As of 2013, the Center now supports a community of over sixty Japan area specialists who teach and pursue research in the University's various departments and professional schools. In addition to their teaching responsibilities, Center faculty present lectures to many outside groups, write extensively for both scholarly journals and popular media, participate in national professional associations, serve as consultants to industry and government, and otherwise respond to and foster American interest in Japan. Counting all disciplines, there are now nearly 100 courses focusing on Japan, annually enrolling over 1,000 students at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
The continuing work of Center students and faculty has also led to an increase in publications. The Center Publications Program has continued to produce a wide variety of volumes on Japan by scholars around the world. Works currently appear in three series: Michigan Monograph Series in Japanese Studies, Michigan Papers in Japanese Studies, and Michigan Classics in Japanese Studies, and as non-series publications. Center books have been reviewed in the New York Times Book Review, Publishers Weekly, and World Literature Today, as well as in all the major journals on Japanese and Asian studies. Over 100 universities and colleges have adopted Center titles as textbooks for classes on Japanese language, literature, and culture. The Center also publishes materials of special interest to industry, government, and the general public.
The Publications Program acknowledges its history and promotes the best of Japanese scholarship with its John Whitney Hall Book Imprint, a book fund endowed in 1998 by Betty Lou Bolce “Robin” Hall in honor of her late husband, John Whitney Hall, the distinguished and beloved historian at Michigan from the late 1940s to the early 1960s, director of the Center for Japanese Studies in 1952, and director of the Okayama Center in the 1950s. As the program moves forward, its mission is to disseminate scholarly information about Japan as widely and quickly as possible. To that end, the program now publishes ebooks in many formats and keeps out-of-print books available by posting them on the web in searchable and downloadable formats. This endeavor also includes faculty-edited series, such as Abé Mark Nornes’s Motion Pictures Reprint Series, which archives movies, billets, books, production materials, and photos for viewing on the web.
Promoting and disseminating research about Japan continues to be a primary Center objective. Both individual and collective research projects are carried out with financial and administrative support from the Center. Ongoing projects lie across a wide spectrum of approximately 20 different disciplines, including literature, history, art history, anthropology, political science, human rights, film studies, law, medicine, biology, and art. Recent Center programs and funding are also geared towards educating pre-college-age students. Finally, the Center also continues to engage in collaborative efforts through numerous interdisciplinary programs within the International Institute and with other U-M departments.
In over 65 years, the Center has compiled a variety of tools to aid in the study of Japan. Resource collections include the largest and most central, the Asia Library. At more than 720,000 volumes in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean, the Asia Library’s holdings constitute the third largest university collection of Japanese language books and periodicals in the United States. Other resource collections include the Asian Art Archives, prehistoric artifacts in the Museum of Anthropology, works of art in the Museum of Art, Japanese film and video in the Askwith Media Library, music recordings and transcriptions in the Music Library, documents related to the history of the Center in the Bentley Historical Library, and rare Japanese musical instruments in the Stearns Collection.
The Center for Japanese Studies has been tested by turbulent change in both the United States and Japan, and by its own faculty, staff, and students who demand and provide continuing insight into Japan and its relationship to the world. Since 1947, almost 500 MA degrees have been awarded to Center students, and over 400 PhD degrees have been awarded in all disciplines with dissertations on Japan-related topics. The Center aims to create new opportunities for knowledge, for learning, for understanding, for development, and for cooperation. The speed and extent of change in today's world point to a future of great complexity and challenge and to a sharp increase in the level of expectations for a necessarily interdisciplinary approach to scholarship. It is a challenge the Center for Japanese Studies will meet head-on.