Professor Simon Kaner, CJS Director

(on study leave 2022-2023)

Executive Director of Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures
Head of Centre for Archaeology and Heritage

Simon Kaner (MA, PhD Cantab, 2004) is Director of the Centre for Japanese Studies. He is an archaeologist specialising in the prehistory of Japan.

Before joining the Sainsbury Institute he was Senior Archaeologist at Cambridgeshire County Council and retains his interest in the management of cultural heritage. A Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London since 2005, he has taught and published on many aspects of East Asian and European archaeology and has undertaken archaeological research in Japan, the UK and elsewhere. His publications include The Power of Dogu: Ceramic Figures from Ancient Japan (2009), which accompanies a major exhibition at the British Museum. Other works include Jomon Reflections: Forager Life and Culture in the Prehistoric Japanese Archipelago by Kobayashi Tatsuo (2005) which he adapted and edited with Nakamura Oki, as well as An Illustrated Companion to Japanese Archaeology (2016).

Current Research

His research interests include: Japanese prehistory and the history of archaeology in Japan, Japanese cultural heritage and the international role of Japanese heritage management.

Further details about Simon including publications can be found on the Sainsbury Institute website.

Dr Sherzod Muminov, CJS Acting Director

Associate Professor in Japanese History, School of History

Sherzod Muminov is a multilingual historian working with sources in Japanese and Russian, and is also fluent in Turkish. He has a BA in International Relations from the University of World Economy and Diplomacy in Uzbekistan, an MA in International Politics from the University of Manchester, and an MA in International Area Studies from the University of Tsukuba in Japan. Sherzod received his PhD in East Asian Studies from the University of Cambridge, where he was also a postdoctoral research associate in the ERC Project “The Dissolution of the Japanese Empire and the Struggle for Legitimacy in Postwar East Asia” and taught courses in modern Japanese and East Asian history. He was a Japan Foundation Doctoral Fellow at the Boissonade Institute of Modern Law and Politics at Hosei University in Tokyo, Japan (2013-2014), and has conducted research in major archives in Russia.

Sherzod’s primary research is in modern Japanese and East Asian History, Japanese-Soviet/Russian relations, the Cold War in East Asia, the post-WWII, post-imperial migrations in East Asia, and the international and transnational history of the Soviet system of forced labour camps for prisoners-of-war. Sherzod wrote his doctoral dissertation on the “Siberian Internment” – the captivity, exploitation and indoctrination of over 600,000 Japanese former servicemen in the Soviet forced labour camps between 1945-1956. In April 2016, Sherzod’s research was awarded in Japan the inaugural Murayama Tsuneo Memorial Award for the Promotion of Research into the Siberian Internment.

Sherzod is co-editor, with Barak Kushner, of The Dismantling of Japan’s Empire in East Asia (Routledge 2017), and has published articles in journals such as Cold War History and Situations: Cultural Studies in the Asian Context. His article in Cold War History was awarded the Best Paper Prize at the 2014 European Summer School on Cold War History at the University of Trento. Sherzod has also authored three book chapters in English and one in Japanese, and translated a number of scholarly articles from the Japanese. Sherzod’s first book, Eleven Winters of Discontent: The Siberian Internment and the Making of a New Japan, was published by Harvard University Press in January 2022. He is currently working on his second book, which will be the first global history of Soviet sympathizers based on sources in Japanese, Russian, Turkish, and English.

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