About the Journal

Focus and Scope

Japanese Language and Literature is the official journal of the American Association of Teachers of Japanese. (Before 2001 [Volume 35] the journal was entitled Journal of the Association of Teachers of Japanese.)

In existence since 1966, JLL provides a scholarly forum for AATJ members and the larger academic world in the area of Japanese literature, Japanese linguistics, teaching Japanese as a second or foreign language, and Japanese culture. Two issues are published each year.

Japanese Language and Literature is abstracted in all major abstraction services, including the JSTOR archive, which offers a full-text retrieval capability of past issues (those dated up to one year prior to the current volume).

The journal welcomes full-length articles that report new analyses, research findings, and insights as well as English translations of Japanese literary texts. Strong preference is given to articles that engage primary source material in Japanese. Manuscripts on the following topics may be submitted:

     Japanese literary studies in any historical period

     Literary or linguistic study

     Cultural studies as it relates to Japanese

     Japanese language or literature pedagogy, classroom practice

     Second language acquisition as it relates to Japanese

     Japanese linguistics

     English translations of Japanese literature and translation studies as it relates to Japanese

     Fields related to the above that are likely to be of interest to the readership

Short, non-research papers, preliminary research notes or findings, or provocative essays on a topic of interest to the readership are also welcome. These will be considered for the JLL Forum section in the journal.

A group of research papers on the same theme may be considered for a special section of the journal.

Only submissions written in English are accepted. Linguistic examples, language data, quotations, and so forth may be in any language.

AATJ membership is not required to submit a manuscript to JLL. Membership is very strongly encouraged, however.

Publication Ethics Statement

Adherence to ethical standards for the dissemination of research results is critical to the research process.  Japanese Language and Literature adheres to the Code of conduct and best practice guidelines of the Committee On Publication Ethics (COPE), the Code of Conduct of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), and the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing of the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). 

Statement on Malpractice

The editors of Japanese Language and Literature have a zero-tolerance policy for plagiarism, simultaneous submissions to multiple journals, etc. Authors who are found to engage in such practices will be banned from the journal indefinitely.

Policy for identifying and handling allegations of misconduct

If allegations are judged to come from legitimate readers and are meritorious, the journal will launch an investigation. If the allegations are judged not credible, personal in nature (e.g., personal attack), malicious, or anonymous, we will dismiss the complaint. The investigation will entail looking into the nature and scope of the complaint, to determine if it is a result of misconduct, such as plagiarism, data manipulation, dishonest representation, disinformation, and the like, or if the complaint is an opinion about the author’s interpretation of evidence. If the former is the case, the journal will ask the author to respond to the complaint. If it is the latter, the complaint will be dismissed. When the response addresses the complaint sufficiently and satisfactorily in a timely manner, Journal will inform the complainant accordingly. The journal may request the author to submit a rebuttal in writing or an erratum depending on the severity of the alleged misconduct, in which case the journal will print/publish it in a forthcoming issue. In an extreme case, if the author is judged to have committed an egregious violation of academic and scholarly integrity, the journal will retract the article.

Policy defining authorship and contributorship

Anyone may author a submission so long as JLL’s reviewers and editorial team deem it as adding to the scholarship of the field and advancing Japan studies. Neither an advanced degree nor an affiliation with a university is required for submission. Most authors are scholars and practitioners, who hold university positions in teaching or research, an advanced degree in the field, deep knowledge of the field and published literature, and the skills to conduct the research for the submission. A collaborator (or co-author), who will be listed as the second author, third author, etc., in the case of multiple-author submission, must have made a valuable contribution to the research by, for example, making a substantial and original intellectual contribution to the analysis and conclusions of a research project.

Intellectual property

In JLL publications, the author retains the copyright to their work. As such, the author is free to republish it elsewhere or use it in a way that benefits the author. The journal requests that the author credit JLL as the original place of publication and cite complete bibliographical information (e.g., journal name, volume, and page numbers) in any republication.

No cost will be borne by the author for publishing a contribution. 

Readers may read, download, disseminate, or otherwise make use of published articles freely without charge by gaining access to the journal or its archival services (e.g., JSTOR). 

Journal will not publish work that has been published in another publication even when, for example, it has been altered superficially but retains the original intellectual content. Similarly, the journal will not publish overlapping and redundant publications that are substantially similar in content. JLL will not publish plagiarized work that contains someone else’s ideas that are passed off as the author’s own. In case of republication, overlapping, or redundant publication, or plagiarism that comes to light after publication, the work may be retracted and the author asked to write a retraction statement, which will be published in a subsequent issue.

Complaints and appeals

When a reader or author has a complaint regarding Journal’s editors or the publisher, they should convey the complaint in writing (e.g., email) to the editor-in-chief. Appeals seeking a reversal of the decision may also be submitted in writing to the journal.

Post-publication discussion and corrections

When a reader thinks that the published work is factually incorrect, misinterprets evidence, or lacks a basis for a reasonable conclusion, or suspects the author of academic/scholarly misconduct, the reader may write a “letter to the editor” to the editor-in-chief. The journal may consider publishing such a letter as a way to promote scholarly debate if such discussion is judged to be beneficial to the field.

When things come to light that may need correction, revision, or retracting items after submission or publication, the author should communicate the necessity to the journal in writing. After submission but before publication, the author may request the editor to correct or revise the submission, and the journal will do its best to accommodate the request (by, for example, stopping the review process or suspending an editorial decision). If the work has been published, the author may inform the journal of the need for correction or revision in writing. The journal may retract the work, publish an erratum, or take other appropriate mitigation steps depending on the nature of the request.

Conflicts of interest

A conflict of interest occurs when the journal’s interest in fair and timely dissemination of scholarly research is incompatible with the personal or professional interest of the authors, reviewers, or members of the editorial team. To avoid conflicts of interest, in cases of reviews of books, the review editor will do their best to assign reviews to those at the author’s arm’s length, avoiding, for example, the author’s family members, relatives, or close friends and colleagues. Literature and pedagogy editors will also ensure that the reviewers are at arm’s length and that their assessment is fair and reasonable. This process is augmented by the journal’s requirement that all submissions are anonymized and personal identifying information is removed.

In all cases, the editors will ask submission reviewers to fill out an assessment form that will in part ask the reviewer if they have a conflicting interest with the author that may prevent their ability to make a fair assessment of the submission.

In case a member of the journal staff makes a submission to the journal, the journal will suspend their role temporarily and another editor will be assigned to the submission to oversee the prepublication process.

Data sharing and reproducibility

When appropriate to the article, JLL encourages authors to make research data freely available at the time of publication and will assist authors in suggesting the best way to make the data available. For articles centrally based on a data analysis, we require authors to supply a data availability statement, including the source for their data and the means for readers to access the data.


JLL complies with recommendations from the Committee on Publication Ethics (https://publicationethics.org/guidance/Flowcharts?utm_source=website&utm_medium=pdf&utm_campaign=ethics-toolkit) regarding complaints and appeals to specific articles or the journal, corrections of published items, conflicts of interest, and intellectual property.

Any individual wishing to communicate with the journal about these topics is encouraged to send an e-mail to the editor-in-chief at hnara@pitt.edu or our publisher at e-journals@mail.pitt.edu as appropriate, including the topic, details of the concern, and any evidence that may help us address the issue.

Peer Review Process and Scope

All submissions will be screened by the appropriate editor(s) and reviewed by at least two anonymous readers. The journal follows a double-blind process, where identifying information from submissions is removed so as to ensure anonymity of the authors. Comments from reviewers are screened by the editor(s) to ensure the reviewers remain anonymous to the author.

Peer review is required for scholarly articles, JLL Forum items, and items appearing in Translations. It is not required for reviews, obituaries, items in Contributors, or front and back matters. Special sections are peer-reviewed differently. Articles in special sections are first reviewed by the guest editor, and then the articles are reviewed as a lot by two peer reviewers. One special section JLL published on women’s status in the profession (56:1, 2022) was not peer-reviewed, since this collection was not intended to be a scholarly contribution to the field. If one or more articles in a special section are not approved, the whole special section will not be accepted for publication.

Publication Frequency

This journal will be published twice annually, in issues dated April and October of each year.

Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. This journal does not charge any fees for reading or article processing charges (APCs) for authors.

Style Guidelines for Literature Article Submissions

Detailed style guidelines for articles and reviews on literature are available at the following URL:


Style Guidelines for Linguistics and Pedagogy Article Submissions

Detailed style guidelines for articles and reviews on linguistics and pedagoty are available at the following URL:


Manuscript Review Guidelines

Links to detailed guidelines for reviewers of articles are available at the following URL:


Book Review Guidelines

Detailed guidelines for reviewers of books for the journal are available at the following URL:


Guidelines for Special Section

Occasionally a section of JLL is dedicated to a set of manuscripts on a special topic and edited by a guest editor. A group that wishes to propose a special section should do the following.

Decide who will serve as the guest editor in your group. Let Coordinating Editor know who that is along with the person’s contact information.

The guest editor should write a short (2-3 pages) proposal for the special section and send it to the Coordinating Editor with a copy to Literature Editor or Language and Linguistics Editor as appropriate. The proposal will be circulated among the editors of the Journal to evaluate its suitability. This proposal should contain information on each of the following items:

  • Content/scholarly description of the special section. Theme? Relevance and timeliness to the field?
  • Names and affiliations of proposed contributors.
  • Topics/tentative titles on which each of the contributors will be writing. In addition, a short description of each article is requested.
  • Approximate number of articles and the length of the special section, including bibliographies and other materials. (Try to keep the length under 150 journal pages or approximately 61,000 words).
  • Timeframe. When (more or less) will the contributions be ready for submission to the journal? The guest editor should allow time for steps (b) and (c) in 1 below. The preparation time on your end may be anywhere from 6 months to 12 months.
  • Special requirements the journal should be aware of, such as photographs (size and number) or other artwork.

As soon the proposal is received, it will be circulated among the editors. We will do our best to respond to the proposal in a timely manner about whether or not the proposal is accepted and, if yes, when the section might be scheduled.

Please note the following:

The guest editor will be expected to (a) serve as the main pipeline between the journal editors and the contributors of the special issue, (b) make sure that the articles submitted for review are removed of all identifying information of the authors, (c) ensure that all the articles are consistent in format and abide by the JLL style sheet, (d) have the authors make necessary changes in response to the feedback from reviewers (who will read the section manuscript in response to a request from the literature or linguistics editor), if contributions are accepted for publication, (e) copyedit the accepted contributions and make them conform to the JLL style, and (f) send the Coordinating Editor the copyedited manuscript with any other ancillary materials, such as photographs, digital files, artwork, etc. Once the Coordinating Editor has approved the section, it will be prepared for print.

  1. If the guest editor is a non-native speaker/writer of English, the journal expects the guest editor to consult a copyeditor who is a native speaker/writer of English to make sure that the contributions are error-free.
  2. In the past, the journal has issued only one special section per year, and this publication schedule is likely to be maintained.
  3. It is likely that more than one group will be working on special sections at any given time. Under these circumstances, the editors will not be able to schedule your special section until all the materials for your section have been submitted to the journal. When all of your materials are in, the editors can evaluate the timing of your section vis-à-vis any other special sections in progress and/or articles that have already been accepted at that point. We would be happy to receive the completed manuscript at any time you are ready, but we would like to abide by the following internal deadlines—August 31 for Fall issues and February 28 for Spring issues. Please try to stay flexible about the timing of the publication. We cannot guarantee that your special section will be published in the fall, for example, even if you meet the August deadline, if the fall issue is very much set by the time you submit it. Your special section will be published in the next available spot.


Editorial Advisory Board

Van Gessel, Department of Asian and Near Eastern Languages, Brigham Young University

Amy Heinrich, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University

Seiichi Makino, Department of East Asian Studies, Princeton University

Senko Maynard, Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, Rutgers University

Naomi McGloin, Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Wisconsin

Mari Noda, Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, Ohio State University

Laurel Rasplica Rodd, Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations,  University of Colorado, Boulder

Masaysohi Shibatani, Department of Linguistics, Rice University

Marshal Unger, Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, Ohio State University

Publisher and Sponsors

This journal is published by Pitt Open Library Publishing, an imprint of the University Library System, University of Pittsburgh, and is sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of Japanese

Journal History

This journal was first published in 1966, as "Journal of the Association of Teachers of Japanese." It has been published biannually since that time.

Archiving and Preservation

Japanese Language & Literature utilizes the LOCKSS (Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe) system via the Public Knowledge Project Preservation Network to create a distributed archiving system among participating libraries and permits those libraries to create permanent archives of the journal for purposes of preservation and restoration.