Pre-grad school Japanese/East Asian Studies programs?

Benito Cachinero benito.cachinero at
Sat Feb 13 22:30:07 EST 2010

Hello Kinemaites,

Robyn Citizen posted a similar question recently, but I think that mine is
different enough to warrant a separate thread.

I'm soliciting advice about Japan/Japanese/East Asian Studies programs that
I could become involved with in the near-term.
I intend to apply to graduate school for 2011 (the timing such as it is, it
looks as though nothing is open for 2010), and I have a good idea of what is
on offer at various locations, but I am looking for an intermediate measure
that will allow me to get involved with a center or program before grad
school and hit the ground running, as it were.

I've been involved with Japan/Japanese for nine years, and I am currently
working as a freelance translator from Japanese-English, so I have the
language component down pat.  I was involved with Stanford's Kyoto Center
for Japanese Studies, received a grant from them (researching avant-garde
music in the Kansai area), and did coursework at Kansai University and Kyoto
University from 2005-2007.  I am also on the steering committee of a startup
non-profit geared towards creating grassroots arts and lecture programming
for the Japanese-speaking community in the San Francisco Bay Area.

My focus up until now has been almost entirely linguistic, but I want to use
this to branch out into some area of arts/social/historical study of Japan.
As evinced by my membership on this list, I have more than a glancing

I would also love to do something like high-level language training in
academic/professional use of Japanese, if such a thing exists.
I know that summer sessions are coming up at many institutions, but my
impression is that most of these offer Japanese targeted at beginners, if

So, what are my options?  I would prefer to be located in the US (not
looking to return to Japan quite yet), but location is flexible - I can
relocate.  FWIW, I'm in the New York metro area right now.  I would also
prefer to be actively involved on a campus or commuting to a center for
daily instruction rather than continuing what I'm doing and going to a tutor
occasionally on the side.  I'm trying to forge some connections and get
up-close-and-personal with a faculty and the research they're doing, so
hiring a Japanese teacher to discuss, for e.g., politics with day in and day
out, seems, while useful, something I could just as well do on my own.  I
have already worked with private tutors at the Japan Societies of New York
and Northern California, so I would like to do something more intensive.

I did try contacting the Monterey Institute of International Studies because
I see they offer a custom language-training component, but I haven't heard
anything from them.

Very interested to hear your replies.  Let me know if you need some more
Benito Cachinero
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