Reports of Past Events

Tobuken Seminar “Commercial Courts in the Ottoman Legal Reforms: The Case of Selanik (Thessaloniki)”

Report On April 4, 2024, the Tobunken Seminar "Commercial Courts in the Ottoman Legal Reforms: The Case of Selanik (Thessaloniki)" was held in the IASA. In this seminar, Dr. Veysel Çolaker, a visiting fellow of the IASA, gave a lecture on the commercial court of Selanik (Thessaloniki) in the late Ottoman Empire based on the archival sources of the commercial court.Dr. Çolaker began by outlining the history leading to the establishment of the commercial court, before introducing the sources available for study. He noted that the archives of Selanik contain several types of commercial court registers, including those pertaining to petitions, bonds, decisions, judgments, minutes, attorneys, and protests. The petition

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Tobunken Seminar “Petitions and “Individuals” : First-Person Narratives and Historical Agency at Intersections of Diplomatic, Administrative, and Legal History”

Report On March 13, 2024, Tobunken Seminar “Petitions and “Individuals” : First-Person Narratives and Historical Agency at Intersections of Diplomatic, Administrative, and Legal History” was held jointly by the IASA and the Islamic Trust Studies Group B01 “The Ideas of the Muslim Community and State Systems."The seminar featured Dr. Orçun Can Okan of University of Oxford, who specializes in the history of the transition period from the end of the Ottoman Empire to the post-WWI Middle East. His lecture focused on petitions in Ottoman and post-Ottoman societies during and after World War I.After examining memoirs and other first-person narratives, Dr. Okan discussed the agency that can be traced from petitions,

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RICAS’s Collaboration with Aga Khan Documentation Center at MIT (Archnet) and Five Cross Architects

The Research and Information Center for Asian Studies (RICAS) at the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia is pleased to announce our collaboration agreement with the Aga Khan Documentation Center at MIT Libraries (Cambridge, MA, USA) and Five Cross Architects (Mumbai, India). This agreement signed in December 2023 allows our data of Indian historic monuments to be shared on MIT’s Archnet (https://www.archnet.org). Our collection of digitized images and metadata is taken from photographs and drawings produced sixty years ago by the Mission for Indian History and Archaeology, University of Tokyo (https://www.ioc.u-tokyo.ac.jp/~islamarc/index.html) and in 2015–18 by the RICAS Resurvey of Delhi Monuments. The Mission for Indian History and Archaeology was organized as

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Tobuken Seminar “Forged in Battle: A Comparative Examination of Boyhood Transformation in the Devşirme System”

Report On February 16, 2024, the Tobuken Seminar "Forged in Battle: A Comparative Examination of Boyhood Transformation in the Devşirme System" was held at IASA, the University of Tokyo. Professor Gülay Yılmaz of Akdeniz University, who specializes in the history of the Ottoman janissaries, and had been in Japan since January under the JSPS program of Invitational Fellowships for Research in Japan, gave a lecture on the devşirme or janissary recruitment system from a comparative perspective. Professor Yılmaz first examined how boys were recruited in the early 17th century based on the devşirme registers, and then discussed how the training process and the beliefs of the Bektaşi order influenced the

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Tobuken Seminar, “Role of Armenian Construction Companies in the Capitalist Urbanization of the Late Ottoman Istanbul”

Report On January 29, 2024, the Tobuken Seminar, "Role of Armenian Construction Companies in the Capitalist Urbanization of the Late Ottoman Istanbul" was held at the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia. Professor Yaşar Tolga Cora of Boğaziçi University, who specializes in the social and economic history and labor history of the late Ottoman Empire, gave a lecture on the role of Armenian urban development companies in the suburban development of Istanbul during the late Ottoman period. Through a detailed examination of the activities of two Armenian urban development companies and their shareholders in the 1880s and late 1910s, Professor Cora discussed the involvement of Armenian entrepreneurs, the state, and

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Tobunken Seminar : Japonya’da Sohbet-i Osmaniye-7

Report On Tuesday, January 23, 2024, the Tobuken Seminar, "Japonya'da Sohbet-i Osmaniye-7" was held at the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, the University of Tokyo. This workshop has been organized since 2009 to bring together younger scholars of Ottoman history in Japan and leading Ottomanists from abroad in order to promote academic exchange and dialogue. This time, two PhD students and a post-doctoral researcher presented their research papers, which was responded to and discussed by Professor Gülay Yılmaz of Akdeniz University, who specializes in the history of the Ottoman Janissaries. Dr. Suemori discussed how the punishment for sea robbery began to change in the seventeenth century, based on the

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Tobunken Seminar : “Graduate Workshop: Al-Shaykh al-Akbar and Ustād-i Bashar: Aspects of Mystical Thoughts in Medieval Islam”

Report On January 23, 2024, the Tobunken Seminar “Graduate Workshop: Al-Shaykh al-Akbar and Ustād-i Bashar: Aspects of Mystical Thoughts in Medieval Islam” was held at the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, with Dr. Lloyd Ridgeon from the University of Glasgow serving as the main commentator. Two graduate students from the Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology of UTokyo made presentations therein. Firstly, Mr. Michinari Fujiwara discussed the concepts of “primordial cloud” (ʿamā) and “essence” (jawhar) in Ibn ʿArabī's thought. Secondly, Mr. Naoki Nishiyama presented on the connection between philosophy and mystical thought in the ethical philosophy of Naṣīr al-Dīn Ṭūsī. The seminar was attended by a total of six

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Tobunken Seminar : “Denominational Dynamics within Futuwwat Literature of the Medieval Period in Anatolia and Iran”

Report On January 20, 2024, the Tobunken Seminar “Denominational Dynamics within Futuwwat Literature of the Medieval Period in Anatolia and Iran” was held at the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, featuring Dr. Lloyd Ridgeon from the University of Glasgow as the lecturer. Dr. Ridgeon elucidated, through a diachronic survey of futuwwat works written in Persian from the 12th to the 16th century, how it was inappropriate to link the ʿAlidization clearly observable in the futuwwa tradition during the period to any form of Shiʿitization. Approximately 15 participants attended the seminar in person or online. After the presentation, a lively question and answer session took place.       Event

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Tobuken Seminar: “Military Elites in the Early Modern Islamicate World and Beyond”

Report On January 20, 2024, the Tobunken Seminar Workshop: “Military Elites in the Early Modern Islamicate World and Beyond” was held at the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, the University of Tokyo. This workshop was organized by Gülay Yılmaz (Akdeniz University/IASA visiting researcher), who came to Japan under the JSPS Invitational Fellowship for Research in Japan, and Jun Akiba of IASA. The workshop focused on the military elites in the Ottoman Empire, Safavid Iran, and Japan in the early modern period, exploring them from a variety of perspectives. During the first half of the workshop, Gülay Yılmaz discussed the transformation of the Ottoman Empire's military recruitment methods up to

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Tobunken Seminar: “Science and scripture in classical Islam: an Analysis of Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani’s Treatise on the Plague”

Report On December 20, 2023, the Tobunken Seminar "Science and scripture in classical Islam: an Analysis of Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani's Treatise on the Plague" took place at IASA. Professor Mairaj Syed from the University of California, Davis, delivered a lecture on Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani's treatise on the plague, written during the Mamluk period. Professor Syed classified intellectuals into three types and identified Ibn Hajar as a "synthesizer," the third type of intellectual. He discussed how Ibn Hajar attempted to synthesize knowledge about the plague derived from hadiths, theology, medicine, and others. After the presentation, a lively Q&A session followed, with questions such as whether Ibn Hajar was also a "synthesizer"

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A workshop entitled ” Sharing the Knowledge ” was held at the University of Naples ” L’Orientale “

On Monday, November 13th, a workshop entitled "Sharing the Knowledge" was held at the University of Naples "L'Orientale," which has an exchange agreement with the Institute for the Advanced Studies on Asia. Three IASA members took part and presented the following papers: Shoko Watanabe, "Muhammad al-Fasi (1908–91) and Transformations of Knowledge in Morocco under the French Protectorate"; Norihisa Baba, "Againt Sansrit: How Buddhaghosa Created Language Ideology of Pāli"; Yuki Tanaka, "Science and Aesthetics in Chinese Music." The workshop attracted about 20 participants, including Professor Patrizia Carioti, Professor Francesco Sferra, and Professor Claudia Iazzetta, and there was a lively discussion following the presentations.       

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Sumitomo Conference 2023 Was Held Online

Report Global Asian Studies (GAS) Program at IASA, University of Tokyo, hosted online conference Sumitomo Conference 2023: Japan Studies in Asia (1): Approaches from History and Comparative Studies from 2 pm to 5 pm on 15th of October, 2023, in collaboration with the Sumitomo Foundation, which has been supporting Asian scholars on Japan studies through their Grant for Japan-related Research Projects. In the conference, four former recipients of the grant presented their research findings and two Japanese scholars who somehow contributes(ed) to the management of the Grant for Japan-related Research Projects made comments on them. More than 300 people pre-registered in this conference, and more than 80 audience constantly listened

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Special Lecture & Dialogue with Students by Dr. Kao Kim Hourn, Secretary-General of ASEAN

Report On the afternoon of Friday, July 7, 2023, ASEAN Secretary-General H.E. Dr. Kao Kim Hourn, who came to Japan to attend the ASEAN-Japan Special Justice Ministers Meeting, was invited to give a special lecture and dialogue with the students at the University of Tokyo. The event was sponsored by the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia and co-sponsored by the Institute for Future Initiatives and Graduate School of Public Policy. Approximately 70 participants (primarily students) attended this event.The event began with President Teruo Fujii's opening message (via video), followed by a lecture by Dr. Kao on "ASEAN-Japan Cooperation: the Next 50 Years.” As this year marks the 50th anniversary

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Tobunken Seminar “The Ottoman Postal System: An Infrastructural History”

Report On April 3, 2023, the Tobunken Seminar "The Ottoman Postal System: An Infrastructural History" was held at the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia. Dr. Koh Choon Hwee of the University of California, Los Angeles, gave a lecture on the Ottoman postal system, based on her book in preparation for publication. Dr. Koh energetically made a 168-slide presentation on the Ottoman postal system, elucidating its transformation from an exclusive system for government use to a public service catering to common subjects. During the Q&A session, a lively discussion ensued, with questions about why the change occurred in the early nineteenth century, the transition from oral to written transmission of

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IJAS holds its first outreach workshop at Chulalongkorn University

Report IJAS holds its first outreach workshop at Chulalongkorn University 29 th March 10:00 – 12:00. Members of the International Journal of Asian Studies (IJAS) editorial team introduced thejournal at the Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. The workshop was chaired by assistant professor Pattajit Tangsinmunkong with opening remarks by the Dean of the Faculty of Political Science Prakorn Siriprakob. Professor Jin Sato articulated the vision and scope of the journal, associate professor Michihiro Ogawa provided an overview of contributors and readership, associate professor Shoko Watanabe outlined special issues and procedures, Dr Sam Bamkin spoke about book reviews, and associate professor Chris Gerteis (online) explained the criteria for

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The 1st GAS Joint Workshop “Exploring Asian Connectivities: Topics, Methods, and Implications”

Report With the theme of “Exploring Asian Connectivities: Topics, Methods, and Implications”, the first GAS joint workshop with CLASS/CoHASS in NTU Singapore was held in-person at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. It was aimed at exchanging scholarly knowledge and research experience on global Asian studies as well as discussing the possibilities of research collaboration in both individual and institutional levels. As the notion “Global Asian Studies” (GAS) was influenced by the objective of Global Asia Research Cluster at CoHASS(College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences) in NTU Singapore, this joint workshop was a meaningful first step for GAS program to start intellectual conversations and networking with our new initiative of global

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