The Japan Residencies Program

Deadline: Applications must be submitted by October 1, 2019.

In cooperation with and support from the Japan-United States Friendship Commission, the OAH and the Japanese Association for American Studies (JAAS) plan to send two American scholars to Japanese universities for two-week residencies in the summer of 2020 (pending funding).

The committee seeks applications from OAH members who are established American scholars affiliated with an American or Canadian university interested in teaching advanced undergraduates and graduate students in seminars and courses focusing on the U.S. History topics requested by the host institutions.

During their residencies, the American historians give at least six lectures and/or seminars in English in their specialty. They also meet individually and in groups with Japanese scholars, graduate students, and undergraduate students studying American history and culture, and participate in the collegial life of their host institutions. The purpose of this exchange program is to facilitate scholarly dialogue and contribute to the expansion of scholarly networks among students and professors of American history in both countries. We are pleased to announce the twenty-third year of the competition.

Round-trip airfare to Japan, housing, and modest daily expenses are covered by the award (note: if the host university is unable to provide housing, award recipients are expected to use the daily stipend to pay hotel expenses). Award winners are also encouraged to explore Japan before or after their two-week residency at their own expense.

Host Institutions for 2020

Hirosaki University

From June 5 to June 19 (negotiable).

Looking for a specialist of 20th century U.S. history or U.S. social history, preferably focusing on lives, ideas, and cultures of working-class.

Hirosaki University is a national university in Aomori Prefecture, located at the northern end of Honshu Island in Japan. It was founded in 1949, after World War II. It now has 5 undergraduate departments and 8 graduate schools with 6,000 undergraduate and 900 graduate students. Hirosaki is known as the cultural capital of Japan’s Tohoku region. The city has a long history of being a leader in education. The Hirosaki samurai clan started a domain school called “Hanko” in 1796 to educate “young vassals.” In 1886, during the Meiji era, a Japanese Methodist called Yoichi Honda founded the first general school for women in Aomori with the assistance of American missionaries. Now 10,000 students live in Hirosaki, and there are altogether four universities in the city including Hirosaki University.

Hirosaki has many buildings of historic significance: the best-known is Hirosaki Castle, built in 1611, while there are also many temples, churches, and libraries. The castle is located in Hirosaki Castle Park, which attracts many tourists and local visitors. Hirosaki is also known for the abundance of beautiful nature. A majestic volcano Mount Iwaki is located southwest of Hirosaki and forms a dominant focal point from everywhere in the city. To the west of Hirosaki is Shirakami-Sanchi, the first World Heritage Site in Japan, which has four very distinctive seasons. The end of May and early June are especially fine times to visit all of these sites.

Host: Shuhei Minami, PhD, Associate Professor, Hirosaki University,

Shuhei Minami received his PhD in U.S. history from Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo. He is an expert on U.S. labor history, especially in New York City. He is interested in how patriotism is created in working-class daily lives and how/when it becomes apparent. Relying on a decade of research, he has written articles on life and labor of twentieth-century New York City workers such as construction workers, longshoremen, and seafarers. He has also focused on working-class culture, examining the meanings of the move of Brooklyn Dodgers for working-class life. His article (in Japanese), “Hardhat Patriots: The Construction Workers in New York City and the Change of Their Lives,” won the 2009 Makoto Saito Award given by The Japanese Association for American Studies (JAAS) and his first book (also in Japanese), The Men Who Build America: Everyday Lives of Workers in New York City and Their “Patriotism” (Nagoya: University of Nagoya Press, 2015), won the 2016 Shimizu Hiroshi Award of JAAS in 2016. In recent years, he has been examining the backgrounds of the anger shown by white working-class people, most notably in his article, “In Search of New Direction: Labor History in an ‘Era of Trump.’” His current research work also explores the history of people working at the waterfront of New York-New Jersey.

Meiji Gakuin University  

From June 8 to June 21 (negotiable).

Looking for a specialist in American History who focuses on the experiences and perspectives of ethnic and racial minorities including Indigenous people within and beyond the United States. We may ask that one of the required lectures be given at the International Peace Research Institute Meiji Gakuin University. (

Founded in 1863, Meiji Gakuin University, familiarly known as “Meigaku,” is one of Japan’s leading private universities. Meigaku has played pioneering roles in international education and exchange programs, providing scholars and students around the globe with many educational and research opportunities. Meigaku’s strength lies in a range of programs on political, economic, and cultural issues, which focus on their global repercussions. Today, approximately 12,000 students are enrolled in its seven undergraduate and seven graduate schools across two campuses.

The university traces its origins to the Hepburn School, which was named after its founder James Curtis Hepburn who worked to heal others at no charge. Keeping with Meigaku’s motto "Do for Others" (or work to benefit others), the university’s Volunteer Center offers various volunteer programs in which Meigaku’s faculty and students make contributions to local and global communities. We also have one of Japan’s first peace institutes in which scholars in ethnic, gender, and minority studies work to take steps towards a convivial world without war and all forms of violence.

Meigaku’s main campus is located in the Shirokane district of Tokyo, and the Yokohama campus is about half an hour away by train. The Shirokane campus has convenient train access to museums and libraries in Tokyo. The Yokohama campus offers an environment full of greenery, and it is close to the historic sites of Yokohama, Japan’s biggest international port city.

Host: Kumiko Noguchi, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of International Studies, Meiji Gakuin University,

Research and Teaching Interests: Native American/Indigenous History; Contemporary issues of Native North America; Indian Gaming, Community Development and Tribal Sovereignty in California; Native American Feminism and Empowerment in Red Power Movement; Native Japanese/Ainu History.

Kumiko Noguchi received her PhD in Native American Studies from University of California, Davis, California. Her research interests include Native American Critical theory, California Indian history, Tribal Sovereignty and Community Development. She wrote 『カリフォルニア先住民の歴史』in 2015 (English title is California Indian History from the Individual to the Federally Recognized Tribes). She has also co-translated Colin Woodard’s American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America (2011) into Japanese in 2017.

How to Apply

Applicants must be members of the OAH, have a PhD, and be scholars of American history. Applicants from previous competitions are welcome to apply again. Award winners are expected to attend the 2020 OAH Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., so that they can meet with visiting Japanese scholars and graduate students and with members of the OAH/JAAS Japan Historians' Collaborative Committee before their trips to Japan.


Applications must include the items below.


Please send all materials (in one PDF labeled with your name) by midnight PST on October 1, 2019 to and indicate "2020 Japan Residencies Program-[UNIVERSITY NAME]" in the subject line. If you would like to apply for both residencies, please send a separate application for each.


  • A two-page curriculum vitae emphasizing teaching experience and publications.
  • The institution for which you would like to be considered.
  • A personal statement, no longer than two pages, describing your interest in this program and the issues that your own scholarship and teaching have addressed. Please devote one or two paragraphs to why you understand this residency to be central to your development as a scholar in the world community. You may include comments on any previous collaboration or work with non-U.S. academics or students. If you wish, you may comment on your particular interest in Japan.
  • A letter of recommendation, to be solicited by the applicant and sent directly by the recommender to OAH (, which should also address the applicant’s teaching skill. The subject line of the e-mail should say “Recommendation for [NAME OF APPLICANT]."

By applying for this program, you are agreeing to OAH’s use of your data however it is needed in the normal course of business if selected as winner. Read our privacy policy here.

Deadline: Applications must be submitted by October 1, 2019.