2023 Activity Report

March Activity Report

Global Japan Office Administrator
Anneliz Marie Erese

First semester of the year

We are only halfway through the first semester of 2024 and we have been busy! Welcome to the new students of our program and welcome back to the returning students and staff.

In early March, the Global Japanese Office collaborated with RMIT University for a special event – the 32nd Inagaki seminar, a screening of Paper City, an emotional film that coincided with the anniversary of the firebombing of Tokyo in 1945.

Following this, we hosted a Welcome Program to Japanese Studies students where they learned about the course, the TUFS double-degree program, our resources and scholarships, and met both academic and professional staff who will help them on their journey. This was punctuated with a nice social event at the end where Japanese food and drinks were served, and everyone got to mingle with their peers.

We are now looking forward to the Inagaki seminars in the next couple of months. Keep an eye out for more information on this or contact myself Anneliz Marie Erese at annelizmarie.erese[at]unimelb.edu.au (change [at] to @) to be included in our mailing list.

December Activity Report

Global Japan Office Coordinator
Scott Musgrave-Takeda

Start of Semester 1 and Inagaki

Welcome to a New Year!

Semester 1 is in full-swing with teaching beginning at our Parkville campus on Monday. The campus has been abuzz with activity.

We will be having our 32nd Inagaki Seminar on March 7th which is in collaboration with RMIT. The event will be a screening of Adrian Francis’ “Paper City” a documentary film that commemorates the 70th anniversary of the firebombing of Tokyo on March 10 1945. We look forward to the viewing.

As Melbourne starts figuring out what season it wants to be, we look forward to another productive year in Japanese studies.

November Activity Report

5 December 2023
Global Japan Office Coordinator
Scott Musgrave-Takeda

End of Semester 2 and 2023

Hello again from Melbourne, Australia’s southern metropolis.

Exams have well and truly finished and the university is going into hibernation mode ahead of 2024.

The weather has been unseasonable at times, but I have finally been able to change over to warm weather clothes and enjoy the wind on my arms and legs as we go to shorts and t-shirt weather. The cool breeze still accompanies the sun making our days mild.

University of Melbourne will be asleep between the 22nd of December and the beginning of January 2024.

I look forward to greeting you in the new year!

Until next month!

October Activity Report

5 November 2023
Global Japan Office Coordinator
Scott Musgrave-Takeda

Inagaki 31 and End of Semester 2

This is Melbourne calling! The Parkville campus is becoming a lot quieter now as exams have now commenced, and we are heading toward the end of the academic year. It’s been an exciting year in the Japanese Studies area with the reignition of Inagaki seminar and its integration with first year Japanese language programs and, of course, the official unveiling of our dual degree program with TUFS! We are looking forward to what the future will bring.

For the specifics, I presented my research on contemporary environmental activism in the Yanbaru forest area of Okinawa and the contestation of the UNESCO natural world heritage listing. We had a number of esteemed guests from Japan, New Zealand and across the world. It was a humbling experience for me as a researcher particularly, and I hope those who joined enjoyed the presentation.

Inagaki Seminar has wrapped up for the year with the end of semester encroaching, but we are excited to develop a wide range of engaging events in Japanese studies for 2024 and closer engagements with TUFS staff and students. Watch this space!

Until next month!

September Activity Report

30 September 2023
Global Japan Office Coordinator
Scott Musgrave-Takeda

Inagaki 30 and welcoming TUFS!

What an eventful September we had for the most part due to the visit of a delegation from TUFS headed by Professor Phillip Seaton and Professor Nobuo Haruna. The two professors oversaw the finalisation of an agreement that will allow a dual-degree program in Japanese studies between the University of Melbourne and Tokyo University of Foreign Studies! Students from both universities will be able to engage in a program that will see them study approximately 2 years in Melbourne and 2 years in Tokyo. Successful students will graduate with a degree from not only the TUFS but also the University of Melbourne! We are super excited to usher in this new era of cooperation between these two universities. If only it had existed when I was in undergrad!

During the visit to Melbourne, the TUFS delegation held an alumnus meeting with TUFS and KCUFS (Kobe City University of Foreign Studies) graduates to talk about the upcoming dual degree program and connect with graduates and current students! It was a lovely evening of connection and celebration.

The following day, Professor Seaton and Professor Haruna presented at Inagaki Seminar their research on Japanese school history education. It was an engaging session in which audience members were fascinated by a facet of Japanese education and politics that is well known but not well understood. A large audience both in person and online joined in for some fruitful discussions.

Following the seminar came the main event with the signing of the dual degree agreement. Present were not only the leaders of international education for the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Arts, including the Dean, Professor Russell Goulbourne, but also the Consulate-General of Japan in Melbourne, Junji Shimada. Also joining the delegations was Toru Miyagi-sensei, a teacher not only at TUFS, but also at the University of Melbourne many years ago. It was a pleasure to have someone of his experience and passion there to oversee the bridging between two institutions he has great attachment to.

It truly was a whirlwind visit by the TUFS delegation, but it was a pleasure to have them, and we hope they come back again soon!

In the meantime, we are preparing for Inagaki Seminar 31, which will feature yours truly. I will be presenting my research on contemporary environmental civic action in the Yanbaru forest area of Okinawa. You can Zoom in through signing up here.

I am super excited to see much more exchange between Melbourne and TUFS soon. While it likely won’t be until 2025 when we see students fully engage in the dual degree program, we are gazing wondrously at the possible future ahead.

August Activity Report

31 August 2023
Global Japan Office Coordinator
Scott Musgrave-Takeda

Inagaki 29 and TUFS incoming!

Welcome to another monthly digest from your trusty correspondent in Melbourne. The spring warmth is starting to arrive as we’ve experienced some glorious sunny days recently. All around, blossoms are blooming and it’s almost shorts weather (which I find personally very exciting).

A few things to report over the past month. Firstly, we had a very successful Inagaki 29 with Dr Natalie McKay. Dr McKay went into detail about the ambiguities of the translation of the Nihon Shoki. We had a captive audience of almost 20 people present in person with a further 20 or so online. There were several questions about Dr McKay’s work and overall, the event was a great success.

We are now switching our focus to Inagaki 30 which will be presented by TUFS own Professor Phillip Seaton and Professor Nobuo Haruna. We are extremely excited to receive these two distinguished guests! Professor Seaton and Professor Haruna will talk about recent developments in Japanese school history education. We can’t wait! You can plug-in online through this link.

Stay tuned for my next update, I promise it will be a juicy one!

July Activity Report

31 July 2023
Global Japan Office Coordinator
Scott Musgrave-Takeda

Semester 2 begins!

A busy July gives birth to a new correspondent, me! I, Scott, look forward to bringing you more updates from Melbourne for the foreseeable future. Thank you for your ears! (Eyes?)

The new semester opened up at the end of July and the Parkville campus is abuzz with activity once more. At Japanese studies, we have been preparing for Inagaki Seminar 29 which will star, Dr Natalie McKay. The seminar will take place on August 21st and will centre on ambiguities in the translation of the Nihon shoki. Please refer to our website for further details – you can sign-up for the event here.

Be sure to contact Scott Musgrave-Takeda (me) at s.musgravetakeda[at] unimelb.edu.au if you want to be on our mailing list, for updates for future seminars.

We’ll be sure to report back on the inevitable success of Inagaki 29 next month!

May Activity Report

31 May 2023
Global Japan Office Coordinator
Lu Lin


Can’t believe how fast time flies! Firstly, it’s June, what?! Wasn’t it just the start of 2023, yesterday? I guess not, if we’re already in exam mode now. Another semester down: well done to all students and staff involved! Education is truly a collaborative effort. Moving towards the end of semester, wrapping up teaching, and preparing students for assessment is always a congested time – and so it’s been a busy here at the Japanese department. We didn’t have any Inagaki seminars this month, but are planning some for the near future. Be sure to contact Lu Lin (me) at lu.lin@unimelb.edu.au if you want to be on our mailing list, for updates for future seminars – these are now accessible online!

Until next month.

April Activity Report

30 April 2023
Global Japan Office Coordinator
Lu Lin

Inagaki 28 with Apichai W. Shipper

We’re almost halfway through the semester now, and things are rolling along in their usual fashion here at UniMelb. It’s been a long while since I’ve been able to say that we’re in any kind of ‘usual’ rhythm and flow: a long time since we’ve been able to sit in some kind of (feeling of) ‘normal’. At least, here in the Japanese studies program. Here at Asia Institute and GJO Melbourne, we’ve been teaching, studying, coordinating, and of course, doing our usual Inagaki seminars. This month we had Apichai W. Shipper (Georgetown University) present Inagaki 28, ‘Minilateralism as a Pragmatist Diplomatic Approach to Connecting Asia’, which as the title suggests, was looking at the concept and approach of ‘minilateralism’ in connecting Northeast Asian countries with Southeast Asian countries in the areas of economics, diplomacy, security, and other international relations – a complex topic distilled into accessible knowledge for the public – that’s what these seminars are for! Dr Shipper is a long time collaborator and friend of the Asian Civil Society research group here at the University of Melbourne, and he was here in-person for our conference in December.

Until next month!