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

State Formation in the Center and Eastern Periphery of Kofun Period Japan
Lecture series
Prof. Ken'ichi SASAKI (Meiji University)

April 20, 2015, 4:00 - 6:00 PM
WPH 204
Talk 1: Japanese theories of state formation
Talk 2: Appearance of keyhole-shaped tumuli in the middle and late third century

April 21, 2015, 4:30 - 6:30
East Asian Seminar Room (Doheny Library)
Talk 3: Distribution of iron armor in the fifth century and its political significance
Talk 4: Corridor-style burial chambers and clustered tumuli in the sixth century



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


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



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

Program (pdf)
Paper Abstracts (pdf)


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

Will be rescheduled at date and time TBA