Tamae K. Prindle

Oak Professor of East Asian Languages and Literatures, Emerita (Retired)

Box 4406

Phone: 207-859-4416
Fax: 207-859-4705
Mailing Address:
4406 Mayflower Hill
Waterville, Maine 04901-8844
Prindle, Tamae K.


Tamae K. Prindle received her B.A. in English Literature from the State University of New York at Binghamton. She transferred to SUNY Binghamton from the Gakushuin University French Literature Department in Tokyo. She earned her first M.A. in English Literature from Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, her second M.A. in East Asian Studies from Cornell University, and her Ph. D. in Modern Japanese Literature with a minor in pre-modern Japanese literature and anthropology from Cornell University.

Areas of Expertise

  • Japanese language and literature
  • Japanese business novels
  • Japanese cinema, especially feminist perspectives on
  • Women

Other Courses Taught

CourseCourse Title
FS132Global Perspectives on Gender ...
EA232Literature of Japanese
EA457Seminar on Japanese Culture
EA233Money and Society in Japanese Literature
EA271Women in Japanese Fiction & Cinema
EA33220C Japanese Fiction

Professional Information

She is currently the Oak Professor of East Asian Studies at Colby College. Her interests focus on Japanese language, modern Japanese literature, Japanese cinema, feminism, and anime. She pioneered the introduction of Japanese "business novels" to the West. Her works on business novels have been written up in Harper's (June 1986), Far Eastern Economic Review (May 1990), Across the Board (May 1990), The New York Times (May 1993 and October 1996), and others and have been adopted as textbooks in many colleges and universities in the United States. She has actively published and given presentations on Japanese language, literature, and cinema. She is also known as the author of many Hyper Card grammar drills.

Current Research

Japanese Anime.


Women in Japanese Cinema: Alternative Perspectives (Merwin Asia, 2016) The five chapters in this book disclose the covert stories of the so-called mothers, wives, prostitutes, girls, and women in roughly three historical time zones of pre-modern, World War II, and contemporary Japan.
Takuboku Ishikawa (1885-1912) is one of the best-known poets in Japan. Most of the poems in On Knowing Oneself Too Well: Selected Poems of Ishikawa Takuboku (2010) come from Takuboku's five poetry collections, and many use the traditional tanka format of 5-7-5 syllables.
Made in Japan and Other Japanese Business Novels (M.E. Sharpe, 1989) This is an introduction and translation of seven Japanese business novels by leading Japanese business novel writers, Saburō Shiroyama, Ikkō Shimizu, Ryō Takasugi, Taichi Skaiya, and Takashi Kaikō. These novellas describe what the expression, "made in Japan" used to imply, the spirit of the Japanese bank industry, an underground profession called sōkaiya, the mechanism of personnel decisions, the impact on the economy of the baby boom generation, and the CM competition.
Kinjō the Corporate Bouncer and Other Stories from Japanese Business (Weatherhill, 1989) is a reprint of the above book by another publisher for the non-U.S. markets.
The Dark Side of Japanese Business: Three "Industry Novels" (M.E. Sharpe, 1996) is an introduction and translation of Ikkō Shimizu's two novellas and one novel. Both the introduction and the novel explain the delicate relationship between a Japanese automobile maker and its parts makers.
Labor Relations: Japanese Business Novel (University Press of America 1994) This is an introduction and translation of Kazuo Watanabe’s Japanese “business novel” (keizai shôsetsu) published by the Mainichi Newspaper company in 1979 under the title of Devouring the Company (Kaisha o kuu). Modeled after the Daimaru Department Store in Kyoto, it gives an example of the internal politics at traditional Japanese companies.


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