UCLA Japanese Studies

Within the past decade UCLA has significantly expanded its programs in Japanese studies. It now provides graduate students with a multi-faceted approach to Japan that includes language study, departmental specializations, and programmatic approaches that cut across departments.

For undergraduates the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures offers a program leading to the B.A. degree in Japanese, in which the emphasis is on the language and culture of Japan.



As a member of our small graduate cohort admitted each year, you will join a tight-knit and dynamic research community with research projects that span the globe and incorporate diverse media and methods in their work.

Departmental interest groups provide a rallying point for research that cross cuts not only the four fields of anthropology, but also many other domains in the physical and social sciences and humanities. Each interest group hosts a diverse selection of speakers from nationally and internationally acclaimed institutions each year creating a vibrant opportunity to participate in and shape the debate in issues critical to contemporary anthropology.


Mariko Tamanoi

Mariko Tamanoi, Professor in the Anthropology Department, is author of Under the Shadow of Nationalism: Politics and Poetics of Rural Japanese Women (1998) and Memory Maps: The State and Manchuria in Postwar Japan (2009) as well as editor of Crossed Histories: Manchuria in the Age of Empire, which has been translated to Japanese. Her publications also include articles in the Journal of Asian Studies, Ethnology, Annual Review of Anthropology, Comparative Studies in Society and History, Critical Asian Studies, Japan Focus, and American Ethnologist. She is currently a member of the Editorial Board for Positions: East Asian Cultures Critique, and an associate of the e-journal Japan Focus: The Asia Pacific Journal.

Architecture and Urban Design

Redefining architectural education in a major research university, we emphasize interaction among the components of our program, design, technology, and critical studies (history and theory), along with the other Departments in the School of the Arts and Architecture and the larger University.

We are especially strong in examining the theory and impact of computerized technology on design, and the latest developments in robotics, and the fabrication of building components. Critical studies at UCLA makes a crucial contribution to the evaluation of new directions in design and issues of contemporary practice, including pressing environmental concerns. We are increasing our interest in cross-cultural studies, exchange programs, and cross industry research. Our undergraduate major allows us to further expand and enrich both our faculty and student body.


Hitoshi Abe

Hitoshi Abe, Professor and Chair in the Department of Architecture and Urban Design at the School of Arts and Architecture and Chair in the Study of Contemporary Japan and the Director of the UCLA Paul I. and Hisako Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies. Since 1992, when Dr. Hitoshi Abe won first prize in the Miyagi Stadium Competition and established Atelier Hitoshi Abe, he has maintained an active international design practice based in Sendai, Japan, as well as a schedule of lecturing and publishing, which place him among the leaders in his field. Some of his most recent publications include Hitoshi Abe (Phaidon, 2009), Hitoshi Abe Flicker (Toto shuppan, 2005) and Project Book (Shokokusha, 2005). Known for architecture that is spatially complex and structurally innovative, the work of Atelier Hitoshi Abe has been published internationally and received numerous awards in Japan. His most recent works in progress include a departmental building on the New Campus of the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU).


The Department of Art is committed to a professional art training within the context of a liberal arts university. Visual artists are responsible for some of the most provocative and enduring expressions of culture.

At UCLA, emerging artists are provided with the tools they need to express themselves in ways that are meaningful in the social context in which they live and work. The department attracts gifted and motivated students who thrive in an environment that encourages autonomy. They are drawn not only to the outstanding creative faculty, the University's resources, and its location in one of the world's leading art centers, but also to a program that encourages them to develop as artists. The result is a distinguished list of graduates who have made significant contributions in their field.


Russell Ferguson

Russell Ferguson joined the Department of Art in January 2007, and was chair until 2013. From 2001, he was Deputy Director for Exhibitions and Programs, and Chief Curator, at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, where he remains an adjunct curator. From 1991 to 2001, he was at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, first as Editor, then as Associate Curator. He has organized many exhibitions. At the Hammer, these included The Undiscovered Country (2004), a survey of various approaches to representation in painting, as well as solo exhibitions by Larry Johnson (2009), Francis Alÿs (2007), Wolfgang Tillmans (2006), Patty Chang (2005), and Christian Marclay (2003). At the Museum of Contemporary Art, he organized In Memory of My Feelings: Frank O’Hara and American Art(1999), an exploration of the circle of artists that revolved around the poet, as well as survey exhibitions of the work of Liz Larner and Douglas Gordon (both 2001). With Kerry Brougher, he organized Open City: Street Photographs Since 1950 (2001) for The Museum of Modern Art, Oxford. Also with Brougher, he is the organizer of Damage Control: Art and Destruction since 1950 (2013) for the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington. He is the editor of two collections of critical writing: Discourses: Conversations in Postmodern Art and Culture, and Out There: Marginalization and Contemporary Cultures, both published by the MIT Press. He has written about the work of many contemporary artists, including Thomas Eggerer, Olafur Eliasson, Tony Feher, Rodney Graham, Cristina Iglesias, Damian Ortega, Laura Owens, and Gillian Wearing.

Asian Languages and Cultures

The Department of Asian Languages and Cultures (ALC) at UCLA offers an undergraduate major and minor in Japanese and three different PhD programs in Japanese studies: the PhD program in Japanese Literary and Cultural Studies, with specializations in classical and medieval literary culture, early modern literary and visual culture, and modern and contemporary literature and film; the PhD in Cultural and Comparative Studies with an interdisciplinary and comparative focus on Japan; and the PhD in Buddhist Studies with a focus on Japanese Buddhism.

For more information please visit the ALC department website at http://www.anthro.ucla.edu/graduate

William M. Bodiford

William M. Bodiford teaches courses on religion in the cultures of Japan and East Asia, and Buddhist Studies. His research spans the medieval, early modern, and contemporary periods of Japanese history. Currently he is investigating religion during the Tokugawa period, especially those aspects of Japanese culture associated with manuscripts, printing, secrecy, education, and proselytizing. Although many of his publications focus on Zen Buddhism (especially Soto Zen), he also researches Tendai and Vinaya Buddhist traditions, Shinto, folklore and popular religions, as well as Japanese martial arts and traditional approaches to health and physical culture. He is the author of Soto Zen in Medieval Japan (University of Hawai’i Press, 1993), of numerous articles on Dōgen and medieval Buddhism, and editor of several books on Buddhism including Going Forth: Visions of Buddhist Vinaya (University of Hawai’i Press, 2005).

Torquil Duthie

Torquil Duthie’s main area of specialization is the literature and cultural history of the Asuka and Nara periods. His research interests include early and classical Japanese poetry, myth, and historical writing, narrative theory and the representation of subjectivity in premodern Japanese literature, the role of literary culture in the representation of the state, and seventeenth and eighteenth century kokugaku (“native learning”) and its relationship to modern and contemporary philology and theory. He teaches classical Japanese and kanbun, and undergraduate classes and graduate seminars on a variety of premodern topics. He is the author of Man’yōshū and the Imperial Imagination in Early Japan (Brill, 2014), of a book of translated selections from the Kokinshū into Spanish, and of research articles in English and Japanese. He is currently working on a book on literary writing, ritual, and historiography in Early Japan, and on a translation into English of selections from the Kokinshū.

Michael Emmerich

Michael Emmerich’s scholarly interests in Japanese literature range from the classical, court-centered prose and poetry of the Heian period to the popular printed fiction of the early modern age, and on from there to the prose fiction of modern and contemporary times. His book The Tale of Genji: Translation, Canonization, and World Literature (Columbia University Press, 2013) examines the role that translations of Genji monogatari (The Tale of Genji) into early-modern and modern Japanese, and into English and other languages, have played in creating images of the tale over the past two centuries—reinventing it as a classic of both national and world literature. In addition to his many publications in English and Japanese on early modern, modern, and contemporary Japanese literature, Emmerich is the author of more than a dozen book-length translations of works by writers such as Kawabata Yasunari, Yoshimoto Banana, Takahashi Gen’ichiro, Akasaka Mari, Yamada Taichi, Matsuura Rieko, Kawakami Hiromi, Furukawa Hideo, and Inoue Yasushi.

Seiji M. Lippit

Seiji M. Lippit teaches courses on modern literature and film. His research interests include modernism, mass culture, urban space, minority literature, as well as representations of decolonization, occupation, and the transformation of national consciousness in postwar Japan. His publications include Topographies of Japanese Modernism (Columbia UP, 2002), an examination of modernist fiction in 1920s and 30s Japan, as well as the edited volume The Essential Akutagawa (Marsilio, 1999), an anthology of writings by the celebrated writer Akutagawa Ryūnosuke. He also edited the translation of contemporary philosopher and cultural critic Kojin Karatani's History and Repetition (Columbia UP, 2011). He is currently working on a book project entitled Postwar Tokyo: Capital of a Ruined Empire that examines the cultures of decolonization in Tokyo in the wake of empire’s collapse. Lippit received his A.B. in Literature from Harvard University and his PhD in Japanese literature from Columbia University.

Gender Studies

Gender Studies is an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary department that provides the unique opportunity to study culture and society from multiple intersecting perspectives that would not be possible within any single discipline.

Our interdisciplinary UCLA Gender Studies Department faculty and graduate students are engaged in theoretical and methodological innovations in a wide range of studies about gender around the world including indigenous, intersectional, legal, masculinity, media, post-colonial, queer, settler colonial, sexuality, and technoscience studies. We focus on these issues in Africa, Americas, Europe, and the Pacific region, as well as east, south, and west Asia. Our disciplinary affiliations include anthropology, ethnic studies, history, literature, and political science. As of July 2014 we have 11 core and 51 affiliated faculty members, plus 24 graduate students.


Other resources include the UCLA Center for the Study of Women and the UCLA Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies Program plus 17 departments, centers, and programs at other UC campuses.

Sharon Traweek

Sharon Traweek teaches and conducts research on 20th and 21st century “technosciences,” attending to their embodied gendered performance of subject formation of expertise, knowledge crafting, migration, and narrative practices, including their strategic engagements with the global political economies in which they are embedded. She is active is studies of the aftermath of the 3.11 quake, tsunami, and reactor failures. Her ethnographic, archival, and theoretical work is informed by feminist epistemology and science studies, plus debates about affect, governmentalitym intersectionality, performance, and practice. She is now engaged in or advising research collaborations based in Denmark, Japan, Sweden, UK, and the US. She has worked with graduate students engaged in studies of how media, public health, reproduction, science, sex work, and technology are part of Japanese nation-state formation from the 17th to 20th centuries. Former students and postdoctoral researchers with whom she has worked are now faculty members, researchers, and administrators at colleges and universities in Brazil, Ireland, Japan, Qatar, South Africa, Sweden, and the US.


The UCLA History Department is acknowledged as one of the great centers for the study of history in the world.

The Japan field constitutes a vital and respected part of the department, with a long history of distinguished scholarly activity, and dozens of graduates teaching at prestigious institutions throughout the country. Its current faculty (Hirano and Marotti) offer complementary approaches and cutting-edge research and instruction across the early modern and modern periods. Our highly selective graduate students form a collegial and energetic cohort, with a diversity of research interests and backgrounds, and receive flexible and comprehensive training facilitating innovative new work. Beyond the resources within the department, students avail themselves of research, instructional, and collaborative activities across the university and the region through a variety of interdisciplinary, regional and intercollegial institutes and exchanges.


Katsuya Hirano

Katsuya Hirano’s teaching and research explore the intersection between history and critical theory with a focus on questions of ideology, political economy, and subject/subjectivity. His first book, The Politics of Dialogic Imagination: Power and Popular Culture in Early Modern Japan, (Chicago: U of Chicago Press, 2013) outlines a general theory of the transformation in modes of subject-formation from the Tokugawa regime (1603-1868) to Japan’s first modern state, the early Meiji government, through an analysis centered on the regulation of popular culture. His current book project examines, through the prism of biopolitics, the correlative operations of capitalism and racism in the making of the Japanese empire. Taking the colonization of the Ainu people as the locus of analysis, the project explores the relation between the state’s drive for primitive accumulation (deterritorialization and reterritorialization of Ainu lands) and the construction and implementation of racial categories through academic (linguistic, economic, and anthropological) and legal discourse. The project ultimately seeks to deepen our understanding of the history of Ainu experiences through the perspectives of global histories of empire, capitalism, and colonialism. Hirano is also co-editing a translation volume with Professor Gavin Walker, entitled The Archive of Revolution: Marxist Historiography in Modern Japan. This volume will be the first major introduction of the rich yet long neglected Japanese Marxist historiography that played the decisive role in the formation of critical social science in modern Japan from the late 1920s to the 1970s. Lastly, Hirano has been conducting a series of interviews with the people who have been vocal about the seriousness of Fukushima nuclear disaster and calling for the abolition of nuclear power plants in Japan. He plans to publish them in English translation in the near future.

William Marotti

William Marotti, Assistant Professor in the Department of History. His publications include several journal articles, book chapters, reviews, commentaries and translations. He is currently working on two projects: Money, Trains, and Guillotines: Art and Revolution in 1960s Japan, which is a manuscript based on his dissertation due to be published by Duke University Press in Spring 2012. It is a historical investigation of the politics of culture in postwar Japan, viewed through an analysis centered on movements in avant-garde artistic production and performance; and “The Politics of Violence: Protest, Voice, and the Police in late-1960s Japan”, which is a second, complementary book project exploring the distinctive forms of activism which arose toward the end of the 1960s, and their complex struggles with the state over political recognition and legitimacy.


Established in 1911, the Department of Geography consistently ranks among the top departments in the United States.

Recognized internationally as a leader in research and education in both physical and human geo­graphy, the Department offers under­graduate degrees (B.A.) in Geography and Environ­mental Studies, and graduate degrees (M.A., Ph.D.) in Geography.


Lieba Faier

Lieba Faier is Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her first book, Intimate Encounters: Filipina Women and the Remaking of Rural Japan (University of California Press, 2009) is an ethnography of cultural encounters among Filipina migrants and their Japanese families and communities in rural Nagano. She is working on a second book, currently entitled, The Work of Freedom: Bureaucratic Collaborations to Fight Human Trafficking to Japan, that focuses on ongoing efforts among NGOs, government agencies, and international organizations to fight the trafficking of migrant women to Japan. She is also part of The Matsutake Worlds Research Group, a collaborative research team studying matsutake commodity chains across the globe. She has published articles in the Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, American Ethnologist, Cultural Anthropology, Environment and Planning A, and Gender, Place, and Culture.


Founded in the depth of the Great Depression, UCLA Anderson School of Management now ranks among the top-tier business schools in the world.

An award-winning faculty renowned for research and teaching, highly selective admissions, successful alumni and world-class facilities combine to provide an extraordinary learning environment in the heart of Southern California. UCLA Anderson's faculty comprises outstanding educators and researchers who share their scholarship and expertise in areas such as accounting, decisions, operations and technology management, finance, global economics and management and organizations, marketing, and strategy. Leadership themes permeate the curriculum at UCLA Anderson. MBA students have many opportunities to develop leadership skills in safe surroundings. This includes working in teams on real world management challenges through the Applied Management Research and the Global Access Programs. There are also a multitude of leadership experiences available through the school's many student associations and activities.


George Abe

George Abe is a lecturer and Faculty Director of the Strategic Management Research (SMR) Program at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. His teaching responsibilities include entrepreneurship, business plan development and field study program advisories. SMR is the field study program, required of all Executive MBA students. He was Business Development Manager for the UCLA Office of Intellectual Property, which is responsible for patent protection and commercialization of UCLA research. Previously, he was a venture partner with Palomar Ventures, a VC firm in Santa Monica, California. Before Palomar, he was a Business Development Manager at Cisco Systems. Prior to that he was with Infonet Services Corporation (NYSE:IN, now BT) where he designed Infonet's IP data service. From 1998 until 2006, he was a member of the board of directors of Switchcore AB, a publicly traded fabless semiconductor designer in Sweden. He has also held board of director positions with various startup companies and not-for-profit organizations. He is the author of Residential Broadband, which presents an analysis of high-speed residential networking, published by Cisco Press.

Mariko Sakakibara

Mariko Sakakibara, Professor of Management at the Anderson School of Management specializing in Strategy. Her book, Can Japan Compete?, 224 pp., (Perseus Publishing, 2001) was selected as one of the “Books of the Year” by The Economist (2000), featured on the front page of The New York Times (Feb. 2001), and was a finalist at the WH Smith Book Awards in the business category (April 2001). It was also translated into Chinese, Japanese and Korean. She focuses her research on alliances, innovation, entrepreneurship, and multinational corporate strategy. She teaches business strategy, international business and innovation, and initiated a study-trip progam to Japan for the student in all management programs, She is also currently on the Faculty Advisory Committee for the International Institute and the Paul I. and Hisako Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies at UCLA, and Area Editor for Journal of International Business Studies and on the Editorial Board of Research Policy

Political Science


Michael Thies

Michael Thies, Associate Professor in the Political Science Department. His most recent book publication is Japan Transformed: Political Change and Economic Restructuring. (Princeton University Press, 2010). He is currently the Chair of the International Institute Undergraduate Area Studies Interdepartmental Programs (East Asian Studies, European Studies, Latin American Studies, Middle East &North African Studies, Southeast Asian Studies) at UCLA and is Chair of the Gabriel Almond Prize Committee for the Best Dissertation in Comparative Politics at the American Political Science Association.