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Welcoming Assoc. Prof. Iwao Osaka as Visiting Professor at the UCD Centre for Japanese Studies

Assoc. Prof. Iwao Osaka joining the UCD Centre for Japanese Studies (April 2022 – March 2023)

Prof. Osaka will be joining us at the UCD Centre for Japanese Studies  & the UCD Geary Institute for Public Policy from April 2022 till March 2023.

Prof. Osaka is Associate Professor in Japanese politics at the Department of Political Science, Faculty of Law, Komazawa University, Tokyo and the Director of the Komazawa University Institute for Journalism and Policy Studies.

(opens in a new window)https://www.komazawa-u.ac.jp/plus/topics/lab-ekiden/5599.html

He specialises in political communication. His research is concerned with how political parties and elected officials communicated with the general public in the post-World War II era after Japan became a democratic country with a parliamentary cabinet system enshrined in its new constitution. He published a book on the changing nature of political communication in Japan from the 1950s to the 2000s, entitled Japanese Politics and the Media (⽇本政治とメディア). It was published by prestigious Chūō Kōron, Tokyo, 2014.

The book deals with the era of television penetration in Japan. Political communication shifted from being dominated by organisations, such as political parties, agricultural associations or trade unions, to mass media, with television playing a significant role.

His research in UCD will be focused on examining how Japanese politics, journalism, and communications are changing in the era of digital transformations and globalisation in the 21st century. He has written several articles about the topics and is planning to conduct further research into the specificity and universality of the Japanese experience in the context of international comparisons. While undertaking the research as a visiting scholar at the UCD Centre for Japanese Studies (housed in the School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice), University College Dublin, he will also be based at the UCD Geary Institute for Public Policy, which is a vibrant hub attracting social scientists and interdisciplinary researchers in Ireland.

His research and teaching activities in the UCD Centre for Japanese Studies, the School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Science and the UCD Geary Institute for Public Policy will contribute to achieving the goals of the UCD Strategy 2020-24, particularly in the domain of digital technology and globalisation. In addition, Prof. Osaka has a personal connection to the university through his late father, Emeritus Professor in Irish Literature at Kyushu University, Osamu Osaka. He contributed to the establishment of the Yeats Society of Japan (in 1966). He was a Visiting Professor at UCD and conducted research back in the late 1970s. His whole family including Prof. Iwao Osaka stayed in Dublin as a child (see the phone below)!

Courtesy of Family Osaka.

Another family link with Ireland was made, when an international symposium was held at the University of Tokyo in 2014, as part of Assoc. Prof. Kodate’s project: “Ireland-Japan Social Science Symposia: Sharing knowledge, shaping the future of the welfare society in Europe and Japan” (funded by the Japan Foundation). Prof. Osaka’s son was a postgraduate student there, and helped out with the symposium.  


Prof. Osaka wrote the following: ‘the very innovative UCD Centre for Japanese Studies was established in April 2020 in order to meet the demands recognised by the Irish Government's strategy "Global Ireland: Delivering in the Asia Pacific region to 2025". It emphasises the need to expand its communications with Asia in the context of the current global geopolitical transformation. I would very much like the opportunity to become part of the UCD social science community, and by being accepted as a member of this brand new centre for Japanese Studies, I hope to serve as one of the bridges between the two countries, and your university and my research community in Japan.’

Osaka, Iwao (2014) Japanese Politics and the Media. Chūō Kōron

Confessions of an Irish Rebel (1965) by Brendan Behan was translated into Japanese by Prof. Osamu Osaka and published in 1972.