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Professor Peter Kornicki FBA

Oriental and African Studies East Asia China, Japan, Korea South-East Asia Vietnam
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About this Fellow

Peter Kornicki retired in 2014 as Professor of Japanese after 30 years at the University of Cambridge. Most of his work has been on the cultural history of Japan, but since 2005 he has also been working on Korea and Vietnam and in 2018 completed a major study of the impact of Chinese textual culture on East Asia. Also in 2018 he published in Japanese a study of the export of Japanese books to Europe up to the 19th century. He was awarded the Japan Foundation Special Prize in 1992 and the Yamagata Banto Prize in 2013, and in 2017 was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun with Gold Rays and Neck Ribbon by the Emperor of Japan. He is an elected member of the Accademia Ambrosiana, Milan, and Academia Europaea. He was President of the European Association for Japanese Studies in 1997-2000. Currently he is editor in chief of the journal East Asian Publishing and Society and is leader of a research group at the National Institute for Japanese Literature. He continues his research and lecturing activities relating to Japan and East Asia.



Current post

  • Emeritus Professor of Japanese Studies, University of Cambridge

Past Appointments

  • University Lecturer, University of Cambridge, 1985 - 1995
  • Professor of Japanese Studies, University of Cambridge, University of Cambridge, 2002 - 2014
  • Fellow, Robinson College University of Cambridge, 1986
  • Reader, Professor in Japanese History and Bibliography, University of Cambridge, 1995
  • Professor of East Asian Studies, University of Cambridge, University of Cambridge, 2007
  • Emeritus Professor of Japanese Studies, University of Cambridge, 2014
  • Fellow, Robinson College University of Cambridge, 1986


The female as subject: Women and the book in Japan 2010, University of Michigan

F. V. Dickins’ letters to Ernest M. Satow, Kumagusu Minakata and others 2011, Edition Synapse, Tokyo

The history of the book in East Asia 2013, Farnham, Ashgate

Early Japanese Books in Cambridge University Library: A Catalogue of the Aston, Satow and von Siebold Collections 1991, Cambridge University Press

The reform of fiction in Meiji Japan 1982

The book in Japan: a cultural history 1998

Early Japanese books in the Russian State Library 1999

Other Africa, Asia and the Middle East Fellows

Professor Paulo de Moraes Farias

West African history: oral traditions, chronicles, and medieval Arabic inscriptions; the interaction of Islamic and other cultural heritages in the region

Professor Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad

Indian philosophy focusing on Sanskrit and Pali, comparative philosophy of epistemology, metaphysics and phenomenology; classical Indian religions, especially Hindu theology in Sanskrit and Tamil, and comparative Hindu-Christian studies

Professor Manfred Woidich

The descriptive dialectology, dialect geography of the Arabic language; historical linguistics of Arabic, in particular syntactic and semantic issues in Egyptian dialects. Teaching Arabic as a foreign language, colloquial first