Research Projects

In addition to individual research, joint research projects are planned and carried out regularly at the Institute. All projects welcome the participation of scholars in related fields from the faculties of the University of Tokyo and other universities.

The following types of research projects are currently being carried out :

Departmental and Individual Research Themes

Research themes for each department of the Institute and for the Research and Information Center for Asian Studies promote interdisciplinary area studies.
Each member of the Institute conducts highly-specialized research.


"Development of society and culture in Asian regions"
The Department of Pan Asian Studies represents a broad spectrum of humanities and social science-related research on Asia from the perspective of fields such as political economy, political science, human geography, cultural anthropology, and comparative thought. The Department of Pan Asian Studies puts an emphasis on networking with colleagues abroad, especially in Asia, as it develops collaborative schemes of research and communication in Asian Studies.


"State power and socioeconomic structure in East Asia"
The Department of East Asian Studies (I) deals with the region as a whole, including China, Korea, Japan, and occasionally Vietnam, employing methodologies of the social sciences and history to understand the dynamics of the region from antiquity to the present. The Departments major research theme is pursued in close cooperation with the Department of East Asian Studies (II).


"The formation and development of popular culture in East Asia"
The Department of East Asian Studies (II) is oriented towards the humanities in the fields of thought, religion, literature, and art of the region. The Departments major theme is the formation and development of popular culture.


"The intricacy of culture and civilization in the Bay of Bengal region"
The intricacy of culture and civilization in the Bay of Bengal region The Department of South Asian Studies covers the geographic region from Southeast Asia to the Indian subcontinent. The region is characterized by a very complex social formation made up of a large variety of languages and cultural traditions. Politically, most of the countries in this region experienced hundreds of years of colonial rule by Western nations. Without a knowledge of this background, it is impossible to understand the contemporary situation of this region. Accordingly, the Department has been consolidated into a research organization studying the politics, political economy, sociology and culture of the area in both the past and the present.


"The historical formation and present situation of West Asian culture"
The Department of West Asian Studies covers a geographical area stretching from Afghanistan to Turkey and Egypt, the so-called Near and Middle East, and Inner Asia. The Department attempts to understand this vast area in an interdisciplinary manner through the study of its political, economic, cultural, and social characteristics. For this purpose, in addition to the specialized work undertaken by each member of the Department, a joint research project entitled "The historical formation and present situation of West Asian culture" is being carried out.

Regular Research Projects

Regular research projects are planned and carried out by Institute members, and scholars in related fields from the University of Tokyo and other universities participate in them as well.

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List of regular research projects
  • 1. Reconsideration of Poverty and Inequality in Asia and Africa (Ikemoto)
  • 1. Reconsidering Anthropological Studies in the Northern Part of South Asia (Nawa)
  • 3. International Politics among the Major Countries of East and Southeast Asia (Tanaka)
  • 4. Archeological Documents and Their Historical Background in Ancient China (Hirase)
  • 5. Research on Versions and Classification of Classic Chinese Books (Okayama)
  • 6. A Study of Chinese Zen Buddhism (Okayama)
  • 7. Cultural Transformation at the Turn of the Century in China (Ozaki)
  • 8. Modern Chinese Literature in the 1930s (Ozaki)
  • 9. An Attempt at the Integration of Studies in the Traditional, Modern and Contemporary Chinese Legal Systems (Takamizawa)
  • 10. Comprehensive Reexamination of Extant Chinese Paintings (Ogawa)
  • 11. Asian Art and National Identity (Ogawa)
  • 12. Debates on Historiography in South Asia (Nakazato)
  • 13. Formation and Development of Religions in South Asia (Einoo)
  • 14. Rethinking the Modern History of Southeast Asia (Kano)
  • 15. The People and the State in the Modern History of Myanmar (Takahashi)
  • 16. Comparison of Asian Cities (Suzuki)
  • 17. A Comparative Study of the Institutional History of Islamic Countries (Suzuki)
  • 18. Urban Society and Religious Institutions (Haneda)
  • 19. Social Change and Intellectual Movements in the Modern Middle East (Nagasawa)
  • 20. A Comprehensive Study of Islamic Historical Sources (Suzuki)
  • 21. A Comprehensive Study of the Literature of Islamic Thought (Kamada)
  • 22. A Methodological Study of Textual Sources in West Asia (Suzuki)
  • 23. Data Collection and Comparative Research in Buddhist Art (Itakura)
  • 24. Reexamination of Poverty and Inequality in Asia and Africa (Ikemoto)
  • 25. Methodical Issues of Folklore in East Asia (Suga)
  • 26. Historical Change of Staple Production and its Consumption in Modern Asia (Kano)
  • 27. Text-based Studies on the Persianate Zone (Morimoto)
  • 28. New Issues in Subsistence Studies (Matsui)
  • 29. Food Culture, Development and Region in Asia (Ikemoto)
  • 30. Various Aspects of Islamic Art (Masuya)
  • 31. Historical Dynamics of Emergence and Co-existance (Yasutomi)
  • 32. Methodology of Comparative Historical Studies (Haneda)
  • 33. Problems of Ottoman History (Suzuki)
  • 34. A Multiple Study of the Compilation of Ancient Chinese Texts (Kotera)
  • 35. Comprehensive Studies on the Cross-Strait Relations (Matsuda)

Research Projects Sponsored by the Japanese Government and Various Grants

Sponsored by the Japanese Government
Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Priority Areas
Particularities and Synchronicities in Medieval and Early Modern East Asian Monetary History: Its Implication to Monetary Theory (Kuroda), 2005-2009
Comparative Studies of Two Maritime Worlds: Aspects of Cross-cultural Exchange in the Indian Ocean Maritime World and the Mediterranean Maritime World (Haneda), 2005-2009
Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (S)
Research on Pursuit and Formation of Cultural/National Identity Constructed in Figurative Art; From the Entire Region of Asia to the Whole World (Ogawa), 2007-2011
Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A)
Constructing an Electronic Library of Rare Books in Asia (Oki), 2004-2007
Comparative Studies of Cross-cultural Contacts in Asian Port Cities in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (Haneda), 2005-2008
Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B)
A Basic Study for the Construction of a Political and Social Database of the Middle Eastern Core Area (Suzuki), 2005-2007
The Culture of the Printed Word and the Media Revolution in the Arab World (Nagasawa), 2006-2008
Decolonisation of the Soul: Historiology in order to Solve the Post-Colonial Situation of Japan and her Neighbors (Yasutomi), 2007-2008
Study on the Village Economy of Colonial Burma (Myanmar) Based on an Analysis of Contract Documents (ChittiSajouk) (Takahashi), 2007-2010
Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C)
A Comparative Study of Social Capital in Traditional Local Societies in Japan and China (Suga), 2004-2007
Institutional Factors for the Growth of Agriculture in India since Independence: The Case of West Bengal (Nakazato), 2006-2008
Grant-in-Aid for Exploratory Research
Dynamic Research on Creation and Global Diffusion of Japanese Traditional Cultures (Suga), 2008-2009
Grant-in-Aid for Encouragement of Young Scientists (B)
A Study of the Establishment of the Patriarchal Clan System of the Zhou Dynasty (Kotera), 2007-2010
Grant-in-Aid for Encouragement of Young Scientists (start-up)
An Anthropological Study of Kinship, Ethnicity, and Human Relationship in Tibetan Rural Society (Ookawa), 2006-2007
Comparative analysis on Dokudo/Takeshima discourse of Japanese and Korean Massmedia (Hyun), 2006-2007
Power and Domination in the Rural Society of Early Medieval South Asia (Furui), 2008-2009
Grant-in-Aid for Publication of Scientific Research Results
Chronology of the 20th and 21st Centuries (Tanaka), 2005-2007
Japanese Politics and International Relations (Tanaka), 2008-2009
Indonesian Export, Peasant Agriculture and the World Economy, 1850-2000: Economic Structures in a Southeast Asian State (Kano), 2006-2007,
The Rise and Fall of Japan’s Regional Diplomacy: 1952-1966 (Hoshiro), 2008
Other Grants and Fellowships
JFE 21st Century Foundation (Baba), 2007
The Mitsubishi Foundation (Baba), 2007
Suntory Foundation (Hyun), 2007
Grant for Publication by Idemitsu Kosan (Webb), 2008
The Mitsubishi Foundation (Tanaka), 2008
Mishima Kaiun Memorial Foundation (Hashimoto), 2008