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Experiences and Message from JSPS Fellows

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Dr. Thomas Hentrich




Pre-fellowship host institute

McGill University, Department of Religious studies

Host institute

Kyoto University, Graduate School of Letters

Host researcher


Fellowship period

2002/11/30 - 2004/11/29

Research field



Research title

The Status of Disabled People in the Ancient Near East


The reason for choosing Japan to conduct research

The reasons I chose Japan for my post-doctoral research are both personal and professional: During two previous visits to Japan I had not only already established contacts at Kyoto University and was familiar with the excellent research and study environment, but I also developed a strong interest in and respect for Japanese culture and wanted to learn more about it.

Research achievements

Aside from being able to work on my research project on a full-time basis which will eventually be published as a book, I also had the opportunity for research travel throughout Japan. I was invited to deliver lectures at Japanese scholarly societies, which provided a great opportunity for exchange with Japanese scholars. These lectures are scheduled to be published in the societies' respective journals. In addition, I was able to discuss my research results at various international conferences in both North America and Europe.

Advice to new fellows

In short, these are my recommendations to any new fellow:

  1. Learn as much Japanese as you can and don't be afraid of kanji. It actually makes some sense, once you get into it.
  2. Get out of your living quarters and meet people, whether it is for private or professional reasons.
  3. Keep an open mind. Many things in Japan don't function the same way than in your home country, therefore it is necessary to adapt.
  4. Last but not least: Don't forget to live and enjoy the country!