My current research interests lie at the intersection of Japanese culture, religion, and the environment, particularly animals and trees. My area of specialization is Japanese literature and culture, especially premodern fiction, poetry, performance, and visual culture. I am currently finishing a book called Seeing the Unseen: Demons, Gods, and Other Worlds in Japan. Another book project Performance, Media, and Intermediality in Japan explores the complex relationships among orality, performance, and print culture in Japan.
Shinchō Professor of Japanese Literature and Culture, Columbia University, 1996-present
Director, Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture, 2021-present
Columbia University, Dept. of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Ph.D. in Japanese Literature, 1983
University of Michigan, Dept. of Far Eastern Languages and Literatures, M.A. in Japanese Literature, 1977
Columbia College, N.Y. B.A. Magna cum laude in English Literature and Oriental Studies, 1974
What is an Author? Transmission, Ownership, and Collectivity (Iwanami Shoten, 2021), co-editor with Tomi Suzuki, Komine Kazuaki, Toeda Hirokazu
Views of Nature in East Asia (Higashi ajia no shizenkan), editor, volume four of Studies in East Asian Culture (Higashi Ajia bunka kōza, Bungaku tsūshin, 2021)
Shiki no sōzō: Nihon bunka to shizenkan no keifu (Japanese edition of Japan and Culture of the Four Seasons, translated by Kitamura Yuika, published by Kadokawa shoten, 2020.
Monsters, Animals, and Other Worlds: A Collection of Short Medieval Tales (Columbia University Press, 2018), co-edited with Keller Kimbrough.
Cambridge History of Japanese Literature (Cambridge University Press, 2015), chief editor and major contributor.
Reading The Tale of Genji: The First Millennium, co-edited and translated with Thomas Harper (Columbia University Press, 2015).
Waka in the World: Language, Community, and Gender (Sekai e hiraku waka: gengo, kyōdōai, jinndaa). Edited with Kanechiku Nobuyuki, Tabuchi Kumiko, and Jinno Hidenori. Benseisha, 2012. Bilingual edition.
Japan and the Culture of the Four Seasons: Nature, Literature, and the Arts. Columbia University Press, 2012.
The Demon at Agi Bridge and Other Japanese Tales. Edited with introduction by Haruo Shirane. Translated by Burton Watson. Columbia University Press, 2010.
Envisioning The Tale of Genji: Media, Gender, and Cultural Production. Editor and author. Columbia University Press, 2008.
Traditional Japanese Literature, Beginnings to 1600, An Anthology. Editor and author. Columbia University Press, 2007.
Classical Japanese Reader and Essential Dictionary. Columbia University Press, 2007.
Classical Japanese, A Grammar. Columbia University Press, 2005.
Early Modern Japanese Literature: An Anthology. Editor and author. Columbia University Press, 2002.
Inventing the Classics: Canon Formation, National Identity, and Japanese Literature. Eo-editor with Tomi Suzuki. Stanford University Press, 2001.
Traces of Dreams: Landscape, Cultural Memory, and the Poetry of Basho. Stanford University Press, 1997.
The Bridge of Dreams: A Poetics of The Tale of Genji. Stanford University Press, 1987.
Japan Academy (Nippon Gakushiin), Honorary Member, 2022
NIHU (National Institutes for the Humanities) International Prize in Japanese Studies, 2019
Yamagata Banto Prize, for Japan and the Culture of the Four Seasons and globalization of Japanese culture, 2019
Ueno Satsuki Memorial Prize on Japanese Culture, 2010
Ishida Hakyō Prize, for Traces of Dreams: Landscape, Cultural Memory, and the Poetry of Basho, 2001.
Haiku Society of America Book Award for Traces of Dreams: Landscape, Cultural Memory, and the Poetry of Basho, 1998.
Kadokawa Gen’yoshi Prize for The Bridge of Dreams: A Poetics of The Tale of Genji, 1993.