Everything Japan Past & Present does is made possible by a dedicated group of administrators, support staff, and advisory board members. 

Admin

Michael Emmerich

Director

Michael Emmerich

Michael Emmerich is Tadashi Yanai Professor of Japanese Literature at UCLA, and has a joint appointment as Professor of Japanese Literature at Waseda University. A scholar whose work has dealt with premodern, early modern, modern, and contemporary Japanese literature, he is also the author of numerous book-length translations, the editor of two books for students of the Japanese language, and the director of the Yanai Initiative for Globalizing Japanese Humanities.

Paula R. Curtis

Operations Leader

Paula R. Curtis

Paula R. Curtis is a historian of medieval Japan. She is the Yanai Initiative Postdoctoral Fellow and a Lecturer with the Department of Asian Languages & Cultures at UCLA. Her current book project focuses on metal caster organizations from the twelfth to sixteenth centuries and their relationships with elite institutions. Dr. Curtis also engages in a variety of online projects that compile digital resources and data related to East Asian Studies (available open-access here).

Nadia Kanagawa

Project Manager

Nadia Kanagawa

Premodern Japan Collaborative

Nadia Kanagawa is a historian of premodern Japan. She is currently James B. Duke Assistant Professor of Asian Studies and History at Furman University in Greenville, SC. In her research she examines how classical Japanese rulers approached the incorporation, assimilation and configuration of immigrants and their descendants. She is particularly interested in comparative legal histories of East Asia, and in exploring how digital methods and tools can enrich our analyses of premodern sources.

Angelika Koch

Project Manager

Angelika Koch

Early Modern Japan Collaborative

Angelika Koch is Lecturer in Premodern Japanese History at Leiden University (Netherlands), specializing in the cultural history of early modern Japan. She obtained her PhD from the University of Cambridge and is presently completing her first book project, which explores sexuality as a health and disease concept in the Edo period (1600-1868). Her most recent publications include a chapter on "Sex in Eighteenth-Century Edo" for the Cambridge World History of Sexualities (2024).

Hannah Gould

Project Manager

Hannah Gould

Modern & Contemporary Japan Collaborative

Hannah Gould is a cultural anthropologist working in the areas of death, religion, and material culture. Her research is focused on processes of disposal and divestment, in regard to both the human dead and material artefacts. Her book When Death Falls Apart: The Making and Unmaking of Necromaterials in Contemporary Japan was published in 2023. Dr Gould currently holds the Melbourne Postdoctoral Fellowship for the project "Mobile Mortality: Transnational Futures of Deathcare in the Asia Pacific."

Support Staff

Elizabeth Leicester

Associate Director

Elizabeth Leicester

Yanai Initiative for Globalizing Japanese Humanities (UCLA)

Elizabeth Leicester joined the Yanai Initiative in 2022 as Associate Director. She brings over fifteen years of experience in managing the growth and expansion of academic programs, public outreach, and international partnerships, having previously served as Executive Director of the UCLA Asia Pacific Center. Elizabeth has a BA from Columbia University and an MA from Stanford in East Asian Studies, as well as a C. Phil. in Japanese History from UCLA. She has done research and translations on women and gender in early modern Japan and taught courses on East Asian history and culture.

Sanae Yamazaki

Project Manager

Sanae Yamazaki

Yanai Initiative for Globalizing Japanese Humanities (Waseda University)

Yamazaki Sanae is a Japan-based project manager for the Yanai Initiative for Globalizing Japanese Humanities. Before joining the Yanai Initiative, she worked in systems engineering, marketing, and consulting. In her free time, she enjoys taking walks, doing yoga, and volunteering at sporting events.

Yumi Jōkō

Project Manager

Yumi Jōkō

Yanai Initiative for Globalizing Japanese Humanities (Waseda University)

Jōkō Yumi has been serving as a Japan-based project manager for the Yanai Initiative for Globalizing Japanese Humanities since 2015. In that time, she has helped facilitate many numbers of cultural events and programs, both academic and cultural. She feels that the lessons she has learned, the connections she has made, and the knowledge she has gained through this work have been some of the most meaningful of her career.

Kit Brooks

Image Consultant

Kit Brooks

Kit Brooks is Curator of Asian Art at Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, NJ. Brooks holds a PhD in Japanese art history from Harvard University (2017) and specializes in prints and paintings of the Edo and Meiji periods. They have held positions at the National Museum of Asian Art in Washington, DC, the British Museum, Harvard Art Museums, and the Children’s Museum in Boston. Their recent exhibition, Ay-Ō’s Happy Rainbow Hell (2023), was the first US exhibition dedicated to the psychedelic Japanese visual artist Ay-Ō (b. 1931).

Bianca Chui

Content Curator

Bianca Chui

Bianca Chui is currently a MA student at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Her research is on print culture and travel in Edo Japan, specifically through sugoroku (a type of board game). 

Shiori C. Okazaki

Language Consultant

Shiori C. Okazaki

Shiori Okazaki is the President of Shiori Communications, LLC (a company that provides interpretation, translation, communications, and writing services in English and Japanese). She grew up in Honolulu and Tokyo, and is now based in Washington, DC. Previously, she served in the communications teams of the U.S.-Japan Council, the Embassy of Japan in the UK, and the Embassy of Japan in the U.S.A. She holds a Master of International Affairs and an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University.

Advisory Board

Hiroshi Araki

Board Member

Hiroshi Araki

Professor, Nichibunken, SOKENDAI

Hiroshi Araki is a scholar of Japanese literature with a specialization in classical literature and its international development. He is currently a professor at the Research Department of the International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Nichibunken) and The Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI). His recent publications include 『京都古典文学めぐり』(2023), 『古典の中の地球儀』 (2022), 『「今昔物語集」の成立と対外観』 (2021), and 『古典の未来学』 (editor; 2020). He has been a visiting scholar at Columbia University, Nehru University, National Taiwan University, University of Zurich, Vietnam National University, Chulalongkorn University, and Sofia University.

Amaury A. García Rodríguez

Board Member

Amaury A. García Rodríguez

Professor, El Colegio de México

Amaury A. García Rodríguez received his PhD in Japanese Studies from El Colegio de Mexico. His research topics center on the historiography of Japanese Art, its material and visual culture, as well as popular culture and prints production during the early modern period. He also researches trade and collecting of Asian Art in Latin America. He served as Director of the Center for Asian and African Studies, El Colegio de México (2016-2022) and is currently Coordinator of their Terry Welch Endowment for the Study of Japanese Art.

Phan Hai Linh

Board Member

Phan Hai Linh

Associate Professor, Vietnam National University (Hanoi)

Phan Hai Linh is Associate Professor of the Department of Japanese Studies (USSH), Vietnam National University Hanoi. Her research field is Japanese history and the history of Vietnam-Japan exchange. In recent years she has authored and co-authored work on these and other topics in Journal on East Asia Cultural Exchange (2014), Journal of Women’s History (2016), Japanese Studies in the World: In Search of Critical Recommendations (2020), and Revisiting Japan's Restoration - New Approaches to the Study of the Meiji Transformation (2022).

Claire Maree

Board Member

Claire Maree

Professor, University of Melbourne

Claire Maree (PhD) is a Professor in Japanese at the Asia Institute, University of Melbourne. Claire’s work mobilizes linguistic and cultural studies methodologies and has been foundational to establishment of language, gender and sexuality studies in relation to Japanese.

Kiyonori Nagasaki

Board Member

Kiyonori Nagasaki

Senior Fellow, International Institute for Digital Humanities

Kiyonori Nagasaki, Ph.D., is a Senior Fellow at the International Institute for Digital Humanities in Tokyo. His main research interest is in the development of digital frameworks for collaboration in Buddhist Studies. He is engaging in investigation into the significance of digital methodology in the Humanities. He is currently participating in many research projects, postgraduate education, and international digital standards so that East Asian DH will be viable globally.

Gaye Rowley

Board Member

Gaye Rowley

Director, Waseda University Library

Gaye Rowley teaches English and Japanese literature at Waseda University. She is the author or translator of several biographies of Japanese women, including Yosano Akiko and The Tale of Genji (Michigan 2000, rev. ed. 2022); Autobiography of a Geisha (Columbia, 2003), An Imperial Concubine’s Tale: Scandal, Shipwreck, and Salvation in Seventeenth-Century Japan (Columbia, 2013), and In the Shelter of the Pine: A Memoir of Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu and Tokugawa Japan (Columbia, 2021).

Kanako Uzawa

Board Member

Kanako Uzawa

Assistant Professor, Hokkaido University

Kanako Uzawa is an Ainu scholar, artist, and rights advocate who engages international scholarly and public forums on Indigenous identity-making. Founder of AinuToday, a global online platform that showcases living Ainu culture and people, she is also an Assistant Professor for the Global Station for Indigenous Studies and Cultural Diversity at Hokkaido University. She holds degrees in Indigenous Studies (MA) and Community Planning and Cultural Understanding (PhD) from UiT Arctic University of Norway. She contributes to collaborative research and Ainu performing art on the multifaceted articulations of Indigenous knowledge through museums and theaters. Photo credit Susan Dine.

Carolyn Wargula

Board Member

Carolyn Wargula

Assistant Professor, Bucknell University

Carolyn Wargula is Assistant Professor of Art History at Bucknell University. She is a specialist of Japanese Buddhist art with a focus on the materiality of textiles, the social significances of the body, and the role of gendered ritual practices. She has completed research at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies as a Japan Foundation Dissertation Fellow and most recently at Yale University as a Postdoctoral Associate. She received her PhD from the University of Pittsburgh.

Hideki Hara

Board Observer

Hideki Hara

Managing Director, Department of Japanese Studies, Japan Foundation, Tokyo

Mr. Hideki Hara is currently Managing Director of Department of Japanese Studies at The Japan Foundation, Tokyo.  Since joining the Foundation in 1991, he has held a number of positions at its offices in Tokyo and Osaka, as well as serving as Deputy Director of the Foundation’s Center for Global Partnership in New York and as Director of its Los Angeles office. From 2006 to 2009 he was seconded to the National Graduate Research Institute for Policy Studies as Director of Research Development and International Affairs and facilitated numerous international research projects. He holds an MA in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Waterloo, in Ontario, Canada.