The German studies scholar Naomi Miyatani has received a Research Fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, which she will be using this year to do research at Freie Universität Berlin. A professor of German literature at the Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo, Japan, Miyatani will be working from April to August 2016 on a project that is headed by Professor Dr. Hijiya-Kirschnereit and deals with the ideas of Hamann, Herder, and Wilhelm von Humboldt about language. The main focus of the project is on comparative issues in comparison with Japanese concepts of language. In addition, she will be working on a new translation of Johann Gottfried Herder's "Abhandlung über den Ursprung der Sprache" (Discourse on the Origin of Language) into Japanese.
Naomi Miyatani studied theology and German literature at Rikkyo University in Tokyo, one of the oldest and most prestigious private universities in Japan, where she also completed her doctorate. She has taught and done research at the University of Tuebingen in Germany and worked as a lecturer at the University of Leio and Tokyo University. Miyatani has been a professor of German literature at the Kunitachi College of Music since 2009. Her main area of research is the historical discourse on the evolution of language. In 2006 she received the Goethe Prize of the Japanese Goethe Society, and in 2015 she received an award from the Japanese Society for German Studies for her book about Johann Georg Hamann and his conception of language.