News and Events

Upcoming Scholarship Opportunities for the 2017-2018 Academic Year

Sarah Ann Wirth Scholarship in East Asian Studies and History

 Sarah Ann Wirth Scholarship Application Form

The Sarah Ann Wirth Memorial Scholarship is an annual scholarship awarded to an East Asian Studies major or a History major with an emphasis in East Asian Studies.
•    Declared major in East Asian Studies or History with an emphasis in East Asian Studies
•    Junior or senior status fall quarter 2017
•    Minimum 3.00 grade point average, both cumulative and in the major

Application Procedures:
1.    Complete this scholarship application form.
2.    Obtain two letters of recommendation from faculty.
3.    Attach a statement explaining your interest in continuing study in East Asian Studies.

All application materials must be submitted to the Department of Modern and Classical Languages in Miller Hall 223 by noon on Monday, April 24.​

Contact Sara Helms ( with questions.


Other 2017-2018 Scholarship Opportunities

College of Humanities and Social Sciences Scholarship Opportunities



EAS Publishes "Religion and Spirituality in Japanese Literature"

September 22, 2016





The Center for East Asian Studies and the East Asian Studies Press at Western Washington University are pleased to announce the publication of a new volume titled "Religion and Spirituality in Japanese Literature." The volume is a collection of papers presented at the Annual Conference of the Association for Japanese Literary Studies that was held at Western  in October 2014.  Click here to view the Table of Contents.







~ Professor from Mongolia Teaching at Western this Spring ~

Photo by Jonathan Williams / WWU


Morgan Ramsey

WWU Communications and Marketing intern

Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - 11:11 am


East Asian Studies, part of Interdisciplinary Programs at Western Washington University, is hosting visiting instructor Erdene-Ochir Tumen-Ochir of the National University of Mongolia this spring.

Tumen-Ochir was selected as the Henry G. Schwarz Distinguished Instructor of Mongolian and Inner Asian Studies to teach Mongolian language and culture during the spring quarter of 2016.

Vicki Hamblin, executive director of Western’s Institute for Global Engagement, helps Western collaborate with students and faculty coming from Western’s international partners, including the National University of Mongolia.

This collaboration is paid through donor funds made to the Western Foundation to provide all the necessary means to host professors’ living expenses and to cover classroom resources.

Schwarz was a previous East Asian Studies professor at Western and donated the funds that allows these lectureships to happen. This program supports visiting professors like Tumen-Ochir to teach at Western for three months, allowing him to implement certain teaching methods that he found useful at the National University of Mongolia.

“Donations were made by Professor Schwarz and Professor John C. Street to support faculty exchanges, the Wilson Library’s Mongolia Collection, student scholarships and travel fund, including the Global Learning Program to Mongolia,” said Hamblin.

It was last fall when Western connected with the National University of Mongolia and chose Tumen-Ochir to teach an elective course.

“The day I got accepted to teach at Western was a memorable moment for me,” Tumen-Ochir said. “I was teaching a class that day and my phone started ringing in the middle of it. It was the international office letting me know I got the job and I ran back into my classroom telling my students that I was going to America to teach.”

Tumen-Ochir had seven years of experience teaching to international students prior to teaching at Western and had always wanted to teach abroad. From being a private teacher to a university professor, Tumen-Ochir was already familiar with communicating with students from other nationalities.

Within the first few weeks of teaching at Western, Tumen-Ochir said he was pleasantly surprised by the learning environment.

“The students are very active and motivated to learn,” Tumen-Ochir said. “The classroom setting is very student-centered and I really want to bring that back to Mongolia. This has already been a valuable and useful experience and I’m excited to tell my stories to the faculty at the university.”

Tumen-Ochir plans on continuing his work with Western’s Global Learning Program to Mongolia when he returns to the National University of Mongolia.

“A lot of Mongolian scholars know about Western Washington University and the Mongolian program here, but many do not know about the Wilson Library’s Mongolian Book Collection and the resources it has.”


Photo by Jonathan Williams / WWU



"The Challenges of Japanese Literature"  


A Special Lecture


Professor Van Gessel, Brigham Young University


Professor Mark Williams, University of Leeds



Tuesday, April 5th, 10-11:50 am

Communication Facility 110







**Global Learning Program in Japan!**Summer 2016**



~WWU Faculty-Led Global Learning Program~



**Experience Japanese language and culture for yourself in the heart of Tokyo**

Summer 2016 – June 24th to July 17th, 2016 




 Program Brochure



Prof. Massimiliano Tomasi
*Japan* Global Learning Program Faculty Leader
East Asian Studies Program Director
Professor of Japanese
MH222C  PH: 360-650-3339   


Massimiliano Tomasi is Professor of Japanese and Director of the Center for East Asian Studies at Western Washington University. Professor Tomasi has an M.A in Japanese language pedagogy and a Ph.D. in Japanese from Nagoya University. He has been on the Western faculty since 1997. His area of expertise includes modern Japanese literature and rhetoric. He is the author of Rhetoric in Modern Japan: Western Influences on the Development of Narrative and Oratorical Style (University of Hawaii Press, 2004) and The Literary Theory of Shimamura Hōgetsu (1871-1918) and the Development of Feminist Discourse in Modern Japan (Mellen, 2008). Prof. Tomasi has led Western students to Europe five times between 2008 and 2012 and has an extensive experience with global learning programs.



21st Annual East Asian Studies Student Symposium



     Scholars Week 2015

     Thursday, March 5th, 11:30 am to 4:00 pm.

      Miller Hall 123

      EAS 2015 Student Symposium Program (click here)





East Asian Studies Recent Conferences


Association for Japanese Literary Studies Conference (AJLS)  October 10-11, 2014

AJLS Keynote Speaker: Miyasaka Satoru


"Religion and Spirituality in Modern Japanese Literature”

A former President of Ferris University (Ferisu jogakuin daigaku) and currently Emeritus Professor at the same institution, Professor Miyasaka is one of the foremost authorities on Akutagawa. He is the founder and President of the International Society for Akutagawa Rynosuke Studies. He is also the President of the Nihon kirisutoky bungakkai.

His publications include Sakuhinron Akutagawa Ryūnosuke (Sōbunsha, 1990); Akutagawa Ryūnosuke zensh ssakuin (Iwanami Shoten, 1993); Akutagawa Ryūnosuke: hito to sakuhin(Kanrin Shobō, 1998); Akutagawa Ryūnosuke sakuhinron shūsei (Kanrin Shobō, 1999);Akutagawa Ryūnosuke to kirishitan mono (Kanrin Shobō, 2014); and contributions to the 24 volume collection Akutagawa Ryūnosuke zensh (Iwanami Shoten, 1996).


ASPAC 2014 Conference  June 20-22, 2014

ASPAC Keynote Speaker: Timothy Brook

"Sailing from China"

Tim Brook is the incoming Vice-President of the Asian for Asian Studies. A historian of China, he teaches Chinese and world history at the University of British Columbia, where he holds the Republic of China Chair. In addition to scholarly monographs, his recent books include Vermeer’s Hat: The Seventeenth Century and the Dawn of the Global Age (2008) and Mr. Selden’s Map of China (2013).



Seventh Annual Conference of the International Society for Akutagawa Ryûnosuke Studies    October 5-6, 2012

Akutagawa Keynote Speaker: Jay Rubin

"A Translator's View"

Professor Rubin has translated NatsumeSōseki 's novels Sanshirō and The Miner, Haruki Murakami's Norwegian WoodThe Wind-up Bird Chronicleafter the quake, and Books 1 and 2 of 1Q84. He is the author of Injurious to Public Morals: Writers and the Meiji State and Haruki Murakami and the Music of Words, and the editor of Modern Japanese Writers.

Rubin began to study Japanese at the University of Chicago, where he received his Ph.D. in 1970, and has been a professor of Japanese literature at the University of Washington and Harvard University