Jacob Kovalio

Associate Professor of Japanese History, Department of History, Carleton University


For 3 months in the summer of 1996, Professor Kovalio’s Japan Foundation fellowship took him to the International House of Japan. He undertook research at the National Diet Library, the Archives of the Foreign Ministry of Japan, Tokyo University Law Department Library and Waseda University Library.

The main topics of research were: 1. the political interference of  upper echelon military men in Japan’s national security politics in the 1930s; 2. the impact of nationalism on the foreign policy of Japan as well as the peculiar attitudes of prominent Japanese intellectuals, public opinion makers toward Jews, and antisemitism.

Without my research in Japan – facilitated by the indispensable financial and professional support of the Japan Foundation (both as a Research Fellow as well as when I organized conferences on Canada-Japan relations in 2002 and of the JSAC in 1993 and 2012) – my work would have been absolutely impossible. As well, I would like to stress the high professional integrity of the Japan Foundation.

During my Research Fellowship I was able to establish very meaningful professional relationships with colleagues like the late Professor KOBAYASHI Masayuki and Professor MIYAKE Masaki. I have published a number of works including The Russian Protocols of Zion in Japan [2009]. I am in the midst of a a number of projects: one on Luminaries of Japanese Democracy which focuses on YOSHINO Sakuzo and OZAKI Yukio, as well as another on Japan’s foreign policy in the second ABE administration.

Having spent almost 7 years of my life in Japan, the country is my professional home and a source of endless historical and cultural wonder. I am very happy that one of my brilliant former students, Andrew Kamei-Dyche has obtained a Ph.D. in Japanese History and is now teaching in Japan – and in the future I hope – in Canada.