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.

Upcoming Events

EMAJIN Initiative
Annual Gagaku/Hōgaku Concert (10th Anniversary)
Sunday, March 29, 2015
Miller Theatre, Columbia University
Registration is now open.

Program (Program Notes Available Here)

Part I: Classical Repertoire of Gagaku

Hyōjō no netori & Etenraku
Karyōbin no kyū

Part II: Contemporary Pieces for Japanese Heritage Instruments
John Kaizan Neptune, Five and Thirteen are Prime Numbers (1983) (koto & shakuhachi)
John Cage, Ryoanji (1983) (three hichiriki & percussion)
Takeshi Sasamoto, Yaha (2014) (Shōsōin shakuhachi solo)
Toshi Ichiyanagi, Transfiguration of the Moon (1988) (shō & violin)

Featuring Mayumi Miyata (shō), Hitomi Nakamura (hichiriki), Takeshi Sasamoto (ryūteki; Shōsōin shakuhachi), James Nyoraku Schlefer (shakuhachi), Masayo Ishigure (koto), Thomas Piercy (hichiriki), Joshua Mailman (hichiriki), Sean Statser (percussion), Bronwen Kar Cheung Chan (violin), Columbia Gagaku Instrumental Ensemble.

EMAJIN Initiative
Spring 2015 Semester-End Concert
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
St. Paul’s Chapel, Columbia University
No reservations required. You can just pop in and out.

Come learn Japanese heritage music instruments at Columbia University!

Next courses start on Thursday, January 22, 2015.

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 (Thursday, January 22, 2015) 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 or 212-854-7403.

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 2015 (late May until early July).

New Music Composition Contest

Please refer to the following for further info:

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