KCJS :Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies

Our People

Almost all our staff and fulltime language instructors have been with KCJS for over ten years, testament to our experience, dedication, and commitment. We ensure that KCJS is simply the best place for undergraduates to come in Japan for a semester or two for intensive language study under attentive instructors every morning in small classes that maximize the opportunities to engage with the teachers and other students. Afternoons feature a range of fascinating elective courses with a special focus on the life, history, and culture of Kyoto, Japan’s ancient capital.

Resident Director


Cody Poulton

( 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). In his spare time, he writes about life in Kyoto and continues to translate modern Japanese fiction and drama.

Language Faculty


Orie Maeguchi

( Japanese faculty )

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.

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)



Itsuko Nakamura

( Japanese faculty )

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!



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)







Kaori Nakata

( Japanese faculty )

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 natural 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)






Miyuki Nishimata (Fukai)

( Japanese faculty )

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 a 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


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)



現在KCJS日本語プログラム コーディネーター



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


KCJS Staff


Fusako Shore

( Senior Associate Director )

Fusako Shore is the 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.


Yoshiko Hollstein

( Financial Officer )

Yoshiko Hollstein is the Financial Officer and oversees all financial matters. She manages the payment of bills, the movement of funds, and regular financial reporting. She has been with KCJS since 2006.


Keiko Toda

( Program Coordinator )

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


Atsumi McCullough

( Office Assistant )

Atsumi McCullough works as a part-time clerical staff, organizing documents and processing data.


Natsue Hashimoto

( Office Assistant )

Natsue Hashimoto is a part-time staff, undertaking tasks such as social media communication and assistance of field trips and cultural activities.

Adjunct Instructors


Benoît Jacquet

( Adjunct Instructor )

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.


Miloš Debnár

( Adjunct Instructor )

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).


Hoyu Ishida

( Adjunct Instructor )

Hoyu ISHIDA 石田法雄 is Professor Emeritus of University of Shiga Prefecture and an ordained Pure Land Shin Buddhist minister, having taught at Ryukoku University as part-time instructor for over 20 years. He received his Master of Theological Studies from Harvard University and a Master of Arts in Religious Studies from Stanford University. He has written widely on Pure Land (Shinran) and Zen Buddhist (Dōgen) philosophy. Author of Shūkyō o kangaeru—John Lennon no sekai (“Reflecting on religion: the world of John Lennon”), he has pursued the relationships between particularity and universality of religion as they interrelate and coincide with each other—particularity being an individual expression or experience of universality, as universality manifests in particularity.


Shigemi Nakagawa

( Adjunct Instructor )

Shigemi Nakagawa is Professor Emeritus of Ritsumeikan University in modern Japanese literature and has been a visiting professor at Stanford University, The University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam, and l’Université de Paris. He is author of Katarikakeru kioku: Bungaku to jendā sutadīzu (Conveying memory: literature and gender studies) and Sensō o yomu: 70 satsu no kenkyū (Reading the war: a study of seventy novels) among other works.


Diego Pellecchia

( Adjunct Instructor )

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 since 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.


Melissa Rinne

( Adjunct Instructor )

Melissa Rinne is senior specialist at the Kyoto National Museum. She came to KCJS 1 while a junior at Brown University and lived at the Nagaoka Zen Juku. Through KCJS, she grew interested in Japanese textiles, leading to further research in Japan and graduate studies in Japanese art history at Kyoto City University of Arts and Kyoto University. After experience at the Kyoto and Nara National Museums, she worked for nine years as a curator of Japanese art at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. She has written books and articles on Japanese textiles, bamboo art, and other art historical genres and has translated numerous art history publications from the Japanese. In addition to museum work and teaching, she is active in the International Council of Museums (ICOM), currently serving as chair of its International Committee for Museums and Collections of Decorative Arts and Design (ICDAD).