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Curriculum VITA

Aki Hirota, Ph.D., Professor

  • Japanese Section Head, Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures


B.A. in English Literature from Fukuoka Women's University.
M.A. in History from the University of Oklahoma.
Ph.D. in East Asian Languages and Cultures from UCLA.

  • Born and raised in Fukuoka, Japan.
  • Taught high school English for four years before moving to the United States.
  • Taught Japanese at International Christian University in Tokyo, Vanderbilt University, and Occidental College.
  • Taught and built Japanese programs at the University of Oklahoma, Amherst College, and CSUN.
  • Served for two years on the Japanese Achievement Test Development Committee, which prepared the first Asian language exam to be included in the College Board tests in 1993.
  • After the Test was renamed the SAT II: Japanese Test, served as its first Committee Chair for three years.
  • Taught courses in Japanese language, Japanese literature, Japanese history, Japanese culture, Women Writers of Asia, East Asian Humanities, Cultural Studies.
  • Teaching licenses in the traditional arts of flower arrangement and koto (thirteen string lute)
  • Took lessons in tea ceremony, Japanese dance, and scroll making to better prepare for teaching various aspects of Asian culture and society.
  • Research activities span from the tenth century to contemporary Japan.
  • Main interest: the shift of poetic theory and practice from the classical period to the medieval period, and the connection between aesthetics and politics.
  • Other research interests include the power struggle between the court and the shogunate, armed conflicts between Japanese feudal clans and a combined fleet of western ships in the late 19th century, contemporary women writers, women's position in Asian societies, and the reception of classical literature in modern Japan.
  • 23rd Annual Japan Translation Culture Prize, awarded in 1986 by the Japan Society of Translators for translation (with Sidney Brown) of the Diary of Kido Takayoshi, Vol.III.
  • Fulbright Dissertation Fellowship 1984-1985.
  • Japan Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, 1985-86.
  • Sasakawa Fellowship for Japanese Studies, 1987-88.
  • NEH Summer Institute; Curricular Models for Japanese Literature, U.C. Berkeley, Summer, 1981.
  • Japanese Teachers' Workshop, Cornell University, Summer, 1980.
  • NEH Seminar; Nature and Society in East Asia, GLCA Center for East Asian Studies, Summer, 1977.
  • Judge Julian Beck Instructional Improvement Award on "Integration of Technology into the Japanese 101 Curriculum" 1997-98
  • Polished Apple Award from University Ambassadors, 1997
  • CSUN Distinguished Teaching Award, 1992-93
  • Resident Director, CSU International Programs, Wasada University, Tokyo, 1995-96, 2000-01, 2011-12


“Manufacturing the Mad Woman: The Case of Poet Sugita Hisajo,” U.S.-Japan Women's Journal, No. 36, 2009: 12-41.

Translator, Kannon [Avalokitêsvara, Buddhist Goddess of Mercy], a haiku collection by Frasco (Ohba Yoshie). Tokyo: Green Heart Station, 2009.

Book review: Raymond Furse, Japan: An Invitation. Rutland, VT: Tuttle Publishing, 2002. Cultural News, May, 2004.

“Kirishima Yōko and the Age of Non-Marriage,” Women's Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal 33:4 (January 2004): 399-421.

Translator, Muhen [Infinity], a haiku collection by Ohba Kinuta. Tokyo: Green Heart Station, 2002.

“Sakka Kirishima Yōko no shigoto” [Writer Kirishima Yōko’s work], Élan (October, 2001): 115-117.

“Life in the Limelight: Kirishima Yōko and Her Three Little Pigs,” Proceedings of the Conference Across Time & Genre: Reading & Writing Japanese Women's Texts. University of Alberta. 2000: 24-28.

“Image Makers and Victims: The Croissant Syndrome and Yellow Cabs,” U.S.-Japan Women's Journal. English Supplement. No. 19, 2000 (Special Issue): 83-121.

“The Tale of Genji: From Heian Classic to Heisei Comic,” The Journal of Popular Culture, Vol. 31.2 (Fall 1997): 29-68.

Book review: Alan M. Tansman, The Writings of Koda Aya, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993, and James A. Fujii, Complicit Fictions: The Subject in the Modern Japanese Prose Narrative, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993. Modern  Philology (August, 1996):132-137.

“Silenced Voices of Japanese Women,” Perspective, Vol. VII, No. 1 (Spring, 1991): 2-4.

Co-translator, The Diary of Kido Takayoshi, Vol.I: 1868-1871. Vol.II: 1871-74. Vol.III: 1874- 77. Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, 1983, 1985, 1986. 492pp, 449pp, 549pp. (with Sidney Brown).

“Personal Drama in the Life of Ex-Emperor Go-Toba,” The Journal of Asian Culture, Vol. VIII (1984): 139-172.

Co-author, “The Self-Image of an Early Meiji Statesman: Through the Diary of Kido Takayoshi, 1868-1877,” Selected Papers in Asian Studies, Albuquerque, New Mexico: Western Conference of the Association for Asian Studies, Vol. I (1976): 197-206.


Article in LALALA Weekly magazine No. 279




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