Hiroshi Nara


2701 Cathedral of Learning
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

F: 412-624-3458


  • PhD, Linguistics (NL interaction with a database), University of Kansas, 1987
  • MA, General linguistics, University of Kansas, 1982. M.Phil. 1984
  • BFA, Painting (1974) and BA in Art History (1976), Universidad de las Américas, Puebla, México
  • Lenoir-Rhyne College, Hickory, N.C. (1970-1972)


  • Interactive Japanese: Understanding Written Japanese. Software for reading instruction in Japanese. Alpine, California: The CALL Educational Project. 1992.



  • Advances in Japanese Language Pedagogy, editor and author of an article. Columbus, Ohio: National East Asian Languages Resource Center. 2002. ISBN 0-87415-345-x. Contains my chapter on automaticity.




  • Acts of Reading: Exploring Connections in Pedagogy of Japanese, with Mari Noda. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2002. ISBN 0-8248-2261-7. Contains essays by the co-authors as well as those by Chris Brockett, Fumiko K. Harada, and Charles J. Quinn.



  • The Structure of Detachment: The Aesthetic Vision of Kuki Shūzō. Honolulu:University of Hawai'i Press, 2004. ISBN 0-8248-2735-x. Contains an English translation of Kuki Shūzō (九鬼周造)'s 'Iki' no kōzō『「いき」の構造』 (東京: 岩波書店, 1931), my critical essay, as well as essays by J. Thomas Rimer and Jon Mark Mikkelsen.



  • Inexorable Modernity: Japan's Grappling with Modernity in the Arts, editor. Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books, 2007. ISBN 978-0-7391-1842-9. Contains an introduction and an essay by me on Wtasuji Tetsurō, as well as essays by ten other authors.



  • Yoshida Shigeru: The Last Meiji Man. Boulder, Colorado: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2007. ISBN 978-0-7425-3933-4. An expanded English translation of the memoires of Yoshida Shigeru, Japan's first post-war prime minister.



  • 'Iki' no kōzō/The Structure of 'iki'. English-Japanese bilingual edition. Tokyo: Kodansha International, 2008. ISBN 978-4-7700-4091-6. Contains the English translation of Kuki's 'Iki' no kōzō that appeared in The Structure of Detachment (above) with my own notes translated into Japanese.



  • Aspect and Discourse Function in Tense Switching: A Case Study of Natsume Sōseki’s Botchan. 2010. Japanese Language and Literature 45.1: 273–305.
  • Modern Japanese Art and the Meiji State: The Politics of Beauty. An English translation of Satō Dōshin (佐藤道信)’s『明治国家と近代美術』(東京:吉川公文館, 1999). Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute, 2011. ISBN 978-1-60606-059-9. $75.00 cloth. The Japanese original was the 1999 winner of the Suntory Prize for Social Sciences and Humanities. I am proud to be associated with this book.



  • Pilgrimages to the Ancient Temples in Nara, an English translation of and a critical introduction to Watsuji Tetsurō (和辻哲郎)'s 『古寺巡礼』(東京:岩波書店, 1919). Portland, Maine: MerwinAsia, distributed by the University of Hawaii Press. March 2012, 200 pages. Photos, index. ISBN 978-1-937385-10-1 $35.00 pbk, ISBN 978-1-937385-11-8 $65.00 cloth.



  • Kuki Shuzō as Philosopher-Poet. Routledge Handbook of Modern Japanese Literature, ed. Rachael Hutchinson and Leith Morton. New York: Routledge. 2016.
  • An Adoring Gaze: The Idea of Greece in Modern Japan. To appear in Reception of Greek and Roman Culture in East Asia, edited by Almut-Barbara Renger and Xin Fan. Amsterdam: Brill.
  • The Idea of Greece in Japan’s Cultural Dreams. To appear in New Essays in Japanese Aesthetics, edited by Minh Nguyen. Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books.

Editorial Work

Office Hours

Spring 2018: Tuesday & Thursday 12-1:00 and by appointment


My interests include twentieth century Japanese intellectual history and modernity, particularly the development of aesthetic categories and their political implications before World War II. Other interests include verb aspect, grammaticalization in Japanese, medical humanities, corpus linguistics, and computational linguistics (AI). I also have long-term interests in Japanese language pedagogy and translation studies.

Courses Taught

Japanese language courses at all levels. Other courses taught recently:

  • JPNSE 1999 "Capstone" (Spring 2013)
  • JPNSE 1023/2023 "Aspects of the Japanese Language" (Every fall)
  • JPNSE 1700/2700 "An Introduction to the Theory and Practice of Translation" (Spring 2014, Spring 2017)
  • JPNSE 1071/2071 "Modernizing Japan" (Spring 2015)
  • JPNSE 0007 "Introduction to Japanese Civilization" (Summer 2015, Summer 2016), Pitt-in-Japan