Global Humanities and Religions Faculty and Staff

Michihiro Ama

Michihiro Ama

Karashima Tsukasa Associate Professor of Japanese Language and Culture

Office: LA 320


Dr. Michihiro Ama has taught courses on various aspects of Japanese literature and culture, and all levels of Japanese, including business Japanese and Classical Japanese.

Fall 2016   

JPNS 306: Japanese for Business and Tourism

JPNS 201: Intermediate Japanese I

Spring 2017

JPNS 411: Modern Japanewe Writers/Thinkers

JPNS 202: Intermediate Japanese II


University of California, Irvine  Ph.D. in East Asian Languages and Literatures, 2007

Research Interests

The Transpacific Development of Japanese Buddhism, Buddhism in Japanese Literature and Film, Buddhism and Japanese Language, Buddhism and Law, Buddhism and Gender, and Buddhism and Ethnicity

Selected Publications


  • Immigrants to the Pure Land: The Modernization, Acculturation and Globalization of Shin Buddhism, 1898-1941. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2011. 313 pp. (Republished through by Oxford University Press, 2017.)
  • The Awakening of Modern Japanese Fiction: Buddhism and Path Litrature in Modern Japan (work in progress)

Book Chapters

  • “‘First White Buddhist Priestess’: A Case Study of Sunya Gladys Pratt at Tacoma Buddhist Temple.” In Buddhism Beyond Borders: New Perspectives on Buddhism in the United States, ed. Scott Mitchell and Natalie Quli, 59-74. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2015.
  • “Flying Sparks: Dissensions among the Early Shin Buddhists in Canada.” In Flowers on the Rock: Global and Local Buddhisms in Canada, ed. John S. Harding, Victor Sogen Hori, and Alexander Soucy, 55-78. Montreal, Canada: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2014.
  • “The Legal Dimensions of the Formation of Shin Buddhist Temples in Los Angeles.” In Issei Buddhism in Americas, ed. Duncan R. Williams and Moriya Tomoe, 65-86. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2010.
  • Translation with a Critical Note, “A Future of Shin Buddhism in America: Tana Daishō’s Vision for American Buddhism." In Pure Lands in Asian Texts and Contexts: An Anthology, ed. Richard Payne and Halkias Georgios. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press (forthcoming).

Peer-Reviewed/Refereed Articles

  • “Shinran as ‘Other’: Revisiting Kurata Hyakuzō’s The Priest and His Disciples.” Japanese Journal of Religious Studies vol. 43, no 2: (2016): 253-274.
  • “A Neglected Diary, A Forgotten Buddhist Couple: Tana Daishō’s Internment Camp Diary as a Historical and Literary Text.” Journal of Global Buddhism vol. 14 (2013): 45-62.
  • “A Transnational Development of Japanese Buddhism During the Postwar Period—The Case of Tana Daishō.” Pacific World 3rd series no. 14 (2012): 1-26.
  • “Shin Buddhist Women in America.” Religion Compass 5, no. 5 (May 2011): 180-191.
  • “Transcending Death in Departures (Okuribito)—A Case Study of Film, Literature, and Buddhism in Modern Japan.” The Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema 2, no.1 (Dec. 2010): 35-50.
  • “Rethinking Kaikyō (Overseas Propagation of Japanese Buddhism): Integrating Perspectives from Both Sides.” The Eastern Buddhist n.s., 40 (2009): 121-138.
  • “Shifting Subjectivity in the Translation of Shinran’s Texts” The Eastern Buddhist n.s. 37 (2005): 205-221

Articles in Japanese

  • “Buddhism and Literature,” an entry to Bukkyōshi Kenkyū Handbook (A Handbook for the Historical Study of Japanese Buddhism), ed. Bukkyō shigakukai, 364-365. Kyoto: Hōzōkan, 2016.
  • “Buddhism and Music,” an entry to Bukkyōshi Kenkyū Handbook (A Handbook for the Historical Study of Japanese Buddhism), ed. Bukkyō shigakukai, 367. Kyoto: Hōzōkan, 2016.
  • “Hokubei niokeru senzen no nihon bukkyō no tenkai—shin shiryō niyoru kōsatsu” (A Development of Japanese Buddhism in North America during the Pre-war Period.” Migration kenkyūkai kaihō, The Periodical Report of the Society for the Studies of Japanese Migration 8 (May 2013): 6-7
  • “Nikkei imin shukyō kenkyū ni okeru ameica to nihon no kenkyū hōhō no sōiten oyobi gakujutsu kōryū no teiki: Nikkei bukkyō no kenkyū o chūshin to shite (Integrating American and Japanese Scholarship on the Topic of Japanese Buddhism in North America).” Nihon imin gakkai nenpō, The Annual Review of Migration Studies, 16 (March 2010): 109-121.


Professional Experience

July 2015 - June 2016       University of Alaska, Anchorage

                                           Associate Professor of Japanese, Department of Languages

August 2010 - June 2015   University of Alaska, Anchorage               

                              Assistant Professor of Japanese, Department of Languages