Christopher HoodChristopher Hood

BA Business Management and Japanese Studies & PhD in Japanese Studies
Current job: Reader in Japanese Studies
Current Employer: Cardiff University

What is your current job and what does it involve?
I am a reader in Japanese Studies at Cardiff University. I lecture primarily about contemporary Japanese society and history. I also do research about aspects of Japanese society which I write about in books and articles.

Do you use the knowledge and skills you gained from your studies in your job?
Yes – my knowledge about Japan, Japanese, and to a lesser degree Business Studies, continue to underpin all of my work.

Do you language skills play an important role in your job?
These days it’s primarily the reading that I use the most, but also speaking/listening when in Japan conducting interviews, for example. I don’t get to write much Japanese now & the progresses in technology have matched my forgetting of how to write kanji by hand.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?
I always get a buzz when doing aspects of my research – particular highlights being able to go in the cab of the shinkansen with the driver – and when my books are published. I was also delighted to recently receive a certificate of commendation from the Japanese Ambassador in relation to my work relating to Japan.

Why did you choose to Study Japanese Studies at Sheffield?
Back in the late 1980s, there were limited choices & Sheffield was one of the few – quite rightly in my view – which didn’t require a language A-level.

What are your favourite memories of studying at Sheffield?
Going up and down in the paternoster when it worked! Also our study trip to Japan (only 10 weeks in the first year during which we only studied Japanese).

Do you have any tips and advice for students wishing to go down a similar career path to you?
Be patient & be prepared to be wrong, change your mind and develop as you go along.