Faculty Profile

Judith N Rabinovitch

Judith N Rabinovitch

Emeritus Karashima Tsukasa Prof of Japanese Lang and Culture

Email: rabinovitchj@mso.umt.edu
Office Hours:

Prof. Rabinovitch has retired from UM effective May 2015 but may be reached through email at rabinovitchj@mso.umt.edu. 

Current Position

Dr. Judith N. Rabinovitch is Karashima Professor of Japanese Language and Culture at the University of Montana. She serves as Section Head and has been teaching Japanese language and literature at UM since 1992. 


Prof. Rabinovitch mainly teaches first and third year Japanese, Classical Japanese and, when possible, the kanbun (Chinese) tradition in Japan. She also teaches Japanese 311, Classical Japanese Literature in English Translation, and Japanese 386, the History of the Japanese Language. Others courses taught in the past include Japanese literature of all periods and the history of Japanese culture.


B.A., University of Washington, in Far Eastern Languages and Literatures; M.A., Ph.D., Harvard University, in East Asian Languages and Civilizations


Research Interests

Prof. Rabinovitch has a particular interest and expertise in kanshi (poetry in Chinese) of the Nara and Heian periods (ca. 700-1200). A secondary interest is the linguistic evolution of “variant Chinese” literary styles and kuge nikki, courtier diaries in variant Chinese dating from the Heian and Kamakura periods. Judith is currently working with Prof. Timothy R. Bradstock of the Chinese section at UM on a second anthology of Heian kanshi poetry. With Tim, she has published two additional books devoted to somewhat more recent Edo-period kanshi, including a volume dealing with a private collection of informal, decorative ‘tanzaku’ kanshi. The poems in the collection were composed and exchanged mainly as occasional poems among well-known artists, writers and scholars living in Kyoto in the 18th and 19th century.



The Diary of Lady Kenju Gozen, ca. 1219; a study and translation of an early 13th century diary written by a leading female court poet and high-placed lady-in-waiting, the daughter of Fujiwara no Shunzei

Kanshi Poetry of the Japanese Court; a Study and Translation of Selected Works

Field of Study

Japanese language and literature, with a special interest in classical literature and poetry. judith's research specialization is Japanese literature recorded in variant Chinese styles, in particular, the early war tales, poetry (the kanshi genre), and private courtier diaries (kuge nikki). 

Selected Publications

“Paulownia Leaves Falling: The Kanshi Poetry of Inaga Nanpo (1865-1901) Japan Review  21 (August 2009), International Research Center for Japanese Studies, Kyoto. With Timothy R. Bradstock.

Dance of the Butterflies: Chinese Poetry from the Japanese Court Tradition: Translated and Edited with Introductions and Commentaries,Cornell University’s East Asian Monograph Series, 2006.  With Timothy R. Bradstock.

The Kanshi Poems of the Ozasa Tanzaku Collection: Late Edo Life through the Poetry of Kyoto Townsmen. International Research Center for Japanese Studies Monograph Series, #5. International Research Center for Japanese Studies, Kyoto, 2002.  With Timothy R. Bradstock.

An Anthology of Kanshi [Chinese Verse] by Japanese Poets of the Edo Period (1603-1868):  Translations of Selected Poems with an Introduction and Commentaries. The Edwin Mellen Press, NY, 1997.  With Timothy R. Bradstock.

“Wasp Waists and Monkey Tails: A Study and Translation of Hamanari's Uta no shiki [The Poetic Code, 772], also known as Kakyo Hyoshiki [A Formulary for Verse Based on the Canons of Poetry],” in Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 51.2 (Dec 1991).

Shomonki: The Story of Masakado's Rebellion, pub. by Monumenta Nipponica [Monograph series #58] (Tokyo:  Sophia University, 1986).  




“Nihongo no Midare to Mirai ” (The Chaotic State of the Japanese [Honorific] Language and Its Future,” in Japanese, published in Nichibunken (Journal of Japanese Studies Research) no. 2 (Spring 2001),  pub. by the International Research Center for Japanese Studies, Kyoto.

“An Introduction to Variant Chinese, a Hybrid Sinico-Japanese Used by the Male Elite in Premodern Japan,” Journal of Chinese Linguistics (University of California, Berkeley) vol. 24, no. 1 (Jan 1996).

“Some Literary Aspects of Four Kambun Diaries of the Japanese Court:  Translations with Commentaries of Excerpts from Uda Tenno Gyoki, Murakami Tenno Gyoki, Gonki, and Gyokuyo,” in The Journal of the Humanities, Sec. II, no. 39, Yokohama University (Oct 1992)

“Hentai Kanbun”and “Toyo Kanji” in Encyclopedia of Japan (Kodansha), 1983.



BOOK: The Diary of Lady Kenju Gozen, ca. 1219; a study and translation of an early 13th century diary written by a leading female court poet and high-placed lady-in-waiting, the daughter of Fujiwara no Shunzei

BOOK: Kanshi Poetry of the Japanese Court; a Study and Translation of Selected Works





Phi Kappa Phi, University of Montana; University of Montana Faculty Teaching Honor Citation; Distinguished Service Award from Shanghai International Studies University; Yale University Council on East Asian Studies Research Grant; Fellow of Calhoun College, Yale University; Japan Institute of Harvard University Research Grant; President's Medalist, University of Washington; Phi Beta Kappa, University of Washington; Japan-America Society Award (Seattle area); other research grants from Nichibunken (IRCJS), JSPS, Fulbright-Hayes, SSRC, the Japan Foundations, the Ministry of Education, Japan.


Specialized Skills

Judith has a teaching degree (jun-shihan) and natori status in shamisen (a three stringed traditional Japanese instrument) with the Fujimoto School (Tokyo); she is also famiiar with the nagauta repertoire for shamisen. Whie attending school in Sendai and Kyoto, Judith studied sumi-e (monochrome) painting, flower arranging, and shodo (calligraphy).

Teaching Experience

Prof. Rabinovitch taught Japanese at The Ohio State University, Yale University, and Auckland University in New Zealand before joining the faculty at UM.


Other past academic affiliations: Japanese Ministry of Education Invited Professor, Shokei University; Visiting Professor, International Research Center for Japanese Studies, Kyoto; JSPS Research Fellow, Nagoya University; SSRC/Japan Foundation Dissertation Research Fellow, Waseda University, Tokyo, Graduate Research Affiliate in Japanese Literature, Kyoto University; Teaching Fellow, College of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University.


Professional Experience

Japanese translation; transcription and transation of art inscriptions in Chinese and Japanese

International Experience

Overseas research fellowships held in Tokyo, Yokohama, Kyoto, and Nagoya; teaching appointments in Kumamoto, Japan, in Shanghai, People's Republic of China, and in Auckland, New Zealand. Other periods spent in Canada and England.



Association for Asian Studies

Association of Teachers of Japanese

Fulbright Alumni Association