Insular imaginaries?

CFP: Insular imaginaries? Japan’s islands, reversion and territorial integrity from the 1970s to today


Venue: Ishigaki City, Japan

Date: Thursday 10 October (with optional events planned for October 9 and 11)

Keywords: postwar, 1970s, reversion, outlying islands, territory, sovereignty, security


This Workshop examines Japan’s islands, and specifically how the re-introduction of Japanese administrative control over the islands of Okinawa prefecture in the 1970s affected Japanese attitudes to its own territory, geopolitical perceptions regarding the extant and role of the Japanese nation, and Japan’s place within the international community. It will also examine how these have changed over the subsequent 50 years.

Hosted on Ishigaki, the workshop will take the opportunity to reflect on the Sakishima Islands as the frontline of Japan’s struggle with its status as a modern nation, the ending of the “postwar”, and ongoing efforts to redefine the fluid limits of Japan’s archipelagic territory.

We are looking for exciting research proposals examining the perceptions and policies that have shaped Japan’s borders, and are particularly interested in papers which engage with:

Proposals for research on any other aspect of research into Japan’s border islands from the 1970s onwards, including the analysis of administrative measures or outcomes, are welcome. Comparative studies looking at Japan’s policy in a broader Northeast Asian context will also be considered.

Travel support is primarily intended for those in Japan and neighbouring countries, but applications from further afield will be considered.


The Workshop is hosted by two Nichibunken team research projects:

The Workshop will be hosted with the cooperation of Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Projects Nos. 20H01460, 22K01369, 23H00781, and 23K25478, and with the support of the Eurasia Unit for Border Research, Hokkaido University.



To apply, please submit a title and abstract (250 words) for the proposed contribution. The application should also include the following:

– Name and surname

– Full contact details

– Current status or place of employment

– Curriculum vitae

Please send your CV, title, abstract and other application details to no later than Monday 1 July 2024. Results will be sent by 14 July.