IJS People

Leadership and Staff

Richard Torrance serves as director of the Institute for Japanese Studies. An associate professor in OSU’s Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, he has led the Institute since 2005. In addition to being involved in new Title VI initiatives, he seeks to intensify research, teaching and student exchange cooperation between OSU and institutions in Japan. Questions regarding IJS’s history, mission, and initiatives can be referred to Dr. Torrance.

Janet Stucky Smith serves as assistant director of the Institute and assists the director with the development and implementation of IJS programming. She is also deeply involved in fostering new collaborative relationships between the educational, cultural, and governmental institutions of Ohio and Japan. She formerly served as the Executive Director of the Japan-America Society of Central Ohio and currently serves on its Board of Trustees. Questions regarding Japan-related academic programs, IJS lecture and film series, or inquiries of a general nature can be referred to Janet.


IJS is home to Japan specialists from four colleges (Arts, Business, Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences) and from the Library. Together they offer a range of courses involving Japanese language and disciplinary and interdisciplinary courses on Japan. OSU faculty have recently completed, or are currently engaged in, wide-ranging collaborative research with colleagues in Japan.


Please contact the IJS office for more information about the following committees:

  • IJS Advisory Council
  • Events & Development Committee
  • Library Committee
  • Outreach Committee
  • Ohio-Saitama Selection Committee


Volunteers are utilized in many IJS programs. If you have lived in Japan and would like to help with programs in the schools or community, contact Janet Stucky Smith. Specific volunteer opportunities include helping with the "Passport to Japan" Program, though visits to schools in the region to present to students and lead various hands-on activities about Japanese life, culture and language. Office assistance is also welcome.