UW Japan Studies Newsletters

Autumn 2012 Newsletter

From the Chair

Ambassador of Japan to United States, Ichiro Fujisaki, addresses an audience in the Walker Ames Room on Oct. 5

Japan’s Ambassador to the United States, Ichiro Fujisaki, launched the new academic year with a lecture on the UW campus. Other speakers presented by the Japan Studies Program early in autumn quarter included Glen Fukushima, a former officer of the U.S. Trade Representative and corporate executive who reflected on changes in Japan from 1990 to 2012, and Janice Bardsley from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who spoke about beauty queens and fashion models in postwar Japan. The Jackson School, Foster School of Business, and Japan-America Society hosted a roundtable on social media and how major corporations, such as Microsoft and Starbucks, utilize this technology to reach Japanese customers. The program also hosted talks by Consul General Kiyokazu Ota on the March 11 triple disasters and the debris issue; by Keith Vincent of Boston University about xxx; and by R. Keller Kimbrough of the University of Colorado Boulder on medieval tales. Looking ahead to 2013, Michiyo Morioka will present the Griffith and Patricia Way Annual Lecture and speak about Japanese modern art, and novelist Murakami Haruki will be on the UW campus in May. Many of Murakami’s books, including the recent IQ84,have been translated by former UW Professor Jay Rubin.

Recent events in Japan stimulate discussion and research on campus. The unresolved territorial disputes between Japan and its neighbors fueled a dialogue between speakers Matake Kamiya, of the National Defense Academy of Japan, and Yoichiro Sato, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University. The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) admitted that radiation problems after the Great Tohoku Earthquake of March 2011 were avoidable, generating further debate over Japan’s future energy supply, ties between the government and nuclear power companies, and decision making and democracy in Japan. In the upcoming Lower House elections, Shinzo Abe is likely to be prime minister once again and to lead in coalition with other parties. Upper House elections are scheduled for summer 2013.

The Japan Studies Program at UW remains one of the oldest and strongest in the country and is dedicated to cutting-edge research, teaching, and outreach on all aspects of Japan.

Marie Anchordoguy, chair


Research for Professor Don Hellmann’s 1965 dissertation brought an NHK documentary film crew to his office more than 40 years later. His dusty files yielded intriguing insights and reminders about early negotiations over disputed islands in the Soviet-Japanese Peace Agreement of 1956. During the decades of little progress in this territorial dispute in East Asia, Don Hellmann’s career has focused on greater understanding among the parties to those disputes: Japan, Korea, China, Russia. In the summer of 2012, Hellmann announced his retirement from full-time teaching at the University of Washington. He will continue as a faculty member for a few more years but looks forward to devoting more time to the creation of new international institutions.

Hellmann came to UW in 1967, a year when the university was one of only ten universities that possessed complete graduate programs in Japan Studies. In 1971, the Board of Regents designated the Institute of Foreign and Comparative Area Studies to house “all of the major area studies programs on campus,” including those of East Asia, and Hellmann was named acting director. He served tirelessly in many administrative capacities in order to expand UW’s prestige and resources for the study of Japan and other countries of East Asia. In his Faculty Annual Report for 1971–72, he lamented that he was unable to teach a new course or attempt “innovative techniques in teaching” that year because of “an overload of administrative duties.” The drive to take on administrative duties in order to build institutions while also expanding learning opportunities for students has been a hallmark of his career.

Hellmann’s first book, based on his dissertation, looked back: Japanese Foreign Policy and Domestic Politics: The Peace Agreement with the Soviet Union (University of California Press, 1969). His next book, Japan and East Asia: The New International Order (Praeger, 1972), described Japan’s foreign policy decision process “almost uniquely designed to inhibit positive, innovative policy and a behavioral pattern in the area seemingly purposely designed to ruffle feathers.”

Asking questions and ruffling feathers might be described as Hellmann’s modus operandi in his capacities as adviser to government agencies, testifier before congressional committees, and participant in innumerable workshops and conferences hosted by private public-policy institutions. The conference volumes he has edited, including two that grew out of his role as adviser to the Commission on Critical National Choices headed by Henry Kissinger and Nelson Rockefeller, bring together disparate viewpoints on a wide range of subjects. These works include From APEC to Xanadu: Creating a Viable Community in the Post-Cold War Pacific, coedited with Kenneth B. Pyle (M. E. Sharpe, 1997), and Sharing World Leadership? A New Era for America and Japan, coedited with John H. Makin (American Enterprise Institute, 1989).

Throughout this engagement with a broad national and international community, Hellmann has also been committed to institution building, collaboration, and teaching. He was director of the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum) Study Center at the University of Washington. He is was director of the UW’s Institute for International Policy. In 1983, he helped create the Task Force course for International Studies majors in the Jackson School; this program capstone allows students to address real-world foreign policy issues, collaborate in drafting a written recommendation and oral presentation, and have their work evaluated by national leaders with extensive foreign policy experience. A tireless procurer of grant funds, he has worked to endow fellowships, build new programs, and, for example, equip a UW classroom with interactive internet facilities to make possible real-time interaction with other classrooms around the world. He is developing a trilateral course to be offered at UW and universities in Japan and Korea, with class lectures and discussion via the internet. And for four decades, he has been a passionate teacher, offering courses in Political Science and the Jackson School on Japan, Korea, and East Asia that consider both big-picture and country-specific issues. He has advised countless graduate students in their work at the masters and doctoral levels and chaired many dissertation committees. His former students hold positions in government, policy institutes, and universities around the world—and one was even a recent candidate for mayor of Seattle.

It is hard to imagine what retirement will bring for a scholar whose lifetime work has included a dunk in Vladivostok Harbor and an appearance on Iranian television, but it’s unlikely that Don Hellmann will gather any of the dust shaken off his dissertation notes by NHK.

Please see below for information on gifts to the program in Donald C. Hellmann’s name.

The Japan Studies Program is pleased to announce the establishment of the Donald C. Hellmann Japan Studies Scholarship. Contributions to the Program in Professor Hellmann’s name will support undergraduate and graduate students in Japan Studies, particularly those in the social sciences, based on academic achievement. Contribute to this scholarship by check (made out to University of Washington Foundation – and specify Hellmann Scholarship in the subject line). Or, on-line make a gift to the Japan Studies Restricted Gift Fund from the UW Giving page at: www.washington.edu/giving/make-a-gift.


 Marie Anchordoguy, professor of Japan Studies, presented a paper, “Entrepreneurship and the Future of Japanese Capitalism,” at the 24th annual meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE), as part of a group focusing on Asian Capitalisms, at MIT, June 28–30. She was invited to speak on a panel regarding “Prime Minister Koizumi and Japan’s Economic Reforms,” at a conference on “Are Reforms Dead in Japan? The Legacy of Prime Minister Koizumi,” November 7-8, at the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas. She continues to chair the Japan Studies Program and to be coeditor of The Journal of Japanese Studies.

Andrea Arai, lecturer in Japan Studies, coedited (with A. Anagnost) the volume Global Futures in East Asia: Youth, Nation and the New Economy in Uncertain Times (Stanford University Press, 2012). This volume is the product of a 2005 UW conference, “Nation, Culture, and New Economy in East Asia,” subsequent research, and a cotaught course. Arai co-organized (with C. Sorensen) “Spaces of Possibility,” a conference of Korea and Japan anthropologists and literature scholars in September 2012 at the UW Simpson Center. The conference was based on the first phase of collaborative fieldwork carried out in Japan and Korea in summer 2012. This project creates new spaces for discussion across fields and disciplines about contemporary issues facing Korean and Japanese societies. Arai is also doing research for her project titled “Alternative Spaces and Economies in Japan,” which focuses on sustainability, slow life, back-to-the-land movements, and the creation of new cooperative forms of life, agriculture, and small business by young adults in and outside smaller, peripheral cities in Japan. (Image caption: A coffee shop fashioned from a shipping container outside Kobe, Japan, one of Andrea Arai’s field sites for the Alternative Spaces and Economies project.)

Justin Jesty, assistant professor of Japanese literature, published an article entitled “Tokyo 1960: Days of Rage and Grief. Hamaya Hiroshi’s Photos of the Anti-Security-Treaty Protests” at the Unit for Visualizing Cultures website at MIT, edited by John Dower (2012). In winter quarter 2013, Jesty will host the visiting scholar Gen Adachi, a historian of modern Japanese art, and will coteach a seminar about Japanese modern art with Adachi. Jesty will offer an undergraduate course on Japanese film in the spring.

Ted Mack, associate professor of Japanese, continues to expand UW offerings in Japanese film, teaching an honors course this summer titled “Modern Japan through Cinema” and “The Films of Kurosawa Akira” this autumn. These follow his course “The Films of Ozu Yasujiro” last winter. Mack will be on sabbatical in Kyoto as a research professor at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies from spring 2013 to winter 2014.

Izumi Matsuda-Kiami and Itsuko Nishikawa, lecturers in the Department of Asian Languages and Literature, inaugurated the Northwest Conference on Japanese Pedagogy on April 21–22. Three keynote speakers explored the theme “Current Approaches to Japanese Language Assessment.” The University of Victoria will host the next conference in 2014. Nishikawa also presented a paper at the Washington Association for Foreign Language Teaching conference entitled “Teaching and Assessment of Writing in a Large Class: Communicating with and among Students.”

Amy Snyder Ohta, associate professor of linguistics, organized the Wilga Rivers Panel on Foreign Language Pedagogy for the annual conference of the American Association for Applied Linguistics, where she also presented a paper entitled “Beyond the Zone of Proximal Development: The Assistance-related Unit (ARU) as an Integrated Unit of Analysis for SLA Research.” She is an area editor for the Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics (Wiley/Blackwell, 2012) and was responsible for biographical and topical entries in the area “Social, Dynamic, and Complexity Approaches to Second Language Development.” Her recent article “Sociocultural Theory, the Zone of Proximal Development, and Second Language Development” will appear in The Handbook of Second Language Acquisition (Cambridge University Press).

 Ken Tadashi Oshima, associate professor of architecture, was guest curator for “Tectonic Visions Between Land and Sea: Works of Kiyonori Kikutake,” at Harvard Graduate School of Design. His most recent publications include “Balancing the Cramped with the Communal: Recent Japanese Housing,” Harvard Design Magazine (2012), and an article on “Studio Mumbai and the Possibilities In-Between” in the August-September 2012 newsletter of the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. He was also elected this year to the position of second vice president, Society of Architectural Historians. (Image caption: Model of Marine City, at the Harvard GSD exhibit “Tectonic Visions Between Land and Sea: Works of Kiyonori Kikutake.” Photo by Justin Knight.)

Robert J. Pekkanen, associate professor of international studies, gave a lecture on leadership in Japan at the Abe Foundation 20th Anniversary Celebration in Tokyo in June. In November he gave the keynote address to open the Taiwanese Society for Japanese Studies annual meeting. Also in November, Pekkanen was a panelist at the conference “Northeast Asia in Transition: New Leadership, New Dynamics” at the National Bureau of Asian Research, organized by the Kenneth B. and Anne H. H. Pyle Center for Northeast Asian Studies at NBR. 

Saadia M. Pekkanen, Job and Gertrud Tamaki Professor, has been appointed inaugural director of the recently launched Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies PhD Program. Further information on this program may be found at http://jsis.washington.edu/phd/.

Michio Tsutsui, Donald E. Peterson Professor and director of the Technical Japanese Program, has recently completed several publication projects, including “A Study of the Usage Restriction for Simultaneity Expressions in Japanese” in Japanese Language and Literature (2012) and the coauthored Kore de mi ni tsuku bunpō-ryoku: kiso, ōyō kara hatten made (Grammar Power: Exercises for Mastery; Kuroshio Shuppan, 2012). The latter is the third volume to accompany his innovative intermediate Japanese textbook Jōkyū e no tobira (Tobira: Gateway to Advanced Japanese), which is widely used in the U.S. and abroad. Another publication, Japanese Language Education: Current Issues and Future Agenda, a collection of refereed papers he coedited, is now in press at the National Foreign Language Resource Center, University of Hawaii.


Elizabeth Bleecker (MAIS Japan Studies 2011) is Japanese Kindle editor at Amazon in Seattle.

Brian Mayer (MAIS Japan Studies 2011) is now with KPMG in Tokyo in the Risk Assessment department.

Sam Timinsky (MAIS Japan Studies 2012) is currently studying at the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies in Yokohama, Japan.

Sachi Schmidt-Hori (PhD Japanese Language and Literature) completed her PhD with a dissertation titled “Hyperfemininities, Hypermasculinities, and Hypersexualities in Classical Japanese Literature.” She is now an assistant professor of Japanese at Furman University in Greenville, SC.


Jyana Browne (MA Drama) won a Blakemore Freeman Fellowship to study at the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies this academic year.

Brian Chu (MAIS Japan Studies) received a Japan Studies Graduate Book Prize.

Sarah Clayton (PhC Japanese) won a scholarship from Nippon Zaidan and is studying at the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies this academic year.

Henry S. Tatsumi Awards went to undergraduates Emily K. Ikeda, Megan C. Korling, and Abigail J. Severson.

Lu Gan (BA Japanese, Economics) won the Scott Swaner Memorial Book Award.

Megan Korling (BA Asian Studies and Japanese) and Maggie Thorpe (BA Japanese and Communication) received Ayako Betty Murakami Scholarships.

Isaac Meyer (MAIS Japan Studies) received a Japan Studies Graduate Book Prize.

Nathan Stackpoole (MAIS Japan Studies) received the Richard and Christine Kitto Fellowship 2012–13.

Cindi Textor (MA Japanese / Korean) won the ASPAC-Estreline Prize for the best paper presented by a graduate student at the 2012 conference of Asian Studies on the Pacific Coast (ASPAC). She also won a Blakemore Freeman Fellowship to study at the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies this academic year.

Mark Vanderveen (MAIS Japan Studies) received a Japan Studies Graduate Book Prize.

Mitsubishi Scholarships

Congratulations to the Mitsubishi Corporation International Scholarship 2012 recipients: Robert Hager, graduate award; Monick Keo and Anna Loh, undergraduate awards.

Pictured at the October 19, 2012, award ceremony from left to right: Professor Marie Anchordoguy, Consul General Kiyokazu Ota, Shinichiro Kawazoe – MIC VP and Seattle branch General Manager, Monick Keo, Anna Loh, Robert Hager, and Professor Reşat Kasaba – Director of the Jackson School.Thank you Mitsubishi International Corporation for supporting University of Washington JSIS Japan Studies students. This is the second year the Mitsubishi Corporation has granted scholarships to students in Japan area studies at the University of Washington. Mitsubishi Corporation has granted scholarships to 576 students at 51 universities in 37 countries since 2000.