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         Activities

  The activities of the Institute can be roughly divided into 1) programs for members and for domestic academic circles, 2) programs for international cultural exchange, and 3) publications.

1. Programs for members and domestic academic circles:

a). The Autumn Academic Meeting held alternately in Tokyo and Kyoto;

b). Academic meetings held in Tokyo and Kyoto under the cosponsorship of the Institute and other scholarly associations;

c). Presentation of the Tōhō Gakkai Awards, which started on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of the Institute in 1982;

d). A special program, including the publication of a commemorative volume of collected papers in Asian studies, was commenced to commemorate the Institute’s 15th anniversary in 1962;

e). Support for Young Scholars’ Seminars, etc. In a new undertaking, which started in 2011, the Tōhō Gakkai will subsidize in part the running costs of seminars, symposiums, lecture meetings, and so on organized by young scholars in the fields of Eastern studies and Asian studies with a view to encouraging the convening of such gatherings. Applicants must be members of the Tōhō Gakkai and no older than forty-four at the time of the annual application deadline of December 31.


2. International cultural exchange program: 

a. The International Conference of Eastern Studies (ICES)

The Institute has been sponsoring this annual conference (formerly International Conference of Orientalists in Japan [ICO]; held in Tokyo and Kyoto in May or early June) since 1956. The 1995 conference marked the 40th anniversary and was attended by more than 500 participants from 30 countries. Among the cumulative total of approximately 16,181participants at past conferences, those who have read papers have numbered 2,064, from 76 countries. Among these participants we can find the names of many scholars who are now playing leading roles in their respective areas of study. Since 1999, the conference has been scaled down from the conventional two-day session to a one-day session in Tokyo, and more emphasis has been placed on organizing seminars and symposiums instead of publicly inviting papers from foreign researchers in Japan.

b. Occasional seminars and lectures

Seminars in Japanese literature and history are occasionally held by inviting Japanese and foreign scholars as guest speakers. A lecture meeting in modern Chinese history and international relations is also held on occasions under the cosponsorship of the Institute and the Ajia Seikei Gakkai (Japan Association for Asian Political and Economic Studies).

c. Invitation of foreign scholars to Japan

The Institute, with the cooperation of the Japan Foundation and other related organizations, carries out a program to invite distinguished scholars from abroad for a short stay in Japan to provide them with a chance to meet and exchange views with their Japanese counterparts. The scholars who visited Japan under this program are:

1971 Jacques Gernet (Univ. of Paris),
1973 A. F. P. Hulsewé (Leiden Univ.),
1974 Douglas Mills (Cambridge Univ.),
1975 M. C. Subhadradis Diskul (Silpakorn Univ.),
1977 Kristof Glamann (Univ. of Copenhagen),
1985 Lionello Lanciotte (IsMEO), Liu Hsin-yüan (Ching-te-chen Museum),
1995 Erik Zürcher (Leiden Univ.), Romila Thapar (Jawaharlal Nehru Univ.),
1999 Peng Hao (Jing-zhou Museum),
2000 Yang Tienshi (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences), Lü Fang-shang (Academia Sinica), Rong Xinjiang (Peking Univ.),
2001 John W. Chaffee (Binghamton Univ.),
2002 Rostislav. B. Rybakov (Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Oriental Studies), Chang Jui-te (Academia Sinica), Peng Dunwen
   (Wuhan Univ.), Wang Young (Zhejian Univ.),
2003 Kenneth R. Hall (Ball State Univ.), Ch’oe Chae-mok (Yeungnam Univ.),
2004 Ch‘en Yung-fa (Academia Sinica), Wang Qisheng (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences),
2005 Asko Parpola (Univ. of Helsinki), Toby P Ronald (Univ. of Illinois), Nam Punghyeon (Dan Kook Univ.), Huang Chunyan (Shanghai Normal
    Univ.), Wang Qifa (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences), Zhou Qicheng (Zhejian Univ.), and Wong Sin Kiong (Singapore National Univ.),
2006 Nikolay K. Kradin (Russian Academy of Sciences, Far Eastern Branch), Wu Liyu (Chinese Academy of Social Science), Paul Harrison
    (Univ. of Canterbury), and Stephen West (Arisona State Univ.)
2007 Joachim Gentz (Edinburgh Univ.), Liu Shiuh-feng (Academia Sinica), Kenneth Pomeranz (Univ. of California, Irvine), Hoyt Tillman (Arizona
    State Univ.), Bao Maohong (Peking Univ.), Park Seong-jong (Kwandong Univ.)
2008: Meng Yanhong (CASS), Tao Siyan (Dongnan Univ.), and Sarah Allan (Dartmouth College)
2009: Evelyin Rawski (Univ. of Pittsburgh), Lai Fei (Shandong Inscription Museum), Barend ter Haar (Leiden Univ.), Liu Lexian (Capital Normal
    Univ.), and Ge Xiaoyin (Peking Univ.).
2010: Nguyen Quoc Manh (Southern Institute of Sustainable Development), Michael Zimmermann (Hamburg Univ.), Huang Zhengjian (CASS),
    LU Fang-shang (Tunghai Univ.), Haruo Shirane (Columbia Univ.).
2011: Dhiravat Na Pombejra (Chulalonkorn Univ.), Harriet Zurndorfer (Leiden Univ.), Klaus Sagaster (Univ. of Bonn), Haruo Shirane (Columbia
    Univ.), Peng Lin (Tsinghua Univ.).
2012:Huang Zheng (Nanking Normal Univ.), Richard von Glahn (UCLA), and Niu Laiying (CASS).
2013: Michael Witzel (Harbard Univ.), Surat LERTRUM (Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy), AN Teok (Korea Univ.), and DAI Yan (Fudan Univ.)

d. Forum of Japanese and Chinese Scholars on Ancient Chinese History

A five-year exchange agreement was concluded with the Institute of History, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, to cohost a Forum of Japanese and Chinese Scholars on Ancient Chinese History, to be held in alternate years in Japan and China. A second five-year agreement was concluded in May 2012.

1st Forum (12 &13 August 2009): Beijing (Wangfujing Guesthouse); “Source Materials and the Study of Ancient Chinese History”
    with 11 participants from Japan and about 50 participants from China.
2nd Forum (21May 2010): Tokyo (Japan Education Hall); in conjunction with the 55th ICES
   “The Three Teachings (Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism) and Literature in the Wei-Chin Period and the Formation of
    Aristocratic Society.” with 13 participants from China and about 120 participants from Japan. 
3rd Forum (17 & 18 September 2011): Wuhan (Wuhan University Luojia Villa); cohost: Wuhan University Institute for the Study of 3rd to 9th
    Century China. "Social Order and Local Society in Ancient Chinese States.”
    with 9 participants from Japan and about 50 participants from China.
4th Forum (25 May 2012): Tokyo (Japan Education Hall): in conjunction with the 57th ICES.
    “Developments in the Study of Newly Unearthed Chinese Documents” with 13 participants from China and about 100 participants
   from Japan.
5th Forum (28 August 2013): Changsha (Jixian Hotel); “Local Culture and Ancient China” with 8 participants from Japan and about
   30 participants from China.

e. Support for Young Scholars’ Seminars, etc.

In a new undertaking, starting from 2011, the Tōhō Gakkai will subsidize in part the running costs of seminars, symposiums, lecture meetings, and so on organized by young scholars in the fields of Eastern studies and Asian studies with a view to encouraging the convening of such gatherings. Applicants must be members of the Tōhō Gakkai and no older than forty-four at the time of the annual application deadline of 31 December.

3. Publication

a. Periodicals

ACTA ASIATICA is a biannual English-language bulletin of the Institute introducing recent academic contributions by leading Japanese scholars in the field of Asian and Japanese studies. Each issue is compiled around a certain selected topic in one particular field with four or five articles and a bibliographical introduction. The first issue was published in 1961.

TRANSACTIONS OF THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF EASTERN STUDIES records the proceedings of the Conference, which is sponsored by the Tōhō Gakkai. The full texts of some selected papers, abstracts of all other papers presented and reports of symposiums and seminars at the Conference are included.

TŌHŌGAKU (EASTERN STUDIES) is a biannual journal in Japanese carrying articles on Eastern studies, covering such extensive fields as history, literature, philology, philosophy, thought, religion, art, and archaeology. It also includes reports on developments in Eastern studies at home and abroad and recollections of the scholarship and personality of pioneering Japanese scholars in the field of Eastern studies. An English summary is appended to each article. The first issue was published in 1951.

BOOKS AND ARTICLES ON ORIENTAL SUBJECTS PUBLISHED IN JAPAN is a comprehensive catalogue in both Japanese and English, listing books and articles on Oriental subjects published in the preceding year. It is an annual publication, and the first issue was published in 1954. Its publication has been suspended, with the 1996 edition (No. 43) published in 1998 being the latest volume.

TŌHŌ GAKKAI-HŌ is a biannual bulletin in Japanese reporting on the Institute’s annual activities with a focus on the International Conference of Eastern Studies (ICES) in May and the Autumn Academic Meeting in November. It also carries a report on the present state of Eastern studies at major universities in Japan, correspondence from individual member scholars’, and various kinds of news and information on Eastern studies both at home and abroad. Since the 31st Congress of 1983, detailed reports on the International Congress of Asian and North African Studies (ICANAS) have been published in this bulletin.

b. Books

TŌHŌGAKU RONSHŪ(Eastern Studies, Fifteenth Anniversary Volume) was published in 1962 in commemoration of the Institute’s fifteenth anniversary. The thirty contributors to this special volume were leading Japanese scholars in the field of Eastern studies and many were officers of the Tōhō Gakkai. For the convenience of foreign readers, English abstracts were appended at the end of the book.

TŌHŌGAKU RONSHŪ(Eastern Studies, Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Volume) was published in 1972 in commemoration of the Institute’s twenty-fifth anniversary. The forty-eight contributors to this special volume were leading Japanese scholars in the field of Eastern studies and many were officers of the Tōhō Gakkai. For the convenience of foreign readers, about 50 pages of English abstracts were appended at the end of the book.

TŌHŌGAKU RONSHŪ(Eastern tudies, Fortieth Anniversary Volume) was published in 1982 in commemoration of the Institute’s fortieth anniversary. The sixty-four contributors to this special volume were leading Japanese scholars in the field of Eastern studies and many were officers of the Tōhō Gakkai.

TŌHŌGAKU RONSHŪ(Eastern Studies, Fiftieth Anniversary Volume) was published in 1997 in commemoration of the Institute’s fiftieth anniversary. The ninety-eight contributors to this special commemorate volume were leading Japanese scholars in the field of Eastern studies and many were officers of the Tōhō Gakkai. For the convenience of foreign readers, about 100 pages of English abstracts were appended at the end of the book.

CLASSICAL JAPANESE GRAMMAR ILLUSTRATED WITH TEXTSpublished in 1975 is a clear and thorough exposition of traditional Japanese grammar in English, the most essential such grammar since the appearance of Sir George Sansom’s An Historical Grammar of Japanese in 1928. The author, the late Prof. IKEDA Tadashi, was a specialist in medieval Japanese literature. A third printing was published in 2000.

JINSAI SORAI NORINAGA: THREE CLASSICAL PHILOLOGISTS OF MID- TOKUGAWA JAPAN published in January 1983 is an English translation of the late Prof. YOSHIKAWA Kōjirō’s work focusing on three mid-Tokugawa thinkers, Itō Jinsai, Ogyū Sorai and Motoori Norinaga, who led the way in developing a “philological” approach for appreciating life and culture in ancient China and Japan.

AN INTRODUCTION TO BUDDHISM published in July 1987 is the English version of Bukkyō nyūmon by Dr. TAKASAKI Jikido, one of Japan’s leading scholars of Indian philosophy, especially Mahāyāna Buddhism.

HISTORY OF PROTESTANTISM IN CHINA: THE INDIGENIZATION OF CHRISTIANITY published in March 2000 is a revised and enlarged English version of Chūgoku Kirisutokyō-shi kenkyū by the late Dr. YAMAMOTO Sumiko.

THE EDO PERIOD: EARLY MODERN AND MODERN IN JAPANESE HISTORY published in January 2006 is an English version of Edo jidai to wa nanika-Nihon shijō ni okeru kinsei to kindai (pub. 1992) by BITŌ Masahide, a leading scholar in the field of Tokugawa intellectual history.

c. Special project

The Institute edited 20 volumes of An IntroductoryBibliography for Japanese Studies from 1986 to 2007 in compliance with a request from theJapan Foundation.


The periodicals are sent to some 600 overseas universities, institutes, libraries, and learned societies, mostly on an exchange basis.

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