Sakaki, Atsuko

Atsuko Sakaki Professor Atsuko Sakaki.
(Ph.D., UBC)

Department of East Asian Studies
Centre for Comparative Literature
Office Location: Robarts Library #14219 (14th Floor)
Office Phone: 416-946-7208
E-mail: atsuko[dot]sakaki[at]utoronto[dot]ca

Atsuko Sakaki is Professor in the Department of East Asian Studies and the Centre for Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto. Her work revolves around close reading of classical to contemporary Japanese texts, and engagement of theories of narratology, photography, image-text, translation, space, and phenomenology. Her previous SSHRC-funded project, corporeality and spatiality in modern Japanese literature,” has culminated in a number of publications and several invited lectures and papers read at international conferences. She completed a project (a book manuscript and several journal articles) on the rhetoric of photography in modern Japanese literature, for which she has received another SSHRC standard research fellowship and a Jackman Humanities Institute faculty research fellowship, and translation of short stories by Horie Toshiyuki. Among the authors she has published on are: Kurahashi Yumiko, Tanizaki Jun’ichirō, Abe Kōbō, Gotō Meisei, Kanai Mieko, Arakida Rei, Ema Saikō, and Tōkai Sanshi. With sustained interest in the corporeal and material aspects of production and reception of literary texts, currently she is working on: photographic books as a site of translation; literature of deterritorialization; and sports as narrated.

Academic Background:

  • Ph.D. in Asian Studies, University of British Columbia (1992)
  • M.A. in Comparative Literature and Culture, University of Tokyo (1988)
  • B.A. in British Area Studies, University of Tokyo (1986)



Recent Book Chapters:

  • “Abe Kōbō 1924-1993 (Japanese novelist, short-story writer, poet, essayist, screenwriter, and playwright).” In Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism: Excerpts from Criticism of the Works of Novelists, Poets, Playwrights, Short Story Writers, & Other Creative Writers Who Died Between 1900 & 1999. Volume 297. Twentieth-Century Literature Criticism. Detroit, MI: Gale, 2014. As Editorial Advisor.
  • “Waves from Opposing Shores: Exchanges in a Classical Language in the Age of Nationalism.” In Richard King and Cody Poulton and Katsuhiko Endo, eds., Sino-Japanese Transculturation: From the Late Nineteenth Century to the End of the Pacific War. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2012. 33-43.
  • “The Taming of the Strange: Arakida Rei Reads and Writes Stories of the Supernatural.” In Peter Kornicki, Mara Patessio and Gaye Rowley, eds., The Female as Subject: Reading and Writing in Early Modern Japan. Ann Arbor, MI: Center for Japanese Studies, University of Michigan, 2010. 151-70.
  • “‘There Is No Such Place Like Home’: Gotō Meisei, or Identity as Alterity.” In Mark Williams and Rachael Hutchinson, eds., Representing the Other in Modern Japanese Literature: A Critical Approach. Routledge, 2007. 292-311.

(In Japanese)

  • “Eigoken ni okeru Nihon bungaku juyō no sakkon” [The Recent Reception of Japanese Literature in the Anglophone World]. In Nihon hikaku bungaku kai [Japan Comparative Literature Association], ed., Ekkyō suru kotonoha: Sekai to deau Nihon bungaku [Trans-bordering Words: Japanese Literature Encountering the World]. Tokyo: Sairyūsha, 2012. 89-95.
  • “Kaisetsu: Yume no hon to soine shite” [Introduction: Side by Side with the Book of Dreams]. In Kanai Mieko, Kishibe no nai umi [The Ocean without Shore]. Tokyo: Kawade bunko, 2009. 368-75.
  • “Tanizaki Jun’ichirō to shashin: Masshō to shinpan no yokubō no kenji.” Trans. Nishimoto Yasuo. In Chiba Shunji and Anne Bayard-Sakai, eds., Tanizaki Jun’ichirō: Kyōkai o koete. Tokyo: Kasama shoin, 2009, 96-127.

Recent refereed or invited journal articles:

  • “Photography as Corporeal Reproduction: Swapping Pregnancy for Photography in Kanai Mieko’s Tama-ya.Poetica 78 (December 2012): 49-68.
  • “The Face in the Shadow of the Camera: Corporeality of the Photographer in Kanai Mieko’s Narratives.” Mechademia 7 (Fall 2012): 57-76.
  • “Tanizaki Jun’ichirō, or Photography as Violence.” Japan Forum 22, no. 3-4 (2010): 381-404.
  • “Scratch the Surface, Film the Face: Obsession with the Depth and Seduction of the Surface in Abe Kōbō’s Face of Another.” Japan Forum 17, no. 3 (October 2005): 369-388.

(In Japanese)

  • “‘Runa pāku nite’ tekusuto no kūkan o arukeba.” [Walking in the Textual Space of “At the Luna Park”] Toshiko Ellis, ed., Hagiwara Sakutarō no fūkei. Special issue, Hikaku bungaku kenkyū [Studies of Comparative Literature] 98 (Fall 2013): 6-16, and an English abstract, i.
  • “Bungakuteki kankyō to shite no Amerika hikaku bungakukai” [American Comparative Literature Association as a Literary Habitus]. Foreword to Hikaku bungaku kenkyū 95 (August 2010): 1-5.
  • “Kanai Mieko o yondewa kaku nichijō soretomo hinichijō?” Shinchō 105, no. 12 (December 2008): 210-11.
  • “Tenbō: Hokubei ni okeru Nihon bungaku kenkyū no sakkon.” [An Overview of the Current State of Japanese Literary Studies in North America] Nihon kindai bungaku 76 (May 2007): 305-310.
  • “Kurahashi Yumiko.” Kan Satoko, ed, Bessatsu Kokubungaku kaishaku to kanshō: Josei sakka <genzai>. Tokyo: Shibundō, 2004. 182-191.

Professor Sakaki’s headshot is courtesy of Lisa Sakulensky.