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Japanese Studies


Reading Kimonos in Modern Japanese Literature: The Case of Kōda Aya

Time & Location

March 29, 8pm EDT


The Japan Foundation, New York presents Illuminating Japanese Studies: Lecture Series with Former JF Fellows.

Since the Fellowship program began in 1972, there have been more than 1,000 American Fellowship recipients, who study a diverse range of research topics, from pre-modern history to pop culture and everything in between. This series will illuminate what exactly Japanese Studies can teach us, not only about Japan but about the world.

Join us for the third session titled “Reading Kimonos in Modern Japanese Literature: The Case of Kōda Aya” with JF Former Fellow Dr. Michiko Suzuki, who will explore depictions of kimonos in modern Japanese literature. Focusing on the writer Kōda Aya (1904-90), this talk covers the ways kimonos serve critical roles in literary interpretation, as a unique means of communication between author and reader. The discussion will be followed by a live Q&A moderated by Dr. Kimberly Kono.

Pre-registration is encouraged but not required. Please share your questions through Eventbrite when you register. You may also participate in the discussion by sharing your questions in the YouTubeLive chat during the livestream. A recording will be posted on this page and our YouTube channel after the event.

To learn more about the Illuminating Japanese Studies series, click here.


Dr. Michiko Suzuki is an Associate Professor of Modern Japanese Literature and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Davis. Her work examines narratives in light of cultural discourses and historical contexts, focusing on gender, modernity, sexuality, sexology, women writers, and material culture. She is the author of Becoming Modern Women: Love and Female Identity in Prewar Japanese Literature and Culture (Stanford University Press, 2010), and has published in journals such as Journal of Asian Studies, The Journal of Japanese Studies, U.S.-Japan Women’s Journal, and Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. Currently she is completing a book titled Reading Material: The Kimono in Twentieth-Century Japanese Literature and Film.

Dr. Kimberly Kono is a Professor of Japanese in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Smith College, where she is also affiliated with the Program for the Study of Women and Gender and the Translation Studies Concentration. She is the author of Romance, Family and Nation in Japanese Colonial Literature (Palgrave, 2010) and has also published articles in The Journal of Japanese Studies, Japanese Language and Literature, and U.S.-Japan Women’s Journal. Her current research focuses on images of Japanese women in colonial Manchuria.

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