Nobuko Horikawa Wins Distinguished Dissertation Award

Submitted by Kirk L. Van Scoyoc on
Nobuko Horikawa

Nobuko Horikawa (PhD 2023, Japanese Literature) has won the UW Graduate School's 2023 Distinguished Dissertation Award!

The title of Dr. Horikawa's dissertation is "The Sinitic Poetry of the Zen Abbess Taisei Shōan (1668-1712)," and Nobuko's supervisory committee reflects its interdisciplinary scope:  Paul Atkins, committee chair and professor of classical and premodern Japanese literature; Davinder Bhowmik, associate professor of modern Japanese literature; Ping Wang, associate professor of Chinese literature; and Joseph Marino, assistant professor of Buddhist studies.

In his nomination letter,  Prof. Atkins wrote, "The dissertation breaks new ground in the fields of early modern literature, literature in Chinese by Japanese authors, literature in Japanese by women authors, and monastic literature.  Due to the dearth of printed sources and previous scholarship, Nobuko has conducted archival research in situ in Japan, transcribed some sources herself, and translated texts that have never been annotated before, much less translated." Prof. Marino wrote, "It goes without saying that this is a project that very few people could undertake, let alone succeed in, as does Ms. Horikawa. It requires precise skill in multiple (including classical) languages, and a deep understanding of Chinese and Japanese history, literature and religions. This is a reflection of Ms. Horikawa’s patient training in multiple disciplines. " Prof. Wang wrote, "Nobuko's research is path-breaking because the study of literature by Buddhist practitioners in Japan has historically focused almost exclusively on the writings of male monks, with nuns' writings being largely overlooked."

Because Dr. Horikawa's dissertation falls within the current year’s fields of competition for the Council of Graduate Schools/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award, the Graduate School will submit it as the UW’s institutional nomination for this prestigious recognition.

Congratulations Nobuko!