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KCJS faculty and staff



imageMark Lincicome

earned his MA and Ph.D. degrees from the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. Before joining KCJS as director of the Kyoto office in 2015, he was a tenured member of the Department of History and the Asian Studies Program at the College of the Holy Cross, in Worcester, Massachusetts for 25 years. His earlier work experience also includes service as Associate Director of the Asian Studies Program at the University of Pittsburgh, and as Executive Director of the Japan America Society of Chicago.

Professor Liincicome is the author of two books on the history of educational thought, politics and policy in modern Japan, as well as journal articles and book chapters on topics ranging from education, to identity formation, to globalization. His current research project is a comparative study of the development of Japanese and Australian conceptions of “Asia” and their relationship to “Asia” between the mid-nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries.

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KCJS Professors


KCJS Professor 2016 – 2017

Fall 2016

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.


Spring 2017

image 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

Fall 2015

imageSarah Frederick 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.

Spring 2016

imageLinda 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.

Please click here to see a historical list of KCJS professors.

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KCJS SUBJECT Course Faculty


imageMonica Bethe 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.
imageMiloš Debnár 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.
image Yuka Kanno 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.
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 course 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.
imageKarin Swanson 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.
imageNoriko Watanabe 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.
imageDouglas Woodruff 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).
imageJun’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).
 Timothy Tsu was educated in Hong Kong, Japan, and the U.S. He has taught and conducted research in Taiwan, Singapore, Australia, and Hong Kong before moving to Japan. His research interests include the Chinese in Japan, Chinese & Japanese war movies, the Japanese environment, and the food scene of contemporary Japan. He enjoys people watching in Namba, beachcombing in southern Wakayama, and rambling on Mt Rokko.
timothy-craigTim Craig is heading a new focus area called Culture and Creativity at Doshisha University Graduate School of Business. This covers cultural and creative industries – including manga and anime, music, video games, film and TV, visual arts, fashion, and cultural tourism – and the act and management of creativity itself. We will also look specifically at the business of Japanese pop culture, which is important not only economically but also as a source of “soft power” for Japan.
Please feel free to stop by my office to talk any time. And I invite you to take one or more of my courses. You will learn a lot about business and also have fun!

kibaSaya Kiba is Assistant Professor at Faculty of Policy Studies, Doshisha University, Kyoto. She studied in Kobe University (Ph.D. in Political Science 2010) and the Third World Studies Center, University of the Philippines. Her major fields of interest are Southeast Asian studies, civil-military relations, international cooperation policies, disaster relief cooperation in Asia-Pacific, and defense diplomacy. She has worked in the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines, the House of Representatives of Japan, Embassy of Japan in Thailand, and a Japan-based international NGO for conflict prevention. Her recent works includes “Regional Cooperation on Civil-Military Coordination in Disaster Response: Crisis or Opportunity?” (Jennifer Santiago Oreta ed., Security Sector Reform: Modern Defense Force Philippine, Ateneo de Manila University Department of Political Science. 2014) and “Civil-Military Cooperation in Japan’s Peace Support Operations: JSDF in search of NGO partners in South Sudan”, Japanese Studies Journal Vol. 31, No.2, Institute of Asian Studies, Thammasat University, 2014. She also contributes columns and reviews to newspapers, journals and magazines on current events in Asia-Pacific region.

unnamedCatherine Ludvik obtained a Ph.D. at the University of Toronto in the Centre for the Study of Religion and teaches Japanese religion, visual arts, culture and history at Doshisha University and Kyoto Sangyo University. Spanning Indian and Japanese religions and their visual arts, her research interests focus on the metamorphoses of originally Indian deities in texts, images and rituals of Japan, as well as on ascetic practices and pilgrimage. She is the author of Hanumān in the Rāmāyaṇa of Vālmīki and the Rāmacaritamānasa of Tulasī Dāsa (1994), Recontextualizing the Praises of a Goddess (2006) and Sarasvatī, Riverine Goddess of Knowledge (2007), and is currently working on the goddess Uga-Benzaiten and the Shikoku Henro pilgrimage.
Nanyan Guo is an expert of Japanese Studies, and cultural exchange between East and West since the 16th century. She taught at the University of Otago (New Zealand) for fifteen years, and conducted research at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Kyoto, Japan) for nine years. Her recent publications include two monographs, Refining Nature in Modern Japanese Literature: The Life and Art of Shiga Naoya, (Lexington Books, 2014), Interpreting “World Literature” through Shiga Naoya (Sakuhinsha, 2016, in Japanese), and three edited volumes, Japan’s Wartime Medical Atrocities: Comparative Inquiries in Science, History and Ethics (Routledge, 2010), Bilingual Japanese Literature (Sangensha, 2013, in Japanese), and Japanese Literature by Missionaries: the Origin of Multi-Lingual, Multi-Cultural Communication (Akashi shoten, 2017, in Japanese).
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.
Kyoko Utsumi Mimura teaches Japanese art history and aesthetics at Waseda University. She was long-time International Programs Director of the Japan Folk Crafts Museum, and specializes in Japanese traditional popular crafts and arts (mingei). Mimura is also Producer and Director of Friendship Bridge: Classical Music and Arts Society, a non-profit organization that produces productions with Japanese traditional performing arts, opera and classical music, and also organizes lectures and exhibitions on Japanese craft and traditions. Her latest publication is the English translation of The Philosophy of Design: Essays by Sori Yanagi (Yanagi Design Office, 2015).


Japanese Language Instructors



Miyuki Nishimata(Fukai)

西俣(深井) 美由紀

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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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
  • 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.


  • 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
  • 現在CIPコーディネーター
  • 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
  • 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!


  • 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
  • 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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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, (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!


  • 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、コーネル大学、ICU(夏季集中講座)で日本語教育に携わる。
  • 2013年より現職


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Chihiro Yamaoka

  • 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.


  • 中央大学文学部卒業(ドイツ文学)
  • オハイオ大学 修士号(言語学)
  • 大阪外国語大学、甲南大学甲南・イリノイセンターで日本語教育に携わる
  • 1989年より現職
  • 現在ランゲージエクスチェンジプログラムコーディネーター
  • 出版:『項目別日本語文法問題集 初中級用1-4』凡人社(共著)

教室で勉強するだけでなく教室の外に行って、いろいろな事を経験して下さい。 文化的、社会的な経験のない外国語学習はありません。

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Left to right: Shore, Nakanishi, Hollstein, Wada

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.

Michiko Nakanishi is the KCJS librarian. She is in charge of the development and maintenance of the collection of books and journals about Japan. She orders textbooks and prepares reading packets and assists students with reference questions about resources for their research projects. She joined KCJS in summer 2008.

Fusako Shore is the KCJS assistant 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. Shore-san is a native of Kyoto and has been at KCJS since the first class in 1989-90.

Tazuko Wada is the KCJS housing coordinator, overseeing all aspects of the housing programs, including homestays and apartments for students and visiting faculty. She also serves as administrative assistant, overseeing facilities, equipment, and inventory. Wada-san has been with the KCJS since 1993.

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KCJS Summer Programs


Office of Global Programs

606 Kent Hall
Columbia University
1140 Amsterdam, Mail Code 3948
New York, NY 10027 USA
Tel: 212-854-2559
Fax: 212-854-5164
Email: ogp@columbia.edu

Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies 京都アメリカ大学コンソーシアム

Doshisha University, 2F Fusokan
Karasuma Higashi-iru, Imadegawa-dori
Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto 602-8580 JAPAN

同志社大学 扶桑館2F

Tel: 075-251-4995
Tel: (+81-75-251-4995)
Fax: 075-229-6300
Fax: (+81-75-229-6300)
Email: fs2244@columbia.edu