Many thanks to everyone who attended the AGM last night. It was lovely to see former scholars and outgoing scholars discuss the future shape of BAMS. Sadly, our Chair, Paul Illife, announced that he is stepping down after four years of much-valued service to the BAMS Committee. During this time, Paul organised a number of successful events, including various summer socials and the recent BAMS Talks. Thank you, Paul, for all your efforts! But BAMS will carry on, and we hope to bring you more events in the future, including another summer social, so keep an eye out for further information! (Forum Mithani, BAMS committee)

Posted on 02/05/2017 by Lyle De Souza

2017 BAMS Talks

BAMS is pleased to announce the success of the BAMS Talks 2017 that took place on Tuesday 28th March 2017 at the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation in London. Two former MEXT Scholars spoke about their experiences as MEXT Scholars in Japan and their careers thereafter. They were followed by four newly awarded MEXT Scholars who presented their backgrounds and their research proposals for their upcoming study in Japan. The evening was a perfect example of the diversity of MEXT Scholars and their fields of study, with topics covering civil society, writing and publishing, Japan’s space policy, the future of materialising, the history of imperialism, and space robotics. Many thanks to all the speakers, members of the audience, and the Daiwa Foundation for hosting us!

Photo: Forum Mithani

Posted on 03/03/2017 by Lyle De Souza

Registration for 2017 BAMS Talks

Registration is now open for the 2017 BAMS Talks. Please click on Conferences.

Posted on 03/03/2017 by Lyle De Souza

Experiences of Studying in Japan

Read reports from recent MEXT scholars.

PDF file

Posted on 02/03/2017 by Lyle De Souza

BAMS Talks 2017 - Advance notice

Date & Time: Tuesday 28th March 2017, 18:00 - 20:30

Location: The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation Daiwa Foundation Japan House 13/14 Cornwall Terrace (Outer Circle) London NW1 4QP

Speakers: (tbc)

Registration: (coming soon)

Posted on 22/02/2017 by Lyle De Souza

BAMS Talks 2017 - Call For Speakers

Dear everyone,

On behalf of the BAMS Committee I would like to wish all BAMS members a happy new year! 明けましておめでとうございます!

In March 2017 we plan to hold the next BAMS Talks, which will be an opportunity for MEXT Scholars to present the research work or study that they pursued in Japan. This email is a call for speakers for the BAMS Talks! Both former and newly awarded MEXT Scholars are invited to present their work. Of course, in the case of newly awarded scholars, the proposed research should be shown.

If you are interested in presenting your research work, that you originally developed in Japan and, perhaps, later continued elsewhere, please contact the BAMS Committee at

Alternatively, if you are interested in assisting in the preparation and running of the event, please also feel free to contact us. It is very much my hope that this event will provide BAMS with a suitable direction for the future, namely to provide BAMS members with a platform to promote their work, build a professional network, and to promote the MEXT Scholarship.

Just to reiterate, if you are interested in presenting at or helping in the preparation of the BAMS Talks, please contact the BAMS Committee on

Best wishes for the new year!

Paul Iliffe

BAMS Committee Chairman

Posted on 13/01/2017 by Lyle De Souza

BAMS Summer Social

Summer may be seen as an abstract concept in the UK, but in the general spirit of the season and reminiscing the hot summers in Japan, BAMS will have a summer social on Friday 15th July at the Tate Modern.

We will be meeting at 6pm at the Turbine Hall entrance on Holland Street. We plan to look around the galleries, practice our art critic skills, and then find somewhere to have some food and a drink (I suggest the Lord Nelson, which has great burgers, including vegetarian).

If you'd like to join, let us know so that we know who to wait for on the day. Everyone is welcome!

I look forward to seeing you there!


BAMS committee chairman

Posted on 14/07/2016 by Lyle De Souza


The BAMS committee will hold its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Friday 17th June 2016 between 18:00 and 20:00 at the Embassy of Japan in the UK (101-104 Piccadilly, London W1J 7JT).

We warmly welcome all the former MEXT Scholars to join the BAMS committee and representatives from the Embassy to talk about the future of our association.

If you would like to join, please register with BAMS by replying with your full name and title to this email address (

Please note that registration must be done by Wednesday 15th June 2016.

During the AGM the following points will be presented and discussed:

  • A summary of BAMS activities in 2015
  • Plans for 2016 and beyond
  • Proposals for BAMS events (such as last year’s BAMS Christmas Talks)
  • Participation in the BAMS committee

After the event we will move on to the King's Arms pub, which is a short walk from the Embassy.

We look forward to seeing you on the 17th!

Posted on 13/06/2016 by Lyle De Souza

BAMS email address compromised * update - back to normal

We are very sorry to inform you that the BAMS email account was hacked recently.

You probably received a suspicious email purportedly from the BAMS chair, Paul Iliffe, at 15:48 on 4 May.

Please be assured that Paul is fine and not in need of rescuing!

Please disregard this email and rest assured that the situation is under control and that we have managed to salvage the account!

Posted on 20/05/2016 by Lyle De Souza

BAMS Facebook Page

BAMS now has its own Facebook page. Please join us.

Posted on 18/12/2015 by Lyle De Souza

2015 BAMS Christmas Talk followed by reception

Registration is now open for the inaugural BAMS Christmas talk on 'Japanese Diasporas' to be held at the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation on Friday 11th December, 2015 from 6pm to 8.30pm. BAMS members will have an exclusive advance period of one week to register before the event is opened up to the public. Please click on the link 'Conferences' (left) to find out more about this event and to register.

Posted on 15/10/2015 by Lyle De Souza

Japanese Government (MEXT) Postgraduate Scholarships

The application window for the 2016-2018 MEXT Postgraduate Scholarship Programme is now open. All applications must be submitted to the Embassy of Japan in London by Wednesday, 10th June 2015 5pm (GMT).

Please note that the application system for the MEXT Postgraduate scholarships has changed slightly from previous years. It is essential that candidates have looked into suitable Japanese universities where they can conduct their research/studies and that these are listed on the attachment form at the time of application to the Embassy. Applicants who pass the Embassy selection stage of the application procedure will be expected to contact the universities listed on the attachment form to try and gain admission.

For full details including application forms please go to the link below:

Posted on 22/04/2015 by Lyle De Souza

Speech Contest for Spoken Japanese at SOAS

Dedicated to the memory of the late Sir Peter Parker

The purpose of the Sir Peter Parker Awards for Spoken Business Japanese is to deepen the understanding of Japanese business culture by businessmen and women of the countries of the European Union through study of the Japanese language, and to contribute to goodwill and mutual understanding with the people of Japan through better communication.

The Sir Peter Parker Awards for Spoken Business Japanese were established in 1990 by the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) London, and the SOAS, University of London. The Awards are widely recognised as having made a significant contribution to the recent growth in the use of Japanese in business, as well as having benefited participants in their professional careers.

There will be 25th celebration in 2015. The Contest date is 10th February. Please see the link below for further details.

Posted on 20/09/2014 by Lyle De Souza

Japan Photo Contest 2014

Posted on 28/07/2014 by Lyle De Souza

Toshiba Essay Contest: Japan in 2020

​Toshiba Essay Contest

Further information:

Japan must look to the past and build the future. As it continues to recover from the devastation of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, it is also preparing for the 2020 Tokyo Olympiad. Strong currents of change are flowing through Japan and the wider world, the country faces many questions and must make choices, some of them tough. We ask our essayists to consider today’s Japan, and to explain and share their views on three points. :

  1. What does Japan need to reform, and what should it protect and preserve?
  2. As a country, What kind of message should Japan be sending to the rest of the world?
  3. What does the world expect of Japan?


Grand Prize (1 person) - A 1-million yen research grant

Outstanding Performance Prize (2 persons) - 500,000 yen research grants

The three prize winners listed will be invited to receiver their awards at a ceremony in Tokyo

Essay Language and Length

  • Japanese or English
  • 3000 - 4000 Japanese characters, or 3000 - 4000 English words

Entry conditions:

Submitted essays must be unpublished

The copyright of the winning essay will become the property of the Toshiba International Foundation

Entry Qualifications

Young researchers engaged in Japanese studies. Assistants or trainees at research institutions, art galleries, museums, etc., who are either enrolled in or who have completed a doctoral program at the time of application. Lecturers, assistants and associate professors at universities who have yet to obtain tenure.Entry is open to all non-Japanese citizens. The object of the contest is to promote Japanese studies overseas.

Applicants must attach the following when submitting their essays:

  • Resume
  • A statement of future aspirations
  • Intended use of the research grant
  • A letter of recommendation from the applicant’s supervisor or leader

Application deadline: October 30, 2014

Method of submission: send to jp

Announcement of winners: March 2015

Award ceremony: May 2015, in Tokyo

All enquires:

Posted on 15/07/2014 by Lyle De Souza

BAMS Event: Japan vs Columbia World Cup

When? 24 June, 2014; kick off is at 9pm but come earlier to enjoy the food, drinks, and atmosphere!

Where? Coronet Theatre, 28 New Kent Road, London, SE1 6TJ (nearest tube: Elephant & Castle)

What? Japan's crucial World Cup game against Columbia which they need to win if they are to progress to the knockout phase. The area is popular with South Americans, so expect a cracking atmosphere!

From the Coronet website:

The Coronet is extremely excited to be working with a number of event partners to be screening a selection of World Cup 2014 games.






**This game features a very special after party performance from SYSTEMA SOLAR**

How much? Tickets are £3 (match only) or £9 (match & after party). Buy your tickets HERE.

See also our LinkedIn page (link at top) for more details.

Posted on 16/06/2014 by Lyle De Souza

Japan's All-Female Takrazuka Revue

Japan’s All-Female Takrazuka Revue—Considering Gender/Sexuality from Cross-Cultural Perspectives

Friday 27th June 2.00pm-4.00pm at Birkbeck Cinema

Screening: Dream Girls (Kim Longinotto 1994 50 min) about the all-female musical/revue company Takarazuka Revue.

Performance: by two former Takarazuka performers, who used to play a ‘female-role’ and a ‘male-role’ respectively.

A discussion session will follow the film and the performance.

Since its inception in 1914, the all-female musical/revue company Takarazuka Revue has been enormously popular among the female audience in Japan. The company stages heterosexual romances often set in Western countries, and a female performer specialises either in a “male role” or a “female role.” Scholarly research on Takarazuka has been conducted both within and outside of Japan, but there is a gap between perspectives on gender and sexuality within and outside of Japan; researchers in Japan tend to critique the “Western” approaches, which, in their view, focuses too much on sexuality. This event aims at providing an opportunity to cultivate cross-cultural understanding of Takarazuka. The screening of Dream Girls (1994), the documentary of the Takarazuka Revue, directed by British female documentary makers Kim Longinotto and Jano Williams, is followed by the discussion session led by Dr. Nobuko Anan at Birkbeck College and short performance by two former Takarazuka performers, each of whom used to be a “female-role player” and a “male-role player” respectively. Jano Williams will join the discussion session.

To attend this event please RSVP:

This event is co-hosted by Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image, The Japan Foundation, and The Centre for Media, Culture and Creative Practice. There is a similar event in the evening of 27 June at the Japan Foundation. Please visit their website for the information.

Nobuko Anan, PhD

Lecturer in Japanese Studies

Department of Film, Media and Cultural Studies

Birkbeck, University of London

43 Gordon Square

London WC1H 0PD

Tel: +44 (0)20 7631 6165


Posted on 07/06/2014 by Lyle De Souza

Volunteers required - Fukushima Youth Sinfonietta in London

Keys of Change, a musical charity which has been heading this project will need volunteers to help with the children and I wondered if you would be interested or know of others who may be able to help. Please see Chris’s email below and please do feel free to email her if you would like to help in any capacity.

On Wednesday 2 April at 7:30pm, the Fukushima Youth Sinfonietta, comprised of young musicians from schools in Fukushima, Japan will perform a concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre.

These students, coming from one of the areas worst hit by the 2011 tsunami and subsequent nuclear disaster are in London for this unique performance to present, through music, their remarkable journey of strength and collaboration.

The programme includes the world premiere of Ronald Corp’s Commotio, commissioned for this performance

More info:

We are looking for help in several areas:

- a Japanese-speaking volunteer who could attend rehearsal sessions in

central London during the day on Monday March 31st and Tuesday April 2nd, to

help out with interpretation between the English orchestra and conductor and

the Japanese students. Preferably someone with some musical knowledge.

- two or three volunteers who, between them, could be with the group during

the day and in the evening between the arrival on March 29th and the last

day of the trip on April 3rd. These would need to be Japanese speakers who

could help with interpretation on general topics, eat and chat with the

group, and who have a knowledge of London and could therefore help the group

if there are problems (they would not be responsible in the case of problems

- we have someone else for that - just to help)

- volunteers to help with flyer distribution at Japanese locations

(restaurants etc) in London in March

- everyone could help by emailing the flyers to friends and families and

encouraging them to come to the concert.

Anyone interested should contact me at

Posted on 25/01/2014 by Lyle De Souza


Former Daiwa Scholar, BP Travel Award 2012 winner and MEXT alumnus Carl Randall’s latest solo exhibition is now on display at Daiwa Foundation Japan House. Tokyo Portraits is a series of figurative paintings inspired by the people and places of Tokyo – responses to everyday life in Japan’s capital, as seen through the eyes of a visiting UK artist.

Carl will give a gallery talk to members of the British Association of Japanese Government/MEXT Scholars (BAMS) onWednesday 29th January. 6.30-8pm at The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, 13/14 Cornwall Terrace (Outer Circle) London NW1 4QP. Please RSVP to to let us know you’re coming.

Carl was based in Tokyo as an artist from 2003 to 2013, having been awarded a Daiwa Scholarship, followed by a Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship. This extended period was used to develop his interest in cities and portraiture, responding to the people and places of Tokyo. During this time he has completed a Master’s Degree and Doctorate in Oil Painting at Japan’s prestigious Tokyo University of the Arts (where he won the 2011 Nomura Art Prize, for the top graduate exhibition), was selected to be artist in residence in Hiroshima City (to meet and make portraits of survivors of the Atomic Bomb), and was chosen to represent Japan as artist in residence at the 2007 Formula 1 Races. He has also exhibited widely in Japan, including Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Arts, and Tokyo Art Award 2009. In the UK, he won the 2012 BP Travel Award from the National Portrait Gallery in London, to walk in the footsteps of Hiroshige and document The Tokaido Highway as it exists today. The works were exhibited at the gallery during the summer, and are now touring the UK.

Carl has kindly agreed to give an artist’s talk exclusively for MEXT alumni, partners, friends and guests, in which he will talk about responding to Japan as a foreign artist, and themes in his work such as overpopulation, community and the individual and the group, as depicted in Tokyo Portraits.

Carl’s talk will begin at 6.30 and will be followed by wine and nibbles.

Please RSVP to to let us know you’re coming.

The exhibition runs from Jan 16th to March 12th 2014. Further info:


‘Japan Portraits’ – Short Documentary (National Portrait Gallery website):

Image: Tokyo Subway, 2010, acrylic on canvas, 130 x 162cm © Carl Randall

Posted on 22/01/2014 by Lyle De Souza

HAFU - London premiere followed by Q&A with producer Lara Perez Takagi

HAFU ハーフ

documentary film London

premiere at Birkbeck

with generous support from The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation

Birkbeck Cinema

6pm to 8.30pm

24 January, 2014

Screening then Q&A with director Lara Perez Takagi and Lyle De Souza

Free – registration required:

Posted on 18/12/2013 by Lyle De Souza

Lecture: Exploring The Japanese Diaspora in Canada Through Literature

This brief lecture by former Monbukagakusho scholar Lyle De Souza highlights his ongoing research, focussing on his recent fieldwork in Canada. It looks at the problems faced when attempting to analyse cultural identity and the possibilities offered by using a multi-faceted methodological approach. By introducing Canadian Nikkei as a case-study, the presenter hopes to productively compare and contrast the audience’s experiences of other Japanese diasporas.

Lyle De Souza is a third year PhD candidate in the Japanese Department at Birkbeck, University of London. His thesis is titled: ‘Cultural Identity in the post-Redress Cultural Productions of Canadian Nikkei’. Lyle was a Monbukagakusho scholar at Kyoto University from 2000-2002.

Date: Wednesday 11th Dec, 2013

Time: 6.30pm to 7.30pm (followed by BAMS Christmas party)

Place: The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, Daiwa Foundation Japan House, 13/14 Cornwall Terrace (Outer Circle), London NW1 4QP

Posted on 29/11/2013 by Lyle De Souza

Position - Lecturer in Japanese Studies (Birkbeck, University of London)

Lecturer in Japanese Studies

Department of Media and Cultural Studies

Birkbeck College, University of London

Reference Number 10792

Location London, Bloomsbury

School/Department Media and Cultural Studies

Position Type Fixed term

Hours 35

Salary from/to £33,966 - £38,884

Job Description

An exciting opportunity has arisen for an ambitious, independent, and highly motivated individual in the Department of Media and Cultural Studies with a vacancy for a Lecturer in Japanese Studies – Culture and Language. Our preference is for a scholar with teaching and research interests in an area of contemporary Japanese society or culture, but applications from scholars in other fields including media studies, cultural studies, postcolonial studies, gender and sexuality, film, and/or literature with a strong focus on Japan are also welcome.

You will contribute to the delivery and development of a programme of teaching in Japanese Studies across all academic levels. You should be able to use a range of delivery techniques to inspire and engage students in teaching practical skills, methods and critical perspectives. With your excellent organisational skills, you will be expected to co-ordinate the highly successful Japanese language programme, including oversight of teaching provision, curricular development and sessional tutors. Demonstrated knowledge of Japanese-language pedagogy and/or Programme co-ordination is desirable.

Candidate Requirements

You will be educated to degree level or equivalent, with a PhD or close to completion, and a strong research profile evidenced by a record of publication in Japanese studies or other relevant fields. The ability to attract external funding, and a research agenda which is well-positioned in relation to one of a number of fields which are likely to attract increased academic and broader interest in the medium term, are highly desirable. The ability and willingness to contribute to the department’s courses in Media and Cultural Studies is a plus. Excellent command of English and Japanese is essential.

About the Department

For more information, please visit the department's web-site:

Further Information

Salary: Starting salary of £33,966 (including London Allowance of £2,946 per annum)

The closing date for completed applications is 23:59 on Sunday 18 November 2012.

Interviews are due to be held on Wednesday 5 December 2012.

This job is a full-time position, fixed term for three years, and may be subject to a probationary period of three years.The initial salary award will be dependent on the skills and experience of the successful applicant. Annual leave is 25 days per year, plus an additional six days when the College is closed during the spring and winter breaks. This is in addition to the eight bank holidays.

The post is superannuable under the USS scheme (Universities Superannuation Scheme). This is a final salary scheme, and is often substantially more beneficial to the employee than a "money-purchase" scheme.

Informal enquiries can be made to Dr Tim Markham, Assistant Dean, Department of Media and Cultural Studies, Birkbeck, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX. (tel: 020 3073 8380),

Click here for more details.


Dr. Shinji Oyama

Department of Media and Cultural Studies

Birkbeck, University of London

43 Gordon Square, Bloomsbury

London WC1H 0PD

Tel: +44 (0)20 7631 6132


Posted on 19/10/2012 by Lyle De Souza

Exhibition by Carl Randall

Carl Randall, a former Daiwa Scholar, will be exhibiting at the 2012 Jerwood Drawing Prize, London, 12 September – 28 October

Carl Randall, a former Daiwa Scholar, will be exhibiting ‘Notes from the Tokyo Underground’, a series of line drawings made on Tokyo trains, at The 2012 Jerwood Drawing Prize, London, 12 September – 28 October.

The 2012 Jerwood Drawing Prize, JVA at Jerwood Space , 171 Union Street, London, SE1 0LN

This year 78 drawings were selected from over 3000 entries. The exhibition is then touring to venues across the UK including to the new Jerwood Gallery, Hastingc; mac birmingham and The Galley, Bournemouth.

Carl has been based in Tokyo as an artist since 2003, having been awarded a Daiwa Scholarship, followed by a Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship. This extended period has been used to develop his interest in cities and portraiture, responding to the people and places of Tokyo. During this time he has completed a Master’s Degree and Doctorate in Oil Painting at Japan’s prestigious Tokyo University of the Arts, was selected to be artist in residence in Hiroshima City (to meet and make portraits of survivors of the Atomic Bomb), and was chosen to represent Japan as artist in residence at the 2007 Formula 1 Races. He has also exhibited widely in Japan, including Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Arts, and Tokyo Art Award 2009.

The artist’s new Japan paintings and drawings will be exhibited in London in the near future, including a solo exhibition at Daiwa Foundation Japan House (January – March 2014).

Carl’s drawings can be seen on the ‘commuters’ section of his website:

DRAWINGS MADE ON TOKYO TRAINS (‘Notes from the Tokyo Underground’)

Pen on paper

10-15cm each

2008 -2012

Image: DRAWINGS MADE ON TOKYO TRAINS ('Notes from the Tokyo Underground'), Pen on paper, 10-15cm each, 2008 -2012

Posted on 05/09/2012 by Lyle De Souza

Exhibitions by Mext Scholars

MEXT scholars and their friends are invited to Otgonbayar Tsogt’s Private View: 6-9pm, Saturday 22nd September 2012

Otgonbayar Tsogt is a Mongolian artist currently resident in London. He gained a Masters in Japanese Painting from Tokyo University of the Arts and has held several exhibitions in Japan and the UK.

The works in this exhibition explore the life cycle, in particular Otgonbayar's connection to his Mongolian ancestors and superstition in Japanese and Mongolian culture.

Venue: Pure and Applied Studio, 3 Larch Court, Royal Oak Yard, London SE1 3GB

The exhibition runs from September 22nd - December 21st. Opening hours: Monday-Friday 12-5pm.

Location: A 10 minute walk from London Bridge, near the White Cube Bermondsey Gallery

For further information see

Private View invitation attached

Alex Blum will be exhibiting at the Mall Galleries

Alex Blum, a former MEXT Scholar ( is also pleased to announce that one of her drawings has been selected for the Threadneedle Prize exhibition, described as 'the UK's leading showcase for contemporary figurative and representational painting and sculpture'. The Private View will be on Wednesday 26th September, 6-9pm, at the Mall Galleries, the Mall, London, SW1. The show then continues until 13th October, invitation and details attached. It would be great to see you there, and even better if you'd like to vote for my drawing to win the Visitor's Choice Prize!

Posted on 04/09/2012 by Lyle De Souza

Events: September 2012

Shishi-Odori at this weekend’s Thames Festival, 8-9 September 2012

Don’t miss the Shishi-Odori dance by Oshu Kanatsu-Ryu Dance Troupe at this weekend’s Thames Festival, 8-9 September 2012:

Zipangu Fest, Friday 14 - Sunday 16 September 2012

The Cinema Museum2 Dugard Way (off Renfrew Road)London SE11 4TTickets: £7.50

Following its move to a new venue, the Cinema Museum in London's Kennington district, the third Zipangu Fest celebrates Japan's rich cinematic heritage with retrospective screenings of some unseen gems alongside a host of newer titles, with a large proportion of the programme screened from film.

The Reel Zipangu section includes Kaizō Hayashi's critically-regarded 1986 homage to Japan's silent era, To Sleep So As To Dream, and a long overdue revival of Teinosuke Kinugasa's avant-garde masterpiece from 1928 and one of the first Japanese films ever screened in the West, Crossways. A samurai drama filmed in the style of German Expressionism, the film will be presented with an illustrated lecture by Festival Director Jasper Sharp before its screening with a specially-commissioned score by Minima, one of the leading bands accompanying silent film in Europe.

Spirit Made Flesh is an experimental programme that explores the very materiality of the medium and includes the work of three filmmakers, Momoko Seto, Shinkan Tamaki and the latest film from Takashi Makino, invited guest at Zipangu Fest 2011, where he presented the Enter the Cosmos programme. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion 'Is There Still a Need for Film in a Digitising World?'

Fukushima 8, a compilation of 8mm home movie treasures from the 1930s onwards filmed by the families of the disaster-struck region will be screened on the Opening Night, alongside Atsushi Wada's animation The Great Rabbit, recipient of the Silver Bear Award at Berlinale 2012. The centrepiece of this opening evening is the first ever screening in the West of the Japanese-DPKR co-production, Somi - The Taekwon-do Woman (1997). Tickets are available in advance from Crowdfunder.

Animation will also be represented with the return of our popular Beyond Animesection. In Midori-ko, a university researcher protects a human/vegetable hybrid in a dystopic fantasy drawn completely by hand that took its director Keita Kurosaka ten years to complete, while the live-action doll drama Encounters similarly showcases the one-man bedroom auteur aesthetic. Its director, Takashi Iitsuka, will be present to introduce the film.

Anime fans will also be riveted by Masanori Tominaga's enlightening and surprisingly moving documentary The Echo of Astro Boy's Footsteps about the mysterious double life of the pioneering animation sound designer Matsuo Ohno.

The Melting Pot Japan section features two works that look at Brazilian immigrant populations in Japan, Kimihiro Tsumura and Mayu Nakamura's documentaryLonely Swallows: Living as Children of Migrant Workers, and the Closing Film, Katsuya Tomita's vivacious portrait of small-town dreams and prejudices in provincial Kofu, Saudade. One of the most exciting figures in indie filmmaking in Japan, Tomita will be present at the festival as a guest with his scriptwriter Toranosuke Aizawa.

Zipangu Fest: Japanarchy in the UK

Posted on 04/09/2012 by Lyle De Souza

BAMS Euro 2012 Semi-Final Drinks

A few people mooted the idea of watching a Euro 2012 match together. Therefore, next Thursday I would like to invite you all to watch the semi-final together. It will hopefully be England vs Greece, but let's be realistic and say it's probably going to be Germany vs Italy...

We will be watching the match in the lounge of the Sherlock Holmes Park Plaza Hotel on Baker Street - they have a big screen and comfy chairs. We will be meeting at 6pm at Baker Street tube station and probably grab a bite to eat at the nearby Wetherspoons pub beforehand. If you can't make it for 6pm then please come directly to the Sherlock Holmes Park Plaza Hotel at 19.15, or any time after.

Date: Thursday 28th June

Time / Place: 18:00 at Baker Street Tube Station (or at the Sherlock Holmes Park Plaza Hotel from 19.15)

I have attached a map of the hotel. As before, please drop me an email to let me know if you can make it, and I look forward to seeing you there!

Andrew Cookson

Posted on 14/07/2012 by Lyle De Souza

Photo by Andrew Cookson.

Symposium: Creative Industries in East and Southeast Asia

Japan Foundation & Birkbeck College’s Centre for Media, Culture and Creative Practices present


This symposium will bring together some of the world’s foremost experts to examines creative industries in East and Southeast Asia and how it is shaped by and shaping global relation of power, which is rapidly tilting toward the East. Spurred but no longer led by Japan, countries in East Asia have endeavored to catch-up with Western economies and increasingly compete against each other. The focus is no longer exclusively on manufacturing and productivity but is shifted to nurturing creativity and culture and becoming a branded cool nation. In this historical conjuncture, this symposium provides a fresh looks at East Asia’s move up the global value chain, growing regional cooperation and competition and unexpected trajectory and localization of the idea of creative industries, which originated in the UK.

This event is free but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please visit our event page <>.

Date: (Fri) 29 June 2012 from 10:30 to 18:00

Venue: The Japan Foundation, London, 10-12 Russell Square, London WC1B 5EH

Speakers include

Professor Anthony Fung (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)

Professor Yoshitaka Mouri (Tokyo University of the Arts)

Professor Eunmee Kim (Seoul National University, South Korea)

Dr Yeran Kim (Kwangwoon University, South Korea)

Dr Lorraine Lim (Birkbeck)

For more information contact the organiser <>


Posted on 07/06/2012 by Lyle De Souza

BAMS Social Kaiwa Event

Dear BAMS members,

We would like to invite you all to the first BAMS Social Kaiwa Event that is being held in London next month!

The evening will consist of a Japanese-English conversation exchange with a buffet style dinner. People will have the chance to reminisce over their MEXT experiences and brush up on their Japanese conversation skills with native Japanese speakers. Following the meal we will then retire to a nearby pub. It will be an excellent opportunity to see old faces and new, and establish an on-going and popular event that attracts current and future MEXT alumni.


Date: FRIDAY 1ST OF JUNE from 6pm

Place: SUKI, on Gerrard Street in Chinatown (1st floor).

Price: £8 each (this includes food, soft drinks and good company)


Alongside BAMS, the Japan Foundation and some other London-based Japanese societies will hopefully be represented. If you would like to attend, please RSVP ASAP to:

We look forward to seeing there!

Andrew Cookson

BAMS Social Secretary

Posted on 28/05/2012 by Lyle De Souza

'Global Japan' symposium by LAPCSF (Birkbeck, 16 June 2012, 1-5pm)

The aim of this symposium organised by LAPCSF (London Asia Pacific Cultural Studies Forum) is to present some of the very latest research being produced by Birkbeck PhD students on the general theme of ‘Global Japan’ to encourage dialogue on and an understanding of a Japan de-centred from its geographical location. The presenters range from those just beginning their PhD to those who have been doing their PhD for several years and are near completion. The topics use different, innovative cultural studies methodological approaches and encompass a number of mediums including music, literature, manga and film. Global Japan is a complex and dynamic subject, so it is hoped that after these presentations and a panel discussion a clearer idea of it evolves and the audience will have had a glimpse of the exciting directions that the scholars of the future are taking in the study of Japan and its international reach.


Posted on 05/05/2012 by Lyle De Souza


Thanks to everybody who came to the BAMS AGM at the Embassy of Japan in London yesterday. It was wonderful to see so many people and to plan lots of exciting events for the year ahead.

Posted on 27/03/2012 by Lyle De Souza

Solo Exhibition by Mext Scholar

Otgonbayar Tsogt, a MEXT scholar from Mongolia who studied for his Masters at Tokyo Geidai, is a guest artist with the Art Dog gallery for the Deptford X International Art Fair. The exhibition will take place from 23th September - 2nd October at the Duke, 125 Creekside, London , from 11am- 11pm and the Private View is on Saturday, 24th September from 6.30 - 8.30 pm.

For further information see

Posted on 26/09/2011 by Lyle De Souza

International Symposium: Humanities After Fukushima

Register to attend the symposium at

Please go to the 'Downloads' page for more information including a list of speakers.

London Asia Pacific Cultural Studies Forum

Posted on 30/08/2011 by Lyle De Souza

updated on 26/09/2011 by Lyle De Souza

Archaeology of urban time: drawing Dalston

An exhibition at the Geffrye Museum, London

'15.4.11 – 17th floor, The Collins’ flat', 59 x 84 cm, charcoal on paper

Dalston, east London has been dissected layer by layer. Former Mext scholar Alexandra Blum has spent 3 years drawing the upheaval: from the street, within the vast Dalston Square construction site as artist in residence, and now from within one of the completed flats, a home on the 17th floor. The selection of drawings in this show explores the changing nature of space as the tower block evolves through time, the emergence of domesticity perched upon layers of raw construction and the shifting boundaries between a single, defined living space and the network of spatial units from which the city itself materialises.

For an invitation to the Private View please email:


Venue: The Geffrye, Museum of the Home,

136 Kingsland Road, Shoreditch, London E2 8EA.

Exhibition open: 27th September - 30th November 2011, Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 5pm

Transport: Overground: Hoxton Station (directly behind the museum); Buses: 67,149, 242, 243, 394; Underground: Liverpool Street (Bishopsgate West exit) then bus 149 or 242.

Old Street (exit 2) then bus 243

'9.10.09 – on site, library block ', 59 x 84 cm, charcoal on paper

Posted on 22/08/2011 by Lyle De Souza

Job Vacancy: Research and Public Relations Officer

Please go to the 'Downloads' page for a pdf with the job description.

Posted on 18/07/2011 by Lyle De Souza

Results of our recent BAMS survey

Please go to the 'Downloads' page for a spreadsheet of the results (including charts).

53 responses received

What impact has the scholarship had on your career so far?

31 Significantly positive impact

19 Some positive impact

2 Little positive impact

1 No impact

What was most memorable from your time in Japan?

I was there on the Scholarship for five very formative years of my life

The learning experience is inherent in that is something that has shaped me into the person I am and which will stay with me for the rest of my life

Opportunities to do things I would never have had the chance to do in the UK

It was a very intense two years and there were lots of very memorable times

What advice would you give to prospective scholars?

Have as clear and comprehensive a research plan as you possibly can before you arrive in Japan

Talk to as many people with experience of the scholarship as possible not just in your subject area

Go for it...if you don’t have the right qualifications- take a year and go get them you’ll be so happy you did...go mad and do everything that is open to you

The scholarship is an excellent way to experience life as a fully-fledged student at a Japanese university

Monbusho is great but relatively unstructured once you are at university

Not to expect anything from university in way of support or teaching

Posted on 04/07/2011 by Lyle De Souza

The Design of Place

David Buck is delighted to announce the publication of a new book written in collaboration with Pritzker Prize winning Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki and landscape architect Toru Mitani. The book, titled the design of place, is published by Shokokusha in Tokyo and signed copies are available on request!

Posted on 21/06/2011 by Lyle De Souza

Tohoku Earthquake

We are deeply saddened by the devastating impact of the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami. The destruction is unspeakable. Our thoughts are with those who have suffered personal loss at this time.

The British Red Cross has now started collecting donations for the Japanese Red Cross. Please use this link to donate to its Japan Tsunami Appeal.

The Japan Society also has created a disaster relief fund to aid victims of the Tohoku earthquake. All funds received will be distributed to organizations working to help people in the affected areas recover from the devastating effects of the earthquake and tsunami. Please go to their website to make an online donation.

You can also contribute to the Japan Tohoku Earthquake Relief Fund via credit/debit card by telephoning the office on 020 7828 6330 or by sending a cheque to:

Tohoku Earthquake Relief Fund

The Japan Society

Swire House

59 Buckingham Gate

London SW1E 6AJ

Please make your cheques payable to the Japan Society with ‘Tohoku Earthquake Relief Fund’ on the reverse.

If you are a UK tax payer, we can reclaim tax on your donation making it worth more. Please don’t forget to indicate whether you wish us to do this. A suggested form of words to authorize this is ‘I am a UK tax payer. Please reclaim Gift Aid on my donation.’

For additional information, please email

March 15, 2011

Author: Matthew Clifton.

Welcome to BAMS

Ohayo Gozaimasu!

Welcome to the official site of the British Association of Monbusho Scholars.

We are the group of scholars who have spent time in Japan under the Monbusho scholarship programme. We provide a network for past and present scholars as well as those who are preparing to attend a Japanese university.

JAN 2011 UPDATE: see our latest article by Forum Mithani, a former Scholar who has written about Anime and the Ghibli Museum.

March 2, 2010

Author: Matthew Clifton.