Modern Languages

Photo of Matthew Mizenko
Photo of Matthew Mizenko

Matthew Mizenko

A member of the Ursinus faculty since 2000, Matthew Mizenko teaches courses in Japanese language and East Asian Studies.  He specializes in courses on Japanese culture in social and historical context, ranging from the earliest Japanese literature to contemporary film and anime.  With a wide range of teaching and research interests, Prof. Mizenko has written on Japanese fiction, intellectual history, and modern woodblock prints, and is currently working on a translation of personal statements from survivors of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.  Prof. Mizenko believes strongly in the transformative value of study in Japan, and urges students of Japanese to take advantage of the excellent opportunities that we offer.   And for the record, he wishes to state that he believes that Hello Kitty (who is studied in his course on Japanese visual culture) is a kitten, and not a human being.  If she’s a little girl, then she’s a little girl with big whiskers.  


Modern Languages


  • A.B., Columbia University
  • Ph.D., Princeton University


Courses on Japanese language and culture, including:

JPN 111-112 Advanced Elementary Japanese

EAS 224 Japanese Literature in Translation

EAS 314 Contemporary Japanese Culture

EAS 398 Pre-Departure Course for Japan Study

And topics courses as EAS 299, including Japanese Film, East Asian Film, Anime, and Japanese Visual Culture.

Professional Experience

Chair, Greater Philadelphia Asian Studies Consortium.

Research Interests

The literature of Kawabata Yasunari, winner of the Nobel Prize.  

Writings in English by Japanese intellectuals in the late 19th-early 20th c.

Recent Work

In progress: A translation of documents pertaining to a citizens’ lawsuit against Tokyo Electric Power Co. and the Japanese government over the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant disaster.