The Fifteenth Conference of the Nordic Association for the Study of Contemporary Japanese Society (NAJS), 23-24 May, 2019, CEAS, Turku, Finland

The  Fifteenth Annual NAJS conference will take place at the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku, Finland.

The conference will reflect the occasion of the end of the Heisei period, and the Japanese government selecting a new era name in Spring 2019, summing up the recent history of Japan and/or focusing on trends that have relevance for the future of the country. There will also be a discussion on other topics related to contemporary Japanese society and culture, including politics, economy and business, sociology and anthropology, popular culture, literature, religion, and art.

For more information, please scroll down.

Contact address: 

More Information

Venue and Travelling


NAJS2019 will take place at the University of Turku in the Publicum building (address: Assistentinkatu 7, 20500 Turku).

If you have problems finding us, please call Annamari’s phone: +358 50-330 8327

How to get to Turku

From Helsinki-Vantaa airport you can get to Turku by bus or train which takes around 2 hours. You can find up-to-date bus schedule here and train schedule here. You can also take a plane to Turku.

Map of Helsinki

Turku airport is about 7 km away from the city centre of Turku and runs domestic flights as well as a few international connections. To get to the city centre from Turku airport you can take a bus that runs regularly. The price for the bus ticket is 3€ and the ticket is valid for 2 hours in all city buses.

Another way to arrive to Turku from Stockholm is via ferry which takes around 10 hours and can be taken either during the day or overnight. Here are links to the websites of the operating companies Silja line and Viking line.

How to get to the conference venue

Publicum building is at a walking distance from the city centre (about 20 mins). You can also take a bus (e.g. 50, 51, 53, 54) to Hämeenkatu 2 to arrive at the campus area. You can also ride a Föli bike which can be found at several stations in Turku and there is a station at Publicum as well. For more information about buses and citybikes, see Föli's website.

Map of Turku

Campus map (the conference venue is marked with T50).



There are quotas available in a few hotels for the participants in the conference. Participants will need to book their own accommodation and pay directly to the hotel. Please check the locations of the hotels before you book. The organizers have reserved quotas in the following hotels:

Holiday Club Caribia

Holiday Club Caribia is located very close to the conference venue. Hotel guests enjoy modern and cozy rooms and direct indoor access to the spa, restaurants and all available indoor activities. Address: Kongressikuja 1, 20540 Turku.  Website of the hotel.

Room prices:

Single room: 108 €/night

Double room: 138 €/night

Please mention the code “NAJS2019Turku” when making the reservation. The quota is valid until 2.5.2019.

Sokos Hotel Wiklund

Sokos Hotel Wiklund is a laid-back and completely renewed urban hotel in the heart of Turku. The building also hosts variety of restaurants, cafes, burgers and bars. Address: Eerikinkatu 11
20100, Turku. Website of the hotel

Room prices:

Single room: 106 €/night/room

Double room: 116 €/night/room

Please mention the code “NAJS2019Turku” when making the reservation. The reserved quota is for 15 rooms. The quota for 10 of the rooms is valid until 24.4.2019 and for the other 5 rooms -  until 8.5.2019.

Scandic Turku

Scandic Turku is a cosy and peaceful hotel in an excellent location where all you need is nearby. The hotel offers a restaurant, bar, sauna and swimming pool. Address: Eerikinkatu 28-30, Turku. Website of the hotel

Room prices (22.-25.05.2019):

Single room: 90.25 €/night

Double room: 114.50 €/night

Please mention the code “NAJS2019Turku” when making the reservation. The quota is valid until 8.5.2019 for as many rooms as there are available.


Other accommodation options

Please find a list of a few budget hotels/hostels below and also feel free to explore other options on your own.

Guesthouse Tapuli Address: Kaivokatu 14, 20520 Turku. Website

Omena Hotel Turku Address: Humalistonkatu 7, 20100 Turku.  Website

Hotel Helmi Address: Tuureporinkatu 11, 20100 Turku. Website

Inn 22 Address: Vanha Littoistentie 22, 20540 Turku. Website

Forenom A furnished apartments provider. Website: Website


More options with links (The list is in Finnish but it has links to different accommodation options):



 Please note that the programme is subject to change.




23 May

09.00 – 09.45

Registration; coffee

09.45 – 10.00

Opening of the conference 

10.00 – 11.00

David Leheny: Keynote Speech

Empire of Hope and Reiwa Olympiad: Narrative, Emotion, and Politics in Contemporary Japan

11.00 – 12.20

Session 1 Heisei Politics (Chair: Annamari Konttinen)

12.20 – 13.10

Lunch (sushi lunch in the lobby)

13.10 – 14.40

Workshop 1 Politics, Nuclear Energy and Society (Chair: Silja Keva)

14.40 – 15.00

Coffee break

15.00 – 16.20

Session 2 Japan in the world (Chair: Jens Sejrup)

Session 3 Controversies (Chair: Yoko Demelius)

16.20 - 17.00

NIAS representative Naomi Magnussen:

Japanese databases from NIAS and beyond



Welcome and a toast hosted by the City of Turku



Dinner at Tiirikkala, Linnankatu 3









24 May

9.00 – 10.30

Workshop 2 The Abe Era (Chair: Pilvi Posio)

Workshop 3 IR and Politics (Chair: Bart Gaens)

10.30 – 10.50

Coffee break

10.50 - 11.50

Lionel Babicz: Keynote Speech

Japan-Korea: (Big) History as a Tool for Reconciliation?

11.50 – 13.10

Lunch at restaurant Bruukki, Helsinginkatu 15

13.10 – 14.30

Session 4 Culture (Chair: Bart Gaens)

Session 5 Social Institutions (Chair: Dick Stegewerns)

14.30 – 14.50

Coffee Break

14.50 – 16.20

Workshop 4 Contemporary culture (Chair: Jens Sejrup)

16.20 – 17.00

Discussion: NAJS in the Future

Guidelines for Participation

Guidelines for Participation

It is a prerequisite for participants to read all papers presented at the conference beforehand. 



The papers are grouped in two types of sessions according to whether the author has labeled them near-finished or work in progress. The finished or near-finished papers are in Sessions, and the works in progress are in Workshops. Since the NAJS prioritizes discussion of and feedback on papers, no time will be given for the presenter to summarize their paper. The presenter is, however, allowed a maximum of five minutes to state what type of publication or audience he/she is aiming at and state special requests about the desired feedback. Thereafter two discussants will be given five minutes each to bring up the points most worthy of discussion in the paper. The presenter is then given five minutes to respond before the floor is opened for everyone to comment. The chair of the session should see to it that focus is on major issues rather than details and that the time limit is kept. In Workshop sessions the format is more flexible.


Sessions and Workshops

Sessions and Workshops


The sessions and workshops are only open for registered participants and CEAS Master's students.



23 May, 11-12.20, Pub 4

Chair: Annamari Konttinen


  1. Marc Yamada

    Locating the Lost Decades: Popular Fiction and the Historical Trauma of Heisei Japan

    Discussants: Pilvi Posio, Karol Zakowski

  2. Yoko Demelius

    Multiculturalism in a “homogeneous” society: struggling the way to an imagined “new international Japan

    Discussants: Marco Zappa, Youngtae Shin

  3. Michal Kolmaš

    How do states legitimize climatic targets in the Paris Agreement? Analysing the NDC discourse in broader political, climatic and economic context

    Discussants: Takeshi Hamano, Karol Zakowski





23 May, 15-16.20, Pub 4

Chair: Jens Sejrup


  1. Lenka Vyletalova

    Becoming ‘global’ in Heisei Japan: institutional reforms and changing employee perceptions

    Discussants: Scott North, Maria Malashevskaya

  2. Pekka Korhonen

    Passing of the Idea of Japan as a Bridge between the East and the West

    Discussants: Naoko Hosokawa, Yijiang Zhong

  3. Maria Malashevskaya

    Eurasianism in Japan at the turn of the 21st century: the Eurasian discourse in the novel by Kuroki Ryo “A runway on the Great Silk Road'

    Discussants: Pekka Korhonen, Garcia Chambers





23 May, 15-16.20, Pub 5

Chair: Yoko Demelius


  1. Igor Prusa

    Manufacturing Scandal in Japan

    Discussants: Marco Zappa, Hajime Hasegawa

  2. Youngtae Shin

    The Evolution of Japanese Women’s Political Activism and Future Trends

    Discussants: Donna Weeks, Yoko Demelius

  3. Donna Weeks

    On shaking the mountain: Advances and retreats in the experiences of Japan's female parliamentarians

    Discussants: Youngtae Shin, Silja Keva





24 May, 13.10-14.30, Pub 4

Chair: Bart Gaens


  1. Jens Sejrup

    Claiming universal space: Japanese efforts to secure world-heritage inscription of Le Corbusier’s building for the National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo

    Discussants: Takeshi Hamano, Pekka Korhonen

  2. Marta Szczygiel

    “Japan, the Washlet country” - Exegesis of Japanese high-tech toilets

    Discussants: Jens Sejrup, Hui Wang




24 May, 13.10-14.30, Pub 5

Chair: Dick Stegewerns



  1. Anastasia Borisova

    The influence of the ICT on relationships in the family of modern Japanese (based on the Japanese students survey)

    Discussants: Marianne Tarcov, Ksenia Kurochkina

  2. Scott North

    Considering Labor in Heisei through a Karōshi Lens: The Trajectory of a Social Problem in Japan

    Discussants: Lenka Vyletalova Marianne Tarcov

  3. Yijiang Zhong

    The Lost Decades and Globalizing Japan’s Higher Education

    Discussants: Anastasia Borisova, Dick Stegewerns




23 May, 13.10-14.40, Pub 4

Chair: Silja Keva


  1. Pilvi Posio

    From peace time to post-disaster and back (to the future)

    Discussants: Marc Yamada, Olena Kalashnikova

  2. Olena Kalashnikova

    The end of the Nuclear Energy Era?

    Discussants: Igor Prusa, Annamari Konttinen

  3. Hajime Hasegawa

    The Theme Park of Nuclear: An Exhaustive Survey on Nuclear Power Plant Visitor Centers in Post-Fukushima Japan

    Discussants: Marc Yamada, Olena Kalashnikova





 24 May, 9.00-10.30, Pub 4

Chair: Pilvi Posio


  1. Marco Zappa

    The socialization of Japanese politics: Harnessing the power of social media in the Abe era

    Discussants: Igor Prusa, Michal Kolmaš

  2. Ksenia Kurochkina

    New peasantry in the post-growth Japan: self-sufficiency, gift-giving and bodily engagements.

    Discussants: Yoko Demelius, Hajime Hasegawa

  3. Karol Zakowski

    Decision-making Process on Abenomics in Japan

    Discussants: Michal Kolmaš, Eija Niskanen






 24 May, 9.00-10.30, Pub 5

Chair: Bart Gaens

  1. Takeshi Hamano

    Embracing International Convention in State Legislation: An Analysis of Discourse on Japan’s Implementation of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction

    Discussants: Silja Keva, Jens Sejrup

  2. Naoko Hosokawa

    Linguistic Identity of the ‘East’: Perception of Sino-Japanese Style Loan Translation in Contemporary Japan

    Discussants: Yijiang Zhong, Maria Malashevskaya

  3. Silja Keva

    Diet Members and Japan’s Normative Power

    Discussants: Donna Weeks, Olena Kalashnikova




24 May, 14.50-16.20, Pub 4

Chair: Jens Sejrup

  1. Hui Wang

    Art and Culture Industry in Late Capitalism - Decoding Japanese Anime-Pop

    Discussants: Eija Niskanen, Lenka Vyletalova

  2. Marianne Tarcov

    The Break-up of SMAP and the End of the Heisei Era: Renouncing Life as a Virtual Body

    Discussants: Scott North, Anastasia Borisova

  3. Garcia Chambers

    Everyday Aesthetics in Japan: a Descriptive Analysis of Conversational and Interactive Encounters

    Discussants: Naoko Hosokawa, Marta Szczygiel

  4. Eija Niskanen

    Seisaku-i-inkai – The Heisei era film production system

    Discussants: Marta Szczygiel, Hui Wang



Conference Menu

Conference Menu


Lunches and dinners are provided only for registered participants.

Thursday 23 May

Lunch: Sushi selection and miso soup at Publicum lobby

Dinner: Buffet at Tiirikkala, Linnankatu 3  

Caesar salad

Cauliflower tabouleh

Tomato with avocado and basil

Cheese with nuts and honey

Smoked salmon mousse with archipelago bread

Roasted spring carrot with balsamico and parmesan

Green salad

Focaccia with hummus


Fried chicken with mint couscous and yoghurt

Grilled asparagus with halloumi and quinoa


Lemon marengue cake


Friday 24 May


Lunch at Bruukki, Helsinginkatu 15

Carrot soup with goat cheese

Hawaiian schnitzel with potato wedges and chili mayonnaise

Spinach and Feta omelette