Dr. Nissim Otmazgin receives Ben-Porath Presidential Award for Outstanding Young Researcher

From left: Dr. NIssim Otmazgin with Raziel Ben-Porath, brother of the late Yoram Ben-Porath, and Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson (photo: Sasson Tiram)December 18, 2012: Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson, president of the Hebrew University, presented the President’s Prize for Outstanding Young Researcher to Dr. Nissim Otmazgin of the Department of East Asian Studies in the Faculty of Humanities at a December 10 on the Mount Scopus campus. The prize is awarded in memory of Prof. Yoram Ben-Porath, former president and rector of the Hebrew University.

Since 2008, Dr. Otmazgin has served as a lecturer in the Department of East Asian Studies at the Hebrew University, specializing in politics, society and culture in modern Japan.

According to Prof. Ben-Sasson, "Dr. Nissim Otmazgin is one of the leading researchers in the emerging field of the study of Japanese popular culture and its impact on other countries in East Asia. He brings clarity to our understanding of popular culture in Japan and the way in which politics, society and culture intersect and are shaped. His academic leadership and dedication, his research achievements, the quality of his teaching, and his contribution to the Department, Faculty and University as a whole clearly indicate that he is a most deserving winner of this award.''

Dr. Lihi Yariv-Laor, Chair of the Department of East Asian Studies, added, ''Besides being an outstanding scholar, Dr. Otmazgin works tirelessly to raise Israelis' awareness of popular culture in Japan, and to strengthen ties between Japan and Israel, and we are very proud that he has been chosen for this award."

Dr. Otmazgin obtained his bachelor's degree (with honors) in political science and East Asian area studies at the Hebrew University in 2000. He received his doctorate from Kyoto University in 2007, and his doctoral dissertation won the Iue Asia Pacific Research Prize in October 2007 for outstanding dissertation on society and culture in Asia.

Dr. Otmazgin's research interests include Japanese popular culture in Asia and popular culture and regionalization in East and Southeast Asia. He is the author of the forthcoming book Regionalizing Culture: the Political Economy of Japanese Popular Culture in Asia. He is the co-editor with Eyal Ben-Ari of Popular Culture and the State in East and Southeast Asia, and Popular Culture Co-production and Collaboration in East and Southeast Asia. His articles have been published in leading journals including Asia-Pacific Review, Contemporary Japan, Contemporary Southeast Asia, International Relations of the Asia Pacific, and Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis.

Dr. Otmazgin has received several research grants, including from the European Union (2008-2012) and the Israel Science Foundation (2012-2013). Prominent internationally, he is invited to many conferences in Asia, Europe and North America. He speaks fluent Japanese.

Source: Dept. of Media Relations, Hebrew University