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Institute for Japanese Studies


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About Us

The Institute for Japanese Studies (IJS) was created in 1985 through a gubernatorial initiative in recognition of Ohio's national status as the second greatest site of Japanese manufacturing investment. Between 1985 and 1995, IJS received $1.8 million from the state of Ohio to intensify language training, introduce courses for students in professional schools, and reach out to businesses and the community. Today it continues to vigorously promote education and research about Japan.
The mission of the Institute is to provide leadership for Japanese Studies at The Ohio State University and assist academic and administrative units of The Ohio State University to advance and disseminate knowledge about Japan, including its people, language, art, culture, history, environment, government and politics, economy and business, and other aspects of its society. It is committed to maintaining and enhancing the national and international reputation of Japanese Studies at The Ohio State University in the areas of research, education, and professional service including outreach for K-12, business, the community, and the state.
The Institute for Japanese Studies (IJS) is one of three institutes under the East Asian Studies Center (EASC), which, together with other area studies centers are, in turn, under the auspices of the Office of International Affairs (OIA) and the College of Arts and Sciences at The Ohio State University.


Naomi Fukumori, an associate professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, currently serves as Director of the Institute for Japanese Studies. To read her bio, visit Leadership.


IJS is home to two dozen Japan specialists from departments across the university. 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.

Research and Instruction

IJS supports the university’s academic mission by contributing to Japan-related research and instruction in various ways. IJS has administered the annual Japanese government-sponsored Japanese Language Proficiency Test since 2014 which provides hundreds of examinees the opportunity to certify their language ability. IJS has also contributed to the field of Japanese linguistics by hosting the Journal of Japanese Linguistics for several years. Further, IJS contributes to the development of international linkages by meeting with delegations from the Japanese government and Japanese academic institutions interested in pursuing partnerships with The Ohio State University.

For information on graduate, undergraduate, and professional degree programs related to Japan, visit Degrees. For information on Japanese language study, visit Japanese Language Instruction. For information on fellowships, scholarships, and grants to support the study of Japan, visit Fellowships. For information on resources at The Ohio State University Libraries, visit Japanese Studies Resources.

Academic Programming

IJS covers all areas of Japan studies with a lively program of academic activities. IJS organizes an annual lecture series and regularly convenes symposia and conferences on key issues, inviting national and international specialists to share their research. An annual highlight is the Brad Richardson Memorial Lecture. IJS also organizes and co-sponsors events with numerous departments, other centers and institutes and Japan-related organizations, including lectures, film series, and exhibitions. For information on upcoming IJS academic events, visit the East Asian Studies Center's Events Calendar


IJS reaches out beyond OSU to disseminate information on Japan to various constituencies. In addition to collaborating with other Ohio-based community colleges, colleges, and universities, IJS works closely with the Ohio Association of Teachers of Japanese and conducts outreach to K-12 schools. Further, IJS co-sponsors annual community events, such as those offered by the Japanese Student Organization and the Japan-America Society of Central Ohio, a not-for-profit membership association of Ohioans who desire to promote and exchange goodwill through the sharing of knowledge about Japan and provide a forum for informed discussion regarding the U.S.-Japan relationship. To assist in professionalization of students, IJS founded the Ohio-Japan Alumni Network which connects alumni from K-16 Japan-related programs in Ohio with each other, educators, students, businesses, and the community. IJS also cooperates with partners in business and government in promoting exchange between Ohio and Japan through career development programs, such as job shadowing, career talks, and internships. For information on upcoming IJS outreach events, visit the East Asian Studies Center's Events Calendar.


IJS maintains lists of various resources and facilitates development of lesson plans for those interested in teaching or learning about Japan. Resources can be found at Resources


IJS provides a variety of giving opportunities in support of Japan-related programs. Tax-deductible gifts can be designated to the Institute for Japanese Studies Fund or the Brad Richardson Memorial Fund. For details on giving to the Institute for Japanese Studies, visit EASC Giving Opportunities.

Join Us

Information about IJS events and other Japan-related announcements can be found in the East Asian Studies Center’s weekly e-newsletter, EASC Express. To subscribe, follow the instructions to join the EASC Mailing List. Summaries and photos from many of IJS’s past events and programs can be found in the East Asian Studies Center’s newsletter, EASC expOSUre.


Institute for Japanese Studies, 140 Enarson Classroom Building, 2009 Millikin Road, Columbus, OH 43210; Phone: 614-247-6893; Email: easc@osu.edu