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The Todai-Yale Initiative

The Todai-Yale Initiative

Mission and Activities


The University of Tokyo aims to realize the following two objectives through the activities of The Todai-Yale Initiative.

  1. The strengthening of the international promotion of Japanese Studies and Japan-related research in the humanities and social sciences is urgently required. Through cooperation with researchers at Yale University and at other institutions, work to ensure the resolution of this issue.
  2. Equip researchers, and particularly young researchers, with the skills to promote the results of their research to international society.

Japanese Studies in the United States has produced many splendid achievements, including the introduction of Japanese Art to the United States and research into Japan by Ernest Fenollosa, the historical research of Yale University’s Asakawa Kan'ichi and Harvard University’s Edwin Reischauer, and Donald Keene’s research into Japanese classical literature. In recent years, however, the number of centers and researchers focusing on Japanese Studies in the United States has declined, and in particular signs of reduced research on Japan in the humanities and social sciences have become a source of considerable concern.

However, for Japan to contribute to the development of international society and cooperate with other countries around the world, it is essential to ensure an understanding of Japanese society and culture in other countries and, as the principal representative of international society on many levels, in the United States in particular.

To this end The University of Tokyo, by establishing The Todai-Yale Initiative in Yale University, the center of Japanese Studies in the United States, and by sending academic and administrative staff through this initiative, aims to realize exchange with United States academics and students. Further, by organizing events under the auspices of the Initiative, The University of Tokyo intends to energize Japanese Studies and Japan-related research in the United States. At the same time, by encouraging University of Tokyo students to take part in programs offered by Yale University, the university aims to nurture the development of individuals with the ability to be active on the world stage.


Exchange Activities

Within the framework of The Todai-Yale Initiative, each year The University of Tokyo shall send several Professors, Associate and Assistant Professors and researchers having completed graduate studies working in fields related to Japanese Studies or Japan-related research to Yale University as visiting fellows for the purpose of promoting academic exchange with Yale. Further, The University of Tokyo shall also promote cooperation in the administration of international exchange by sending administrative staff to the Office of International Affairs. At the same time, The University of Tokyo shall promote the development of young researchers by sending several individuals to the Yale University Visiting Assistants in Research (VAR) and Yale Summer Session programs.


The Todai-Yale Initiative, with the cooperation of the Council on East Asian Studies of the Yale University the MacMillan Center, will hold several workshop series, seminars and symposiums within Yale University.