The Waseda International House of Literature (The Haruki Murakami Library)Waseda University

Database and Research

Journal and Reports


The Journal of the Waseda House of International Literature is an academic journal published annually by the Waseda International House of Literature. Our aim is to offer a space for scholarly dialogue on the subject of literature written in Japanese. We welcome submissions with new global perspectives on this subject. Manuscripts will be reviewed by a panel of international scholars.
Our inaugural issue is titled “The Transforming Space of ‘Japanese Literature.’ ” For more details, please see our Call for Papers, Style Guide, and Submission Guidelines. While our inaugural issue focuses on modern and contemporary literature, we also plan to invite papers on other periods in the future.

Deadline for submission

April 30, 2022

As a research institute, The Waseda House of International Literature is establishing an academic journal to promote research on literature written in the Japanese language. The main theme of the inaugural issue is “The Transforming Space of ‘Japanese Literature.’” We invite contributions from a variety of international perspectives. While our emphasis in this issue is on modern and contemporary literature, we plan to expand this scope of research in subsequent issues.

The space of modern literature has experienced various transformations. In the early Meiji era, the definition of “literature” itself was unstable. What gradually took form was called kokubungaku (national literature), which eventually came to be known as Nihon bungaku (Japanese literature). Nevertheless, questions began to arise regarding the ideological nature of “Japanese literature, ” particularly as this genre tended to privilege works written by ethnically Japanese writers that focused on the experiences of heterosexual men. Nearly all of these texts were written in the Japanese language and published in the narrow confines of the Japanese publishing industry. In recent years, we have started to use such phrases as Nihongo bungaku or Nihongoken bungaku (Japanese-language literature or Japanophone literature) to echo the expressions “Anglophone Literature” and “Francophone Literature. ” Attempts have also been made to situate Japanese literature within the system of “world literature” by emphasizing the perspective of translation. In this sense, a range of developments has appeared that rigorously question methodological frameworks that were previously considered self-evident.

How, then, must we formulate new types of questions? What possibilities exist in current writing practices that allow us to reexamine dominant literary frameworks? In the Japanese-language literature of the present day, we find many practices that expose our unconscious assumptions and defamiliarize everyday perceptions at the most general level. For example, recent works have sought to challenge such traditional categories as “the human,” “environment,” and “world.” In fact, there were already numerous attempts in postwar Japanese literature – not to mention the literary experiments of the modernist era – to create a ground upon which to produce a new reality by various types of defamiliarization. “Translation styles” as developed in the works of Ōe Kenzaburō and Murakami Haruki could also be seen to embody such defamiliarization. Other literary practices actively call into question the ways we visualize gendered/racialized bodies and the environment. We look forward to receiving articles that open possibilities for new inquiries while challenging the dominant frameworks of old.

  • 1. Submissions should present research that addresses the founding goals of the Journal of the Waseda House of International Literature (hereafter, JWIHL). JWIHL welcomes submissions from authors regardless of academic credentials. Please note that submissions for the inaugural volume must address the themes outlined in the special issue call for papers.
  • 2. Submissions should be written in Japanese or English. Submissions should be 12,000 to 16,000 Japanese characters or 7,000 to 12,000 English words including footnotes.
  • 3. Submissions must be previously unpublished. Essays that are under consideration for publication elsewhere cannot be considered. In addition, the following submissions cannot be considered: essays that have previously appeared in magazines or as book chapters, works that are available online (including in repositories or other digital archives), dissertation chapters (without considerable revisions), translations of previously published works, or similar works.
  • 4. Submissions must conform to either the Japanese or English journal style guide.
  • 5. Please submit the following files to the editorial team (email address listed below):
    ① PDF of essay (anonymized)
    ② Word file of essay (anonymized)
    ③ An abstract written in the language of the article (abstracts should be approximately 400 Japanese characters or 300 English words)
    ④ A separate file that contains: essay title (including kana for Japanese titles), author’s name (including kana reading of Japanese names), author’s affiliation, author’s position, mailing address, and email address.

    contact:[email protected]
    The subject of the e-mail should be “JWIHL/Submission”, and each item in ④ should also be written in the body of the e-mail. If you do not receive a confirmation e-mail within three days after submitting your paper, please contact the address above.

  • 6. Peer review will strictly follow the rules outlined in the “Peer Review Process” section below.
  • 7. Copyright will reside with the author of the essay. However, with the consent of the author the Waseda International House of Literature reserves the right to first publish accepted submissions and to include accepted submissions in the Waseda University online repository. Authors that intend to reproduce accepted essays in future works should include a citation to the original essay published in JWIHL.
  • 8. Authors hoping to include illustrations should clearly source their images. Authors are responsible for securing all permissions and are likewise responsible for any copyright violations that may arise. In the event that an essay is accepted for submission, authors will be asked to submit a written publishing agreement.
  • 9. JWIHL is unfortunately unable to respond to inquiries regarding submission results.
  • 10. The deadline for submission to the inaugural special volume is April 30, 2022.
  • 11. Authors will have the opportunity to correct first proofs only. Changes to proofs should be limited to the correction of factual or typographical errors. Significant additions and deletions may NOT be made at this stage.
Peer Review Process
  • 1. Each submission will be reviewed by two members of the editorial board.
  • 2. In the event that the initial two reviewers cannot come to an agreement, a third reviewer will be asked to make a final decision.
  • 3. In principle, reviews will be performed by the editorial board. However, in the event that JWIHL editors cannot perform the review, a qualified third party will be recruited to complete the review process.
  • 4. Peer Review Results will be as follows:
    A – Accepted (with the possibility of minor revisions to style or expression)
    B – Revisions requested (suggestions for minor revisions will be provided in comments and authors will be encouraged to resubmit for the current volume)
    C – Revisions requested (suggestions for major revisions will be provided and authors will be encouraged to resubmit for the subsequent volume)
    D – Rejected (comments will not be provided)

In principle, submissions in English should follow The Chicago Manual of Style and our guidelines below:

1.Document Formatting

Submissions should use an A4 page size.
English texts should use the Century font. Font size should be 10.5 for the body text and 9 for notes. Japanese words other than those accepted in common English usage should appear italicized, with the initial appearance followed by the original Japanese in MS Mincho font if necessary.
Character and word counts should follow item [2] from the Submission Guidelines, but please count half-width Japanese characters as 0.5.
Notes should appear at the bottom of the page. A bibliography should appear at the end of the document.

2.Style Formatting

Japanese names and terms should follow Hepburn romanization. Please use macrons for long vowels. In principle, Japanese names should appear with the family name first. The use of specialized terminology, proper nouns, and other such phrases should follow a uniform pattern throughout the submission.
Years should be listed in the Western format, with corresponding Japanese years listed only when necessary.
Units can be listed as the author prefers but should remain uniform throughout.

3.Quotations, Notes, and Bibliography

All quotations must be cited in Notes and Bibliography style of The Chicago Manual. Please indicate in the note when quotations have been altered from their original sources, for example: old form traditional characters have been changed to simplified characters, kana orthography has been changed to the contemporary usage, italics or underlines have been added for emphasis, etc.


If submissions include images, please format the layout of the document in such a way that it indicates the approximate size and location of the image that will be added. If you intend to add images to your submission but have not formatted the document to include them, please indicate this in your submission email.
Images should be labeled individually, with each image including a sequence number and title or explanation.
In principle, space taken up by images will not count against the submission’s word count.
For images that require citations, please include that information after the bibliography at the end of the document.


Please follow our submission guidelines.


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