About the Center

The Project for Premodern Japan Studies of the USC College was established in 2003 to nurture and coordinate the study of premodern Japan at USC. Under Director Joan R. Piggott, Gordon L. MacDonald Professor of History, the mission of the Project is to build a premier program and a thriving community of scholars working in the premodern Japan field at USC. The priorities of the Project include the recruitment of leading faculty and graduate students in the field to multiple disciplines across the university. The Project serves as a center for the organization of the Summer Kambun Workshop; the development of a world-class premodern Japan research collection in USC’s East Asian Library; the coordination of a vibrant Visitor Series that includes speakers, workshops, and conferences; and a new Monograph Series under the USC College East Asia Studies Center imprint. Through the Graduate College and History Department the Project also provides fellowships for graduate study in premodern Japanese History.

News & Upcoming Events


The 2016 Summer Kambun Workshop will be held July 5 – July 30, 2016, reading Tōji hyakugō monjo. Details here.



The Meiji-USC Faculty and Graduate Student Research Exchange will be held March 17-18, 2016.

Information on previous meetings can be found on our Visitor Series page.


The 2015 Summer Kambun Workshop was held June 15 – July 10. Details here.



Translations from the 2014 Kambun Workshop are now online
Translations from the 2006 – 2008 and 2012 workshops are also available (April 18, 2015)


Current Historiography on the Shōen System
Prof. Joan Piggott, Jan Goodwin, Sachiko Kawai
February 5-7, 2015

On February 5, Sachiko Kawai (ABD) led the Heian section.

Dan Sherer (ABD) and Michelle Damian (ABD) led the Kamakura and Muromachi sections on February 6 and 7.

The group reviewed and discussed key points and debates as inspired by their reading of the recent Shōenshi kenkyū handobukku edited by the Shōenshi kenkyūkai and published by Tokyodo shuppan in 2013.


The 2014 Meiji-USC Faculty and Graduate Student Research Exchange was held December 3-4, 2014

Program (pdf)
Paper Abstracts (pdf)