5th Anglo-Japanese Conference of Historians

Migration and Identity in British History

27-29 September 2006

at the Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, London

The Proceedings, edited by David Bates & Kazuhiko Kondo (Tokyo, 2006)




The fifth Anglo-Japanese Conference of Historians (AJC) was held 27-29 September 2006 at the Institute of Historical Research in London. David Bates and the Japanese committee have worked together for the last three years to make the gathering not only worthwhile but also memorable. The following pages contain the proceedings of that successful conference.


The AJC has been the most important triennial occasion for the historians of Britain (in the widest sense) both in the British and the Japanese Isles. The founding conference of the series, organized by Patrick OfBrien in London and James Ugawa in Tokyo, took place at the IHR in September 1994. The second AJC held in 1997 at Keio University, Tokyo, cemented the conference into a triennial format. The third was held in 2000 at the IHR with the then director, David Cannadine, who aptly described that third as the invention of tradition. The fourth was at Kyoto in 2003, which proved to be a real convention of sparkling minds, while the fifth in London 2006 has made an institution of the AJC. It discussed migration and identity in British history, and the international conference migrating every third year between two countries geographically far apart has come closer to its own identity.


It would be unnecessary to reiterate the difficulties which accompany international academic exchanges and conferences: they were given an airing in the foreword to the fourth proceedings, State and Empire in British History, published in 2003. However, mention has also to be made of the heavier burdens several of the participants have borne these recent years: three headships of eminent colleges/institute, four presidencies/chairmanships of national historical societies, a vice-presidency of a national academy, as well as other important public offices are borne by the core members of the AJC on one or other side of offshore Eurasia. Furthermore, the ever-growing teaching and administrative duties hindered several delegates from participating fully in the three-day conference at the end of September.


The programme kept to the tradition of holding plenary sessions ranging from the medieval period to the twentieth century, and took Migration and Identity in British History as the general theme for 2006. It had been decided by the end of 2004 in discussion among David Bates and the Japanese committee members. The committee called for papers in January 2005, and all the practical arrangements in London were made by David and his PA, Samantha Jordan.


The Conference followed Davidfs carefully structured schedule except for some inevitable changes caused by sudden illness and public duties. The present proceedings return to the chronological order as planned. There were eighteen papers and lectures. Among them eleven were delivered by senior Japanese and British historians, and another seven papers by junior Japanese who either are completing their doctorates or have just finished them. Junior sessions were placed between senior ones. This structure worked as expected not only to secure the high quality of the conference but also to provide young, promising scholars with public chances to demonstrate their quality. Each session was chaired by a leading historian and the session paper was responded to by experts before discussion was opened to the floor. These chairs and respondents included an additional twenty-one historians. Some guests were invited to the conference, and many others came voluntarily from various parts of the world. The final tally of participants amounted to over eighty. All contributed to informative and thought-provoking discussion in and after each session. The synergic effects are telling evidence of the thriving state of historical studies in the two countries as well as of the fruitful international exchanges and friendship that have developed over the last two decades.


The papers and comments in these proceedings were submitted within a few months of the conference to allow for the incorporation of some revisions, the result of both post-delivery discussion and afterthoughts. The editors have made only technical modifications to the manuscripts submitted, and the ultimate merit of and responsibility for each paper lies with its author. The editorship was assisted as for the last proceedings by the cooperation of Tony Jenkins and Satomi Ohashi.


The conference was supported financially in London by the bodies as mentioned by David Bates, and the publication of the proceedings is supported by the grant-in-aid of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Sciences (JSPS). The sixth AJC is scheduled to take place in September 2009 in Japan.



Kazuhiko KONDO, chairman of the committee



The AJC 2006 committee members:

                  Shigeru AKITA (Osaka University)

                  Yasushi AOKI (Rikkyo University)

                  Keizo ASAJI (Kansai University)  

                  Harumi GOTO-SHIBATA (Chiba University)

                  Minoru KAWAKITA (Kyoto Sangyo University)

                  Yoichi KIBATA (University of Tokyo)

                  Kazuhiko KONDO (University of Tokyo)

                  Toshio KUSAMITSU (University of the Air)

                  Takao MATSUMURA (Keio University)