Student Research

Abroad at the Diet Library in Japan

In Japanese Studies, you will have the opportunity to conduct research with a faculty member. You can work on a research topic of your own through an independent study or an honors thesis. You can also participate in a faculty member's research project through the support of grants such as the Chappell Fellowships.

W&M has scholarships and grants to support independent undergraduate research. There are also national and international fellowships available for study and research in Japan. You 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.