Introduction & History

From the Director

The Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia was founded in 1941 as a research institute attached to The University of Tokyo (Tokyo Imperial University at that time) with the objective of carrying out “comprehensive studies regarding Oriental culture.” Last year, in 2011, it commemorated the 70th anniversary of its founding. The main areas that are the subject of studies at our institute range from Egypt to the Korean Peninsula (Japan is included indeed). In each region within this vast scope, we are conducting diligent studies in fields as different as politics, economy, religion, history, archaeology, literature, art and so on.

Both archival research (both written and non-written materials) and on-site research occupy their complementary place at our institute. Concerning archives, we have in our possession one of the largest collection of books in the world including Chinese books. The Research and Information Center for Asian Studies (recognized as the Joint Usage/Research Center for the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) functions as an attached institute which organizes and releases such data.

All of our fellows have a research network domestically and abroad. Not only do they engage in on-site research and studies abroad, but they are constantly receiving researchers from overseas as well. It is thus no overstatement to designate our institute as one of the global centers of Asian studies.

Our fellows are also engaged in education in various faculties and graduate schools within The University of Tokyo. Furthermore, we welcome young fellows from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and visiting researchers from overseas.

Last year, with the objective of creating a new field of studies not constrained by the traditional boundaries of discipline, we established the Department of Pioneering Asian Studies and are assured of its further development.

Needless to say, the importance of Asia to Japan and the world is ever-increasing. In such a climate, we believe that the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia will play an even greater role. To that end, we will endeavor to deepen our research and to disseminate its results.

OKI, Yasushi, April, 2012


Since its establishment in 1941, Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia has grown into one of the most distinguished centers of Asian studies in Japan. During its first two decades, the Institute mainly focused on the politics, economy, history, and culture of East Asia, especially China. Since the early 1960s, it has expanded the domain of its research beyond China to include South (including Southeast) and West( including Central) Asia. Today, the Institute consists of four departments; the Departments of Pan Asian Studies, East Asian Studies, South Asian Studies, and West Asian Studies. The research staff is composed of thirty-one specialists in humanities,social sciences and engineering, including such disciplines as history, literature, religious studies, art, political science, law, economics, geography, anthropology, and architecture.

The Institute has continuously emphasized interdisciplinary research combinining analyses of documentary materials and field research. Since the 1950s, it has conducted various kinds of field research. The Iran-Iraq Archaeological Expeditions the Misssion for Indian History and Archaeology, and the photographic collection of Chinese paintings are representative example of such activities. Today, virtually all Institue members have day to day academic contacts with international academic institutions and conduct field research throughout Asia. By establishing academic exchange agreements, the Institute has increased academic contacts with various research institutions in Asia, including the Center of Asian Studies at the University of Hong Kong, Fudan University in Shanghai, the Department of Arts and Social Sciences at the National University of Singapore, and the Center for Japanese Studies, University of Indonesia.

The Institute has one of the best and the largest libraries for Asian studies in Japan. Its collection of Chinese books is especially well-known internationally. In addtion to the Library, in order to facilitate the use of documentation research materials for Asian studies, the Institute established the Documentation Center for Asian Studies in 1966, which was in 1999 expanded and renamedthe Research and Information center for Asian Studies(RICAS).The new center is aimed at collecting, and facilitating the use of, various forms of research materials in addition to text-based materials.


KUWATA Yoshizo (桑田 芳蔵)1941.11-1943.03
UNO Enku (宇野 圓空)1943.04-1946.10
TODA Teizo (戸田 貞三)1946.10-1947.09
TSUJI Naoshiro (辻 直四郎)1947.10-1954.03
NIIDA Noboru (仁井田 陞)1954.04-1958.07
IIZUKA Koji (飯塚 浩二)1958.07-1960.07, 1964.07-1965.02
YUKI Reimon (結城 令聞)1960.07-1962.07
EGAMI Namio (江上 波夫)1962.07-1964.07
OGUCHI Iichi (小口 偉一)1965.03-1966.03, 1968.04-1970.03
KAWANO Shigeto (川野 重任)1966.04-1968.03, 1970.11-12
IZUMI Seiichi (泉  靖一)1970.04-11
SUZUKI Kei (鈴木  敬)1970.12-1972.03
ARA Matsuo (荒  松雄)1972.04-1973.03
KUBO Noritada (窪  徳忠)1973.04-1974.03
SAEKI Yuichi (佐伯 有一)1974.03-1976.03
ONO Morio (大野 盛雄)1976.04-1978.03, 1982.04-1984.03
FUKAI Shinji (深井 晋司)1978.04-1980.03
NAKANE Chie (中根 千枝)1980.04-1982.03
ONOE Kanehide (尾上 兼英)1984.04-1988.03
YAMAZAKI Toshio (山崎 利男)1986.04-1988.03
SHIBA Yoshinobu (斯波 義信)1988.04-1990.03
IKEDA On (池田  温)1990.04-1992.03
MATSUTANI Toshio (松谷 敏雄)1992.04-1994.03
GOTO Akira (後藤  明)1994.04-1996.03
HAMASHITA Takeshi (濱下 武志)1996.04-1998.03
HARA Yonosuke (原 洋之介)1998.04-2002.03
TANAKA Akihiko (田中 明彦)2002.04-2006.03
SEKIMOTO Teruo (関本 照夫)2006.04-2009.03
HANEDA Masashi (羽田 正)2009.04-2012.03
OKI Yasushi (大木 康)2012.04-present

Prizes and Honors

Order of Culture(conferred by the Government of Japan)
EGAMI Namio (江上 波夫)1991
NAKANE Chie (中根 千枝)2001
Persons of Cultural Merit(conferred by the Government of Japan)
TSUJI Naoshiro (辻 直四郎)1978
EGAMI Namio (江上 波夫)1983
YAMAMOTO Tatsuro (山本 達郎)1986
KAWANO Shigeto (川野 重任)1993
NAKANE Chie (中根 千枝)1993
ITAGAKI Yuzo (板垣 雄三)2003
SHIBA Yoshinobu (斯波 義信)2006
Japan Academy Prize
NIIDA Noboru (仁井田 陞)1934
UNO Enku (宇野 圓空)1942
YAMAMOTO Tatsuro (山本 達郎)1952
SUDO Yoshiyuki (周藤 吉之)1956
FUKUSHIMA Masao (福島 正夫)1963
KAMATA Shigeo (鎌田 茂雄)1976
ARA Matsuo (荒  松雄)1978
IKEDA On (池田  温)1983
SUZUKI Kei (鈴木  敬)1985
TANAKA Issei (田仲 一成)1993