KCJS Professor 2016 – 2017
Leslie Pincus teaches in the History Department at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She earned an M.A. in Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley and a PhD in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago. Her research interests span intellectual, cultural, social, and environmental history with a focus on modern Japan.
Professor Pincus has researched and written on the intersections between philosophy, culture and ideology during the interwar years in Japan. She has also published on early postwar cultural and intellectual democratization; and she is currently completing a project on a set of social movements that extends from the early twentieth century across the millennium. Among her publications are Authenticating Culture in Imperial Japan: Kuki Shuzo and the Rise of National Aesthetics (University of California Press, 1996) and Open to the Public: Studies in Japan’s Recent Past, a special issue of positions: east asian cultures critique (April 2002), for which she served as guest editor, author of an introductory essay, and contributor. More recent articles include “Revolution in the Archives of Memory: Founding the National Diet Library in Occupied Japan” in Archives, Documentation, and the Institutions of Social Memory, edited by Francis Bluin and William Rosenberg (University of Michigan Press, 2006) and “On the Shores of Japan’s Postwar Left: An Intimate History” in A New Insurgency: The Port Huron Statement and its Times; edited by Howard Brick and Gregory Parker (Maize Books, an imprint of Michigan Publishing 2015).
Professor Pincus teaches courses, at both undergraduate and graduate levels, that address various themes in early modern and modern Japan as well as East Asia more broadly: the Pacific Asia War, postwar history and memory, power and protest, and environmental history, among others. She has taught at KCJS in the past and continues to bring University of Michigan students to Japan for experiential learning in the field.
James L. McClain
received his Ph.D. from Yale University and has taught Japanese and Korean history at Brown University for nearly a quarter-century.
He first visited Japan and Korea on a lark immediately after taking his B.A. at the University of Michigan, and the envisioned “vacation jaunt” turned into a lifelong commitment to better understand these two compelling cultures and their interrelationships. In all, he has lived for more than a decade on the islands and peninsula, including appointments as a visiting professor and research scholar at the University of Tokyo, Keio University, Kyoto University, and Yonsei University.
Professor McClain’s particular research interests concern the evolution and significance of Japan’s urban culture and Korean-Japanese cultural relations. He has authored numerous books and articles, including the award-winning Edo & Paris: Urban Life and the State in the Early-Modern Era, Osaka: The Merchants’ Capital in Early Modern Japan, and the 700-page narrative Japan: a Modern History, published by W.W. Norton and translated into Korean and Chinese.
KCJS Professor 2015 – 2016
is Associate Professor of Japanese and Comparative Literature at Boston University. She graduated from Harvard University in East Asian Languages and Civilizations and received her PhD from the University of Chicago. In Japan, she has studied and done research while affiliate with Waseda University, Ochanomizu Women’s University, and Nagoya University.
Professor Frederick’s areas of specialization are in 20th-century Japanese literature and history and relationships among mass media, modern
literature, gender, and culture. She has worked extensively on 1920s and 30s women’s print culture culture, image and text in literature of the 1930s-1950s, and gender and sexuality in modern literature and culture. She teaches courses in all periods of Japanese literature, film, and popular culture, as well as comparative courses on topics such as melodrama as a genre in fiction and cinema. She has received fellowships from the NEH, Fulbright-Hays, Javits, Hakuho Foundation, and Japanese Ministry of Education for her research. She is the author of Turning Pages: Reading and Writing Women’s Magazines in Interwar Japan (University of Hawaii Press, 2006), and articles in positions: East Asian Cultures Critique, US Japan Women’s Journal and Japan Forum. Professor Frederick’s most recent publication brings to a broader audience the work of one of Japanese most commercially successful writers, Yoshiya Nobuko (18966-1973). In an affordable electronic format for ease of use in the classroom and pleasure reading, her translation of Yoshiya’s sotry “Yellow Rose” from Flower Stories (Hanamonogatari) is combined with an extensive introduction that draws the connections between this 1923 Sapphic story and contemporary girl culture in manga and anime on which it had strong influences. This relates to Professor Frederick’s current book project, which looks at 20th-century Japanese literature and history through the same author’s voluminous works. A number of other recent research projects have connected Professor Frederick’s research to Kyoto: she is currently translating an essay by Natsume Soseki about his trip to Kyoto from Tokyo in the early 20th century, writing about modern kimono as represented in print culture, and a digital humanities project visualizing the spaces depicted in Kawabata Yasunari’s Old Kyoto. She was KCJS Professor in 2008-09.
Linda H. Chance
is Associate Professor of Japanese Language and Literature in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania. Her M.A. is from the University of Washington and her Ph.D. is from UCLA. She was a research student at Waseda University and Seijô Gakuen Daigaku in Tokyo, but her first home is Kansai, where she has spent half of her eight years in Japan.
Professor Chance’s main field is prose of medieval Japan, particularly the random essay form (zuihitsu). She also studies early modern and modern commentarial and reception histories. Buddhist thought, gender, material and performance traditions, and various types of writing practiced in Japan and East Asia are the focus of her research and practice. Food is a new area of academic interest for her, since Penn’s rare book library collection of cookbooks includes Japan, and Philadelphia is in the throes of sushi and ramen fever, but Japanese cooking is also part of her domestic experience. Her recent publications include “Genji Guides, or Minding Murasaki” in Manners and Mischief: Gender, Power, and Etiquette in Japan (2011), “Atom Came from Bugs: The Precocious Didacticism of Tezuka Osamu’s Essays in Insect Idleness” in Mechademia 8 (2013), and Ôoku: The Secret World of the Shogun’s Women, co-authored with Penn professor emerita and expert on Tokugawa women’s history, Cecilia Segawa-Seigle (2014). Chance is a founding member of the Reading Asian Manuscripts Faculty Working Group, and regular participant in international virtual reading and research groups working on the history of material texts in Japan.
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to see a historical list of KCJS professors.
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KCJS SUBJECT Course Faculty
is the director of the Medieval Japanese Studies Institute
Kyoto, which is affiliated with Columbia University. She recently retired as a professor at Otani University, and has taught for many years at KCJS, most recently offering the new course “Kyoto Artisans and their Worlds” with Douglas Woodruff. She is a specialist in Noh drama, and has written many books and articles regarding Japanese theater.
is an Assistant Professor of sociology at Doshisha University’s Faculty of Social Sciences. He earned his M.A. in Japanese language studies from Comenius University and M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from Kyoto University. He came to Kyoto for the first time in 2004 for a Monbusho sponsored one year undergraduate program for students of Japanese studies, and lives here since 2007. His research is focused on international migration and especially on its ‘unorthodox’ forms such as ‘white migrations’, international students or marriage related migration to and from Japan. Besides publications dealing with these issues, he has participated on projects and published both in Japanese and English on global cities in Japan or contemporary changes in family. He also participates in the Social Stratification and Mobility survey that has been conducted in Japan every 10 years since 1955. These activities reflect his more general interest in contemporary Japanese society and social changes.
is Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Global Studies at Doshisha University, where she teaches queer and feminist studies, film theory, and visual culture. Her publications include “On Queer and LGBT Film Festivals”(2015), “Gossip as Radical Knowledge” (2015), “Pan-pan, Lesbian, and Women’s Community: Girls of the Night (1961) as Women’s Cinema” (2014), and “Love and Friendship: Queer Imagination of Japan’s Early Girls’ Culture” (2011), among other articles. She is currently working on the book Girls Queer Cinema forthcoming in 2017.
is an assistant professor of public and international affairs in Department of Policy Studies at Doshisha University. She is interested in examining the role of civil society and voluntary sector in Japan. Specializing in international development and nonprofit studies, her research focuses on the design, implementation, and evaluation of communication process used by nonprofits as they seek to sustain their voluntary support in societies undergoing economic, social, and political change. Aya received her B.A. from Keio University and M.A. in Sociology from Hitotsubashi University, both located in Tokyo. She also studied at the University of Pittsburgh as a Fulbright scholar for Master of International Development and Ph.D. degree.
is an Associate Professor of International Relations at Kyoto Sangyo University. He earned his BA at Hull University, his MA at Leeds University and his PhD at Kobe University. At Kyoto Sangyo University, Dr. Strefford teaches course on International Relations, International Development and the Theory of Knowledge. He also teaches a course in International Relations at his old grad school, the Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies, Kobe University. His research focuses on Myanmar’s foreign relations, particularly aid donors’ policies and practices towards Myanmar. Dr. Strefford has published articles on Japanese ODA diplomacy towards Myanmar, American foreign policy towards Myanmar, and on aid for Myanmar’s current transition, among others. In 2013, Dr. Strefford was awarded a Japan Society for the Promotion of Sciences grant to support research into international aid to support the transition in Myanmar. He is the Principal Researcher, focusing on donor assistance to capacity building in the public sector.
teaches Japanese art history at the Center for International Education of Kansai Gaidai University and at Urasenke, a leading school of the tea ceremony in Kyoto. Her areas of specialization include Kyoto painters of the pre-modern period and Buddhist arts. She has specifically developed the Kansai art class at KCJS to underscore the central importance of the area within Japan’s long history of art production. In addition, the class provides a contextual framework for the many opportunities to observe art, both on class visits and independent trips taken by students while in the Kansai area.
is Research Fellow at the Institute for Research for Humanities, Kyoto University. Trained as a comparativist, she conducts interdisciplinary research on gender, culture and nation in Japan and Britain. Her initial research interest in the role of education in the formation of gender, classes and nations has led her to explore the processes of cultural production, reception and transformation in and through various sites. She has taught courses that integrate language and subject learning for manga majors. She is currently working on representations and consumption of whiteness and interracial relationships in Japanese visual cultures, as well as reexamining a ‘multicultural’ city.
first came to Japan in 1966 with his family and traveled throughout the country. He returned to Japan in 1972 to spend his junior year in college at Doshisha University, and after completing his B.A. degree at Oberlin, he has lived in Kyoto ever since. Douglas apprenticed as a carpenter at Hasegawa Kobo from 1976-78, established an independent workshop in northern Kyoto prefecture in 1979, and at the same time began a partnership with the architectural firm Atelier Ryo that is still ongoing. From that year as well, he has undertaken woodworking commissions from private patrons in prefectures across Japan and in France, Hawaii, and Canada to disassemble, relocate, reassemble, and renovate country farmhouses (minka). Since 2000 he has also been involved in a number of Kyo-machiya, kura, and teahouse reconstruction and renovation projects both in Japan and abroad. He has exhibited samples of his carpentry and woodworking pieces regularly in Kyoto, and his work has been featured in numerous magazines (including Bungei Shunju, Kateigaho, Jutaku Kenchiku, Bessatsu Taiyo, Tezukuri Mokko Jiten) and books (including Japan Country Living and The Japanese House, both published by Tuttle Press).
Jun’ichi Isomae is a professor of religious studies at International Research Center for Japanese Studies. He holds ph. D. degrees from University of Tokyo. He held successively the research fellows of Harvard University, University of London SOAS, University of Zurich, Tuebingen University and Ruhr University Bochum for his research and teaching. One of his research concern is “religion in politics” in terms of postcolonial hybridity to criticize the purity of Shinto or Buddhism as a national religion. Another is shamanism as the translation act of negotiating between the living and the dead. He is the author of two English books; Religious Discourse in Modern Japan: Religion, State, Shinto (Brill, 2014), Japanese Mythology: Hermeneutics on Scripture (Routledge, 2009). Also New Japanese book is Disquiet Voices from the Dead in Northeast Japan Disaster [Shisha no Zawameki: Hisaichi Shiko-ron](2015).
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Japanese Language Instructors
- Q:Why did you start teaching Japanese?
- A:At first, because I wanted to live in Australia (I was told that becoming a Japanese teacher would be a good way to do so because there was a shortage of Japanese teachers). I became less interested in living in Australia, but I pursued the career in teaching Japanese because I enjoy teaching and hope to contribute to enriching the students’ life even just a little bit.
- Q:What are the most memorable experiences in your career?
- A:One student translated lyrics of Japanese visual rock bands into English as a class project and posted it on her blog. Even after she completed the course, she maintained the blog and in the post on the first anniversary, she thanked me for giving an opportunity to translate songs in my class. I was happy that I could help her start doing something that she enjoys.
- Q:What would you be if you were not teaching Japanese?
- A:I wanted to be a mangaka (cartoon artist). I actually tried to no avail.
- Q:A word to the students?
- A:Living in another country is a great experience. If you can have that experience in Kyoto with us, that’s the best!
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- B.A. in Western philosophy from Ritsumeikan University
- M.A. in Asian Studies from the University of Illinois
- Taught at Columbia University, UCLA, the Inter-University Center for Japanese Studies in Yokohama, and in various other programs
- Joined KCJS in 2006
- Currently serves as CIP Coordinator
- Also teaches Japanese Pedagogy at Ritsumeikan University
- Publication: Shauman’s Outline of Japanese Vocabulary, McGraw-Hill (co-author).
I have been teaching Japanese for 20 years, and I still enjoy what I do. It is because I like language, teaching, and the “I-have-got-it” faces of students. Other things I like are reading and walking. Yoroshiku.
- イリノイ大学 修士号（アジア研究）
- 出版： Shauman’s Outline of Japanese Vocabulary, McGraw-Hill（共著）
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- B.A. in Asian Studies from New York University
- M.A. and Ed.M in Applied Linguistics from Teachers College Columbia University
- Taught at New York University, Trinity College, Mount Holyoke College, Harvard University
- Joined KCJS in 2007
- Currently serve as Academic Director of KCJS Summer Programs in Modern and Classical Japanese
You can study Japanese in the States. So, why study abroad? The answer is to learn from the host country and its people. Kyoto offers a lot to learn from – food culture, traditional culture, traditional arts, nature, etc. Also, you can find wide-ranging grassroots activist groups and interest groups. The city is fairly small, so it’s easy to get connected. For example, I am a part of sake-tasting group and sericulture study group. I practice yoga and shoulder drum of the Noh theatre. If you are interested, please join me!
I cannot stress enough how important it is to ask yourself what kind of activities you want to be involved in and what kind of people you want to meet before coming to Kyoto. Also, please come for two semesters if possible. One semester goes really fast. Your Japanese communication skills will improve tremendously in two semesters.
I look forward to studying with you in Kyoto!
- コロンビア大学ティーチャーズカレッジ 修士号（教育修士課程修了）
- 現在KCJS現代・古典日本語サマープログラム アカデミックディレクター
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- B.A. in English Literature from University of the Sacred Heart, Tokyo
- M.A. in Japanese Literature from The Ohio State University
- Taught at the Ohio State University, Washington University in St. Louis, (Summer Intensive Program) Cornell University, ICU
- Joined KCJS in 2013
Take a slight turn into a back alley, and you’ll find traditional Kyoto houses, temples and shrines with histories of 1,000 years or more. Enter the main streets and you’ll find a treasure trove of cutting-edge pop culture. Then, find yourself in amidst a riot of green along a hiking trail within minutes of swaying back and forth on a city bus. For studying Japanese, one could rightly say that there is no more fertile soil than that of Kyoto in which the modern and the ancient, the metropolitan and the nature have been distilled. With the multiplying effect of students brimming with motivation gathered from all over America and an army of instructors, when you complete your study abroad at the KCJS Program born of this fertile soil, you will be fluent in Japanese, and have grown one or two-fold as a person.
I eagerly await those of you who want to challenge themselves and their Japanese in Kyoto!
- オハイオ州立大学 修士号（日本文学）
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- B.A. in German Literature from Chuo University
- M.A. in Linguistics from Ohio University
- Taught at Osaka University for Foreign Studies, Konan-Illinois Center at Konan University in Kobe
- Joined KCJS in 1989
- Currently serves as Language Exchange Program Coordinator
- Publication: Workbooks of Japanese Grammar for Upper-Elementary Level I, II, III & IV, Tokyo: Bonjinsha (co-author)
Try to go outside of the classroom and have many cultural and social experiences. There is no foreign language study without having experiences in the culture and society.
- オハイオ大学 修士号（言語学）
- 出版：『項目別日本語文法問題集 初中級用1-4』凡人社（共著）
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