Dear Friends and Colleagues, members of EAJRS,

I hope you have started the New Year in good spirit and good health. North Western Europe has been visited upon by an exceptionally hard winter, and it seems that General Winter (fuyu shôgun) still goes on renewing his offensives unabated. I am writing this message in the midst of a snow-covered landscape, which is nice if one can stay at home, but which quickly loses its charms on the road to work. We hope that spring will not tarry too long, and in the meantime we send you our best greetings in anticipation.

The Norwich conference was a resounding success, and we take this opportunity to thank the whole team of the Sainsbury Institute for their fine organisation, hospitality and generosity. At the same time, we express our sincere gratitude to all of our members for joining us in such great number in the charming city that Norwich is, and for the contributions all of you made both in scholarly and convivial terms. We also owe a great debt of gratitude to Mr. Koyama for arranging our visit to the Cambridge University Library.

At the general assembly in Norwich it was pointed out that the habit of invariably organizing the EAJRS conference during the second half of September may be a deterrent for some persons who would actually like to join but for whom this period is extremely busy. Therefore the assembly discussed the possibility of organizing the next conference during the first week of September (Wednesday 1st - Saturday 4th 2010). The definitive timing for the next EAJRS would be fixed on the basis of this option and of the availability of the venue. At that time we noted that we had been in contact with a couple of prospective venues. After further exploring the possibilities and availabilities of the envisaged venues in view of the preferred time frame of the conference, their facilities and their logistic resources, we finally found our partner in Genoa. Dr. Donatella Failla, Director of the Museo d'Arte Orientale Edoardo Chiossone, and member of our association, has graciously accepted to be this year's local host. In view of the recent conferences, some may suspect us of having a penchant for Italian venues. Be that as it may, we can only be delighted about the prospect of holding our next conference in this fine institution.

While we are resource specialists, the work we are doing is vital for researchers, and I would be delighted to see more researchers (both junior and senior ones, also in teaching positions) attending our conference. I therefore call upon all our members to do some advertising among the scholars they know or assist and encourage them to attend our conference.

As in previous years, we have filed our application for financial support to the Japan Foundation. As all of you no doubt know, of late the Japanese government has been going through a major budget screening process to slash as many expenses as possible, an exercise which will also affect the budget of the Japan Foundation. We are crossing our fingers and hope and pray that the Japan Foundation will view our application as justified and important and take a favourable decision.

As has become customary, we would like to renew our appeal to help widening our membership, and we urge all present members to use the EAJRS portal site as much as possible as a means for easy contact and exchange. We hope that you like the availability of the abstracts and/or proceedings on the renewed EAJRS portal site and needless to say, we are open to all suggestions for improvement.

Although the location of the venue will hopefully elicit many presentations on the situation of Japanese resources and artefacts in Italy, the conference customarily has not a special topic. We want to give full scope to all possible issues and recent developments in the field of Japanese resources. As in former editions of the conference, we hope that specialists from Europe, Northern America and Japan will join us in great number, and hopefully one or two from Korea, China or Taiwan, will find their way to Genoa as well. Our host will from her side make a special appeal to prospective participants in Italy.

Detailed information on the particulars of this conference will be forwarded to you soon, but we would like to ask everyone reading this message to pass its contents on to colleagues or interested persons who they know or believe are not on our mailing list (yet). Do not hesitate to send us the address and email address of anyone you feel may be interested and is not on our mailing list. 

As in former years, we have asked our local organiser to check out various hotels near the conference site. Dr. Failla has kindly drawn up a list of hotels and bed and breakfast sites, where you can book as of now your reservations directly.

We are looking forward to your continuing support and enthusiasm in 2010.

Cordial greetings from

W.F. Vande Walle, chairman,

Laura Moretti, secretary