Kyoko Kurita

Professor of Japanese; Chair of Asian Languages and Literatures
With Pomona Since: 1990
  • Expertise


    Kyoko Kurita’s historical interest lies in the study of how Japanese tradition and Western tradition interacted with each other, especially during the Meiji Period (1868-1912) after two centuries of National Seclusion. She is currently concentrating on "futurological" novels from the 1880s and 1890s, which exhibit how different concepts of time—Japanese and Western—collided, with an enormous impact on Japanese narrative and historiography.

    Research Interests

    • Interactions between Japanese and Western literary and cultural traditions
    • The relationship of Nature and humans in literature
    • Environmental issues in Asian literatures
    • Documentary films
    • Japanese detective novels
    • Contemporary Japanese female writers

    Areas of Expertise

    • Modern Japanese literature (Meiji, Taisho, Showa, and Heisei Periods) and literary history
    • Concepts of the future and the futurological novel
    • Japanese and Western concepts of time and space
    • Dutch-Japan cultural relations in the 1860s
    • Meiji prints and literature
    • Koda Rohan and the Romantic Movement
  • Work


    “Koda Rohan’s Literary Debut (1889) and the Temporal Topology of Meiji Japan,” Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 67:2, pp. 375-419, 2008

    “Hidden Flowers,” translation (with J. Lipson) of Matsumoto Seicho’s “Inka no kazari,” Matsumoto Seicho Memorial Museum Report 8, January 2008

    "Koda Rohan to mirai (Koda Rohan and the Future)," Bungaku, 16:1, 120-133, 2005

    "The Icon of Liberty," translation (with J. Lipson) of Koda Rohan's Furyubutsu, The Columbia Anthology of Modern Japanese Literature, vol. 1. (Columbia U. P., 2005)

    "Hon'yaku to Rohan (Translation and Rohan)," Koda Rohan shu (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 2002)

    "Meiji Japan's Y23 Crisis and the Discovery of the Future; Suehiro Tetcho's Nijusan-nen mirai-ki," Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, 60:1, 2000

    "Mirai-ki no jidai (The Era of Mirai-ki [Records of the Future])," Bungaku, 9, 28-38, Autumn 1998

  • Education


    Yale University

    Master of Arts
    Yale University

    Bachelor of Arts
    Tokyo Woman's Christian University

    Recent Courses Taught

    • Advanced Japanese
    • Japanese Through Current Media
    • Literary Reconfigurations of Japanese Identity: 1868 to the Present
    • Readings in Modern Japanese Literature
    • Time and Space in Modern Japan
  • Awards & Honors

    Awards & Honors

    Hirch Research Initiation Grant, 2005

    Japan Foundation, Research Fellowship, 1997-1998

    National Endowment for the Humanities, Summer Research Grant, 2001

    Mellon Professional Activities Grant, 2003

    Social Science Research Council Research, Fellowship, 2001-02

    Steele Fellowship, 1993-1994

    Freeman Foundation Summer Fellowship, 2006