PEAK Staff Profile

Irina HOLCA,
Associate Professor – Japan in East Asia

Contact : holca[at]


After graduating from the University of Bucharest with a major in Japanese Studies and a minor in British Studies, Irina Holca briefly taught Japanese language and culture at the State University of Moldova. In 2004, she came to Japan, and went on to obtain an M.A. in education and a PhD in modern Japanese literature, from Nara University of Education and Osaka University, respectively. In 2014 she joined Kyoto University’s Institute for Research in the Humanities as a senior lecturer. She has taught academic English skills and Japanese literature and culture at Osaka University, Kyoto University, Konan University and Kobe Jogakuin College. In April 2019 she started working for PEAK, where she currently teaches courses on modern Japanese literature and literary theory.

Research Interests

Irina Holca specialises in modern Japanese literature, with a focus on realistic and autobiographical prose from the middle of the Meiji period to the middle of the Showa period. In her research, she looks for meaning at the intersection of a literary work’s content, its form, and its socio-historical context. Her approach to literature is influenced by media and gender studies, as well as her experience as a translator. She is a member of interdisciplinary research teams working on Japanese fictionality, Kyoto’s modern culture, and the Umwelten of human and non-human beings, and is leading a collaborative project whose final product will be the translation into English of an anthology of modern Japanese literary theory.

Selected Publications

『島崎藤村 ひらかれるテクスト――メディア・他者・ジェンダー』[The (Re)opened Text: Media, Otherness, and Gender in Shimazaki Tōson's Literature]. Bensei Publishers, March 2018 (in Japanese).

「欧米における私小説研究」 [Shi-shōsetsu Studies in the West]. In『日本の文学理論 アンソロジー』 [Japanese Literary Theories: An Anthology] (Yasusuke Oura ed.), Suiseisha Publishers, June 2017 (in Japanese). pp. 366-380.

“Shimazaki Tōson's Shinsei [New Life]: Shaping Self and Other through Letters”. In 欧文ZINBUN Vol. 47 (Kyoto University, Institute for Research in Humanities), Kyoto, Japan, March 2017 (in English). pp. 161-176.

“Insularity and Imperialism: The Borders of the World in the Japanese and Taiwanese Kokugo Readers during the Taishō Era”. In Japan Forum Vol. 28-1 (British Association for Japanese Studies), London, UK, 2016 (in English). pp. 32-73.

“Around the World with a Book: Okakura Kakuzō’s The Book of Tea and Its Transformations”. In Analele Facultății de Limbi și Literaturi Străine Vol. 12-1 (“Dimitrie Cantemir” Christian University), Bucharest, Romania, September 2013 (in English). pp. 85-104.

「島崎藤村の新聞小説『春』における挿絵の機能―名取春仙のリアリズム―」 [The Role of Natori Shunsen’s Illustrations in the Novel Haru at Its Publication in Asahi Shinbun]. In『文学・語学 第201号』(全国大学国語国文学会), Tokyo, November 2011. (in Japanese). pp. 49-61.