Nathalie Phillips

After graduating with a BA in Japanese Studies and Linguistics from the University of Cologne, Nathalie went on to study Classical Japanese Literature at the University of Oxford, where she obtained an MSt. She began her PhD in Edinburgh in 2014, funded by the Sasakawa Foundation, and is currently in her 3rd year. Since then she has been awarded a grant by the Japan Foundation Endowment Committee in order to conduct research at the Historiographical Institute of the University of Tokyo in Japan in 2015, and a Fellowship by the Japan Foundation which she will begin in October 2016 at the International Research Centre for Japanese Studies (Nichibunken).


Nathalie’s doctoral research focuses on the ways in which various beliefs in the supernatural (“meta-physical”) were integrated into the belief-knowledge system and used as forms of knowledge within the socio-historical context of Heian Japan. It consists, in part, of an examination of the ritual context and the complex relations and methods of interaction between the humans, spirit forces, and the deities, and, as a further constituent, of a basic reconstruction of the Heian-period episteme as the unifying centre of their worldview.

Awards and Funding

2014-2016 Sasakawa Foundation Studentship

2015 Japan Foundation Endowment Committee (research grant)

2016-2017 Japan Foundation Fellowship


2015 Attended the BAJS Workshop for Doctoral Students in Leeds

2016 Presented at the EAJS Workshop for Doctoral Students in Paris


2015/16 PMEA Tutorials and Lectures