Universiteit Leiden

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Ivo Smits

Professor of Arts and Cultures of Japan

Prof.dr. I.B. Smits
+31 71 527 2545

Ivo Smits is a professor of Arts and Cultures of Japan at the Leiden University Institute for Area Studies (LIAS).

More information about Ivo Smits


Ivo Smits’ field of expertise comprises literature and film in Japan. His research focuses on early medieval classical texts in both classical Japanese and classical Chinese. Bilingualism (or ‘biscriptualism’) poet-patron networks and concepts of imagination and representation are three big themes that occupy him a great deal.
Ivo Smits earned his PhD at Leiden University in 1994, studied at the University of Tokyo, Cambridge University, and was among others research fellow at Waseda University en Visiting Associate Professor at Yale University. He oocupies various administrative functions within and outside Leiden University.


Selected publications

2009. “ China as Classic Text.” In Tools of Culture (Ann Arbor: Association for Asian Studies)

2007. “The Way of the Literati: Chinese Learning and Literary Practice in Mid-Heian Japan.” In Heian Japan, Centers and Peripheries (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press)

2006. Dictionary of Sources of Classical Japan /Dictionnaire de sources du Japon classique, co-editor (Paris: Collège de France)

2004. “Teika and the Others: Poetics, Poetry, and Politics in Medieval Japan” Monumenta Nipponica

2003. Reading East Asian Writing: The Limits of Literary Theory, with Michel Hockx (London: RoutledgeCurzon)

2000. Bridging the Divide: 400 Years The Netherlands-Japan / Bewogen Betrekkingen: 400 jaar Nederland-Japan, with Leonard Blussé and Willem Remmelink)

1995. The Pursuit of Loneliness: Chinese and Japanese Nature Poetry in Medieval Japan, ca. 1050-1150 (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag)

Professor of Arts and Cultures of Japan

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Leiden Institute for Area Studies
  • SAS Japan

Work address

Matthias de Vrieshof
Matthias de Vrieshof 2
2311 BZ Leiden
Room number 1.06b



  • St. Filter voorzitter
  • Stichting Isaac Alfred Ailion Foundation voorzitter
  • Huizinga-lezing Commissielid
  • Fonds voor de Letteren Adviseur vertalingen
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