BAJS Conference 2018

Crisis? What Crisis? Continuity, and Change in Japan

5-7 September 2018

Inox, Sheffield Students Union

University of Sheffield, UK

Since the collapse of the Bubble Economy, Japan has often been described as being in demographic, economic or and/or social crisis. In recent years, however, significant legal and constitutional changes have been proposed, implemented and resisted; signs of sustained economic growth have appeared for the first time in several decades; and a re-assertive global image of what it means to be Japanese is being promoted, particularly in the lead-up to the Tokyo Olympics of 2020. As in other moments in Japanese history, tensions between desires for transformative social change and continuity have reappeared, framed by regular moments of crisis, sometimes real, sometimes perceived.

Debates over how political, social, economic, and cultural change occurs in Japan, both in the past and present, have often swung between these narratives of crisis, continuity and change. These frameworks have also shaped much of the study of Japan in the UK and elsewhere across a wide range of disciplinary approaches.

In the sesquicentennial of the Meiji Restoration and the fiftieth anniversary of the debates prompted by the protests of 1968, the British Association for Japanese Studies, with the School of East Asian Studies at the University of Sheffield, invites scholars to reflect on these narratives of change, continuity and crisis and their usefulness in the 21st century.

The British Association for Japanese Studies

The British Association for Japanese Studies (BAJS) was formed in 1974 with the 'aim to encourage Japanese studies in the UK, in particular by stimulating teaching and research'. With this in mind, the Association's first Conference was convened in Cambridge at Easter 1975, and following that the BAJS Conference was an annual event.

From 2010, the BAJS Conference has been held on a tri-annual basis, alternating with the European Association for Japanese Studies and the Joint East Asian Studies Conferences, with an annual workshop held during the other two years.

Find out more about BAJS

The School of East Asian Studies, University of Sheffield

With a history dating back to 1963, the School of East Asian Studies (SEAS) is one of Europe┬┤s leading centres of academic excellence for the study of contemporary East Asia, with research and teaching covering China, Japan and Korea. Its main focus is the business, politics, societies, cultures, economies and history of modern and contemporary East Asia.

More about SEAS

Contact us

If you would like to get in touch about anything related to this conference please contact the organisation team on

Alternatively, you are also welcome to use the BAJS Conference 2018 Facebook discussion page

The 2018 BAJS conference local organising committee consists of Harald Conrad, Peter Matanle, Thomas McAuley (Chair), Mark Pendleton, Kate Taylor-Jones and Anna Vainio from the School of East Asian Studies at the University of Sheffield.

The conference is generously supported by the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation and the Japan Foundation.