[Blueboard] Call for Applications: Owning and Spreading Culture

Japanese Studies Program japanese at admu.edu.ph
Mon May 8 12:04:47 PHT 2006

Call for Applications:
Owning and Spreading Culture 
Visiting Research Scholar Fellowship 2007-2008
International Research Center for Japanese Studies

The International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Kyoto, Japan) is 
pleased to announce an opening for a foreign scholar to reside at the Center 
and participate during the Japanese academic year 2007-2008 in the following 
team research project: 

Owning and Spreading Culture
Culture spread beyond time and space. It is revitalized and is transformed 
through the encounter with other culture. Culture is being conscious when other 
culture emerges. At the same time, it raises sense of property which excludes 
others, to protect the culture or to gain profit out of it.
Thus, culture have two opposite aspects: owning and spreading. The most radical 
problem occurred by the two opposite aspects emerges in intellectual properties 
right, especially copyright. Responding the requests from big companies of 
cultural industry of inside and outside Japan, Government of Japan (GOJ) is 
putting pro-copyright policies forward, imitating USA.

Many categories of subculture like manga and anime are recognized as the 
typical intellectual properties of Japan; GOJ made policies to utilize their 
soft-power in the world market. The manga and anime market in the world, 
however, is not produced by the efforts of GOJ and cultural industry of Japan 
after the mid 90s. We cannot deny the facts that the world diffusion of manga 
and anime is achieved by illegal activities like pirated copies and individual 
enthusiasm of oversea supporters.

Nowadays, Japanese-style manga and anime affect the world visual culture. It 
can be said that the soft-power enhancement policies of GOJ proclaim a new 
property of Japan whereas they were spread by people’s effort and transformed 
adapting local culture. We should do further discussion whether such policies 
really enhance the internationality of Japanese culture.

Surveying “traditional culture,” which is regarded as important Japanese soft-
power, most of them existed before the establishment of copyright. That means, 
pro-copyright is clearly not the only way for producing culture which could be 
handed down to posterity. 

Renga, highly popular poetry during the Middle Ages, for example, is a 
cooperative creation unique to Japan. It is a kind of poetry style that blends 
plural poets’ creativity together to make a series of Renga. The poets neither 
insist nor abandon their personality; at the same time, the work remains taste 
beyond the aggregation of each poets’ abilities. Renga is based on a principle 
of making creative culture; it is opposite to copyright, which prizes the 
subject of the creation. Nô-gaku and chano-yu, representative 
Japanese “traditional culture,” have the same tradition as Renga’s cooperative 

What kind of stance is required about “Owning and Spreading Culture” to realize 
a society which produce rich culture? We are aiming to grope to find a way 
opposite to pro-copyright.
This team research project will not side with neither incentive nor human 
rights copyright theory and will not place a special emphasis on information 
control model and operation of law. Instead of them, we quest the principle of 
producing rich culture, studying cultural transformation and creation through 
open exchange of information among people, and looking the dynamism at the 
field where “Owning and Spreading Culture” causes conflicts.

At the end of this project, we aim to reshape “academic knowledge” 
into “enlightenment knowledge” concerning this topic.

For this fellowship, we especially welcome applications from younger scholars. 
The position is open with regard to discipline, and applicants need not be 
specialists of Japan; indeed, those able to offer comparative perspectives are 
especially welcome. However, discussions and presentations will be in Japanese, 
so knowledge of the language would be distinctly preferable. Most importantly, 
applicants should: 

1. display evidence of prior research and publications directly related to the 
   above research project. And 
2. have a Ph.D. (or equivalent) and an academic position by the time of 

The fellow is expected to arrive in Kyoto someday between April 1 and October 
3l, 2007; the fellowship runs from your arrival until March 31, 2008. The 
fellow will be given roundtrip economy airfare, paid a monthly stipend each 
month roughly equivalent to that of Center faculty of similar age and 
experience, and enjoy the library, research, and other privileges of faculty at 
the Center. 

Application forms may be obtained by writing to: 

Research Support Section
Research Cooperation Division 
International Research Center for Japanese Studies 
3-2 Oeyama-cho, Goryo 
Kyoto 610-1192, JAPAN 
Tel : +81-75-335-2044 
Fax : +81-75-335-2092 
e-mail: kyoudou at nichibun.ac.jp 

Alternatively, the application form may be downloaded from the Center website: 

Questions regarding the details of the research project may be sent to 
Associate Professor Shoji YAMADA at the Center address, by e-mail at 
osc_office at nichibun.ac.jp 

The deadline for applications is June 30, 2006

Lydia N. Yu-Jose, Ph.D.
Japanese Studies Program
3/F Social Sciences Building
Ateneo de Manila University
Loyola Heights, Quezon City
Telefax: 426-6001 local 5248
Email:   japanese at admu.edu.ph or
         japanesestudiesprogram at yahoo.com

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