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

Selling Songs and Smiles, the Sex Trade in Heian and Kamakura Japan
Book Talk
Dr. Jan Goodwin 
October 23, 2:00 – 5:00 PM
SOS 250



Heike Heroes and Villians
Prof. Mikhael Adolphson (University of Alberta)
October 17, 2:00 – 4:30 PM
SOS 250



The 2015 Summer Kambun Workshop has been tentatively scheduled for June 15 – July 10.


The 2014 Meiji-USC Faculty and Graduate Student Research Exchange has been tentatively scheduled for December 2 – 3, 2014. More details forthcoming.


Current Historiography on the Shōen System
Prof. Joan Piggott, Jan Goodwin, Sachiko Kawai

Will be rescheduled at date and time TBA


The 2013 USC Meiji Graduate Student and Faculty Research Exchange took place December 5th – 7th

Meeting program (pdf)

Meeting site with handouts for talks


Translations from the 2012 Kambun Workshop are now online
Relaunch of the Kambun Workshop resources in progress--translations from the 2006, 2007 and 2008 workshop have been partially uploaded (Sep. 3, 2013)