Prof. Dr. Judit Árokay

Research Interests
Main Publications






  • 1990 M.A. in English and German linguistics and literature at Eötvös-Loránd-University, Budapest.
  • 1994 M.A. in Japanese Studies and German Literature at the University of Hamburg, Germany.
  • 1998 Doctors Degree with a thesis about the reception of classical Japanese women’s poetry in the Middle Ages at the University of Hamburg.
  • 1998–2004 Assistant Professor at the Institute for Japanese Studies at the University of Hamburg.
  • 2004–2007 Assistant Professor at the Institute for Japanese Studies at Free University Berlin.
  • 2007 Habilitation with a thesis about the modernization of poetic expression in Japan during the late 18th and early 19th century.
  • Since Oct. 2007 full professor in Japanese Studies at the University of Heidelberg.

Research Interests

Her research focuses on pre-modern Japanese literature, with a focus on waka poetry and poetic theory (karon, kagaku). In her doctoral dissertation Poetics and Feminity (Hamburg, 2001) she has examined the reception of Heian period Japanese women poets in poetics of the 10th to the 15th century, several articles treat intertextual features and rhetorical elements of waka poetry. Her recent research covers the poetic theory of the late Edo period and has resulted in a book on theoretical approaches to language and the evolution of waka rhetoric (München, 2010).
2015/16 she was fellow at the interdisciplinary Marsilius Kolleg at Heidelberg University where she has developed the concept for and has been working on an interactive digital map of poetic places (utamakura/meisho) in Japan.
Further research interests are performance theory in Japanese cultural studies (, 2014) and the early reception of Japanese literature in the West, especially in German speaking countries


  • Digital Literary Map of Japan  日本のデジタル文学地図

    The project aims at displaying geographical spots within Japan that convey literary associations and had a significant impact on the cultural landscape of Japan. Names of famous places – called utamakura in Japanese - came to be used in poetry from around the 8th century and had been in use since then, not only in poems but also in prose literature, in the Japanese theater and in pictorial images. Their importance lies in the poetic imagery they convey, as they function as an intertextual reference: mentioning a famous poetic spot by name evokes a series of seasonal, scenic and atmospheric associations. Without the knowledge of this imagery, it is hardly possible to understand premodern texts.

    This bilingual (Japanese-English) project aims at a web application with an online database that makes information on these spots easily accessible.

    The “Digital Literary Map of Japan (DLM)” started 2016 as a project in the framework of the Marsilius Kolleg in Heidelberg, and has been supported since then by the National Institute of Japanese Literature, the Faculty of Letters of Ōsaka University, and the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (Kaken 2021-25). The collaboration is carried out with Prof. Iikura Yōichi and Prof. Nakao Kaoru from Ōsaka University.

    The application is hosted by the National Institute of Japanese Literature.

    Direct access:

  • Bunron

    The journal Bunron ("Text and Theory") has been published since 2014 and specializes in literary studies-oriented contributions to text-related research on Japan. It publishes scholarly studies, translations, reviews, and reports on conferences and ongoing projects. The journal is multilingual and features articles in German, Japanese, English, and French.

    Co-editors: Prof. Dr. Kristina Iwata-Weickgenannt and Dr. Barbara Geilhorn.

Main Publications

Edited with Rebecca Mak: Die Performanztheorie in der japanologischen Kulturwissenschaft: Themen und Ansätze (Performance theory in Japanese Studies: Topics and approaches). Heidelberg: Bunron – Journal of Japanese Literary Studies (Open Access Journal, 2014.

Edited with Jadranka Gvozdanovic und Darja Miyajima: Divided Languages? Diglossia, Translation and the Rise of Modernity. Heidelberg: Springer 2014.

„Discourse on Poetic Language in Early Modern Japan and the Awareness of Linguistic Change”, in: Árokay/Gvozdanovic/Miyajima (eds.): Divided Languages? Diglossia, Translation and the Rise of Modernity. Heidelberg: Springer 2014: p. 89-104.

Die Erneuerung der poetischen Sprache: Poetologische und sprachtheoretische Diskurse der späten Edo-Zeit (The evolution of poetic language: poetological and theoretical approaches to language in the late Edo-period), München: iudicum 2010.

「ドイツ語圏における『源氏物語』翻訳と受容」(Zu den Übersetzungen und zur Rezeption des Genji monogatari in deutschsprachigen Ländern)、『世界の中の『源氏物語』―その普遍性と現代性―』Kyōto: Rinsen shoten 2010, S. 127-146.

Poetik und Weiblichkeit. Japans klassische Dichterinnen in Poetiken des 10. bis 15. Jahrhunderts (Poetics and feminity: The reception of classical Japanese women poets in poetics of the 10th to the 15th century), Hamburg: OAG 2001.

Full list of publications
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Letzte Änderung: 14.07.2022
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