Student Research


William and Mary offers a variety of ways for students to support research projects in Japanese studies. The Charles Center annually funds and administers a number of scholarships to support independent undergraduate research projects, as well as collaborative faculty-student projects. A list of previous scholarship recipients and projects, application forms, and additional information are all available through the Charles Center's webpage. Contact Lisa Grimes, Associate Director of the Charles Center and Coordinator of National Scholarships and Undergraduate Research for additional information, or visit the Charles Center, which is located in Blow Hall.

Students in the Japanese Program have the opportunity to work closely with a faculty member on a research topic of their own through an independent study or an honors thesis. They can also participate in a faculty member's research project through the support of grants such as the Chappell Fellowships.

There are also a number of national and international fellowships available that support study in Japan. Students should see the Japanese Government Scholarships for more information.

Below we highlight some recent research projects by students in Japanese Studies.

Honors Theses

Nic Querolo, "Reconstructing a National Silhouette: Avant-Garde Fashion and Perceptions of the Japanese Body" (2016)

Elizabeth Denny, “Songs of Love and Revolution: Performing Gender, Reforming Heterosexuality, and Escaping Domesticity in the Musicals of the Takarazuka Revue” (2014).

Audrey Anderson, "Japanese Architectural Values through Time: Frank Lloyd Wright's Usonian House and the Creation of a Modern Japanese-Usonian Hybrid" (2008).

Peter Luebke, "Overcoming Postmodernity: Modernity, The Pacific War, and the Postwar Manga of Mizuki Shigeru, Kobayashi Yoshinori and Maruo Suehiro" (2005).

Honors Fellowships

Anastasia Rivera, "Keitai Shōsetsu: The Media Creation of Modern Identity" (Summer 2016)

Nic Querolo, “Rei Kawakubo and Tokyo’s Post-Nuclear Chic” (Summer 2015)

Isabel Bush, "Once Upon the Internet: Modern Folklore in Japan" (Summer 2014)

Elizabeth Denny, "Performing Gender in Modern Japan: The Takarazuka Revue" (Summer 2013)

Monroe Projects

Pam Kennedy, “Shock the Masses! An Exploration of Japanese Public Reaction to the Novels of Hitomi Kanehara” (2009).

Mara Rosenkrantz, "Japanese Cultural Color: Emotion Associations and Their Expression in Anime" (2008).

Meera Fickling, "A Case Study of the Social Structure of Japanese University Clubs Using the Keio University Women's Chorus" (2007).

Fulbright Scholarships

Amy Palesko (2006) studied for one year at Osaka University and then worked in Japan as a design engineer at Nokia.

Other Research Projects

Students presented their research on Japan one year after the triple disaster of March 1, 2011 at our conference, Japan Responds. Read the full story.

Professor Rachel DiNitto and William & Mary alum Peter C. Luebke ('05) teamed up to research representations of the Asia-Pacific War in the manga of cult artist Maruo Suehiro.  The project grew out of Peter's honors thesis on three Japanese manga artists who deal with the war. The resulting article, "Maruo Suehiro's 'Planet of the Jap': Revanchist Fantasy or War Critique?" appeared in the journal Japanese Studies 31.2 (September 2011) and the anthology Manga and the Representation of Japanese History (Routledge, 2015).

Students over several years have contributed their research on contemporary Japanese culture to Professor DiNitto's website on postbubble culture. Check out the site for postings in English and Japanese on topic including: fashion, music, literature, film, art, videogames, social issues, and more.

In 2009, five William and Mary students led by Professor Tomoko Hamada Connolly of the Anthropology Department traveled to Japan for a month to research food and ritual practices in contemporary Japan. Read more.