Prof. Nissim Otmazgin is the Chair of the Department of Asian Studies, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Acting Director of the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace. He is also a member of the Israeli Young Academy of Science and Humanities. A political scientist in training, his research interests include Japanese popular culture in Asia, popular culture and regionalization in East and Southeast Asia, Japan-Southeast Asian relations, and cultural industry and cultural policy in Japan and South Korea. His PhD dissertation (Kyoto University, 2007), which examines the export of Japan’s popular culture to Asia, won the Iue Asia Pacific Research Prize in October 2007 for outstanding dissertation on society and culture in Asia. As a part of this research, he conducted extensive fieldwork in Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, Bangkok, and Seoul.


Shir Shapira is a Ph.D candidate at Kyoto University, Graduate school of Asian and African Area Studies. Shir Graduated her bachelor’s degree from the Hebrew University and her master’s degree from Kyoto University. Her research focuses on the competition between Japan and China in ODA to Southeast Asia. Besides her research, Shir is studying Kimono wearing and Tea Ceremony as a hobby and enjoys learning about Japanese traditional arts. Shir came to know Japan through Anime and Manga and has been reading Manga and watching Anime since she was a teenager. She participated as a student in the first seminar in 2015. This year she has the pleasure of coming back as a coordinator.


Leader Max is a research student at Kyoto University’s Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies. After finishing his B.A. in International Relations and Asian Studies, and M.A. in Asian Studies at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Max recieved the MEXT scholarship to study in Japan in 2019, and is planning to begin his PhD studies there in 2020. Max’s current research focuses on media culture – specifically the connection between current internet culture and political participation in Japan.


Benny Voskoboynick is a third year student of the International Relations and Japanese studies program in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His academic interests lie with the Japanese article 9 and self defense forces in contemporary Japan and with Japanese diplomatic policy in Asia.


German Cinicin – is a Sociology & Anthropology and East Asian Studies second-year BA student. Intialy what was a simple childhood adoration of all things Japanese, grew to become a life long true love for him. He really wants to be able to Haruki Murakami in Japanese.


Netta Weiss – is a third year student of the International Relations and Japanese studies program in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, currently studying in Kansai Gaidai University in Japan. Interested in Japanese popular culture and actively participating in anime and manga conventions and cosplay. In the seminar she will research about the Doujinshi (self-made comics) industry and its effects on the manga industry in general.


Noa Partovi is 25 Years old. Starting her 3rd year in Businesses Administration and East Asian Studies double major BA this year. Interested in Animation, fashion and Japan’s popular culture.


Omer Wagner is a Second year student for Asia Studies and communication. She is 24 years old. On a mission to visit every part of Japan (3/5 so far!). Fell in love with the views, and now dreaming of studing in Japan, to learn more about the culture. Can eat 7/11 24/7 (and is proud of it).


Or Guber is 26 years old. Starting her third year in Asia Studies and International Relations. Interested in both modern Japanese history and popular culture. In the seminar will be in charge of the social media advertising. Love to travel and want to expolre as many countries and cultures.


Yael Kazakov is 26 years old. starting her third year as a student for asia studies and international relations. interested in popular culture and premodern japanese history. In the seminar she will research the use of virtual characters in japan and the effects they have on the society.

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