My name is Mia Lewis and I graduated from Columbia University Columbia College in May 2010. While there I majored in East Asian Languages and Cultures with a focus on Japanese literature. I am currently conducting research in Tokyo while pursing my MA/PhD at Stanford in Japanese literature. Since my early childhood I have had a love and passion for Japanese culture, language, literature, art, and comics.

This blog is a space for my musings, and not intended as formalized arguments. More than anything else, I hope to hear others’ thoughts and countermusings.

A bit of background on me:

While studying in Kyoto I had the opportunity to audit a course at Kyoto Seika University on the history of Showa comics, and was then able to complete an independent study under Seika University professor Yoshimura Kazuma and Boston University professor Sarah Frederick on use of script-based wordplay in manga over six different manga magazines, each aimed at a different target audience. My undergraduate thesis focused on the same techniques, looking specifically at how they are used in four of CLAMP’s works: XXXHOLiC, Tsubasa-RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE, Cardcaptor Sakura, and Clover. A selection from my undergraduate thesis was selected for publication in the Spring 2010 issue of the Columbia East Asia Review, and can be found here.

Since entering into graduate school my research on manga has turned more towards gender and media studies, exploring the mechanisms via which manga as a medium creates meaning, and how such mechanisms vary depending on the target audience (i.e. shōnen, shōjo, seinen, etc.).


3 Responses to About

  1. Nicholas Bernier Béland says:

    Hi there! i’m a university east asian study student at Montreal university in canada and I really liked your article on ateji use! i was finally able to put words on concept I had seen before in manga when i was making wordplay with ateji and talking about theorical linguistic and how you could make funny sentence in japanese with that my classe mates and event some of my teacher taught i was crazy XD, but after showing them your article I finally won some credibility TT_TT! THANKYOUUUUU! I would really liked to read the whole thing especially the part on linguistic, if possible ? 🙂

    • Hi! I’m so glad that you enjoyed the article. I was actually in Montreal the week before you sent this for a conference, so I’m sad I missed you. I would be happy to send you the full version, although I’m afraid it does not have a linguistics based explanation, as I did not study linguistics as an undergrad. Please just let me know your email address and I can provide you with the full paper.

  2. Nicholas Bernier Béland says:

    If it was the conference of the 12 november and if it was named (Symposium “Eyes on Popular Japan”) at UdeM (university of montreal/ université de montréal) then I was there too XD. I don’t know if any other university in montreal were giving symposium at the time but it’s a coincidence if it was! what subject were you presenting?

    my email address is nicholas.bernier.beland.ca I can’t wait to read the rest of your work. I showed you thesis to like every one of my classmate telling the holy words to everybody.

    if you’re interested there’s an nice case study of manga translation problems from a graduate student in sweden. she saids that the most interesting problem was translating ateji!!

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