Rebekah Clements

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 in 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, 2015). From 2015-2018 she held a lectureship and then an associate professorship at Durham University. She joined ICREA in October 2018.

Research interests

Rebekah is a cultural 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 Korean exiles present in Japan following the Imjin War of 1592-1598. This work takes place within her project funded by the European Research Council, “The Aftermath of the East Asian War of 1592-1598” (2018-2023). The Aftermath project is a large scale attempt to understand the legacy of the Imjin War, also known as the East Asian War of 1592-1598 and Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s Invasions of Korea. This conflict involved over 500,000 combatants from Japan, China, and Korea; up to 100,000 Korean civilians were removed to Japan. It was the largest conflict of the world of the sixteenth century and involved the largest successful overseas landings by that date.

Selected publications

Clements R & Niimi A (eds) 2019, Genji monogatari no kinsei: Zokugoyaku, hon’an, eiribon de yomu koten (Tokyo: Benseisha).

Clements R 2019, “Brush Talk as the ‘Lingua Franca’ of East Asian Diplomacy in Japanese-Korean Encounters, c.1600-1868“, The Historical Journal, vo.62, Issue 2, pp.289.309.

Clements R 2019, “Edo jidai ni okeru zokugoyaku no igi” in Rebekah Clements and Akihiko Niimi, eds., Genji monogatari no kinsei: Zokugoyaku, hon’an, eiribon de yomu koten (Tokyo: Benseisha), pp.1-23.

Clements R 2019, “Nihon no kinsei ni okeru gengo hakken to zokugoyaku” in Kono Kimiko, Wiebke Denecke, et al eds. Nihon “bun”gakushi dai sansatsu. “Bun” kara “bungaku” e: Higashi Ajia bungaku o minaosu/A New History of Japanese “Letterature” Vol.3. The Path from “Letters” to “Literature”: A Comparative History of East Asian Literatures, Tokyo: Benseisha.

Selected research activities

  • Invited Talk. 22 Dec, 2019 – “彼等自身の言葉で―江戸及び明治初期の『源氏物語』の訳者たち―”, 日比較文学国際シンポジウムおよび2019年度広東外語外貿大学大学院生フォーラム, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, Guangzhou. (in absentia) (China)
  • Keynote Lecture. 17 Dec, 2019 – “The Imjin War in Regional and Global History: New Perspectives”, Asia Oriental: paradigmas emergentes, política(s), dinámicas socioculturales y sus consecuencias, Barcelona Centre for International Affairs. (Spain)
  • Manuscript reviewer. 21 Nov 2019. Routledge Press (Taylor and Francis).
  • Stay of Research. 17-20 Sep 2019. Cambridge University.
  • Manuscript reviewer. 27 Aug 2019. Journal of the History of Ideas, University of Pennsylvania Press.
  • Panel Chair. 12 Apr, 2019 – “Art and War: The Japanese Invasion of Korea of 1592-1598”, 29th Association of Korean Studies in Europe Conference 2019, Rome, 11-14 April 2019 (Italy)