The 17th international EAJS conference at Ghent University

EAJS concert

During 17–20 August 2023, the Institute for Japanese Studies at Ghent University organized the 17th International Conference of the European Association for Japanese Studies (EAJS). This is the largest event for specialists in Japanese Studies. It consisted of 25 parallel sessions and attracted a total of 886 in-person delegates, with 242 more following online. Welcoming all Ghent visitors were the public exhibition “Kimono Today” and the film documentary series “Japanese Margins.” Japanese court music (gagaku) performances by the American artists in residence Prof. Dr. F. Rambelli, A. Lindsey, and T. Piercy were also very popular. The conference was opened by the EAJS president Prof. Dr. Verena Blechinger-Talcott (Berlin) and the rector of Ghent University Prof. Dr. Rik Van de Walle. The mayor of Ghent, Mathias De Clercq, Japanese ambassador H.E. Mikami Masahiro, vice president of the Japan Foundation, Dr. Sato Yuri, and the president of the Toshiba International Foundation, Omori Keisuke, expressed a warm welcome. Afterwards, Prof. Dr. Sonoda Shigeto (Tokyo), gave a keynote lecture on the “Asianization of Asian Studies and its impact on Japanese Studies”. These events took place in the magnificent Aula Academica of Ghent University, followed by a reception for all participants and sponsors. The conference included publishers’ exhibitions and many side events: PhD workshop at Leuven, pre-conference and post-conference workshops sponsored by the Flemish Research Council and Ghent University research projects in Japanese Studies, a meeting of the Toshiba International Foundation scholar alumni, and a workshop on presentation techniques by Prof. Dr. Kuriyama Shigehisa (Harvard). A party celebrating the 50th anniversary of the EAJS in the historical buildings of the Vismijn near the castle of Ghent attracted more than 450 participants. The conference ended with a general meeting and very positive news for Ghent University: Ghent’s Prof. Dr. Andreas Niehaus has been elected to be the next president of the European Association for Japanese Studies. 

Source: Ghent University

Published: October 2023