledge that enriched my academic experience, as I could apply in a practical way what I had learnt in a university to my research. I am appreciative of the opportunities offered by Professor Dujarric especially. I was not strictly bound to a desk research position, but have been creatively encouraged to attend seminars and discussions with members of the various Japanese ministries and journalists. This has helped broaden my horizons and expanded my thinking processes as I am able to draw from the experiences I have had access to. Overall, I would highly recommend this internship as an all-rounded experience with plenty of opportunities to develop one’s research interests.
Yanchu Han is a rising second-year graduate student at The George Washington University. An International Affairs major with a regional concentration on East Asia, Yanchu came to Tokyo as an exchange student at the Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies in Waseda University. As a part-time intern at TUJ, he helped ICAS Director Robert Dujarric to collect information on the possibility of US-China conflict for Robert’s future publication. Tasks included translating and summarizing works by mainstream Chinese scholars. He expanded his regional expertise through academic research, and benefited greatly from a variety of events and networking opportunities TUJ offered. It was a joyful and rewarding experience interning at TUJ.
I am currently a graduate student at Stockholm University conducting research on Okinawa and the anti-base movement there. At ICAS I assisted Dr James Brown with his research on the Northern Territories Dispute between Russia and Japan. As I knew rather little of this dispute before coming to Tokyo, I can confidently say that I learnt a lot in a short amount of time. Dr Brown is interested in how both Russians and Japanese view a potential resolution to the dispute, so my main task was to find relevant material and to translate it from Japanese to English. Dr Brown was very considerate in allowing me to take his class on international relations as well as Professor Jeffrey Kingston’s Japan Today class. I am grateful to ICAS for allowing me to go to Okinawa for a few days for my research. One of the most rewarding aspects of the program was being able to meet so many people from the academic and corporate sectors. If it were not for ICAS, I would not have met these people as well as the other friendly interns.
Not having been to Japan since September 2011 and never having lived in Tokyo, I had the opportunity to become more acquainted with this giant city. I also had the opportunity to meet friends and acquaintances who I had not seen in several years. You learn a lot about Japan and its culture just by spending time with Japanese friends.
Overall, the program was very rewarding. I am grateful to have been chosen to partake in it, and I am very happy that I decided to spend a productive summer in Tokyo. Considering everything that I have learnt during my stay here, when I look back on this summer down the track I believe that I will view it as a minor turning point in my life.
Anyone who is interested in Japan and motivated to work hard should apply for this program.
Mari Kurihara is a rising junior at Barnard College majoring in economics, although her interests also reside in other fields in the social sciences and humanities. This summer, she had the privilege of researching under the guidance of Professor James Brown about how Russia is portrayed in Japanese history textbooks. This was an interesting topic, as Japanese relations with Russia are not discussed as much as relations with China and Korea. For her research project, Mari translated the history sections of the Monbukagakusho’s High School Curriculum Guidelines, also called the Gakushushidouyouryou, parts of the amendments made to the Guidelines, and sections related to Russia in the high school world history textbook.
While translating government documents was quite a challenge for Mari, she learned a lot through the process; she not only learned more about what and how the Japanese government wants education on history to be taught, but was also able to strengthen her English and Japanese skills. She was also quite surprised about how detailed the high school world history textbook had on Russian history, which she learned a lot about while translating. In addition to her research project with Professor Brown, Mari was able to attend some classes, go to conferences, and go on visits to the Kyodo News Agency, Yasukuni Shrine and Yushukan Museum. She appreciates the valuable opportunity given to her and the people she met during this program.
Yuewan (Leila) Wang
I am a rising senior at the University of Southern California pursuing a dual degree in International Relations and Business Administration. My internship with ICAS gave me the opportunity to work closely with ICAS director Robert Dujarric on his various research interests which also falls closely in line with my own. I assisted him in collecting historical and current GDP data of various countries and using that to analyze the popular belief that the “West” is in decline. Furthermore, I also studied the female participation in senior management roles and compared the broader gender gaps of various countries. When the shocking Shinjuku station self-immolation incident happened during my internship, I was able to research first-hand the media coverage of the incident in Japan and explore the difference in coverage among different news companies.
Not only was I able to gain research experience from assisting Robert, I also got the chance to develop and expand my own research project exploring Japan’s pop culture diplomacy. Robert managed to connect me to many of his contacts and I had the honor of interviewing a number of them, including a former UN Under-Secretary-General, a political journalist and officials from the Chinese embassy and Korean embassy. This proved to be extremely help in developing my thesis and providing me good ideas and resources to start off my research. At ICAS, I also actively attended many of the lectures and conferences, allowing me to meet many like-minded academics, diplomats and professionals. Robert also invited me to many networking events which really broadened my horizons and exposed me to the professional working world.
During the two months I spent in Tokyo, I was able to explore the city thoroughly and visited many places which I have not been yet, such as the Ueno Zoo, Tokyo Sea Life Park and the Police Museum. I also really enjoyed bonding and hanging out with the other interns and planned many fun activities with them, including a café day where we visited different themed cafes around Tokyo. When I had time, I also enjoyed taking long strolls in small neighborhoods in Japan and observing the daily lives of the local people.
My internship at ICAS was a very rewarding and exciting experience that I will continue to remember throughout my life. The lessons and expertise I received from both Robert Dujarric and Kyle Cleveland during the trips to Yasukuni, or to Kotobukicho in Yokohama, are invaluable lessons that will be appreciated in many years to come. I realize now about the importance of East Asian relations and in maintaining positive relations between the United States and Japan. I am very grateful for the time and energy that ICAS and the interns have contributed to this amazing learning experience.
My duties at the internship included helping Eriko Kawaguchi with internal information system database updating, as well as updating the Facebook and ICAS webpage. I would also help organize events for ICAS and planned an all-day event to Yokosuka to visit the Mikasa Ship, and to Shin-Okubo to experience authentic cultural dinning in the Korean Town in Tokyo. In addition to these duties, I would also regularly attend the seminars hosted by ICAS and write a brief summary about the materials. Although this internship was located at my school, Temple University Japan, I know that I received a much broader perspective on life and international relations from my internship at ICAS.
Lauren Hirsch is a rising senior majoring in political science at Columbia University, with a focus on international relations and comparative politics. This summer at ICAS, She worked with Professor Tina Burrett to develop several of her projects. These included transcribing interviews between Professor Burrett and high-level British and Japanese politicians, journalists, and scholars; reviewing methodology for studies of journalism and its impact on transitioning democracy in Myanmar; assessing the factors that lead to the creation of new parties in volatile democratic political systems; analyzing changes in the postwar Japanese political system through to the present; and researching political leadership under crisis. She also had the privilege of representing ICAS and Professor Burrett at an array of press conferences, lectures, and conferences throughout an unforgettable summer.
During my time at ICAS, I worked alongside Professor Mariko Nagai and Professor Christopher Simons from the International Christian University. For my work with Professor Nagai, I submitted some of my creative works, such as short stories, since she was very interested in the narratives of African-American people living in Japan. For Professor Simons, we selected a few postwar poets, who are relatively unknown to the English-speaking world, and translated their works with the intent of publication in US and UK literary journals.
Millie Nishikawa is a rising sophomore at Columbia University. She is planning on majoring in Neuroscience and Behavior and continuing on the pre-medical track. During her time at TUJ, she had the unique opportunity to intern as a research associate under the guidance of Professor Kyle Cleveland. Her research focused on the March 11th disasters, specifically on the responses of foreign embassies as well as the response of Japanese government. Through her research, she was able to meet with and talk to diplomats stationed in Tokyo. The internship also helped deepen her understanding of the March 11th Great East Japan Earthquake, and furthered her capabilities as a researcher. As an ICAS intern, she attended several ICAS lectures and had opportunities to meet with the Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones Newswire and Hitachi, Ltd. Furthermore, during her free time, she visited many museums in Tokyo and traveled to Hakone with the other interns. Her time as an ICAS intern was very rewarding and she is very grateful to have been given this wonderful opportunity.
I am currently a rising senior at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s Commonwealth Honors College, majoring in English and Political Science. My responsibilities as an intern this summer included compiling spreadsheets of information for Professor Sachiko Horiguchi; I parsed through several decades of various academic journals such as Monumenta Nipponica, The Social Science Japan Journal, and The Journal of Japanese Studies, recording information about the content of the publications by decade. Entries were color-coded to denote whether they were of Japanese descent or employed by Japanese institutions. During my free time, I enjoyed experiencing Japan for the first time, participating in such cultural events as a Tanabata Matsuri and the Sumidagawa Hanabi Taikai.
Joy Hua Shang
Joy Hua Shang is a rising senior at Barnard College, majoring in economics with a minor in History. During her two months at ICAS, she worked with Professor Tina Burrett, assisting her research on new political parties and democratic transition in Myanmar. Joy worked on building databases of articles and other sources related to Professor Burrett’s research. She also helped her collecting material on Mongolia’s democratization and media transition and readings for classes.
Thanks to ICAS, Joy was able to attend classes and seminars at TUJ and also to participate in various events in Tokyo, such as “Abenomics – A Story of Success or Failure?”,”Japan is back” by Akira Amari, Minister of State for Economic Revitalization and “Taking on the Leviathan called the LDP” by Ichiro Ozawa, President of the People’s Life Party. ICAS provided Joy many opportunities to expand her knowledge of Japan and other East Asian countries, and also the field of Development Economics. It has been a great honor and pleasure for Joy to work with ICAS.
In the summer of 2013, Sora Yang was waiting to begin her final year at New York University Abu Dhabi, from which she was planning to graduate with a major in Social Research and Public Policy and a concentration in History. In order to wait productively, she worked as an ICAS intern for Professor Kingston, in support of his research on differing forms of nationalism throughout China, India, Indonesia, Japan, and Korea. Her work had her delving into a broad range of issues, covering everything from Korean popular culture and China’s soft power initiatives to the Korean government’s nuclear armament policy. Researching these topics involved conducting research in English and Korean, as well as translating, summarizing and analysing pertinent sources in order to identify recurring ideological stances in different forms.
Lulu Zhang is a rising second-year graduate student at The George Washington University majoring in Global Communication at The Elliott School of International Affairs. Prior to TUJ, she worked in the communication industry for two years. As an intern at ICAS, she assisted Professor Tina Burrett in her research on the workings of Japan’s prime ministerial system and on the evolution of the media in Myanmar. The research included various tasks such as collecting and analyzing literature and research on the historical background of the topics she was working on. During her time in Tokyo, she was also an exchange student at Waseda University, The Graduate School of Asian Pacific Studies. Her experience at TUJ helped her learn more about East Asian affairs and political science research.
Heling Zhao is a rising senior at Princeton University concentrating in Sociology with a certificate in East Asian Studies. During her internship, she worked with ICAS Director Robert Dujarric on his research concerning Japan’s global presence and globalization efforts. Specifically, she compared how internationally connected Japanese university professors and company associates are relative to other OECD countries through harvesting and analyzing statistical data from LinkedIn. In addition, she also researched Japanese participation in overseas summer schools as well as female enrollment rates in Japanese universities in comparison to the United States.
ICAS provided Heling with wonderful opportunities to attend many academic panels and network with several academics and diplomats including professors from the University of Tokyo and Keio University as well as officials from the Chinese Embassy and the Mexican Ambassador. In her spare time, Heling took weekly ballroom dance lessons and embarked on a Dungeons and Dragons campaign with the other interns.
Ary Ascencio is entering her junior year at Stanford University. Prior to interning at TUJ, Ary began designing a computer-assisted language learning program. During her time at ICAS, she worked with Professor Marshall Childs on two projects. The first was aimed at defining the key parameters of a game to teach language. Ary worked to describe the features of a game (such as that is must be interesting and always changing). Accordingly, Ary studied fields such as dynamic systems theory and chaos theory as they pertain to language. The second project was an attempt at systematically describing the problems of Japanese learners in writing English. Beginning with essays corrected by Lafcadio Hearn more than 100 years ago and comparing modern essays by Dr. Childs’s students, the goal was to analyze grammatical and stylistic errors that have persisted for a century of Japanese learners’ encounters with English. Ary persuaded Dr. Childs that the goal was unrealistic.
I am a first-year MA student in Eat Asian International Relations (with a country focus on Japan) at the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations (Inalco).
During my internship, I assisted Dr Paul Scalise, Adjunct Fellow at Temple University Japan and JSPS Fellow at the University of Tokyo, on his research on Japanese energy policy. I worked on various official records to analyze the relations between the parties, the media and the energy industry. These will constitute the basis of Paul Scalise’s academic article “Reforming Japan’s electric market: Do resources really buy public policy?” They will also be used for one chapter of his book, based on his dissertation: “The Politics of Restructuring: Agendas and Uncertainty in Japan’s Electricity Deregulation” expected to be published in 2013.
As part of the internship I attended several conferences which enabled me to deepen my knowledge of Japan and more specifically energy policy. I also had the opportunity to meet many prominent actors and analysts of the Japanese energy debate, which constitute a very useful network for my future career which I hope will be in the energy field.
Hyun Jee Cho
Hyun Jee is a rising Senior at Columbia University majoring in Political Science. During her time at TUJ, Hyun Jee worked with Professor MatthewLinley and Tina Burretton their research on the media coverage of the Fukushima Nuclear accident. The research aims to show that there was limited coverage of the history of the nuclear issue in major Japanese newspapers, because they were driven by a commercial motivation to tell stories that are interesting and easy to understand to attract more readers. Consequently, these newspapers covered the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in terms of episodic events rather than in terms of explanations of broader issues regarding poor regulation or the relationship between the government and the energy sector. Hyun Jee’s job for this research was to create a dataset of all front page articles on the Fukushima crisis after the Tohoku earthquake from Yomiuri and Asahi Shimbun. She also helped Professor Linley on his paper on new political parties in Japan, which explores the question of why some new political parties in Japan succeed while others do not.
During her free time, she went around the city visiting museums, shopping for stationeries and looking for the best dessert shop in Tokyo. Her experience at the ICAS enhanced her understanding and appreciation of Japanese studies, and she hopes that she will be able to return to Tokyo in the future.
Chaninart (Ann) Chunharakchote
Chaninart (Ann) Chunharakchote is a rising senior at Tufts University majoring in International Relations and Japanese. Prior to TUJ, she studied at the Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies at Doshisha University. As an intern at ICAS, she assisted Professor Jeff Kingston in his research on nationalism in contemporary Asia. The research focused on Japan, India, Indonesia, the Korean Peninsula, and China and how nationalism plays a role in their domestic and foreign policies in these respective nations. The research process consisted of analyzing academic articles and publications as well as compiling statistics. In addition to research, Ann had the opportunities to attend lectures at the National Graduate Institute of Policy Studies (GRIPS) and the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan along with expanding her professional and academic network through ICAS.
Toshiki is a rising Senior at Yale College. He is majoring in History, with concentration in Contemporary East Asian History. During internship at TUJ, he worked with Professor Tina Burrett on the politics of Northern Territories dispute between Russia and Japan. In addition to research tasks, Professor Burrett gave him the wonderful opportunity to interview Ambassador Togo Kazuhiko, a former official at Minister of Foreign Affairs who took part in negotiations on territorial issues with Russia. This meeting took place at a key moment, when tension within the Russian-Japanese relationship intensified after Medvedev’s second visit to Kunashiri.
Aside to the Northern Territories project, he compiled and analyzed the treatment of Fukushima nuclear disaster on newspaper articles for project by Professor Burrett and Professor Linley. Having participated in volunteer activities in Tohoku before the TUJ internship, he found Fukushima Media Project another good opportunity to re-think about 3.11 Disaster and the energy issue.
Shin Woon is a rising junior in Barnard College, who majors in Economics and East Asian Studies. During the internship, she worked with Robert Dujarric, ICAS Director studying presence of Japanese students and expats abroad. Her research composed of collecting statistical data of Japanese students and faculty who study and work abroad, looking for analysis of the issues involved in Japan’s diminishing overseas “human footprint,” and interviewing scholars on these and related issues. She did a comparative study of the numbers of Japanese students and Chinese and Korean students studying abroad, analyzing societal and cultural factors. Furthermore, she also assisted Professor Ayumi Takenaka of BrynMawr College and Tohoku University in collecting information on Japanese co-authorship and gender issues in executive and managerial board of Japanese companies. Shin conducted research on the decline of Japanese’s partnership with other authors in writing academic journals articles and papers. She also studied the pattern of imbalance gender in the work force and its impact on Japanese society and economy.
ICAS internship has provided Shin many opportunities to attend events and conferences in Tokyo, not only weekly lectures at Temple University such as “Noda’s Mistaken Priorities”, “Nuclear Energy and its Power”, and “Japan’s Soft Power”, but also symposiums on “Possible Futures for Japan”, “Asia-Pacific International Relation” with Thailand’s former prime minister, and “European Sovereign Debt Crisis”. Moreover, the interns also organized weekly bonding events and side trip to Hakone, Hiroshima, and the Studio Ghibli Museum. With the help of all faculty and members from ICAS Temple University, this internship has been amazing and successful. Shin has had a great time working and learning from the TUJ community.
Ayo Akira Yoshida-Are
Ayo Akira Yoshida-Are is a rising sophomore at Columbia University who plans to study Political Science. During his two-month internship at the TUJ Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies, Ayo assisted Professor Horiguchi on a project seeking to examine the various trends in Japanese studies in foreign countries. Ayo collected and compiled information pertaining to Japanese studies at universities and research institutes in North America, Europe, and Oceania. He researched the specific areas of Japanese studies that institutions have focused on in recent decades. In addition to working with Professor Horiguchi, Ayo had the opportunity to participate in numerous events around Tokyo and to attend ICAS lectures. Of particular interest to Ayo were events dealing with the state of Japanese politics, Sino-Japanese relations, and the effects of the Fukushima crisis on the Japanese economy.
Abigail Bard is a rising sophomore at Dartmouth College who plans to major in linguistics. With the assistance of Professor John Mock, she devoted her internship to researching “antenna shops” – stores that sell local specialties of other parts of Japan. Her research involved mapping these shops’ locations, conducting onsite research, and interviewing their employees and customers. This research was of particular interest to her because it made use of her experiences in other parts of Japan. In her free time, Abigail enjoyed exploring Tokyo and traveling around Japan.
Moeko Fujii is a rising freshman at Harvard College. For her summer before college, Moeko partook in a part-time internship with ICAS. During her time with Temple University, Moeko was able to work with Professor Kyle Cleveland and help organize an event promoting volunteer activity for youth in the Tohoku area. During our event, “To Tohoku: Rebuilding Japan” Moeko worked with a team of interns and TUJ students, making a concentrated effort to introduce various opportunities to volunteer in Tohoku, suited to interests and skills, and to facilitate a forum in which NGO’s can actively interact and share information. Through drawing on her own experience volunteering in Miyagi Prefecture, Moeko was able to help plan panels and group discussions focusing on rebuilding Japan and the Japanese government’s reaction to the March 11 earthquake and the resulting nuclear crisis.
Although her main project was organizing this event for the Wakai Project, Moeko was also able to further her own research on the Fukushima nuclear reactor crisis and deepen her understanding of U.S. politics and the North Korean government through lectures hosted by the university.
Sam is a rising Senior at Pomona College majoring in International Relations. During his time at TUJ, Sam worked with ICAS Director Robert Dujarric on his research into Japan’s underrepresentation in international organizations and strategies for opening up Japan to the world in the aftermath of the March 11th disaster. Sam also conducted some preliminary research for his senior thesis on the emergence of subnational environmental cooperation networks in East Asia and how Japan can take advantage of its current crisis to transform itself into an international leader in environmental technology and post-growth economics. During his time in Japan, Sam was also able to promote study abroad activities with the U.S. Embassy and AFS Japan and volunteer for a week in the disaster area in Tohoku.
Ryoko is a graduate student at UCLA. Her major is Information Studies and Library Science with an Asian American Studies (AAS) Concentration. She studied visual media production in the UCLA Ethno Communication class taught by Professor Bob Nakamura as part of the AAS Concentration and she was looking for opportunities to expand her skills by working with film production groups in an educational setting. During her time at TUJ, she worked with Professor Ron Carr and Irene Herrera to support Tokyo Stories, a visual media production class which focused on reporting on Japan’s 3-11 aftermath, and the Tokyo Urban Villages Project, an expository documentary on the current usage of energy in the world’s biggest city after the worse nuclear accident since Chernobyl. While participating in the class, she worked with students and furthered her technical media skills and during the pre-production and production of the documentary she researched, filmed, fixed and conducted interviews and assisted with logging and translation of the collected material.
As her personal project, she photographed and filmed traditional Japanese businesses and farmers. She also was able to film her parents as part of her oral history project. “I met nearly 100 people over the 8 weeks and I was able to reconnect with my old friends. I used up almost all of my business cards that TUJ had prepared for me. This internship made my summer very special,” Ryoko said.
George Sherriff is a Maters student in Japanese Business at the University of Leeds, U.K. During his eight-week internship at the TUJ Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies in the summer of 2011, he assisted ICAS director Kyle Cleveland organize a weekend academic conference entitled “Emergent Forms of Engagement and Activism in Japan” held in June, which brought lecturers from a number of global academic institutions to discuss forms of activism in modern Japanese culture . George assisted Robert Dujarric with a new forum on how to internationalize Japanese business, exploring reasons why Japanese firms demonstrate a reluctance to expand abroad. George will also continue to assist Robert Dujarric in compiling data on Japanese students studying in the U.K.
The internship at ICAS has also provided opportunities for him to attend various events in Tokyo, including a lecture on Japanese consumerism at the Embassy of Sweden, which explored the highly complex and ever evolving consumer landscape in Japan. Thanks to the internship at Temple, George was also able to make significant progress with his own research into the effects of the tsunami on perceptions of risk management in Japanese auto supply chains. The internship also provided him with the time to volunteer with Peace Boat in the devastated city of Ishinomaki in Tohoku. He would like to thank the TUJ faculty for a most interesting and rewarding internship.
Daniel S. Briggs
Daniel is a rising Senior at Dartmouth College. He is majoring in Japanese Language and Comparative Literature. During his time at TUJ, he worked with Professor Nagai Mariko to compile a bibliography of primary and secondary sources on early 20th-century Japanese authors (Hino Ashihei, Nagai Kafu, Takamura Kotaro, and others) in and out of translation for a study of domestic literary responses to the second world war. Professor Nagai also provided guidance and suggestions for Daniel’s preliminary thesis research on Kunikida Doppo, Miyazawa Kenji and the evolution of literary naturalist movements.
In addition to his work at TUJ, Daniel was the Director’s Assistant on Dartmouth’s Language Study Abroad program at Kanda University of International Studies in Makuhari. In the little free time he had, he wandered through used bookstores, sat under trees, and frequented a number of ramen shops.
Christine Cho is a rising junior at Harvard University majoring in Economics. During her summer internship at ICAS, she worked under ICAS Director Robert Dujarric doing research regarding Japan’s relatively low presence overseas, specifically in the areas of academia and business. Christine’s work involved using online databases to find trends in overseas statistics and make cross country comparisons, and also incorporated Japan’s current issues with population decline and immigration. In addition to her research, Christine was involved in organizing an academic conference titled “The Politics of Popular Culture” alongside other interns.
Besides her main work at TUJ, Christine was able to partake in a number of events including lecture presentations given at Tokyo and Meiji University, as well as discussion panels at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan and the International House of Japan. Topics ranged from Japan’s fashion industry to the election process that swept the country throughout the summer. The ICAS program at TUJ provided Christine with opportunities to gain a better understanding of Japan both through her research and the various events made possible by the internship.
Wenwen Hu works with Professor Khojasteh as a research associate on a project concerning warehouse order picking optimization. She is mainly responsible for modeling formulation, simulation and report writing. Before coming to TUJ, Wenwen just got her master degree in Statistics from Columbia Univeristy. She also holds a dual bachelor degree in Economics and Math from Wuhan University. While in China, she worked as an intern at China Merchant Bank and China Everbright Bank as an analyst.
During her internship, she also participated in some activities held by the university. In the culture exchange discussion, she listened to students with different cultural backgrounds, and also noted that thanks to her internship experience she has learned that Japanese culture is very different from that of China or the US. “Being in Tokyo allows me to feel it instead of just learning from textbooks.”
Asuka Ichikawa interned at TUJ’s Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies during the summer of 2010. As a junior at the University of British Columbia majoring in international relations, she worked with Professor Matthew Linley to research and co-write a paper about the Japanese public opinion about immigrants in Japan. She collected and organized the data using the digital archives of Japanese newspapers at the National Diet Library and online database for public opinion surveys. Alongside her main project, she also worked with Professor Kyle Cleveland and other interns to help prepare for the TUJ academic conference on “the Politics of Popular Culture.”
The internship at ICAS has also provided opportunities for her to attend various events in Tokyo, including the lectures on US-Japan relations at Tokyo University, luncheons at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan and Symposium on Human Security which was collaboratively organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, the United Nations and Waseda University. As a Japanese student interning at ICAS, she was able to study her country from both the domestic and international perspectives. She would like to thank the TUJ faculty for an inspiring summer.
Maya Inamura is a sophomore at Columbia University planning to major in East Asian Languages and Cultures with an emphasis on Japanese studies and philosophy. During her ten-week internship at the TUJ Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies in the summer of 2010, she worked with ICAS director Kyle Cleveland to organize a number of events and programs, all of which had roots in study of contemporary Japan. She worked to help organize and conduct the two-part “Politics of Popular Culture” academic conference held in June, which brought lecturers from a number of global academic institutions to discuss modern Japanese culture through the lenses of sociology and ethnography. In addition, Maya worked on the launch of the new Japanese major program at TUJ, and the Summer Institute of Studies in Japanese Popular Culture, both of which are coordinated by ICAS.
Kenji is a freshman at Dartmouth College planning to major in Asian Studies with a minor in Art History. He was funded by Dartmouth’s John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding for this two-month internship at TUJ. During this time, he assisted Professor Noriko Murai in compiling a bibliography of the English-language literature on modern and contemporary Japanese art. He was also involved in doing comparative research on the use of the label “Asian art” in Japan and Thailand: the conceptual existence and the critical relevance of such a label. Working with ICAS staff and the other interns, he was also involved in organizing the academic conference “The Politics of Popular Culture”.
Kenji also enrolled in an intensive beginner’s Japanese class, and had a chance to explore other areas of Japan, including Kyoto. During his free time, he explored the various art museums and galleries in and around Tokyo, which complemented and enriched his academic study of art history.
Iddoshe Hirpa is a junior at Harvard College joint concentrating in History of Art and Architecture and East Asian Studies. In the summer of 2009, she spent her time at ICJS as a research assistant to Professor Noriko Murai, assistant professor of art history at Temple. As a research assistant, she worked with Professor Murai on a project concerning ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement. She collected and summarized bibliographic resources from various libraries in the Tokyo metropolitan area, conducted interviews, and provided logistical support for a trip to the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial in Niigata Prefecture. Iddoshe also took classes at various ikebana schools, including the Sogetsu and Ikenobo schools. In July 2009, she helped Professor Murai facilitate a talk held at Temple given by Profesor Anne McCauley of Princeton University, an expert on 19th and 20th century photography.
The flexibility of the internship afforded Iddoshe the opportunity to visit many museums and galleries in the area, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, the Suntory Museum, and Galerie Omotesando. She was also able to do some translation work for London Gallery, a gallery in Roppongi that specializes in the sale and exhibition of pre-modern Japanese art.
Ada Lio was an intern at TUJ Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies during the summer of 2009. As a rising junior majoring in economics at Harvard University, she was the recipient of the Harvard Reischauer Institute Japan Summer Internship Program grant, which funded her two-month travel to Tokyo, Japan. During her internship at ICAS, Ada worked on several projects, which included serving as a research assistant for ICAS Director Robert Dujarric and researched issues related to Japanese society in the twenty-first century, with a focus on how Japan is lagging in the service sector in international competition. She also worked under the guidance of Dr. Keith Dinnie, the Associate Professor of Business at TUJ and collaborated on writing an article on “Enhancing China’s Image in Japan: Developing the Nation Brand through Public Diplomacy.” She also served as an assistant event coordinator for TUJ’s Professor Kyle Cleveland and helped prepare for the TUJ academic conference on “Youth Work in Contemporary Japan.” In addition to her works at ICAS, Ada also attended conferences at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan and Research Institute of Economy, Trade & Industry (RIETI), and immersed herself in Japanese culture as much as possible by eating a lot of sushi and climbing Mount Fuji.
Alison Zhao was an intern at TUJ Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies during the summer of 2009. For the first half of the internship, she helped ICAS prepare for an academic conference on “Youth Work in Contemporary Japan”. For the second half, she worked with other interns on researching the problems of 21st century Japan. Specifically, she looked at how Japan compared with others, in terms of how many professors and students are sent abroad, how many Japanese scholars contribute to the international academia, and how many Japanese nationals are in international organizations and multinational corporations.
She is currently a senior at Johns Hopkins University, double majoring in International Relations and East Asian Studies. She holds a Bologna Center Diploma in International Studies from the Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).
Andrew Duff was at ICAS during the summer of 2008, working with other interns to research the subject of Chinese immigration to Japan. Specifically, he looked at media resources, interviewed academics and assisted the director with logistics. Prior to interning at TUJ, Andrew studied Mandarin and conducted research in Dalian, China. He now works in Tokyo for The Nikkei, a financial newspaper. Andrew is a graduate of Yale and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
Aleksandra Kuczmarska was a full-time intern at TUJ during the summer of 2008.
“During the time of my internship, I was a rising junior and Psychology major at Harvard. Because of the funds that the Reischauer Institute had given me, I was able to live in Japan do work that I had never done before. My role was that of a research assistant for the Institute for Contemporary Asian Studies (ICAS). In that capacity, I conducted research on Chinese immigration into Japan that culminated in a contribution to a conference held the following summer, while additionally helping to organize ongoing conferences at TUJ. I personally gathered information from scholarly and academic journals written in English. At the end of summer, I helped write up a paper on our findings with two other interns. Through my work with TUJ, I was able to learn about Japan’s culture and about a field that I had never before explored.”
Ming-Yee was a part-time intern at TUJ during the summer of 2008. As a sophomore and East Asian Studies major at Yale, Ming-Yee spent 8 weeks in Tokyo participating in an intensive language program while interning at TUJ after class each day. Her primary role was that of a research assistant for the Institute for Contemporary Asian Studies (ICAS), which hosts a number of seminars, conferences, and events on various topics related to Japan. Besides helping ICAS prepare for conferences held that summer, Ming-Yee and two other interns researched for a conference on Chinese immigrants in Japan that was held during the summer of 2009. Her focus was on gathering information from Chinese sources, including newspapers, blogs, and journals. Ming-Yee said “At the end of summer, the three of us were able to see how much we had accomplished by compiling our findings into a paper. Interning at TUJ definitely enhanced my summer experience in Japan by allowing me to learn more about the country than the language and make a tangible contribution to ICAS.”
Michael Murray is Yale College class of 2010. An East Asian Studies major focusing on Japanese history and politics, Michael has studied at the Hokkaido International Foundation and the Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies. Upon graduation, Michael will continue his study of Japanese language at Yokohama’s Inter-University Center. Michael hopes to pursue a career in East Asian policy making and analysis.
Michael’s internship at TUJ was composed of two roles. As a research assistant for ICAS Director Robert Dujarric, Michael gathered information for a number of Robert’s publications and presentations. As an assistant event coordinator, Michael helped TUJ’s Professor Kyle Cleveland host an academic conference.