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
11th Season of
Glories of the Japanese Music Heritage
ANCIENT SOUNDSCAPE REBORN: Poetry & Paintings in Concert

Saturday, March 26, 2016
Miller Theatre, Columbia University
Registration is now open.


Part I: Classical Repertoire
Hyōjō no netori & Etenraku
Hyōjō no chōshi & Goshōraku no jo, Goshōraku no kyū

Part II: Contemporary Works
Yuka Takechi, Waxwing (2003) for sangen & shō
Hiroya Miura, Gossamer Lattice (2007) for shō, hichiriki & ryūteki
Fuyuhiko Sasaki, Bridge to the Heavens (2015) for harp, kugo, viola & shō

Featuring Mayumi Miyata (sh?), Hitomi Nakamura (hichiriki), Takeshi Sasamoto (ryūteki), Hidejiro Honjo (sangen), Fuyuhiko Sasaki (harp & kugo), Benjamin Preneta (viola), Columbia Gagaku Instrumental Ensemble.

EMAJIN Initiative
Spring 2016 Semester-End Concert
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
St. Paul’s Chapel, Columbia University
No reservations required. You can just pop in and out.

EMAJIN Initiative
Fall 2016 Michio Miyagi: The Koto Pioneer
Details: TBA

Come learn Japanese heritage music instruments at Columbia University!

Next courses start on Thursday, January 21, 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 2016 (late May until early July).

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© 2016 Institute for Medieval Japanese Studies