The Japan-United States Friendship Commission and the National Endowment for the Humanities sponsor Fellowships for Advanced Social Science Research on Japan. The program supports scholarly research into subject areas such as American-Japanese relations, modern Japanese politics and society, and Japan’s international relations. The fellowships are designed for researchers with advanced language skills and whose research will require data, sources, and documents in their original languages or onsite interviews. The application deadline is May 1st, 2014, for projects beginning as early as January 2015. For more information, and to view sample applications, please visit the home page for the program.
This NEH program has awarded grants to a number of scholars at universities across the country. Philip C. Brown of the Ohio State University used his award to explore The Impact of Floods, Landslides and Other Natural Disasters on the Modernization of Japan, 19th-20th Centuries. His project examined how Japan’s transition from largely decentralized to centralized government has impacted social and technological responses to widespread flood risk. He explored how local and state organizations have utilized old and new technology to combat natural hazards. Another grantee, Jennifer Ellen Robertson of the University of Michigan studied the emerging field of humanoid robotics, a highly popular discipline in Japan, in her project, Robotics, Technology, and the Japanese Family. According to her research, Japan accounts for nearly 52% of the world’s operational robots and is a global leader in developing humanoid robots designed specifically to assist people.