By Franziska Seraphim


I. An Overview over the History of Japanese Studies in Europe
II.  The European Association for Japanese Studies (EAJS)
III.  Guides to Institutions and Individuals in Japanese Studies in Europe
IV.  Bibliographies of Japanese Studies in the German Language

For the last decade or two, the field of Japanese Studies in Europe has been rapidly developing both in scope and in depth. Almost all European countries, East and West, have established centers for Japanese Studies in their major universities, and the soaring number of publications on Japan in the humanities, social sciences, arts, law, and technology can no longer be ignored in the Anglo-American world. Yet, the level of communication between American and European scholars (and indeed among Europeans themselves) has remained astonishingly low, the exception being the British, who for obvious reasons of language have been working closely with their American colleagues and are therefore largely excluded from this report. This means that there is as of yet a serious lack of cross-Atlantic integration of European and American scholarly contributions to the field of Japanese studies, and European publications are only sporadically listed in standard American reference works. For keeping up in the field, the periodicals, recent bibliographies and directories discussed below are particularly useful.


The first studies of Japan by Europeans date back to the days of the Dutch East India Company in the 17th century. Up to the Meiji Restoration, the works of the physicians Engelbert Kaempfer (Geschichte und Beschreibung von Japan, 1727) and Philipp Franz von Siebold (Nippon: Archiv zurBeschreibung von Japan, 1832) were the most reliable sources on Japanese history, culture, folklore, botany and zoology. At around the same time, the French started writing on Japan as an example with which to analyze human societies based on secondary material, e.g. Montesquieu (The Spirit of Laws, 1748) and Voltaire (An Essay on Universal History, 1756). Léon Pagès published the first bibliography (Bibliographie Japonaise) in 1859 and compiled the first Japanese-French dictionary (1862-1868) as a translation of the Spanish translation of a Japanese-Portuguese dictionary compiled by Jesuits around 1600.

The invitation of European advisers to the Meiji government in the 1870s and 1880s and travels of prominent Japanese intellectuals to Europe greatly encouraged Western studies primarily on the Japanese language, literature, religion, and folklore as well as numerous translations, and the turn of the century saw the first chairs of Japanology established at universities in France, Germany, Italy and Russia. Numerous studies of various aspects of contemporary Japanese life, especially on the emperor system, recent wars, and the state of law and technology, followed in the first decades of the 20th century (see the bibliography in Japanforschung in Österreich discussed below).

World War II interrupted Japanese studies in all European countries, and it was not until the 1950s and later that Japanology was re-established at the universities with little changes in approach and outlook. Although the number of publications increased enormously, the focus rested on language, linguistics and translations of mainly medieval and later also modern literature. Since the 1970s, there have been continuous efforts (with limited success) to expand "Japanology," an exotic and eccentric field modeled after Egyptology, Assyriology, Sanskrit and the like, into the more open and modern social-science-oriented area of "Japanese Studies."

Despite these encouraging trends, many problems remain (see especially Bruno Lewin's essay "Critical Viewpoint" in Japanese Studies in Europe, Japan Foundation, 1985). First, Japan is still so exoticized and supposedly irrelevant to the thoroughly Euro-centric university establishment that state support for Japanese Studies is severely limited. Second, while all kinds of academic disciplines come together under the umbrella term Japanology, there is a considerable gap between these "general" disciplines with their various theories and methodologies and the low interest in applying these methods in Japanese Studies. By the same token, scholars of Japan have not been able to make an impact on the Euro-centrality of the "general" disciplines. Third, the lack of communication among scholars within and among European countries as well as with their American counterparts is only slowly being alleviated, a major obstacle being language differences.


* Bulletin of the European Association of Japanese Studies. Call no.: EAL: Pl 503 .E8  Library has: no. 7-26, 1976-1986

The European Association for Japanese Studies (thereafter referred to as EAJS) was founded in November 1972 in Kyoto as a first serious effort to establish and coordinate communication among European scholars of Japan. Forty-seven scholars from fifteen countries attended the conference and chose Josef Kreiner of Austria as the Association's first president. Soon the founding of many local and national associations followed. However, the question of whether there was to be one common language to be used in EAJS's transactions and if so, which language, proved to be so great an obstacle (mainly for the French) that it was not until the following year in Oxford that EAJS was formally established. The regulations now allow for every language to be used but nonetheless greatly emphasize English.

The objectives of EAJS as stated in its constitution (printed in the Bulletin of EAJS no.7, June 1976) are "to stimulate interest in and encourage research into Japanese studies in all countries in the European area," "to publish a Bulletin," "to sponsor lectures, meetings and symposia" with a conference every three years, and to keep in touch through local organizations. According to current EAJS president Adriana Boscaro, the present goals are to enlarge the Bulletin with the aim of establishing a journal, and to found a European Committee for the journal Japan Forum. Upcoming changes are likely to include the exemption from financial contributions of East European countries which until now was a way of supporting them. As of 1992, EAJS had 352 members from 23 countries, including non-European nations such as the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.

There have been six conferences so far, in Zürich (1976), Florence (1979), Den Haag (1982), Paris (1985), Darlem, UK (1988), and Berlin (1991). The next one will be held in Copenhagen in 1994. Each conference is organized by panels or sections, which are again subdivided in various ways. Panels are usually devoted to the visual and performing arts; history, politics, and international relations; literature, linguistics and language teaching; religion and thought; environmental studies; anthropology and the social sciences; and open sections. According to Prof. Boscaro, the main problems haunting these conferences are differences in language and culture among the participants, and differences in methodological approach. They bear witness to the linguistic, cultural, historical, and scholarly heterogeneity of Europe and must be addressed with openness and humility to be of value to the field of Japanese Studies.

The Bulletin of the European Association for Japanese Studies (EAL: PL 503 .E8 1976-1986) has been published biannually in June and December since 1973. It informs about EAJS business, local, national and international conferences and meetings, new publications, book reviews, and work in progress. In addition, each issue features one or more shorter articles. The Bulletin is useful for keeping up with new publications in Europe concerning Japan and for information on past and present symposia. All papers given at the Third International Japanese Studies Conference in Den Haag and at the Fourth International Conference in Paris have been published in separate volumes (Gordon Daniels, ed. Europe Interprets Japan, 1984 [EAL: DS 802 .E87] and Ian Nish, ed., Contemporary European Writing on Japan, 1987 [EAL 821 .C66 1988g]). Both cover a wide variety of topics in English and are important to know about.


* Japanese Studies in Europe. Directory Series VII. The Japan Foundation, 1985
Call no.: EAL: DS 834.95 .J33 1985

This work is very informative and easy to use; it is entirely in English and provides information about the history of Japanese Studies in each country covered, followed by a list of its Japanese Studies institutions, and a list of the individuals related to Japanese Studies in that country. It is based on a compilation of questionnaires on Japanese Studies distributed in the spring of 1984 in fifteen European countries, including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, the German Democratic Republic, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland. The introductory essays are written and signed by a Japanese Studies professor of each country. Thus the style and depth of each description varies. The section on West Germany stands out for its added excellent discussion of the problems troubling Japanese Studies in Germany, and an appendix which includes a list of specialists according to disciplines and a selective but detailed bibliography of books and monographs related to the historical development of studies on Japan in Germany. Generally, individuals listed as related to Japanese Studies are by no means all employed at universities, and details are provided concerning their backgrounds, publications, and/or interests. The major setback of this volume is that it is rather out of date, and no recent publication has appeared to take its place. Yet, while addresses may no longer be correct, the emphasis on the historical background of institutions and individuals relating to Japanese Studies renders this volume still very useful.

Yôroppa ni okeru Nihon kenkyû. Directory Series XII. The Japan Foundation, 1987. (Probably a slightly updated Japanese version of Japanese Studies in Europe.)

* Soren, Tôô ni okeru Nihon kenkyû. Directory Series VI. The Japan `Foundation, 1984.

This work follows the same basic pattern of information as Japanese Studies in Europe, with essays on the history of Japanese Studies in Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Rumania, the Soviet Union, and Yugoslavia, and then lists of institutions and individuals relating to Japanese Studies in these countries. The essays are in Japanese, the lists are in English.

Soren ni okeru Nihon kenkyû. Directory Series XXIII. The Japan Foundation, 1990.
Call no.: [neither one is available at Columbia]

Overseas Japanese Studies Institutions. The Fukuoka Unesco Association, 1984.
Call no.: [not available at Columbia]

This work, in contrast to the two described above, lists individuals and their research interests/projects only insofar as they belong to a Japanese Studies institution, but in addition to the countries covered in the two volumes above, it includes Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.A. Again, having been compiled almost ten years ago, it can be expected to be out of date.

Japanese Studies in the United Kingdom. Japanese Studies Series 15. The Japan Foundation, 1988.
Call no.: [not available at Columbia]


* Ölschleger, Hans Dieter and Jürgen Stalph. Japanbezogene Bibliographien in europäischen Sprachen: Eine Bibliographie = <Nihon kankei Obun shoshi mokuroku> Bibliographische Arbeiten aus dem Deutschen Institut fur Japanstudien der Philipp-Franz-von-Siebold-Stiftung, v. 1. Iudicium Verlag, Munich, 1990. 296 pp.
Call no.: Z3301 O48 1990

Ölschleger's Japanbezogene Bibliographie in europäischen Sprachen does not correspond to our "Pancake" in that this is a list of some 1,777 topical bibliographies, not of reference works in general. It is an indispensable guide to catalogues, lists and bibliographies of books, articles and other material in all European languages, including Russian, Polish and Hungarian--although the vast majority is in English. Included are bibliographic essays that are attached obituaries, are privately owned, or part of long-forgotten journals, for many have not been superseded and most are still of value. The main bibliographical entry is by author and gives complete citations of all works. To look up a bibliographical list one can use the index of author, compilers, translators, and editors, the title index, or the subject index, which is in German. Excluded are purely Japanese publications unless they are partly in a European language or include translations into European languages. No international bibliographies, neither general nor specific, are included except for regional ones (Asia). Excluded are further personal publication records, archival and documental collections except sources for Asian history, map-indexes, prints and illustrations, commercial catalogues for books in print, private book collections, and libraries that are not exclusively related to Japan. This is a bibliography for mainly the humanities, social sciences, and arts and does not include general natural sciences, medicine or pharmacy. It is a great book to go to for specialized bibliographies on just about any topic, old and recent, and should be made easily available. The book is now available "on-site" at Butler Library, but it will take a while until it appears on the EAL shelf.

* Getreuer, Peter. Verzeichnis des deutschsprachigen JapanSchrifttums 1988-1989 (Nebst Ergänzungen zu den Jahren 1980-1987). Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna, 1991. 181 pp.
Call no.: EAL: Z 3306 .G47 1991g

Another very useful book is Peter Getreuer's Verzeichnis des deutschsprachigen Japan-Schrifttums 1988-1989, an update and expansion of the earlier 1980-1987 edition. This is something like the German counterpart to the Bibliography of Asian Studies, listing all German Japanological writing from monographs, scholarly articles and exhibition catalogues to reviews and shorter pieces. Periodicals and series as independent publications are generally not listed unless they are exclusively related to Japan and have ceased publication. Excluded are also daily or weekly newspaper articles with the exception of reviews. This is a bibliography of works of the cultural, social and economic sciences in the broadest sense, and thus does not include works purely on the natural-sciences or technology. The main bibliographical entry is by author/compiler and is numerated. An author index, title index, and subject index then refers the reader to the appropriate number(s) in the main entry. It is a very useful book for anyone who reads German.

Kreiner, J., R. Linhart, S. Linhart, P. Pantzer, E. Pauer, eds. Japanforschung in Österreich. Institut für Japanologie, University of Vienna, 1976. Especially the bibliography pp. 329-412.
Call no.: EAL: DS 834.95 .J36

Japanforschung in Österreich, (1976) in contrast, is a collection of essays devoted to different aspects of Japanese Studies in Austria but includes a bibliography (pp. 329-412) in chronological order (-1918, 1919-1975, and dissertations) by author only. The bibliography is valuable if you know the name of the author, editor, or translator of books, monographs, articles, and dissertations on Japan published by an Austrian (but not necessarily in Austria or in German) prior to 1976. It can be an interesting source for older and less well-known works particularly on aspects of language, culture, folklore, art, religion, history, politics and general interest.

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