Japan Institute for National Fundamentals

THE 1st(2014) Terada Mari Japan Study Award

Terada Mari Japan Study Award

Purport of the inauguration of the Terada Mari Japan Study Award

Seven years ago, we established the Japan Institute for National Fundamentals with our sincere wish to rebuild the solid foundation of Japan and let this nation embody its true self. What we envisage is a Japan that, while retaining the values unique to it, serves as a decent member of the international community by maintaining a broader perspective on world events. First and foremost, it was our earnest desire to contribute as much as we could to the rebirth of Japan by dealing squarely with national issues including the Constitution, national security and education. Indeed, this was the prime motivation for inaugurating our institute.

To make this aspiration a reality, it is imperative to help the international community deepen its understanding of Japan and generate mutual respect between this nation and the rest of the world. Unfortunately, this goal remains far off. Japan remains misunderstood on many accounts. This is particularly true in respect to issues of history, over which Japan is often confronted by a tall wall of misunderstanding even today. Even Western countries that share the same values as Japan are no exception in this regard.

What should be specifically done to dispel such misperceptions? The best answer is to help people abroad increase their knowledge of Japan. To do this, we were considering how to foster talented people as Japan study specialists or Japanologists. Just at that time, Ms. Mari Terada made a very kind offer to JINF. It is my great honor to have been involved in establishing the Japan Study Award, which reflects the great aspiration she shares with all of us.

We sincerely hope this new award inspires young and mid-career researchers in the 21st-century international community to undertake thorough academic research about Japan—everything from its features, history, culture and civilization to politics, the wartime past and values unique to it. We would be delighted if the Japan Study Award helps promote free and sincere studies on Japan.

I am confident that the candid findings—positive or negative—of these researchers on various aspects of Japan—including its successes and failures—can help break down the wall of prejudice toward Japan. Research backed by academic honesty and integrity will always provide a precious source for learning.

It is my sincere hope that the Terada Mari Japan Study Award will increase the number of genuine friends of Japan around the world. At the same time, I believe Japan’s culture, civilization and its values that shape Japanese people’s thinking can contribute to the betterment of the 21st-century international community.

By Yoshiko Sakurai
President of the Japan Institute for National Fundamentals

Outline of Terada Mari Japan Study Award

The Japan Institute for National Fundamentals encourages and honors outstanding works in the field of Japanese studies at home and abroad that contribute to the furthering of understanding of Japan in the areas of politics, national security, diplomacy, history, education and culture, among others.
Every year, the Institute bestows the Japan Study Award on an individual, in principle, and a prize of US$10,000. The annual Japan Study Award program also includes a Japan Study Encouragement Award, which carries a prize of US$5,000. A Japan Study Special Award may be added.
To be eligible for these awards, a research work must be published in book form or in a national or international journal in either Japanese or English within the past five years by a young or mid-career researcher who is a foreign national.
Members of the Japan Study Award Recommendation Committee and relevant experts are asked to recommend a wide range of candidate works by the end of each year. Based on these recommendations, the Japan Study Award Jury selects winners of the Japan Study Award program by the spring of the following year.
An award ceremony and a reception for the winners are held in July each year.

Recipients of Terada Mari Japan Study Award and their works

The First [Terada Mari Japan Study Award]

The works of Recipients of Terada Mari Japan Study Award

Japan Study Award
Kevin Doak Professor at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
  • A series of academic theses on Catholicism, Shintoism and nationalism, including the book titled “A History of Nationalism in Modern Japan: Placing the People”— Japanese translation: “Ogoe de Utae ‘Kimigayo’o” (PHP Institute, 2009)
Japan Study Special Award
Liu Anwei Chinese writer and professor at the Foreign Language Research and Teaching Center of Tokyo Institute of Technology
  • A literary work titled “Shusakujin Den—Aru Chinichiha Bunjin no Seishinshi” (Zhou Zuoren—Intellectual History of a Litterateur Well-Versed in Japanese Culture) (Minerva Shobo, 2011)
Japan Study Encouragement Award
Brandon Palmer Associate professor of history at Carolina Coastal University, South Carolina
  • (1) Co-authored a book titled “Japan in Korea: Japan’s Fair and Moderate Colonial Policy (1910-1945) and Its Legacy on South Korea’s Developmental Miracle”— Japanese translation: “Nippon no Chosen Tochi o Kenshosuru 1910-1945” (Soshisha, 2013).
  • (2) His book “Fighting for the Enemy—Koreans in Japan’s War, 1937-1945” (University of Washington Press, 2013). No Japanese translation yet.
Japan Study Encouragement Award
Vassili Molodiakov Russian professor at the Institute of Japanese Identity, Takushoku University in Tokyo
  • A book titled “Japonizumu no Roshia—Sirarezaru Nichiro Bunka Kankeishi” (Japonism in Russia—Unknown History of Russo-Japanese Cultural Relations) (Fujiwara Shoten, 2011)

Remarks on the selection of award recipients

The members of the Japan Study Award Jury initially thought it might be presump-tuous for us to choose the recipient of the first Japan Study Award on our own, considering the limited level of our expertise. Nevertheless, after some consultation with members of the Japan Study Award Recommendation Committee, we came to the conclusion, with full confidence, that the inaugural Japan Study Award should be presented to Dr. Kevin Doak. He has been widely recognized for his outstanding academic research on Kotaro Tanaka, a leading Japanese legal scholar who served as a Tokyo Imperial University professor, a chief justice of Japan’s Supreme Court and a judge at the International Court of Justice.

Moreover, unlike many of his peers in the field of Japanology, Dr. Doak has a keen interest in the impact of Christianity, especially Catholicism, on Japan. Kotaro Tanaka himself was a devout Catholic. Dr. Doak is still studying how Japanese society absorbed the exotic religion since the mid-16th century when Francis Xavier, a Roman Catholic missionary of the Society of Jesus, came to Japan. This background, I believe, is a major reason why Dr. Doak has a definite opinion of his own on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Yasukuni Shrine that triggered protests from some Asian neighbors and even people in the U.S. and Japan. Because of his research on Catholicism in Japan, he has undoubtedly forged a deep understanding of Japan’s nationalism and Shintoism. I, as a Japanese national, wholeheartedly respect Dr. Doak for his courage to express his support, in articles and statements, for Prime Minister Abe’s visit to Yasukuni Shrine despite the overwhelming chorus of disapproval from leftist groups.

Similarly, postwar Japan witnessed the prevalence of a simple linear equation-like assertion that Japan’s annexation of Korea was a product of Japanese imperialism and that its colonial rule was vicious and inhumane. For his part, Dr. Brandon Palmer says, based on the findings of his in-depth research, that Japan’s wartime mobilization of Korean people did not necessarily occur just because of its absolute power as the ruler of the Korean Peninsula. We warmly applaud his study for its independent objectivity and academic accuracy.

Dr. Vassili Molodiakov’s book “Japonism in Russia—Unknown History of Russo-Japanese Cultural Relations” is a masterpiece crafted during his extensive research on Japanese culture. Bilateral relations between Japan and Russia have been largely shaped by the Soviet Union’s offensive against Japan in the closing days of World War II and the ongoing Russian occupation of Japan’s Northern Territories off Hokkaido. Despite this, it is true that many Japanese people still adore Russian culture, such as its literature and music. Therefore, it is quite significant to look at the Japan-Russia relationship from a viewpoint of cultural exchange.

Dr. Liu Anwei’s book “Zhou Zuoren—Intellectual History of a Litterateur Well-Versed in Japanese Culture” is far more than biographical literature. He applied a social scientific approach to trace the dramatic life of Zhou Zuoren, who came to Japan with his elder brother Lu Xun. Zhou married a Japanese woman and became renowned as a literary man, yet ended up living at the mercy of the fluctuations in Japan-China relations. Particularly noteworthy is the fact that this book, which he wrote in Japanese, proves he is a masterful prose writer few Japanese could match. His writing style—which seems to transpose the rhythm of Chinese poetry into Japanese sentences—is certain to fascinate every reader. His book was also awarded the 2012 Watsuji Tetsuro Prize, which speaks volumes of its real value. We are convinced that such an excellent work deserves more recognition.

Last but not least, I would like to make clear that the Japan Institute for National Fundamentals has launched the Japan Study Award irrespective of the prevailing state—good or bad—of Japan-China relations.

By Tadae Takubo
Vice President of the Japan Institute for National Fundamentals
and Vice Chairman of the Japan Study Award Jury

Award Jury

ChairYoshiko Sakurai President, Japan Institute for National Fundamentals (JINF)
Vice ChairTadae Takubo JINF Vice President
Katsuhiko Takaike JINF Vice President and lawyer
Hironobu Ishikawa JINF Secretary General and journalist
Yasushi Tomiyama JINF Planning Committee Member and Senior Fellow

Award Recommendation Committee

Takashi Ito Professor Emeritus, University of Tokyo
Sukehiro Hirakawa Professor Emeritus, University of Tokyo
Toshio Watanabe President, Takushoku University
George Akita Professor Emeritus, University of Hawaii
Brahma Chellaney Professor of Strategic Studies, Center for Policy Research, India
Koh Se-kai Professor Emeritus, Tsuda College
Henry Scott Stokes Former Tokyo Bureau Chief, New York Times