Rebekah Clements

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona


Rebekah Clements is an ICREA at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. She completed degrees in law and Asian studies at the Australian National University where she was awarded the University Medal, before obtaining an MA in classical Japanese literature from Waseda University (2008). She completed her PhD in East Asian History from the University of Cambridge (Trinity College) in 2011. Following her PhD she was a research associate at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Cambridge, working on the Leverhulme-funded project "Translation and vernacularisation in pre-modern East Asia" (PI: P.Kornicki), and held a junior research fellowship from Queens' College from 2012-2015 where she completed her first monograph, A Cultural History of Translation in Early Modern Japan (Cambridge University Press). From 2015-2018 she held a lectureship and then an associate professorship at Durham University. She joined ICREA in October 2018.

Research interests

Prof. Clements is a historian of Japan, specializing in the Tokugawa period (1600-1868). Her research focuses on language, society, and the characteristics of Japanese early modernity, as understood in the broader context of East Asia. She is currently working on the linguistic and religious networks of exchange that linked seventeenth and early eighteenth century Japanese elites with Chinese and Korean exiles present in Japan following the Imjin War.of 1592-1598 and the fall of the Ming Dynasty. This work takes place within her project funded by the European Research Council, “The Aftermath of the East Asian War of 1592-1598”.

Selected research activities

– PI of European Research Council Starting Grant (grant agreement No 758347), 1 November 2018-31st October 2023, Aftermath of The East Asian War of 1592-1598. €1.444.980. Grant amendment completed and grant transferred to the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, starting on 1 November 2018.

– Invited speaker at Global Japan, International Conference, L’École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris. Title of Talk: “The Aftermath of the “First East Asian War” of 1592-1598: Thoughts on writing Japan as part of regional and global history”. 8 November, 2018.

– Invited speaker at 書物を通してみる近世日本の文化・思想 (La vie culturelle et intellectuelle du Japon des Tokugawa au prisme des livres), University Paris Diderot. Title of Talk “日本の近世化における言語発見 (The Discovery of Language in Early Modern Japan)”, 16th Nov 2018.

– Stay of Research: Cambridge, U.K., 14th October-25th October 2018. Achival research using Japanese materials in the Aoi Pavilion of the Cambridge University Library.