About us


The Association for Asian Studies (AAS) is a scholarly, non-political, non-profit professional association open to all persons interested in Asia. With over 10,000 members worldwide, representing all the regions and countries of Asia and all academic disciplines across the humanities and social sciences, the AAS is the largest organization of its kind.

AAS membership has grown significantly in recent years in both the West and Asia, with an increasing number of scholars from Asia crossing the Pacific to attend AAS annual conferences. Responding to this trend, the AAS Board of Directors enthusiastically endorsed the idea to have AAS conferences in Asia in partnership with local institutes and universities.

The AAS-in-ASIA does not replace the large annual conference held each spring in North America. They are smaller, themed conferences. By holding these conferences in Asia it is hoped that more young scholars and graduate students from Asia will be able to attend.

Asia in Motion

“Asia in Motion” was selected as a broad theme for a 3-year series of conferences to be hosted by different institutions across Asia. In the summer of 2014 the inaugural conference was hosted by the Area Research Institute of the National University of Singapore on the sub-theme of “Heritage and Transformation.” The second conference was held at Academia Sinica in Taipei in 2015 on “Ideas, Institutions, and Identity.” The final meeting of this three-year project will take place at Doshisha University and center on the theme “Horizons of Hope.”

Please see the CALL FOR PAPERS page on this website for details.

  • AAS-in-ASIA Conference 2014, SingaporeAAS-in-ASIA Conference 2014, Singapore
  • AAS-in-ASIA Conference 2015, TaipeiAAS-in-ASIA Conference 2015, Taipei
  • AAS-in-ASIA Conference 2016, KyotoAAS-in-ASIA Conference 2016, Kyoto


Doshisha University

Niijima Jo

Doshisha University was the vision of one man, and the work of many hands.

Niijima Jo (1843-1890) left Japan in 1864, eager to learn about the world firsthand. During ten years abroad he graduated from an American College(Amherst College), was ordained a Protestant minister and traveled extensively in Europe. By the time he came home few in Japan were better traveled or more cosmopolitan. Niijima wanted other Japanese to see the world anew, too, and so he built a school called Doshisha: "One Purpose". Niijima envisioned his school broadly training young men and women of conscience to lead Japan into the modern world.

Niijima’s first class was eight students. Today Doshisha enrolls over 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students from around the world. The school has four campuses spread throughout Kyoto city, and has trained leaders in business, education, religion and science. Recently the Ministry of Education has awarded Doshisha significant grants to continue efforts at globalizing its curriculum and outreach. Doshisha in many ways looks very different from Niijima’s first campus, but his vision of a responsible and cosmopolitan educational center remains constant.


Doshisha(Imadegawa Campus)


Doshisha university is centrally located at the heart of Kyoto.


Karasuma-higashi-iru, Imadegawa-dori, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto-shi 602-8580

Doshisha(Imadegawa Campus)

AAS-in-ASIA will be held at Kambaikan and Shikokan.

Download Doshisha map here

  • Kambaikan
  • Shikokan

Kambaikan Floor map

Main building on Friday

Kambaikan Floor map

Download Kambaikan Floor map

Shikokan Floor map

Main building on Saturday and Sunday

Shikokan Floor map

Download Shikokan Floor map



For details


Organizing Committee

  • Keiko Ikeda (Chair), Doshisha University
  • Ryuta Itagaki (Vice Chair), Doshisha University
  • Satoshi Mizutani (Vice Chair), Doshisha University
  • Milos Debnar, Doshisha University
  • Laurel Kendall, AAS President, American Museum of Natural History
  • Timothy Brook, AAS President 2015-2016, University of British Columbia
  • Mirinalini Sinha, AAS President, 2014-2015, University of Michigan
  • Robert Snow, AAS Director of Outreach and Strategic Planning
  • Yuko Yamazaki (Secretary), Doshisha University

Program Committee

  • Laurel Kendall (Chair), AAS President, American Museum of National History
  • Keiko Ikeda (Co-Chair), Doshisha University
  • Linda Grove, Sophia University
  • Chang Wen-Chin, Academia Sinica
  • Ryuta Itagaki, Doshisha University
  • Satoshi Mizutani, Doshisha University

The AAS-in-ASIA committees acknowledge with gratitude the generous support of the Japan Foundation in making this conference possible.


  • The Japan Foundation
  • The Tampopo-no-ye Foundation
  • The Hyatt Regency Kyoto
  • The Kyoto Convention Bureau
  • The Cerca Travel
  • Graduate School of Global Studies, Doshisha University
  • International Institute of American Studies, Doshisha University
  • Faculty of Global and Regional Studies, Doshisha University
  • Association of Social Studies, Doshisha University
  • Doshisha Center for Korean Studies

Special Thanks

  • The Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Harvard University
  • Alex Zahlten, Harvard University
  • Theodore Bestor, Harvard University
  • Christine Yano, University of Hawaii
  • Carolyn Stevens, Monash University, Merborne
  • Gavin Campbell, Doshisha University
  • Shigeru Imasato, Doshisha University
  • Yuka Kanno, Doshisha University
  • Osamu Ota, Doshisha University
  • Susanna Pavloska, Doshisha Univerity
  • Shigeo Tatsuki, Doshisha University


Tanpopo-no-ye-Art Center HANA
(Dandelion House Art Center HANA)
Tanpopo-no-ye Foundation, Nara
(Dandelion House Foundation in Nara City)

The artworks used on our webpage, program, conference bags, and signs were provided by the nonprofit organization, Tanpopo-no-ye.

Begun by a volunteer citizens’ group in 1973 to help create a society where people with diverse talents and abilities can live harmoniously together, Tanpopo-no-ye is one of the leaders of the “Able Art Movement,” which aims to empower “disabled” artists and asks us to fundamentally rethink the concept of art as well as the relationship between art and society. The Hana Art Center provides support and care for physically and mentally-challenged artists practicing various forms of creative expression including drawing, painting, pottery, model construction, dance and theatre, and helps them relate to society through their art.


Juri Ito
Juri Ito
Calligraphy, 希望の地平(Horizons of Hope)
(Conference webpage, printed program, and conference bag)

Juri Ito, born in 1977, is a mentally- and visually-challenged calligrapher who found her passion for calligraphy at the Hana Art Center. Her calligraphy is popular among industrial designers. She has exhibited her works in Japan and abroad (“Art Link Japan,” Creative Gallery, US and Geonggi Museum of Modern Art, Korea).

Takeshi Yamano
Takeshi Yamano
Paintings, “Blue Waterfall in Jungle,” (Conference webpage) and “Mountains in Israel” (Conference Facebook page and the printed program cover)

Takeshi Yamano, was born with a mental disability in 1977. Characteristic to his art is the use of strong lines, sophisticated compositions, and rich colors. He has exhibited his art works abroad, including “Verge 2006” at the Brosbane Outside Art Studio in Australia.

Takashi Arai
Takashi Arai
Numbers, “Arai Artworks”(conference bag and printed program cover)

Takashi Arai was born in 1955 with a mental disability. He creates his art with felt-tip pens. Once he begins to work, he keeps working until the ink runs out. His works were highly acclaimed at the Nara Special Art Festival, 2014-2015.