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Asian Languages and Literatures, Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures


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Check out the Spring 2015 Course Schedule

Check the latest news & events on our facebook!

Distinguished anthropologist and artist Liza Dalby is giving two lectures on the art and history of the hanging scroll. For details, please see the attached poster.
Liza Dalby is internationally known for her studies of Geisha (1983) and Kimono: Fashioning Culture (1993). The scholar turned artist with The Tale of Murasaki (2000), a historical novel about Murasaki Shikibu, the author of Japan’s greatest work of literature,The Tale of Genji, followed by East Wind Melts the Ice (2007) and Hidden Buddhas (2009).
Since 2010 Liza Dalby has immersed herself in the study of mounting hanging scrolls, itself an art form. In 2013 she studied in Kyoto with master mounter Akira Okazaki of the Seikōdō Studio. She has recently exhibited her non-traditional scrolls in Kyoto with calligrapher Yoko Nishina and in New York with Yoko Nishina and artist Sarah Brayer.
Her general website is a feast for the eyes:

Her websites for the exhibitions in Kyoto and New York:

Two Lectures:
The Art of the Hanging Scroll: An Illustrated Talk on the Technique of Scroll Mounting
Monday, April 13, 4:30pm, Art Building, Room 220, Mt. Holyoke College
The lecture at Mount Holyoke College will focus on the arts and crafts aspects of mounting as a work of art.
Scroll Down: An Illustrated Talk on the Asian Hanging Scroll, Its History, Aesthetic, and Social Meaning
Tuesday, April 14, 5:30-6:30pm, Integrative Learning Center, N255, UMass Amherst
The lecture at the University of Massachusetts Amherst will explore the history of scrolling and its aesthetically inspired social impact.

To link to the above information and to download the poster go to
Drop-in Advising Hours for Study Abroad
in: China, Japan, Korea, India,  and the rest of Asia with Jakob Lengacher, IPO Assistant for Asia
Mondays, Wednesdays: 12:00-1:00 in 455 Hills South
Monday nights 6:00-8:00 in the Learning Commons
Come on by and have a chat!

Japanese tutors are available
help improve your conversation, reading, and writing skills!!
We are available in Herter 5th floor (holidays excluded)
Mon/Fri: 1:30pm to 3:30pm
Tues/Wed/Thur:1:30pm to 5:30pm
Should you have any questions, feel free to contact us at Professor Yoshimura ( or Kinji Ito, TA in Japanese (
Japanese Language Tea Table
Please contact JCC(Japan Culture Club)'s current president Christina Yacono ( or join them on ***************************************** Korean Tea Time & Conversation Club starts 1/30, continues till 4/24
12-1pm every Friday
at Herter Hall, 5th Fl lobby
Honors in the Japanese Program
Students enrolled in the Commonwealth Honors College (see pursue an Honors Track in Japanese. For further information, contact your Commonwealth College adviser or the Honors Program Director for Japanese, Professor Doris G. Bargen.

Asian Languages and Literatures

Phone: (413) 545-0886
Fax: (413) 545-3178
440 Herter
161 Presidents Drive
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003-9312

Undergraduate Program Contact:
Mary Ellen White Maynard
418 Herter
Phone: (413) 545-2807
Fax: (413) 545-3178

Whom should I contact?

Congratulations, Class of 2014!

Asian Languages and Literatures became part of the established curriculum at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1969 with the founding of degree programs in Chinese and Japanese by the late Professor William E. Naff. After more than four decades of growth we still take very seriously our founding mission--to share knowledge and understanding of the rich cultures of Asia with the students of this land-grant university as an essential part of their preparation to participate in a global society.

                                  The Great Wall 万里長城, China

Founded as Massachusetts Agricultural College in 1863, when the U.S. was just becoming aware of the importance of East Asia in the modern world, UMass Amherst is the only public institution of higher education in New England to offer undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Chinese and Japanese.

Because of this we attract students from the entire Northeast region. The Regional Student Program makes our programs particularly good value for New England students from outside of Massachusetts. The students and faculty also benefit from the excellent library that UMass Amherst offers-visit our East Asian Collection online to see for yourself.

                                  Kinkaku-ji 金閣寺, Kyoto, Japan

Our undergraduate major programs offer students a sound command of the languages as well as a solid background in literature, linguistics, culture, and civilization. Our minor programs offer a combination of skills which can greatly enrich the undergraduate experience and increase postgraduate possibilities.

Our study-abroad programs are aimed at increasing students' fluency in Chinese and Japanese as well as deepening their understanding of those cultures.

Students attaining the Bachelor of Arts degree have gone on to graduate school, to positions in various businesses (banking, marketing, exporting, investing) in the United States and in Asia, to teaching in Japan and Taiwan, to careers in journalism, diplomacy, government agencies, library science, museums, writing and more.

Students attaining the Master of Arts degree to date have gone on to Ph.D. programs (University of California, Columbia, Princeton, Harvard, Stanford, University of British Columbia, University of Washington) or to law school; others work for investment firms, cross-cultural programs, or in teaching.