The Japan Mark Twain Society: Its History and Activities

From 1876 until the present day, Mark Twain has continued to capture the Japanese imagination. Looking back at the postwar years, I recall how in those days we simply enjoyed reading this good old local humorist. Yet, recent currents in contemporary literary criticism have encouraged us to revolutionize Twain's image, even giving rise to heated controversy over the recanonization of this representative man of the Gilded Age. This productive reconstruction of American literary history in the late 20th century very naturally led Japanese scholars to conceive The Japan Mark Twain Society in October 1996. Including myself, four of Japan's foremost authorities on Twain---Professors Nobunao Matsuyama, Yorimasa Nasu, Shunsuke Kamei and Makoto Nagawara, the Society's first president, joined forces to establish The Japan Mark Twain Society on March 15, 1997 at Doshisha University in Kyoto. At that time we sponsored a symposium on The Prince and the Pauper and featured Professor Masaie Matsumura's lecture on Twain's transatlantic connections. We have since held our annual meetings every autumn: The first one featured Professor Toshio Watanabe's special lecture on Twain in the 21st century (October 13, 1997 at Toyo University, Tokyo); the second, Professor Yoshio Katsuura's lecture on his scholarly encounters with Twain (October 16, 1998 at Astair plaza in Hiroshhima); the third annual meeting focused on the years prior to Twain's literary debut, moderated by Professor Hiroaki Ichikawa (October 8, 1999 at Kitakyushu University); the fourth annual meeting highlighted a symposium on Sexuality, Gender, Feminism, moderated by Professor Koji Oi (October 13, 2000 at Doshisha University). For information about subsequent symposia, please see the "Professional Notes" section in our Mark Twain Studies Vol.1.

It is the Society's second president, Professor Shunsuke Kamei, who made possible the publication of our own academic journal through negotiations with Mr. Nobuo Hara of Nan'Undo publishers. Since 2002, we have annually published the Japanese numbers of The Journal of Mark Twain Studies, dedicated in turn to "Twain and Technology," "Twain and Detective Fiction," and "Twain and Fantasy." These three issues paved the way for the first English issue you are perusing right now. We hope that Mark Twain Studies will contribute much to international Twain scholarship, continuing to reveal the hidden agendas of this all-American hero not only in the context of his own Gilded Age, but also in today's Globalized one.

NASU Yorimasa
Former President of The Japan Mark Twain Society

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The Japan Mark Twain Society: Governance Structure

President:
GOTO Kazuhiko, Rikkyo University

Vice President:
SATOUCHI Katsumi, Osaka University

Executive Directors:
NAKAGAKI Kotaro, Daito Bunka University
TAMURA Ryo, Waseda University
IKOMA Kumi, Daito Bunka University

Executive Council:
ARIMA Yoko, Keiai University
CHIKUGO Katsuhiko, Fuji University
EGASHIRA Rie, Fukuoka University of Education
ICHIKAWA Hiroyoshi, Professor Emeritus, Shimane University
IGAWA Masago, Tohoku University
ISHIHARA Tsuyoshi, Waseda University
IWAYAMA Tajiro, Professor Emeritus, Doshisha University
KANAYA Yoshio, Kanagawa University
OGUSHI Hisayo, Keio University
TAKEDA Takako, Nagoya College
TATSUMI Takayuki, Keio University
TSUJI Kazuhiko, Kinki University
TSUJIMOTO Yoko, Kobe City University of Foreign Studies
UENISHI Tetsuo, Tokyo Institute of Technology
UZAWA Yoshiko, Keio University
WAGURI Ryo, Syujitsu University
YAMAMOTO Yuko, Kobe Women's University

Audit Commissioners:
KUBO Takuya, Kanazawa University
SUZUKI Takashi, Nihon University

Editor in Chief (Journal of Mark Twain Studies, Japanese Number):
UENISHI Tetsuo, Tokyo Institute of Technology

Editor in Chief (Mark Twain Studies):
TATSUMI Takayuki, Keio University

Editorial Board:
ARIMA Yoko, Keiai University
ISHIHARA Tsuyoshi, Waseda University
Knighton, Mary, Aoyama Gakuin University
OGUSHI Hisayo, Keio University
TATSUMI Takayuki, Keio University
TSUJIMOTO Yoko, Kobe City University of Foreign Studies
UENISHI Tetsuo, Tokyo Institute of Technology

Editor of Website:
SEKIDO Fuyuhiko, Dokkyo University
TSUJI Kazuhiko, Kinki University