Dr Rebecca Corbett | USC Libraries


Rebecca Corbett, PhD
Assistant University Librarian, Japanese Studies
(213) 740 8025
DML 115

Rebecca's role as Japanese Studies Librarian at USC includes selecting and managing print and digital collections in Japanese; and providing reference and liaison services to support research, teaching, and learning in Japanese Studies at USC. As an historian, Rebecca works with faculty and students at USC to build on our strength in the study of premodern history, religion, and culture. Her research interests include the history and practice of Japanese tea culture (chanoyu), and early modern Japanese women’s history. In particular, her work has focused on reevaluating the role of women as practitioners and producers of Japanese tea culture historically. Her book Cultivating Femininity: Women and Tea Culture in Edo and Meiji Japan (University of Hawai’i Press, 2018) analyzes privately circulated and commercially published texts to show how tea practice for women was understood, articulated, and promoted from the eighteenth through early twentieth centuries. Her current project is a biographical study of the Buddhist nun and artist Tagami Kikusha (1753-1826). This work will examine both her life in the eighteenth-nineteenth centuries, and the transmission of her work in modern Japan. Other interests include the role of traditional culture in modern Japan, and in shaping ideas about Japan internationally.


Ph.D., Japanese Studies, The University of Sydney, 2009

B.A. (Hons), Asian Studies, The University of Sydney, 2004


Cultivating Femininity: Women and Tea Culture in Edo and Meiji Japan (University of Hawai’i Press, 2018) 

“Crafting Identity as Tea Practitioner in Early Modern Japan: Ōtagaki Rengetsu and Tagami Kikusha.” U.S.–Japan Women’s Journal 47 (2014): 3-27.

“Learning to be Graceful: Tea in Early Modern Guides for Women’s Edification.” Japanese Studies 29, 1 (2009): 81-94.


Meiji at 150 - Episode 27 - (May 4, 2018)

TeaLife Audio - Episode 70 - Women in Tea (September 22, 2017)

Awards and Fellowships

Japanese Studies Postdoctoral Fellowship, Center for East Asian Studies, Stanford University, 2013-2015
Japan Foundation Doctoral Fellowship, International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Nichibunken), 2006-2007
Australian Postgraduate Award, The University of Sydney, 2004-2008