Author Guidelines

Manuscript types and lengths

Japan Studies Association Journal welcomes submissions by scholars in all academic fields, exploring any area of Japanese Studies. All manuscripts are submitted electronically (* designates refereed):

  • Research article: 6,000-8,000 words long, including footnotes and the works cited page *
  • Research essay: 4,000-5,000 words long, including footnotes and the works cited page *
  • Pedagogical notes/essay: 3,000-4,000 words, including footnotes and the works cited page *
  • Roundtable discussion or provocations, originating from JSA’s annual meetings
  • Translation of Japanese scholarship into English (contact Editor)
  • Literary translation or original work in drama, poetry, fiction or creative non-fiction (contact Editor)
  • Review essay: 2,500- 3,000 words (solicited or unsolicited, at least two new publications or releases)
  • Review: 1,000-1,200 words (solicited or unsolicited, single book, film, performance, exhibit, etc.)

Organizing the manuscript

Japan Studies Association Journal relies on a double-blind peer-review process to ensure a consistent and high quality of its content. To assist with this process, contributors must remove all identifying information from their manuscripts, including contributor’s name beyond the title page, in the header or footer or the article’s body.

  1. Title page (MS Word document preferred, submitted separately): manuscript title; author’s name; institutional affiliation; contact e-mail address and phone number; type of manuscript; a 200-250-word abstract; 6-8 key words (excluding words used in the title) and a 100-word professional biography (consider specifying academic affiliation, research interests and achievements, incl. recent and noteworthy publications).
  1. Manuscript (MS Word preferred, .doc or .docx): title, footnotes, works-cited list.
  1. If images, tables or figures are used, they must appear at the correct location in the manuscript. Images, tables or figures should be accompanied by a short caption and attribution which allows readers to identify the source in the works-cited list; use “photo courtesy” or “image courtesy,” unless material is original to the author.
  1. If an author must seek written permission to reproduce a document, map, drawing, chart, photo, etc., this should occur prior to the manuscript’s submission. Authors need to keep a copy of all such requests on file, in case the review/editorial process requires them.
  1. Japan Studies Association Journal is an American publication. American English should be used consistently throughout the manuscript (spelling, punctuation, etc.). If authors are non-native speakers of English or need to build their confidence using scholarly English, they should have their manuscript edited before submission.
  1. The entire manuscript, including direct and block quotations and works-cited list, should be double-spaced, in Times New Roman, font size 12. The page size should be Letter (21.59 cm x 27.94 cm) with one-inch (2.54 cm) margins all around.
  1. Single space should be used after all punctuation, including periods at the end of a sentence.
  1. Numbers one hundred and below should be spelled out: ten and fifty-five vs. 209 and 102. However, do not spell out %. Abbreviations are acceptable as long as they are first introduced in parenthesis, following an organization or unit’s fist use: e.g., Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF).

Submission and deadline

All manuscripts are submitted electronically. To gain access to JSAJ’s submission portal, a contributor should first become a registered user. Please note that unless you activate your account by verifying your e-mail address, the Journal’s website will not allow you to make a submission. JSAJ does not charge any submission, rewire or publications fees.

Japan Studies Association Journal is published annually. To ensure a timely review of his or her manuscript, an author needs to submit it by June 15. The double-blind peer-review process normally takes six-eight weeks, likely followed by revision and careful copy editing. If notified in advance, the Editor will consider late submissions.

Early release

To accommodate authors who submit a manuscript well ahead of the submission deadline and manuscripts which complete the review process in a timely manner, each JSAJ number features an “early release” section. This allows JSAJ readers to retrieve online journal content before a new volume is formally released.

Ethics Matters

Submitting a manuscript to JSAJ for consideration and publication implies that its content is original to the author/s, that it adheres to the principles of academic integrity, that it has not been previously published, in English or another language or format, and that it is not currently under review by another publication, in the United States or elsewhere.

Authors are responsible for correct and complete referencing, both in-text (direct quotations, summary, paraphrase and parenthetical) and in the works-cited list.

When a manuscript includes tables, figures, charts, drawings, maps or images borrowed from another source, it is the author’s responsibility to determine whether this content is in the public domain, can be used under “fair use” principles and applications or requires written copyright permission. Please refer to, uncertain about the boundaries between the public domain, fair use and copyright restrictions. “Taking the Mystery Out of Copyright” and “Copyright Primary Resources,” accessible under Education, might prove particularly useful.

Alternatively, authors must locate the copyright holder and obtain written permission to use an image, chart, drawing, figure, table, etc. If working with Japanese content and uncertain where to start, see the “Image Use Protocol,” outlined by the North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources. JSAJ regrets that we cannot assist authors in bearing costs associated with obtaining permission to reproduce. Please contact JSAJ’s Editor if you need help drafting the letter requesting permission to use copyrighted material.

JSAJ Style Sheet

Source: MLA Handbook. 8th ed. The Modern Language Association of America, New York, 2016.

Below are some fundamentals of MLA’s citation and documentation style. For more intricate cases and for a detailed examination of handling in-text citations, see the handbook’s full version, available in print and as an electronic edition:

In-Text Referencing

A typical in-text citation includes the bibliographical element that comes first in the list of works cited. Usually, this is the author’s last name and page number. If the author’s name is used to introduce a direct quote, summary or paraphrase, only the page number goes in parenthesis, which is placed in such a way as to indicate the end of borrowed material, typically after the closing quotation mark.

A quotation longer than three lines needs to be formatted as a block quote (set off from the text in a paragraph). Block quotes do not require the use of quotation marks. Insert the full stop before the parenthetical reference.

If you cite from authors sharing the same last name, include an author’s first initial (of full name if initials coincide), together with the page number: (J. Smith 17) or (Janet Smith 17). If more than one work appears under a writer’s name in the works-cited list, add an abbreviated title to the parenthetical reference: (Smiths, “Other Countries” 203).

If a bibliographical entry starts with a work’s title (anonymous work or corporate author), either include the full title of the source in your sentence or, shortened, preceding the page number in the parenthetical reference: (Picturing America xviii).

In Picturing America: The Teachers Source Book, a range of photographs and paintings draw “attention to the endurance of American values,” represented in works by Dorothea Lange and Norman Rockwell, among others (xviii).

If a source numbers each paragraph, instead of its pages, reference the relevant paragraph/s by introducing it with par. or pars. Alternatively, you might have to reference a line or line numbers (l. or ll.), section (sec. or secs.) or a chapter (ch. or chs.), e.g., (Lowell, par. 3), (Ovid, ll. 23-27), (Smith, secs. 2-3), (Johnson, ch. 2). If a source has no page numbers, as online newspaper articles, provide only the writer’s name in the parenthesis or, if the article is anonymous, an abbreviated title.

When referencing material from time-based audio-visual sources, include the relevant time/range of times in the parenthesis, e.g., (“Birth Day” 00:17:01-20).

When borrowing from more than one source to substantiate an observation or an argument, include all the sources in the parenthetical reference, separating them with a semicolon: (Lowell 37; Singleton 190; Tanaka 76) or when using sources without page numbers, (Lowell; Singleton; Tanaka).

Preparing the Works Cited List

MLA uses the following basic bibliographical order in the Works Cited page (note punctuation and hanging indent in second and following lines):

Author. Title of Source. Title of Container, Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication date, Location.

Single author

List authors’ names in alphabetical order, starting with each author’s last name. If the author is an editor or translator, add “editor” or “translator” after the author’s first name. Listing a translation under the translator’s name, however, means that you are focusing on the translation, rather than the original source (otherwise, see Stendahl below).

Crump, Juliette T.‘One Who Hears Their Cries:’ The Buddhist Ethic of Compassion in Japanese Butoh.”Dance Research Journal, vol. 38, no. 1/2, Summer-Winter, 2006, pp. 61-73.

Innes, Christopher, editor.Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler: A Sourcebook. Routledge, 2003.

Jones, Helen.In Her Own Name: A History of Women in South Australia from 1836. Wakefield Press, 1986.

Stein, Bonnie Sue.Twenty Years Ago We Were Crazy, Dirty and Mad.”The Drama Review: TDR, vol. 20, no. 2, Summer, 1986, pp. 107-126.

Two or more authors

For two authors, list their names in the order in which they appear on the work’s title page. Reverse the first and last name only for the first author. For a source with three or more authors, include only the first one’s name, followed by et al. (“and others”).

Maréchal, Garance, et al. “The Territorial Organization: History, Divergence and Possibilities.” Culture and Organization, vol. 19, no. 3, 2013, pp. 185-208.

Nestingen, Andrew, and Trevor G. Elkington, editors. Transnational Cinema in a Global North: Nordic Cinema in Transition. Detroit, Wayne State UP, 2005.

Pseudonyms, online usernames, anonymous and corporate authors

Treat pseudonyms and online usernames as regular authors. If there’s no name associated with a source, list it alphabetically under its title. Authorship can be attributed also to an institution, association, government body, a blog site, or any other organization.

@WhiteHouse. “Watch LIVE as President Trump hosts a joint press conference with the Prime Minister of Japan:” Twitter, 18 Apr. 2018, 11:15 a.m.,

Picturing America: The Teachers Source Book. National Endowment for the Humanities, Schmitz Press, 2009.

Stendahl. The Charterhouse of Parma. Translated by Margaret Mauldon, introduction and notes by Roger Pearson, Oxford UP, 1997.

Title of source

Placing a title in quotation marks indicates that it is part of a larger work: an article (incl. newspaper or magazine), chapter, essay, song, story, poem, an episode of a TV series, an issue of a comic book, etc.

Ikegami, Eiko. “Categorical Protest from the Floating World: Fashion, State and Gender.” Bonds of Civility: Aesthetic Networks and the Political Origins of Japanese Culture. Cambridge UP, 2005, pp. 245-285.

Lander, Mark, and Choe Sang-hun. “North Korea Drops Troop Demand, but U.S. Reacts Warily.” New York Times, 19 Apr. 2018,

Mizuta, Noriko. “‘Unconventional Women:’ From the Body as a Site of Domination to the Body as a Site of Expression.” Translated by Linda Flores. U.S.-Japan Women’s Journal, English supplement, no. 20/21, 2001, pp. 3-16.

Saigyo. “I Know.” Translated by Burton Watson. Literatures of Asia, edited by Tony Barnstone, Prentice Hall, 2003, p. 535.

Alternatively, an italicized title signifies an independent source (book, collection, film, play, television series, music album, newspaper, website, blog, social network, etc.). This independent source is what the MLA handbook refers to as a “container:” it holds a source that is not autonomous for publication purposes. As the examples below demonstrate, it is possible for a source to have two containers.

Masamune, Shirow. “Lost Past.” Ghost in the Shell 1.5 Human-Error Processor, edited by Chris Warner, no. 7, Mike Richardson, 1996.

 “Birth Day.” The Handmaid’s Tale, season 1, episode 2, Hulu, 26 Apr. 2017. SBS On Demand, published 23 Aug. 2017,

Yoshie, Akiko. “Gender in Early Classical Japan. Marriage, Village and Political Status in Village and Palace.” Translated by Janet R. Goodwin. Monumenta Nipponica, vol. 60, no. 4, Winter, 2005, pp. 437-479. JSTOR,

For an untitled source (e.g., comment in an online forum, response to a blog, review, etc.), provide a brief, generic description to serve as a title, without italicizing it or placing it between quotation marks.

Woffox. Review of Summary of a Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking., 14 Apr. 2018,

For Twitter sources, include the entire tweet between quotation marks and, without standardizing capitalization or changing anything, treat it as part of a larger work. The subject of an e-mail message, placed between quotation marks and with standardized capitalization, becomes the source’s title.

@japantimes. “A deep dive into the unresolved issue of Japan’s dual-citizenship policy” Twitter, 20 Apr. 2018, 3:30 p.m.,

Meyrick, Julian. “Join Me for a Reading of the New Indigenous Play Mewei 3027.” Received by Maggie Ivanova, 19 Apr. 2018.

Please note: Except for tweets, the title’s capitalization needs to be standardized in the citation: capitalize verbs, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs and subordinate conjunctions.

Crediting contributors

These should be listed immediately after a source’s title because, as with films, stage productions or translations, they can help distinguish between sources. Note that certain roles are identified by a noun, followed by a comma and that it is possible for a citation to credit several contributors. These are some of the most common descriptions:

  • adapted by
  • based on
  • created by
  • directed by
  • dited by
  • general editor
  • guest editors
  • illustrated by
  • introduction by
  • narrated by
  • performance by
  • translated by

“Kōan Kyūka SECTION-9” (Public Security Section 9 – SECTION-9). Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, directed by Kenji Kamiyama, based on Shirow Masamune’s manga Ghost in the Shell, season 1, episode 1, Bandai Entertainment and Manga Entertainment, 2004.

Piccini, Angela, and Caroline Rye. “Of Fevered Archives and the Quest for Total Documentation.” Translated by John Adams. Practice-as-Research in Performance and Screen, edited by Ludivine Allegue et al., Palgrave Macmillan, 2009, pp. 34-49.

Versions of the same source and numbered sequences

Version might refer to different editions of the same book (2nd ed., revised ed., expanded ed., updated ed., unabridged version, etc.) or different versions of media sources (films, TV episode, music video, video game, commercial, song, etc.). As with contributors above, documenting clearly the version of a source allows readers to identify it. Alternatively, a source might appear as or in a volume of a multivolume set, or it might be published in a particular journal’s volume or issue number.

Leone, Sergio, director. Once Upon a Time in America. Performance by Robert de Niro, European release version, Warner Bros., 1984.

Leone, Sergio, director. Once Upon a Time in America. Performance by Robert de Niro, director’s cut, Warner Bros., 2014.

Long, Adam, et al. The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged). Acting ed., Applause Books, 1987.

Maréchal, Garance, et al. “The Territorial Organization: History, Divergence and Possibilities.” Culture and Organization, vol. 19, no. 3, 2013, pp. 185-208.

Publisher, publication date and location

It is sometimes possible to omit the publisher. This applies to periodicals (newspapers, journals, magazines) or websites whose name coincides with their publishers’. Publisher information can also be excluded for websites which are merely content providers, like or ProQuest. However, when a database or content provider, like JSTOR or YouTube, is perceived as a way of organizing content, it can be listed as a container (but not as a publisher).

It is necessary to provide an exact date of a source (day/month/year), when documenting an audio-visual source posted on a website, articles accessed via the web, online comments or reviews. As many online periodicals have retained their print editions, list the date associated with the medium you use. When a book has different publication dates on its title and copyright pages, list the most recent one.

Sheldrick, Michael. “The Government’s New Policy White Paper Is a Fail When It Comes to Aid.” HuffPost, AU ed., The Blog, 27 Nov. 2017,

“Kinuta Koto and Bass” (琴&ベースギター). YouTube, uploaded by Japanese Koto Club, 17 Feb. 2018,

A source’s location is determined by its medium. For printed sources and online periodicals, for instance, the location is indicated by a page number or a range of page numbers, introduced by p. or pp., respectively. For many web sources, the location is indicated by their URLs. Source might change URLs or archive material, so look for stable URLs (or permalinks) or DOIs (digital object identifiers) which stay attached to sources through any changes. Alternatively, list the date you accessed the source following its URL.

Atwood, Margaret. “The Handmaid’s Tale and Oryx and Crake in Context.” PMLA, vol. 119, no. 3, May 2004, pp. 513-517. JSTOR,

National Diet of Japan, House of Councilors. “Dai 10 Kai Sangiin Okura Iinkai (10th Diet, HC, Finance Committee),” 15 Mar. 1951. Accessed 10 Dec. 2016.

The location of a music piece, TV or amine episode can be documented by the DVD disc number. For physical objects, like a statue, paining, historical artefact or an archival object, identify the specific place (institution) and the city where it is located (though the latter should be omitted if contained in the name). For archival materials, include a manuscript number or other code.

Walden, Lionel. Hawaiian Fishermen. 1924. Honolulu Museum of Art.

Commodore Perry in Japan. 1856. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C., LOT 9211 (H) [P&P], 24 prints,

Working with Japanese names, sources and terms

Japanese Names: Unless the original source is in English, a Japanese author follows western conventions, or a Japanese artist is well known in the west, render Japanese names with the surname first.

Akira Kurosawa but Watanabe Shōkō

Shinzō Abe but Ishikawa Manabu

Italicize Japanese terms and provide their translation in parenthesis: e.g., rōmaji (Roman letters), Banbū burēdo (Bamboo Blade) or Bungakukai (“Literary World”). There is no need to italicize Japanese terms with wide-spread use in English, like sushi, anime, manga, etc. Please use the Revised Hepburn romanization system: it requires insertion of macrons (ō, ā, etc.) to indicate vowel length and apostrophes to signal important boundaries between phonemes, as in Jun’ichirō.

Japanese titles: It is typical capitalize only the first word in the title of a Japanese work (poem, short story, novel, book, film, anime, etc.). When you use rōmaji to refer to a Japanese title in the article’s body and the works cited list, provide the title’s translation in parenthesis, immediately following, placing it between quotation marks or italicizing it in accordance with the MLA guidelines only if a published translation exists.

Banbū burēdo (Bamboo Blade) – this manga series was published in English by Yen Press.

Bungakukai (“Literary World”) – this monthly magazine appeared only in Japanese.