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Welcome to the Institute for Medieval Japanese Studies

The Institute for Medieval Japanese Studies, founded in 1968, is an international liaison and research center designed primarily to serve European and American scholars in all disciplines whose main area of study focuses on pre-Meiji era Japan.

The overall purpose of the Institute is to encourage research on neglected aspects of premodern Japanese civilization, especially during the medieval period (primarily, but not exclusively, the Kamakura and Muromachi periods 1185-1600), centuries which, until the 1970s, had received scarce attention by Japanese and Western scholars alike.

Come learn Japanese heritage music instruments at Columbia University!



Next courses start on Thursday, September 8, 2016.

Time & Date:
Hogaku Section (koto & shakuhachi): Thursdays, 4:00pm-6:00pm
Gagaku Section (ryuteki, sho, hichiriki, etc.): Thursdays, 6:00pm-8:00pm


112 Dodge Hall

Attendance at the first class is mandatory. Neither prior experience nor knowledge of the Japanese language is required. For questions, please contact the institute at  This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Students who have shown significant progress and potential in the ensemble classes will qualify to participate in the Mentor/Protégé Program, a 6-week intensive training program with Gagaku and Hōgaku masters in Tokyo in Summer 2017 (late May until early July).



Upcoming Events


EMAJIN Initiative
Miyagi Michio - The Koto Pioneer
Concert in honor of the 60th anniversary of the death of Miyagi Michio
Wednesday, October 5, 2017
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Merkin Concert Hall (129 West 67th Street, New York, NY 10023)
Free and open to the public, but registration is recommended. Registration will open later.

EMAJIN Initiaitve Fall 2016 Semester-End Concert
Details: TBA
No reservations required.

EMAJIN Initiative
12th Annual Concert of Japanese Heritage Musical Instruments
late March or early April 2017
Details: TBA

EMAJIN Initiative
Spring 2017 Semester-End Concert
Details: TBA
No reservations required.



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