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Ryosuke Kobayashi Last modified date:2019.07.01

Graduate School

Academic Degree
Ph.D. (Litt.)
Field of Specialization
Research Interests
  • modern Tibetan history
    keyword : Tibet, China, Qing Dynasty, Modern East Asia
Current and Past Project
  • It proposes to undertake a study of a previously unresearched subject: the history of the Tibetan army during the period of the Buddhist government of the Dalai Lamas, known as the Ganden Phodrang, from 1642 to 1959.
Academic Activities
1. Ryosuke Kobayashi, Chapter 8. ”The Political Status of Tibet and the Simla Conference (1913–14): Translated Concepts in Modern Tibet," , OKAMOTO takashi ed., A World History of Suzerainty: A Modern History of East and West Asia and Translated Concepts, Tokyo: Toyo Bunko, 2019., 199-215, 2019.06.
2. 小林亮介, The Tibet-Japan Relations in the Era of the 1911 Revolution: Tibetan Letters from the Aoki Bunkyō Archive. , Iwao Kazushi, Ikeda Takumi (eds.), The Historical Development of Tibeto-Himalayan Civilization(チベット・ヒマラヤ文明の歴史的展開), 2018, 2018.03, It is fairly well known that Japanese Buddhist monks approached the 13th Dalai Lama and members of his administration at the beginning of the 20th century. Recent studies have clarified how these monks played a significant intermediary role between Tibet and Japan, and that Japan was an important actor in competition over Tibet in the international arena while Britain and Russia played out their Great Game. However, Tibet's policy towards Japan in this period and how Tibet placed Japan within its entire diplomatic sphere have been less studied. This article analyzes
the relationship between Tibet and Japan at the beginning of the 20th century by mainly focusing on valuable Tibetan letters housed in the Aoki Bunkyō Archive at the National Museum of Ethnology in Ōsaka. These letters, composed around the collapse of the Qing Dynasty, reveal that the 13th Dalai Lama and his attendants tried to seek the aid from the Japanese government to secure Tibet's "rang btsan" which is translated as independence in the contemporary Tibetan language. I also elucidate how the Japanese government refused to support Tibet due to its policy towards China amid the 1911 revolution as well as the Japanese alliance with Britain, while Tibet's relationship with China deteriorated. Moreover, by comparing the letters to Japan with the letters to other countries such as Britain and Russia, I will show that Tibet recognized Japan as a potential country that could protect them while facing the difficulty to enlist the aid under the restriction of the Anglo-Russian Convention in 1907..
1. Ryosuke Kobayashi, Zhang Yintang’s Military Reforms in 1906-1907: The Introduction of Militarism in Tibet, MILITARY CULTURE IN TIBET DURING THE GANDEN PHODRANG PERIOD (1642-1959): THE INTERACTION BETWEEN TIBETAN AND OTHER ASIAN MILITARY TRADITIONS, 2018.06.
2. Ryosuke Kobayashi, The Emerging Concept of ‘Autonomy’ in Early 20th-Century Tibet, The effect on Inner- and East Asian relations of the advent of modern international law and the end of the Qing empire in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, 2017.09.
3. Ryosuke Kobayashi, Contested Borders in the Sino-Tibetan Frontier (1906-1914):Negotiations and Conflicts in Eastern Tibet, Association for Asian Studies (AAS): AAS in Korea, 2017.06, [URL].
Membership in Academic Society
  • The History Society of Japan
  • Japanese Association for Tibetan Studies