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KCJS faculty and staff

Resident Director

Professor Emeritus at the University of Victoria, Canada, Cody Poulton specializes in Japanese performance. Author of numerous studies on and translations of Japanese theatre, he has also translated kabuki and contemporary Japanese drama for such multivolume series as Kabuki Plays on Stage and Half a Century of Japanese Theater. He is co-editor with Mitsuya Mori and J. Thomas Rimer of The Columbia Anthology of Modern Japanese Drama (2014) and served as contributing editor to The Cambridge History of Japanese Theatre (2015). He is editor and chief translator of Citizens of Tokyo: Six Plays, by Oriza Hirata (Seagull Press, 2019) and co-editor (with Peter Eckersall, Barbara Geilhorn, and Andreas Regelsberger) of Okada Toshiki and Japanese Theatre (Performance Research Books, 2021).


Orie Maeguchi

Orie Maeguchi

  • 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
  • Also teaches Japanese Pedagogy at Ritsumeikan University
  • Publication: Shauman’s Outline of Japanese Vocabulary, McGraw-Hill (co-author).

I have been teaching Japanese for 25 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.


  • 立命館大学人文学部卒業(西洋哲学専攻)
  • イリノイ大学 修士号(アジア研究)
  • コロンビア大学、カリフォルニア大学ロサンゼルス校、アメリカ・カナダ大学連合日本研究センター(IUC)などにて日本語教育に携わる
  • 2006年より現職
  • 立命館大学で日本語教授法を教える
  • 出版: Shauman’s Outline of Japanese Vocabulary, McGraw-Hill(共著)


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Itsuko Nakamura

  • 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

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 practice yoga and the 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!


  • ニューヨーク大学卒業
  • 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)
  • ニューヨーク大学、トリニティ大学、マウントホリヨーク大学、ハーバード大学で日本語教育に携わる
  • 2007年より現職




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Kaori Nakata

  • 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.
  • Joined KCJS in 2013
  • Currently serves as CIP Coordinator

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!


  • 聖心女子大学英文学部卒業
  • オハイオ州立大学 修士号(日本文学)
  • オハイオ州立大学、ワシントン大学セントルイスで日本語教育に携わる。
  • 2013年より現職
  • 現在CIPコーディネーター


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Miyuki Nishimata (Fukai)

  • B.A. in Japanese Pedagogy from Osaka University of Foreign Studies
  • M.S. and Ph.D. in Language Education from Indiana University Bloomington
  • Taught at Columbia University and Princeton in Ishikawa
  • Joined KCJS in 2008
  • Currently serves as Japanese Language Program Coordinator
  • Member of the Journal Committee, Acquisition of Japanese as a Second Language (journal of JASLA) (2018-2021)
  • Reviewer of Acquisition of Japanese as a Second Language (journal of JASLA) (2014-2018)
  • Publications: Nihongo de shakai to tsunagaroo [Let’s get connected with the community in Japanese!]: Coco Publishing; Chapters in Shakai sanka o mezasu nihongo kyoiku [Japanese language education toward participating in society]. Tokyo: Hituzi Shobo and Asesument to nihongo kyoiku [Assessment and Japanese language education]. Tokyo: Kuroshio; Articles in Japanese Language and Literature, vol. 42 and Japanese-Language Education around the Globe vol. 19.

Open your laptop or tap on your cellphone. That may be how you go somewhere or meet people. Almost everything is at your fingertips. Yes, it’s convenient, but the world can offer more to you. Nothing substitutes experience accompanied with the five senses which is only possible by putting yourself in the real world. KCJS alumni often say, “KCJS gave me wonderful, once-in-a-lifetime experience.” I hope you will be a member of our KCJS family and have the life-changing experience!

西俣(深井) 美由紀

  • 大阪外国語大学(外国語学部日本語学科)卒業
  • インディアナ大学ブルーミントン校 修士号・博士号(言語教育)
  • コロンビア大学、プリンストンイン石川にて日本語教育に携わる
  • 2008年から現職
  • 現在KCJS日本語プログラム コーディネーター
  • 『第二言語としての日本語の習得研究』(第二言語習得研究会学会誌)ジャーナル委員(2018-2021)
  • 『第二言語としての日本語の習得研究』(第二言語習得研究会学会誌)査読委員(2014-2018)
  • 出版:『日本語で社会とつながろう!』(ココ出版)、『社会参加をめざす日本語教育』 (ひつじ書房) 『アセスメントと日本語教育』 (くろしお出版) の章、”Japanese Language and Literature”、 『世界の日本語教育』 などの学会誌での論文発表


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Adjunct Instructors

image Patrick Strefford 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 courses on International Relations, International Development and the Theory of Knowledge. His research focuses on Myanmar’s foreign relations, particularly aid donors’ policies and practices towards Myanmar. Dr. Strefford has recently published articles on Japanese diplomacy towards Myanmar, Myanmar’s transition and the international ODA regime, and on capacity development in Myanmar, among others. From 2013 to 2016, Dr. Strefford was the Principal Researcher on a Japan Society for the Promotion of Sciences grant to support research into international aid to support the transition in Myanmar, focusing on donor assistance to capacity building in the public sector.
Diego Pellecchia is an Associate Professor at Kyoto Sangyo University’s the Faculty of Cultural Studies where he teaches courses on traditional Japanese performing arts. He obtained a PhD at Royal Holloway, University of London, in the Department of Drama and Theatre Studies. His area of expertise is noh theatre, which he also practices and performs 2006. His research interests include amateur studies, reception studies, and digital humanities. He has published various articles on the reception of noh theatre in the west and on noh training.
Galia Todorova Petkova is a Professor at Eikei University of
Hiroshima.She has been teaching and conducting extensive research on Japanese traditional performing arts at universities in Europe,Canada, Indonesia and Japan for over 20 years. She earned her PhD in Japanese Studies from SOAS, University of London. She has been in receipt of grants from Japan Foundation and Japan Society for the Promotion of Sciences, and has undertaken research at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Kyoto, Japan) for four years. Her investigative interests are performing arts in Asia, focusing on Japan, and gender studies – cultural re/presentation of gender and construction of idea(l)s of femininity and masculinity in performative space. Galia’s two more recent projects focus on regional performing arts in Japan and the female versions of all-male traditional performing arts and kabuki masculine heroes in Japanese culture.
Carmen Sǎpunaru Tămaș is a Romanian anthropologist, currently in charge of the Japanese language and culture program at the University of Hyogo. After obtaining her PhD from Osaka University in 2009, she has been teaching Japanese mythology and anthropology at Osaka University, Kobe University, and Lakeland College. Her most recent publication is a volume on Japanese rituals and their ties with the local communities, “Ritual Practices and Daily Rituals. Glimpses into the World of Matsuri” (Pro Universitaria 2018). She is also the author of a textbook of Japanese mythology (Osaka University 2012) and of several academic papers in Japanese and English, on topics related to the mythology and ethnology of Japan.
Miloš Debnár is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of International Studies, Ryukoku University in Kyoto. He obtained his Ph.D. in sociology from Kyoto University in 2014 and taught at Doshisha University’s Department of Sociology before joining Ryukoku University in 2017. He also taught courses on migration and race at Ritsumeikan and Kyoto Universities. His research is focused mainly on sociology of European migration to Japan, study of whiteness in the migration context and he has also been conducting research on international student mobility and inbound tourism in Kyoto. He is the author of Migration, Whiteness, and Cosmopolitanism: Europeans in Japan (Palgrave, 2016) and his recent publications include a paper co-authored with Špela Drnovšek Zorko Comparing the racialization of Central-East European migrants in Japan and the UK (CMS, 2021, 9:30) and a chapter Privileged, Highly Skilled and Unproblematic? White Europeans in Japan as Migrants published in Expatriation and Migration: Two Faces of the Same Coin (ed. Sylvain Beck, Brill, 2022).
Benoît Jacquet is an architect and theoretician of architecture. He is an associate professor at the French School of Asian Studies (Ecole française d’Extrême-Orient, EFEO) and a lecturer at the School of Architecture of Paris-La Villette where he teaches the history of Japanese architecture, and at design studios. He recently published The Carpenter & the Architect: A History of Wood Architecture in Japan (EPFL Press, 2021), and now studies the architecture of townhouses (machiya) in Kyoto. The goal of his teaching is an immersive introduction to “what is Japanese architecture” from a contemporary point of view, by considering the synchronicity of architectural heritages, and the present-day situation of architecture in Japan and Kyoto in particular.

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Left to right: Hollstein, Toda, Shore

Fusako Shore is the KCJS Senior Associate Director, handling office management, student services, academic reporting, scheduling, planning of enrichment programs, faculty relations, alumni affairs, and cooperative arrangements with Kyoto-area universities and organizations. She is a native of Kyoto and has been at KCJS since the first class in 1989-90.

Keiko Toda is the KCJS Program Coordinator, overseeing housing, planning and managing extracurricular activities, and maintaining KCJS website and social media sites.
She joined KCJS in 2015.

Yoshiko Hollstein is the KCJS Financial Officer and oversees all financial matters. She manages the payment of bills, the movement of funds, and regular financial reporting.

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