Helen KilpatrickHelen Kilpatrick

BA (Hons), Dip Ed (Newcastle), MA, PhD (Macquarie)

Phone: +61 2 4221 4939
Location: 19:1087

Helen Kilpatrick is a Senior Lecturer in Japanese in the Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts, University of Wollongong. After finishing degrees in Japanese (Hons.), Sociology and English literature, Helen completed her doctorate at Macquarie University in the field of English literature with a focus on Japanese literature for young people and picture books. Helen has published in the areas of literary and cultural studies, gender and the visual arts. She is the author of Miyazawa Kenji and his Illustrators (Brill Academic Publishing, 2013), which explores Buddhist ideologies in modern Japanese picture books of the early twentieth century narratives of Miyazawa Kenji (1896–1933).  

Helen has teaching experience in Japanese language, English and Japanese literature, linguistics, culture, and children's literature at various Australian universities, and has taught in Japan at Seishin Notre Dame University and Okayama University. She teaches into all levels of the Japanese curriculum and has a special interest in literature and culture. Helen is able to supervise higher degree students in contemporary Japanese literary, cultural, and language studies, as well as in visual culture and children's literature.


2013: The 7th Inoue Yasushi Award for Outstanding Research on Japanese Literature in Australasia, for the essay “Envisioning the shôjo [girl] Aesthetic in Miyazawa Kenji's "The Twin Stars" and "Night of the Milky Way Railway’” (2012).

Research interests

Helen's general research interests are in modern Japanese literature, culture and art and, more specifically, in children's literature and picture books. She is particularly interested in the cultural constructions of subjectivity in Japanese literature and has recently been working on visual images of the shôjo (girl) in Japanese literature for young people.


Searchable RIS publications from 2000 to date


  • Miyazawa Kenji and his Illustrators: Images of Nature and Buddhism in Japanese Children's Literature, Brill Academic Publishing, Leiden, Netherlands, 2013. 

Book Chapters and Journal Articles

  • "The recognition of nuclear trauma in Sagashite imasu (I am Searching)."  Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, 2015, Vol. 13, No.6 (8), pp. 1-7.
  • “Deconstructions of the (Japanese) Nation-State in Uehashi Nahoko’s Moribito (Guardian) Series”. C. Kelen & B. Sundmark (eds), The Nation in Children’s Literature: Nations of Childhood, Routledge, New York. 2013, pp. 81–95.
  • “Envisioning the shôjo Aesthetic in Miyazawa Kenji’s ‘The Twin Stars’ and ‘Night of the Milky Way Railway’”, Portal: journal of multidisciplinary international studies, 2012, vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 1–26.
  • "Buddhist Visions of Transculturalism: Picturing Miyazawa Kenji’s ‘Yamanashi’ (Wild Pear)”, International Research into Children’s Literature, vol. 2, no. 2, 2009, pp. 259277.
  • “Transcending gender in pictorial representations of Miyazawa Kenji’s “Marivuron and the Girl” (Marivuron to shôjo)”. Girl Reading Girl in Japan. Edited by Tomoko Aoyama & Barbara Hartley. Routledge. New York and London, 2009, pp. 145159.
  • “Beyond dualism: Towards interculturality in pictorialisations of Miyazawa Kenji's ‘Snow Crossing’ (Yukiwatari)”, Papers: Explorations into Children's Literature, vol. 17, no. 2, 2007, pp. 26–35.
  • “The Art of Emptiness: Buddhist Nature in picture books of Miyazawa Kenji's Donguri to Yamaneko (Wildcat and the Acorns)”, The Looking Glass: new perspectives in children's literature, vol. 10, no. 2, 2006, pp. 117.
  • “Miyazawa Kenji”, in J. Zipes (eds), The Oxford Encyclopedia of Children’s Literature, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2006, p. 82.
  • “Morimoto, Junko”, in J. Zipes (eds), The Oxford Encylopedia of Children's Literature, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2006, p.99.
  • “The Picture Book ‘Kojuro and the Bears’: A Cross-Cultural Comparison with ‘The Bears of Mount Nametoko’ (Nametoko yama no kuma)” in Papers: Explorations into Children's Literature, vol. 7, no. 1, April 1997.
  • “The Tale of ‘The Night Hawk Star’: A Cross-Cultural Analysis of a Picture Book” in Culture in Context: A Selection of Papers Presented at the Inter-Cultural Studies `96; vol. 22, no. 1, 1996, pp. 37-47.
  •  “Morimoto Junko ni yoru: ‘Yodaka no hoshi’ no ehonka” (The Pictorialisation of Junko Morimoto's ‘The Night Hawk Star’), in IICLO Bulletin, 1996, pp. 16-32. 
Last reviewed: 4 August, 2015