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 in world history by that date.

Selected publications

- Marino, G & Clements R 2023, 'Iberian Sources on the Imjin War: The Relação do fim e remate que teve a guerra da Corea (1599)', Sungkyun Journal of East Asian Studies, 23, 1, 27–48.

- Clements R 2023, 'The Prose of Our Land: Ban Kōkei, Translation, and National Language Consciousness in Eighteenth-Century Japan', Sungkyun Journal of East Asian Studies, 23, 2, 119–136.

Selected research activities

2023 saw the beginning of the dissemination phase of the “Aftermath of the East Asian War of 1592-1598” European Research Starting Grant Project, directed by Rebekah Clements. Rebekah gave invited talks at the University of California Los Angeles, the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, the University of Nevada, Reno, the University of Malaga, the Autonomous University of Barcelona, and Bochum University, as well as chairing panels at the University of Ghent, and the University of Copenhagen. The “Aftermath” project also held its official conference during 2023 (4-5 of September, Autonomous University of Barcelona), which brought together twenty-four scholars from four continents, and drew in additional funding from the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation (Taipei) and the Japan Foundation Madrid.