Kenneth B. Pyle Prize for Best Article in JJS

2019 image of Ken Pyle
UW Photography/Dennis Wise

The Kenneth B. Pyle Prize for Best Article in JJS honors the founding editor of the Journal of Japanese Studies.  The prize–accompanied by a $250 award–is given annually for a JJS research article published in the previous year.

For 2021, a selection committee has chosen “Information Society on Track: Communication, Crime, and the Bullet Train” by Jessamyn R. Abel as winner of the Pyle Prize.  The committee commended this article “for the originality and creativity of the approach it takes in shedding light on the significance of the Shinkansen as a symbol of change, modernity, and high-speed mobility….turning our gaze to a stretch of twentieth-century history that is sorely understudied, and fully embodying the interdisciplinarity the Journal of Japanese Studies stands for.”

Honorable Mention for 2021 goes to Grace En-Yi Ting for “Ekuni Kaori’s Tears in the Night: The Brilliance of Queer Readings for Japanese Literary Studies.”  The essay “proposes a ‘queer reading’ of literature that draws attention to the precarity of the everyday and problematizes narratives of progress and systemic problems of scholarly practice….We highly value this work in terms of its proposition of new ways of thinking and the potential it has to open up new conversations.”

Past winners: 2020: Alice Y. Tseng; Seong Un Kim, honorable mention.

Articles eligible for this prize are evaluated for their contribution to supporting the JJS mission of promoting the highest-quality scholarship through publication of empirical and interpretive work on Japan.  Consideration is given to efforts to contextualize specialized research findings in ways that articulate their importance for the wider field of Japan studies.

Kenneth B. Pyle and his Japan studies colleagues at the University of Washington established JJS in 1974 through the generosity of the Japanese government’s million-dollar grant to the university.  The UW faculty sought an innovative and enduring testament to the importance of this grant for the study of Japan around the world.

1970s photo of Ken Pyle seated in his office
UW Photo

Ken served as Editor from 1974 to 1986 and subsequently in other positions with JJS, and he has been a regular contributor to JJS pages, most recently in 2020.  Ken’s scholarship and teaching span more than 55 years, and his contributions to the study of Japan are profound.

Please consider a small contribution via this PayPal link to the Pyle Prize fund (PayPal account not required) or by check made payable to Journal of Japanese Studies and sent to the address at the bottom of this page.

Donors receive no goods or services from the Society for Japanese Studies for their contributions. Pursuant to RCW 109.09, the Society is registered as a charitable organization with the Secretary of State, State of Washington. Contributions or gifts to the Society for Japanese Studies [a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation] may be tax deductible as a charitable contribution.