Beyond Japan Ep. #33: The First Empress Jingū – Powerful Women in Ancient Japan with Professor Chizuko Allen

Our second Shōtoku interviewee is Chizuko Allen, Professor of Asian Pacific American Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and researcher of Korea-Japan relations in ancient times, who will discuss the hidden history of the powerful women of Japan’s distant past through the First Empress of Japan, Empress Jingū.

Beyond Japan Ep. #32: Mixed Religions – Buddhism, Shinto & Honji Suijaku (本地垂迹)

Oliver is joined by Marcus Teeuwen, Professor of Japanese Studies at the University of Oslo, who explains the changing faiths of Japan in the 7th century through the Buddhist concept of honji suijaku (本地垂迹), a notion which allowed Buddhist monks to explain the gods, or kami, worshipped in Japan at the time as traces of Buddhist deities.

Beyond Japan Ep. #31: International Research Post-COVID with Professor Simon Kaner

Oliver is joined by Professor Simon Kaner for a reflective episode on international research post-pandemic. Simon will share with us how research projects at the Sainsbury Institute have been altered by the pandemic, the pros and cons of such changes and how he believes future international research will look once we’re out the other side.

Beyond Japan Ep. #30: Big Data in Prehistory with Dr Enrico Crema

Oliver is joined by Dr Enrico Crema of the University of Cambridge to discuss how big data is revolutionising our understandings of prehistoric societies, laying out shifts in demographics and cultural exchange that occurred with early migration from the Korean peninsula to the Japanese mainland.

Beyond Japan Ep. #29: Disaster Heritage with Dr Andrew Littlejohn

Oliver is joined by Dr Andrew Littlejohn of Leiden University to discuss disaster heritage around the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011. Together they explore how disaster heritage fosters debate around the relationship between humans and their environments, as well as its potential to disrupt authorised heritage discourse.

Beyond Japan Ep. #28: Nihonjinron – the Future of “Japanese-ness” with Prof David Rear

Oliver is joined by Professor David Rear of Chuō University to discuss the once-dominant discourse of nihonjinron, or “Japanese-ness”, which has shaped many aspects of Japanese society over the last century through its ideas of Japanese uniqueness and group-consciousness.

Beyond Japan Ep. #27: 福島の古墳:東日本大震災以降の発掘調査 菊地芳朗教授(福島大学)

This week we present a special Japanese-language episode of Beyond Japan with Professor Kikuchi Yoshio on the Kofun of Fukushima to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Beyond Japan Ep. #26: Japanese Diaspora with Professor Wolfram Manzenreiter

Oliver is joined by Professor Wolfram Manzenreiter of the University of Vienna to discuss Japanese Diasporas, taking a look at the connection between these communities and their indigenous roots in Japan.

Beyond Japan Ep. #25: Heritage-Making with Professor Aike Rots

Oliver is joined by Aike Rots, Associate Professor of Japan Studies at the University of Oslo, to discuss Heritage-Making in Japan, examining how the process of ‘heritagisation’ can secularise and politicise religious sites, such as Shinto shrines and natural areas of religious significance to Okinawan and Ainu communities, and the role of nationalism within heritage.