Summer Kambun Workshop

The USC Summer Kambun Workshop is an intensive language training program in reading and translating premodern texts written in Sino-Japanese (Kambun). The Workshop brings together graduate students, young faculty, and other scholars from the U.S. and abroad for full-day, collaborative sessions led by faculty specialists from Japan and the U.S. The language of the Workshop is Japanese, and each Workshop focuses on its own theme or historical period. Participants learn to read Sino-Japanese materials with greater fluency; to develop their research and bibliographical skills; and to grow acquainted with peers in the field of premodern Japanese historical studies.

The Workshops are held in the East Asia Library on the USC campus, and utilize the library's Premodern Japanese Collection during morning classes and afternoon study sessions.

2016 Kambun Workshop: Reading Tōji hyakugō monjo (July 5 – July 30, 2016)

The Project for Premodern Japan Studies in the History Department of the University of Southern California announces this summer’s Kambun Workshop, which will focus on a selection of sources taken from the Tōji Hyakugō Monjo, an archive recently designated as an important one for global history by UNESCO. The collection, which includes thousands of records dating from Heian through Sengoku times, is being digitized by the Kyoto City Library, and we will benefit from its resources during the workshop. Professor Toshiko Takahashi, a specialist on Tōji materials and the temple’s history from the University of Tokyo’s Historiographical Institute (Shiryō Hensanjo) will lead the workshop with Professor Joan Piggott of the USC History Department. The primary language of the workshop is Japanese, but translation into and annotation in English are also emphasized. Morning and afternoon sessions will be held Monday through Friday (10 AM – 5 PM). Applicants must be fluent in Japanese and must have completed coursework in Classical Japanese and either Kambun or Classical Chinese. The cost of the workshop, including lodging, is $5300 ($3500 tuition, $1800 lodging).

Thanks to the Henry Luce Foundation, some scholarship funding is available. Applications, due March 1, will be available for download from the website of the Project for Premodern Japan Studies here.



Previous Kambun Workshops

2015 Reading the Chūyūki of Fujiwara Munetada (Prof. Yoshida)

2014 Reading the Shōyūki of Fujiwara Sanesuke (Prof. Yamaguchi)

2013  Late Medieval Kambun Materials (Prof. Kurushima/Takahashi)

2012  Heian Kambun Workshop (Profs. Yamaguchi/Kato)

2010  Gyokuyo (Buddhism) Kambun Workshop (Profs. Kawashima/Matsumoto)

2009  Chuyuki Kambun Workshop (Prof. Yoshida)

2008  Era of Retired Monarchs Kambun Workshop (Prof. Endo)

2007  Heian Kambun Workshop, The Year 985  (Prof. Ishigami)

2006  Heian Kambun Workshop (Prof. Ishigami)

2005  Kamakura Kambun Workshop (Prof. Endo)

2004  Heian Kambun Workshop  (Prof. Kato)


Translations from Previous Workshops

Each Kambun Workshop is organized around the reading and translation of primary sources related to that year's theme. Selected Workshop translations have been made available below.

2006 Kambun Workshop

2007 Kambun Workshop

Shōyūki -- First month of Kanna 1 (985)

Gōke Shidai -- Gotō (御灯)

Gōke Shidai -- Extraordinary Iwashimizu Festival (岩清水臨時祭)

2008 Kambun Workshop

2012 Kambun Workshop

2014 Kambun Workshop