Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Fellows

Noel Pinnington

2014 - 2015

PhD, University of Cambridge, 1993

University of Arizona

Professor Noel Pinnington teaches Japanese Literature at the University of Arizona. He trained as a Hindu priest in his youth before taking up a career in computer science. After several years in Tokyo, he returned to academia, studying at Waseda, and SOAS before gaining his Ph D (medieval Japanese thought) at the University of Cambridge in 1993.

Professor Pinnington is currently writing a history of Japanese medieval performance. His last monograph was Traces in the Way: Michi and the Writings of Komparu Zenchiku (Cornell East Asia Series, 2006) in which he elucidated the theories of the fifteenth-century Japanese Noh performer.

Among recent articles are: “The Early History of the Noh Play: Literacy, Authorship, and Scriptedness,” Monumenta Nipponica, 68, 2, 2013; and “Buddhist Structures and Secular Themes in Zeami’s Narrative Style.” Journal of Religion in Japan, 2, 2-3 (195-221), 2013.

Professor Pinnington’s interests include Japanese literature, poetry and theories of the arts. At the Sainsbury Institute he particularly wants to investigate the sixteenth-century revolution in comic performance (Kyōgen).