Center for Japanese Studies

photos of downtown Portland and Tokyo side by side to create one image.

Over the past two decades, the Center for Japanese Studies has become world renowned for its vibrant academic, business, and cultural programming. Each academic year, we bring to PSU some of the world’s foremost experts on Japan. The Center has helped launch many students into successful careers through introductions to our worldwide network of experts.  We serve as a resource for the entire region, as we fundamentally increase our community’s understanding of Japan and its complexity.  

Upcoming events

Making a Career after Japanese Studies at PSU

Making a Career after Japanese Studies at PSU  A Free Zoom Round Table…
Add to my Calendar 2021-04-28 18:00:00 2021-04-28 19:30:00 Making a Career after Japanese Studies at PSU Making a Career after Japanese Studies at PSU  A Free Zoom Round Table Presented by the PSU Center for Japanese Studies Co-sponsors: PSU Institute for Asian Studies and Department of World Languages and Literatures April 28, 2021 6 pm Pacific Time In Japan April 29th at 10am REGISTER Have you ever wondered what opportunities await those who study Japanese language and culture at PSU? While the possibilities are limitless, this presentation will feature three successful Japanese studies alumni in a round table discussion that reveals the creative paths they chose to successful careers. Topics of conversation will include their PSU experiences, tips for undergraduates on how to transition to the next phase, the steps after leaving PSU that led them to rewarding careers, and how their PSU experience continues to shape their careers and lives today. Panelists: Joshua Hunt graduated from Portland State University in 2013 with B.A.s in Japanese language and communication studies. In 2015, he earned an M.S. from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, then moved to Tokyo to work as a foreign correspondent for Reuters. He is a freelance contributor to Vanity Fair, GQ, Bloomberg Businessweek, New Yorker, and various other magazines, and his first book, University of Nike, was published in 2018. Amanda Imasaka was raised in Toledo, Oregon and obtained her B.A. in Honors History from PSU in 2009. The bulk of courses she attended concerned East Asia and she completed 3rd year Japanese whilst there. Post graduation she moved to Kobe, Japan to participate in the JET Program and continued to study Japanese. She left JET in 2012 to move to Tokyo and after starting a family in 2014 pivoted to freelance writing and translation for publications like TimeOut Tokyo and The Bridge. In 2017 her family moved to Mumbai, India where she spent three years writing, translating, and volunteering at the Happy Home and School for the Blind. COVID 19 cut her stay in India short and she is now applying for MA programs back in Tokyo. Matt Shores was born in Oregon and has two degrees from Portland State—B.A. International Studies - East Asia; Japanese Minor (2000) and M.A. Japanese Language & Literature (2007). He also has degrees from Tezukayama University (M.A. Traditional Japanese Entertainment, 2004) and the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa (Ph.D. Japanese Literature, 2014). Shores' career began at the University of Cambridge and he is now Lecturer (associate professor) of Japanese at The University of Sydney. He apprenticed with two rakugo masters in Osaka and this year Cambridge University Press will release his monograph The Comic Storytelling of Western Japan: Satire and Social Mobility in Kamigata Raku Online Melinda Glover Melinda Glover America/Los_Angeles public


Kyôgen (literally “Crazy Words”) is Japan’s enduring and ever-popular…
Add to my Calendar 2021-05-18 18:00:00 2021-05-18 20:00:00 HILARITY UNLEASHED: JAPAN'S EVER-POPULAR STAGE COMEDY – KYÔGEN Kyôgen (literally “Crazy Words”) is Japan’s enduring and ever-popular traditional stage comedy. It was also Japan’s only cultural expression of humanism and equality in the medieval era. Kyôgen plays remain popular and relevant today because they overturn social and political hierarchies, and do so by debunking and laughing at the wealthy and powerful. Kominz has studied and performed kyôgen plays on multiple occasions in Japan, and he directs student performers here at PSU. In his presentation Kominz will introduce this remarkable art form, and show video highlights of hilarious moments from great plays. This lecture sets the stage for public stage performances by PSU students later in May. May 18, 2021 6 PM in Japan - May 19th, 10 AM Professor Laurence Kominz received his Ph.D. in Japanese literature from Columbia University under the supervision of Donald Keene. Kominz’ writing and research specialty is Japanese drama, and he has taken performance lessons in noh, kyôgen, kabuki, and gidayû bushi recitation. Kominz teaches courses in Japanese language, literature, drama, and film, and he directs fully realized kabuki and kyôgen plays in English. Recent kabuki plays include The Revenge of the 47 Loyal Samurai and The Castle Tower. In 2018 and 2019 Kominz’ students performed kyôgen plays here at PSU and in St. Louis, Massachusetts, and Victoria, Canada. REGISTER Co-sponsored by PSU Department of World Languages and Literatures PSU Institute for Asian Studies Zoom Melinda Glover, Melinda Glover, America/Los_Angeles public