The 2019 “Death of Japanese Studies” panel began an important dialogue on issues facing Japan-related scholars and educators, particularly as the field has evolved in response to geopolitical and intellectual circumstances. Junior scholars face new and pressing challenges that require a fundamental reconceptualization of the "Japan" of our work, how institutional concerns alter the contours and security of our positions, and what the implications of these changes are on the survival of the field. If the Japanese Studies rooted in post-WWII needs, Cold War mentalities, and “Cool Japan” has, indeed, died, then are we in a moment of the "rebirth" of Japanese Studies?
How can we approach the present transformations in more inclusive and diverse ways that address the rise of a new kind of Japanese (and Asian) Studies more broadly even as the support for and from the academy is in decline? What does this balancing act and the state of Japanese Studies look like at institutions across the globe with different pedagogical and research priorities, particularly when the humanities and social sciences (including area studies) are increasingly devalued? How can we contend with diminishing enrollments in regional specialization courses amid the rising demand for global studies hires? Of particular concern is how these changes affect the future prospects and training of the next generation of researchers and educators. This roundtable of early career scholars working in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Japan, will discuss these concerns and their own experiences with an eye towards brainstorming practical solutions with the wider community.