Outreach to the Community

Extending the Institute’s reach beyond the University are public events, cultural endeavors, and lectures, notably the weekly Japan Forum, which has sponsored nearly 800 talks since its inauguration in 1974. Conferences, workshops, lectures, films, and exhibitions (many of them co-sponsored with other Harvard centers and departments) enhance the study of Japan on campus and draw participation from the surrounding community, across the U.S., Japan, and Europe, and around the world.

RIJS maintains close relations with numerous institutions throughout greater Boston and New England, including the Consulate General of Japan in Boston, the Japan Society of Boston, the Museum of Fine Arts and Peabody Essex Museum, as well other universities and schools. By offering informal Associate-in-Research status to scholars and experts in various disciplines and fields relating to Japan, RIJS continues to build a network of relationships with MIT, Tufts, BU, and many other institutions mainly in the Northeast region.

Fostering close ties overseas, RIJS has concluded formal exchange agreements for faculty and graduate students with a number of prominent Japanese universities and research institutions. For instance, its affiliation with Waseda University includes, among other programs, Waseda’s 125th Anniversary Commemorative Junior Visiting Researcher from Harvard University position. The Institute holds corporate membership with International House of Japan and has a long association with Kodansha International, Ltd. In addition, various one-time events and exhibits enrich international exchange between Harvard and Japan, as well as the University’s academic life.

Through its summer internship program for Harvard College students, RIJS is closely associated with a wide range of Japanese universities, institutions, and businesses. By expanding this program to include students with little or no prior training in the Japanese language, RIJS has broadened its networks in Japan to include not only its longtime partners such as the Rotary Club of Okayama, International Christian University, and Showa Women’s University, but also newer organizations, for example, Jenerate Partners, Inc., Tokyo Institute of Technology, Internet Business Japan, Hikari Tsushin, and NEXT Legal Corporation.

RIJS has also cultivated relationships with organizations in Japan through its ongoing digital initiatives. The Constitutional Revision Research Project in Japan (CRRP), which established a joint-research agreement with Keio University in 2015, now involves scholars from Sophia, Hokkaido, Yonsei, and Waseda Universities and the University of Tokyo, among others. The Japan Disasters Digital Archive Project (JDA) is affiliated with digital and non-digital partners in Japan, including the 311 Memories project of the National Institute of Informatics, the 311 Comprehensive Archive Project, Asahi Shimbun AJW, Great East Japan Earthquake Archives Fukushima, Kahoku Shimpo Disaster Archive, Michinoku Shinrokuden at Tohoku University, Sendai Mediatheque, the Tokyo Foundation, Yahoo! JAPAN, Hidenori Watanave (Great East Japan Earthquake Archive), the National Diet Library of Japan, and NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation). As the Institute continues to pursue these research endeavors, RIJS looks forward to strengthening these ties and making new collaborative relationships in the future.