Dr Megha Wadhwa

Dr Megha Wadhwa is an ardent Migration Researcher with a specific focus on migration studies, specializing in Japanese and Indian studies. She serves as a Research Associate at the esteemed Free University of Berlin and a visiting fellow at the Institute of Comparative Culture at Sophia University, Tokyo. It holds a special place in her heart as it is her alma mater. Originally hailing from New Delhi, Dr Wadhwa spent an incredible 15 years in Tokyo before eventually making Berlin her new home in 2021.

Impressively, she authored the compelling book ‘Indian Migrants in Tokyo: A Study of Socio-Cultural, Religious and Working Worlds (Routledge 2021), delving into the lives of the Indian community in Japan and exploring their experiences. Her expertise extends to writing thought-provoking articles touching various topics, including the Indian community in Japan, featured in reputable publications such as The Japan Times and journals.

Dr Megha Wadhwa’s research endeavours encompass a profound goal: to explore the similarities and differences in the experiences of Indian migrants across various host destinations.

Dr Wadhwa is deeply involved in the research project ‘Qualifications and Skill in the Migration Process of Foreign Workers in Asia’ (QuaMaFA), a crucial initiative supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany (BMBF). Her focus lies in studying the migration trends, labour market integration, and challenges faced by Indian professionals in both Japan and Singapore. Her dedication to understanding the complexities of migration is commendable and valuable in shaping a better future for foreign workers in Asia.

Dr Megha Wadhwa’s work is academic, and a passion that shines through in her engaging writing style. Through her research and insights, she brings clarity and understanding to the intricacies of migration and its impact on various communities.

Since 2013, Dr Megha Wadhwa’s research has been dedicated to exploring the Indian Diaspora in Japan. She has made significant contributions by writing numerous articles that specifically revolve around the Indian community for The Japan Times. Her insightful work sheds light on the experiences and challenges faced by this vibrant community in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Educational Background

  • Doctoral Program in Global Studies, Area Studies, Social Sciences, Diaspora, Migration, South Asia, and Japan from Sophia University.
  • Master Program in Global Studies, Area Studies from Sophia University.

Migration Studies Expertise in Dr Megha Wadhwa’s Works

  • “Indian Migrants in Tokyo – A Study of Socio-Cultural, Religious, and Working Worlds,” published by Routledge on 30 October 2020.
  • In the age of COVID-19 – Indian restaurants and the Indian cooks in Japan, The Asia-Pacific Journal, Japan Focus. (2017)
  • Opportunities and Challenges in a Foreign Land: A Study of Indian Resident Community in Tokyo and its Vicinity, Occasional Papers(Monograph Series), Institute of Asian Cultures, Sophia University. (2016)
  • Binding Indians Abroad: Religious Participation of Indian Migrants in Tokyo, The Journal of Sophia Asian Studies No. 34, 113-134. (2011)
  • The Plight of Women in India, The Journal of Sophia Asian Studies No. 29, Sophia University, 85-92.
  • Special Lecture Series: Vulnerable Populations in Japan under COVID-19, Discussion on ‘In the age of COVID-19 – Indian restaurants and the Indian cooks in Japan’.
  • ‘Redefining Indian Traditions & Creating New Spaces – Migrant Women of Indian Origin in Tokyo, Japan,’ The 28th Annual Conference of Japanese Association for South Asian Studies (JASAS), Tokyo, Japan.

In addition to her impressive academic pursuits, Dr Megha Wadhwa has honed her skills in documentary filmmaking. Her documentary film, “Finding Their Niche: Unheard Stories of migrant women”, offers a compelling narrative with the benefit of having English and Japanese subtitles.

Dr Megha Wadhwa delves deep into the lives of two Indian women migrants who, over a decade ago, made the brave and life-altering choice to relocate to Japan. Through captivating and visual storytelling, the film provides a poignant and insightful glimpse into the challenges, triumphs, and transformations these women experienced while navigating life in a new country and becoming positive role models for other future lives.


  • Daughters from Afghanistan (2019)
  • A 7-minute documentary – Indian Cooks in Japan (2020)
  • Finding their niche: Unheard stories of migrant women (2022), screened at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies and Center for South Asian Studies (CSAS).

Dr Megha Wadhwa’s impactful work extends beyond her book on Indian migrants in Tokyo. She conducted a thought-provoking workshop at Sophia University titled ‘Migrant Stories of Indian Cooks and Afghani Women in Japan.’ During the workshop, she presented a paper titled ‘Labor Laws vs the Reality: Reflecting on the Narratives of Indian Cooks and Indian Restaurant Owners in Japan.’

She was also invited as a Guest Lecturer at many universities, such as

  • Fieldwork Experiences – Ethnographic Research on Indian Migrants in Tokyo’, PhD Seminar in Ethnographic Writing, Department of Social Anthropology, Tokyo Metropolitan University.
  • ‘Life Stories of Indian Migrants in Tokyo: Fairy Tales and Nightmares’, Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies, Oxford School of Global and Area Studies.
  • ‘Indian Cooks in Japan at the mercy of their bosses and the state?’ – Impacts of COVID-19, GEAS Digital Lecture Series: East Asian Responses to Crisis.(2020)
  • ‘Indian migrants in Tokyo’, Ryukoku University.
  • ‘Indian Community in Japan’, Toyo University.
  • National Cuisine of India?’, Sophia University.
  • ‘Identifying India: Social Stratification, Education, Religion, Women’, Faculty of Global Studies, Sophia University.
  • ‘Indian Community in Japan’, Seisen University.
  • ‘Women in India – Life and Traditions’, Sophia University.