Recent News

Shizu Usami performs calligraphy at the second annual Sakura-kai
The second annual Sakura-kai, a new tradition celebrating the iconic cherry blossoms that grace the University of Washington’s quad each spring, took place on March 29 in the East Asia Library. Braving the uncooperative weather, more than 80 students and community members packed the room, while many others were turned away due to lack of space. Department Chair Paul S. Atkins, professor of classical Japanese language and literature, gave a talk on the significance of the cherry blossom in Japanese poetry, highlighting its representation of human ephemerality, while also emphasizing... Continue reading
Asian Languages & Literature Career Panel
On Thursday, January 19th, the Department of Asian Languages & Literature and the East Asian Library hosted a career panel for students majoring in Asian Languages & Literature. Speakers included Joel Petersen, Assistant Manager in the Language Services Department of Nintendo of America, Koh Shimizu, a freelance Japanese-English interpreter and translator, and Michael Joyce, an entrepreneur and owner of Nature Nuts Adventure Travel, a company aimed at providing outdoor adventures and tours to Chinese-speaking tourists visiting the Pacific Northwest. The event, moderated by Department... Continue reading
Sean Bradley Lecture
Sean Bradley was invited to the Huntington Botanical Gardens in Pasadena, California on February 21st, 2017 to present his research on Myrrh and its history of medical use along the Silk Road from Arabia into China.  The Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens is one of the premier private research libraries in the United States with an impressive collection on the history of science and twelve botanical gardens with over 15,000 plant species. Following the talk, Bradley toured the gardens with director, Dr. Jim Folsom and discussed the continued expansion of the gardens to include medicinal... Continue reading
Teika: The Life and Works of a Medieval Japanese Poet by Paul Atkins
Teika:  The Life and Works of a Medieval Japanese Poet by Paul Atkins, professor of Japanese and department chair, was published by the University of Hawai’i Press in February, 2017. Here are excerpts from the publisher’s description: “Fujiwara no Teika (1162–1241) was born into an illustrious lineage of poets just as Japan’s ancien régime was ceding authority to a new political order dominated by military power. Overcoming personal and political setbacks, Teika and his allies championed a new style of poetry that managed to innovate conceptually and... Continue reading
Vietnamese Tet Event at the Waterfront Activities Center
The first Vietnamese Tet (Vietnamese New Year) event was held on UW’s Seattle campus, at the Waterfront Activities Center on Saturday January 21st, 2017, to celebrate the Year of the Rooster. More than 70 community members, graduate students, UW employees, undergraduates and their family members attended. Vietnamese instructor Bich-Ngoc Turner, Chinese language and literature professor Dr. Ping Wang, head of the Southeast Asian Studies library Dr. Judith Henchy, and managing director of the South East Asian Studies center Rebakah Minarchek were all in attendance. Traditional foods, games,... Continue reading
The Encyclopedia of Chinese Language & Linguistics
The Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics is a groundbreaking five-volume work that will serve for years to come as the standard reference work in the field of Chinese linguistics. AL&L Associate Professor Zev Handel is one of five associate editors who shepherded the six-year project to completion. Published in January 2017 by Brill, the encyclopedia boasts over 500 articles by scholars from all over the globe on every aspect of the languages of China across time and space. Among the more unusual topics covered are Chinese typewriters, the global history of the word for 'tea... Continue reading
Katsura Sunshine performs traditional Rakugo
The Japan Studies program at the University of Washington hosted the Japanese Rakugo (traditional comic storytelling) event “Rakugo! An evening with Katsura Sunshine,” sponsored by the Mitsubishi Corporation and NHK World on November 1 and 2, 2016. The event took place at the Samuel E. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center at UW. It was a live taping for NHK World’s TV program “Dive into Ukiyo-E” series and included a Rakugo one-man show. Professor Akiko Iwata served as the Master of Ceremonies and Department Chair, Professor Paul Atkins gave the opening remarks and conducted an interview with Katsura... Continue reading
A workshop session at the 4th STLS Conference
The Fourth Workshop on Sino-Tibetan Languages of Southwest China (STLS-2016) was held on the campus of the University of Washington, September 8-10, 2016. The event was organized by Prof. Zev Handel. The workshop, held every two or three years, is a forum for linguists and anthropologists to present their most recent data and analyses on Chinese minority languages spoken in Sichuan province and surrounding areas of Southwest China. Many of these languages have been under-studied and poorly described, and some are critically endangered. Only in recent decades have they begun to receive the... Continue reading
Professor Chi-P’ing Chou
Assistant Professor Chan Lu, in collaboration with the Confucius Institute, organized a lecturer by Professor Chi-P’ing Chou (East Asian Studies, Princeton University) at the University of Washington on December 3rd. During this lecture, Professor Chou provided a detailed overview of the development of teaching Chinese as a foreign language in the United States since World War II, and analyzed the difficulties and solutions the field of Chinese teaching has been challenged by.  Over 30 K-12 Chinese teachers from the Seattle area participated in this event, and the participants engaged in a... Continue reading
Peking Opera Demystified Flyer
On November 30th, 2016, the Department hosted Ghaffar Pourazar, an internationally renowned Peking Opera master, in collaboration with the Confucius Institute. At the event, Mr. Pourazar explained the essential elements of the Peking Opera in layman’s term; he captivated the audience and involved them in singing, chanting, dancing and performing selected songs in the Peking Opera repertoire. He also performed parts of his hybrid, bilingual opera production based on the story of Monkey King, an all time favorite legend for Chinese people young and old.