Dr. A.E. (Aya) Ezawa

  • Lecturer
  • Sociology of Japan

Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 2548
E-Mail: a.ezawa@hum.leidenuniv.nl
Faculty / Department: Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen, Leiden Institute for Area Studies, SAS Japan
Office Address: Arsenaal
Arsenaalstraat 1
2311 CT Leiden
Room number 1.03


My research focuses on how the state, through policies and institutions, shapes the experiences of women and families in contemporary Japan. Currently, I am in the course of completing a book manuscript, entitled In Search of the Japanese Family: Gender, Class and the Politics of Reproduction in Contemporary Japan, which examines the character, institutionalization and operation of Japan’s family regime and its inscription in women’s lives. I am also involved in the comparative study of welfare reforms and the recent emergence of ‘workfare regimes.’ Based on research I conducted in 2005-2006 with the support of an Abe Fellowship, I have explored the impact of Japanese reforms on the wellbeing of single mothers. In my next project, I plan to examine poverty, welfare reliance and its reproduction during and after the Heisei recession.


- Ph.D. in Sociology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
- M.Sc. in Sociology, London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London, UK
- B.A. cum laude in Japanese Studies-Modern Society, Sophia University, Japan

- University Lecturer, Sociology of Modern Japan, Department of Japanese and Korean Studies, Leiden University, 2007-present
- Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Swarthmore College, USA, 2003-2007
- Visiting Researcher, Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo, July 2005-January 2006
- Postdoctoral Fellow, Expanding East Asian Studies Program, Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University, 2002-2003
- Visiting Researcher, Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo, 1998-2000

Fellowship and grants
- Abe Fellowship, Social Science Research Council, 2004
- Swarthmore College Faculty Research Grant 2003, 2005, 2006
- Expanding East Asian Studies Postdoctoral Fellowship, Columbia University, 2002
- Matsushita International Foundation Research Grant, 1999
- Tokyo Women’s Foundation Research Grant, (declined), 1999
- University of Illinois Dissertation Travel Grant, 1998
- Itoh Scholarship Foundation Research Grant, 1997


Ezawa, Aya, “From Welfare to Work: The Conditions of Single Mothers’ ‘Independence,’” in Journal of Political Science and Sociology, vol. 7 (March 2007).

Fujiwara, Chisa and Aya Ezawa,“ Reconsidering U.S. Welfare Reform: An Analysis of Workfare Policies and their Implications for Japan” (in Japanese), in Kikan shakai hoshô kenkyû (Quarterly of Social Security Research), vol. 42, no. 4 (March 2007).

Ezawa, Aya, “How Japanese Single Mothers Work,” Japanstudien, special issue on “How Japan Works,” edited by René Haak, vol. 18 (2006)

Ezawa, Aya and Chisa Fujiwara, “Lone Mothers and Welfare-to-Work Policies in Japan and the United States: Toward an Alternative Perspective,” Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, vol. 32, no. 4 (December 2005)

Ezawa, Aya, “Japan’s ‘New Homeless’,” Journal of Social Distress and the Homeless, vol. 11, no. 4 (October 2002)

Last Modified: 11-12-2015