Yijiang ZHONG, Associate Professor

Reseach Topics


Research Theme : Religion, nation, space in East Asia

Professor Zhong’s research has three components. First is intellectual and cultural history of Japan. His first book "The Origin of Modern Shinto in Japan: the Vanquished Gods of Izumo" (Bloomsbury Publishing 2016) deals with the history of Shinto in Tokugawa and Meiji Japan (1600-1889). His current book project explores the history of space and spatialization in modern East Asia. This is an investigation of the geographical epithet "ura-Nihon" ("the underside of Japan") in the context of the Japanese empire and modern East Asian history. Related to his study of Shinto, he is also interested in religion and secularity. He asks this question: what does it mean to separate religion from the modern nation-state?


Professor Zhong grew up in south China before going to college in Beijing. After working as a flight attendant for six years at Air China, he decided to pursue his interest in studying religion and history and entered graduate schools, first at the University of Toronto where he got his MA degree, and then at the University of Chicago where he got his PhD. He conducted two-year research as a postdoctoral fellow at the National University of Singapore before joining the Institute of Advanced Study on Asia at the University of Tokyo. He is a member of Prof. Isomae Jun'ichi's team research project on religion and discrimination at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Nichibunken) in Kyoto. From April 2018, he is a guest faculty member of Nichibunken.


Research Achivements


  • Zhong, Yijiang. The Origin of Modern Shinto in Japan: the Vanquished Gods of Izumo: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2016.10.

Translated Books

  • Junichi, Isomae. Translated by Yijiang Zhong. Reimagining Early Modern Japan: Beyond the Invented/Imagined Modern Nation: Brill, 2015.

Articles and Book Chapters

  • Zhong, Yijiang. "Freedom, Religion and the Making of the Modern State in Japan, 1868-89."Asian Studies Review 38, no. 1 2013: 53-70.
  • Zhong, Yijiang. "Formation of History as a Modern Discipline in Meiji Japan."Working Paper Series, Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore, no. 191 2012: 1-20.
  • Zhong, Yijiang. "Month without the Gods: Shinto and Authority Construction in Early Modern Japan."The Religion and Culture Web Forum, Divinity School, University of Chicago 2012.
  • Zhong, Yijiang. "Ritual, Purity and Power: Rethinking Shinto in Restoration Japan." Politics and Religion in Modern Japan: Red Sun, White Lotus. Edited by Roy Starrs. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011: 28-53.

Book Reviews

  • Zhong, Yijiang coauthor Junichi Isomae"Dialogic Transcendence and the Process of Subjectification, and then Sustainability."Religious Studies Review 44, no. 2 (2018.6): 183-190.
  • Zhong, Yijiang. Review of The "Greatest Problem": Religion and State Formation in Meiji Japan, by Trent Maxey. International Journal of Asian Studies 12 (2015).
  • Zhong, Yijiang. Review of In a Sea of Bitterness: Refugees during the Sino-Japanese War, by Keith R. Shoppa. Asian Journal of Social Science 41, no. 4 (2013).


*add @ioc.u-tokyo.ac.jp。

E-Mail :yijiangzhong