Enter your email address (username) and password here in order to log in to the website.





TIFO 30th Anniversary Essay Contest

as part of the '30-year Milestone Summit in Tokyo Project'


The Toshiba International Foundation (TIFO) will mark the 30th anniversary of its establishment on April 11, 2019. On this occasion, TIFO intends to celebrate the invaluable network of people and its partnerships with distinguished organizations worldwide in the field of Japanese studies which was built up over the last three decades. TIFO would like to make 2019 a year of promise to continue to move forward in the advancement of Japanese studies for the years and generations to come.

As part of its global network, TIFO has established a strong and sustainable relationship with the European Association of Japanese Studies, built on mutual trust, and aimed at promoting and supporting the next generations of scholars in Japanese studies.

TIFO would like to take advantage of this 30-year anniversary opportunity to

(1) highlight the fact that decades of partnership with the EAJS have resulted in harnessing excellent scholars and specialists engaged in Japanese studies research worldwide, and to

(2) create an opportunity for these scholars to reflect on the present challenges and opportunities in the field of Japanese Studies as well as ask them for their thoughts about the future role of Japanese studies.

For this reason, TIFO invites contributions to an essay contest.

The application period has expired.


Conditions of Participation for the TIFO 30th Anniversary Essay Contest

1.   Essay subject

TIFO and the EAJS invite scholars, and in particular TIFO alumni, to submit essays on the following questions: What do you see as the biggest opportunities and challenges for the field of Japanese Studies today? If you look at 2020 and beyond, what could be the future role and form of Japanese Studies? How do you want to contribute to these developments?

When writing your essay, please also briefly make reference to the following points:

1)    What is your research specialty? In this context, what is it about Japan and Japanese Studies that keeps you engaged in your current studies? What could be seen as untapped potentials or values of Japan for your field?

2)    What are, in your perspective, un-researched or under-researched topics in your field? Are there any issues that you have found in your pursuit of Japanese studies that have not yet been developed sufficiently? Which strategies do you see that would allow to tap on these potentials? What is needed to further develop (your field within) Japanese Studies in the future?

2.   Essay language and length

  • English

  • 3000 – 4000 (maximum) English words

3.   Eligibility

EAJS/TIFO Fellows and participants in EAJS PhD workshops between 2008 and 2018.

Researchers who have received a TIFO grant (Toshiba International Foundation Fellowship or participation in an EAJS PhD Workshop or other funding from TIFO) in 2019 are not eligible.

4.   Documents to submit

a) Essay

b) C.V.

c) Please include a brief note on the topic of your PhD dissertation and the year of completion (if applicable). Please also indicate how your research has progressed in your postdoc year(s) and how your current research relates to your PhD dissertation

d) If you are a PhD candidate, please include information about your university/department and the name of your supervisors.

5.   Entry conditions

Submitted essays must be unpublished.

The copyright of the winning essays will become the property of the Toshiba International Foundation. The authors of the submitted essays agree that their essay will be published on TIFO’s website in the event of winning.


6.   Prizes

TIFO will offer 10 prizes:

The top 3 winners will be awarded 300,000 yen/each as research funds.

The other 7 will be awarded 100,000 yen/each as research funds.

Essay Contest Winners will also be invited to the next EAJS International Conference in Ghent in 2020. The EAJS will waive participation fees, and TIFO will provide travel support. 

Specifically, TIFO offers a travel grant of EUR 400 to the winners from Europe and EUR 600 to winners from outside Europe.

In the context of the EAJS International Conference in Ghent, the top 10 winners are invited to join a roundtable discussion about challenges and opportunities for Japanese Studies.

Finally, the top 3 winners will be invited to join TIFO’s 30-year milestone summit in Tokyo, scheduled late November in 2019. TIFO will provide the top 3 winners with funding to cover their expenses for return air-fare and accommodation in Tokyo for three nights.

Deadline: All essays need to be uploaded in the portal on the EAJS website by June 9, 2019.