Riikka Länsisalmi, 文学博士, D.Lit.

Disciplinary Coordinator, Asian Languages, Deputy Director, MA Programme in Languages, Principal Investigator

  • PL 59 (Unioninkatu 38)



1993 …2022

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Curriculum vitae


  • Introduction to Japanese Linguistics (BA)
  • Japanese 1A & 1B (BA1), Japanese 2A & 2B (BA2)
  • BA and MA Seminars
  • Introduction to Japanese Sociolinguistics and Discourse (MA)
  • Advanced Readings in Japanese Language Pedagogy and Linguistics (MA)
  • Special and Methodology courses (MA)
  • Japanese Language Didactics


Selected university teaching history: 

A range of courses in Japanese linguistics and language acquisition, including 

  • Japanese Grammar 
  • Japanese Texts 
  • Japanese Writing System
  • Introduction to Japanese Linguistics 
  • Introduction to Japanese Sociolinguistics and Discourse 
  • Language in action: The role of choices in linguistic interaction and 
  • Samples of Linguistic Structure I: Analysis
  • (Ethnic) Diversity in Contemporary Japan
  • Constructing Social Problems: Scandal & Controversy in Japan (guest lectures)
  • Online Japanese (in collaboration with the University of Helsinki Language Centre)
  • Sociolinguistics and Pragmatics for Advanced Students of Japanese
  • Language and Communication in Japanese Society
  • Intercultural Communication: Japanese-“Western” Communication Situations
  • Intercultural Communication
  • Beginners' Japanese
  • Advanced Japanese

Selected employment history:

  • University Lecturer (universitair docent) in Japanese Studies, Leiden University (LIAS & LUCL) (2007-2013) 
  • Principal Lecturer in Foreign Languages and Cultures, Laurea University of Applied Sciences, Finland (2001-2007) 
  • European Commission Leonardo da Vinci Language Competencies project manager (2002-2004) 
  • Part-time lecturer in Japanese Studies and Asia-Pacific Studies, University of Helsinki, Finland (2000-2003) 
  • Lecturer/Center of Excellence Researcher, National Museum of Ethnology, Japan (1999-2000) 
  • Visiting researcher, National Museum of Ethnology, Japan (1999) 
  • Japanese as a Foreign Language instructor, Koshien University, Japan (1999) 
  • Japanese taiko drumming instructor, work shops & short-term courses (since 2000) 
  • Interpretation, translation & attachée work, e.g. Helsinki Figure Skating GP 2018, ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017, Helsinki, Finland; ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships, Osaka, Japan; ISU Figure Skating World Championships, Helsinki, Finland; Matsurishu taiko drumming tour, Lisbon, Portugal; Finnish Parliament Futures Committee, Japan; XVIII Olympic Winter Games, Nagano, Japan; The Finnish Foreign Trade Association, Japan (1996-2000)

Grants and awards:

  • Scandinavia-Japan Sasakawa Foundation field trip grant "Japanese legal culture and language practices in the lay jury (saiban’in) courtroom", 2022
  • Scandinavia-Japan Sasakawa Foundation grant: project group R. Länsisalmi (applicant & representative), K. Drews, M. Huotari, S. Kaurala, M. Karppinen, P-R. Kuusikko, R. Larva, K. Nieminen, R. Porrasmaa, M. Pölkki, M. Saaritsa, H. Suenobu, A. Valkama, 2019
  • Niilo Helander foundation grant with Mikko Viitamäki, 2019
  • University of Helsinki Future Development Fund Research on Cultures Grant with Mikko Viitamäki, 2018
  • Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation Grant: project group R. Länsisalmi (applicant & representative), K. Drews, M. Huotari, S. Kaurala, M. Karppinen, R. Porrasmaa, M. Saaritsa, H. Suenobu, A. Valkama, 2018
  • WSOY Literature Foundation Grant: project group R. Länsisalmi (applicant & representative), K. Drews, M. Huotari, S. Kaurala, M. Karppinen, R. Porrasmaa, M. Saaritsa, H. Suenobu, A. Valkama, 2018
  • University of Helsinki Future Development Fund Research on Cultures Grant, 2017
  • The Japan Foundation Staff Expansion Grant/University of Helsinki, East Asian Studies, 2016, BA & MA in Languages: Japanese language & Asian Languages/Japanese language tracks, 2017
  • Asian Modernities and Traditions (AMT) project grant, 2011 
  • Kone Foundation book project grant, 2009  
  • Academy of Finland conference organization grant, 2006 
  • The Scandinavia-Japan Sasakawa Foundation grant, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2011, 2016 (University of Helsinki, East Asian Studies: Japanese language course development)
  • European Commission Leonardo da Vinci language competencies project grant, 2003-2006, project manager (EUR 465 850) 
  • The Japanese-Finnish Association Chujo Watanabe grant, 2003 
  • The Daily Yomiuri “Save the Earth” Essay Contest Environment Agency Prize, 2000 
  • Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) SUPRA (Support Program for Asian Studies) Student, 1996–1999 
  • Emil Aaltonen’s Foundation Young Researcher’s grant, 1998  
  • The College Women’s Association of Japan grant, 1997 
  • Japanese Government Research Student grant, 1992-1997  
  • Communauté franςaise de Belgique scholarship, 1990-1991 
  • Tellervo and Juuso Walden’s Foundation scholarship, 1990 
  • Japan Foundation Study Tour Award for Outstanding Foreign Students of Japanese, 1988

Administration and service to the profession:

  • Advisory Editorial Board Member, Studia Orientalia (2021-)
  • Asian Studies Blog administrator & contributor (2021-)
  • Member, Scandinavia-Japan Sasakawa Foundation Japanese Studies Coordinating Committee (2020-)
  • Varajäsen/Deputy Member, Opettajankoulutusfoorumi/Teacher Education Forum (2019-)
  • 幹事/Secretary, 北海道大学欧州同窓会, Hokkaido University Alumni Association in Europe (2018-)
  • Board Member, Suomen Itämainen Seura/Finnish Oriental Society, Finland (2016-)
  • Steering Committee Member, Ippo Project (Opetushallitus/National Board of Education), Finland (2016-2018)
  • Member, Association of Japanese Language Teachers in Europe (AJE) (rejoined 2016-)
  • Director, Japanese Language Section, Japanese Studies, Leiden University, the Netherlands (2007-2013) 
  • Japanese Language Speech Contest judge, University of Jyväskylä, Finland (2012) 
  • Member, The Netherlands Association for Japanese Studies (NGJS) (since 2008) 
  • Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) organizing committee local Japanese language education expert & Japan researcher in Finland (2006-2007)
  • Board member, Finnish National Polytechnic Network for East and Southeast Asian Studies (and Finnish National Network for East and Southeast Asian Studies) (2002-2007) 
  • Member, Nordic Association for the Study of Contemporary Japanese Society (NAJS) (since 2004), Steering Committee member (2006–2011) 
  • Finnish Teachers’ Association of Japanese Language and Culture (JOY) (since 2001), Chair (2012-2014), Vice Chair (2014-)  
  • (Board) member/participant, The European Japanese Language Teaching Materials Project (Prof. Osamu Kamada); Finnish Language Education Policies Project & Network; Helsinki Metropolitan Area Higher Education Language Teaching Network; Online language teaching projects (2001-2006) 
  • Member, The Linguistic Association of Finland (SKY) (since 2000) 
  • Member, Association Finlandaise de Linguistique Appliquée (AFinLA) (since 2000)
  • Member, Nordic Association of Japanese and Korean Studies (NAJAKS) (since 1999), Board member (2002-2007) 
  • Member, Japanese Association of Sociolinguistic Sciences (JASS) (since 1998) 
  • Member, European Association for Japanese Studies (EAJS) (since 1997) 
  • Member, Nihon Uraru Gakkai (The Uralic Society of Japan) (1993-1999)

Education information

• Doctor of Literature (文学博士) in Comparative Cultural Studies, The Graduate University for Advanced Studies (c/o National Museum of Ethnology), Japan (1998) 
• MA in Romance philology, University of Helsinki, Finland (1992)

Pedagogical education: 
• Teacher’s pedagogical qualification (60 EC), Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences and University of Jyväskylä Open University, Finland (2003) 
• Teaching through English, University of Helsinki Language Centre, Finland (2003) 
• Online pedagogy, Laurea University of Applied Sciences, Finland (2002) 

Other degrees and qualifications: 
• Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) Level 1, Association of International Education and The Japan Foundation, Japan (1998)
• European Parliament translators’ competition qualification (EUR/LA/90: French & English-Finnish), Luxembourg (1996)
• 1ère épreuve de Licencié ès Lettres Romanes, Communauté franςaise de Belgique scholarship student, Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium (1990-1991) 
• Graduate Certificate of Vantaa Music Institute (violin, piano, music theory, orchestra), Finland (1986)

External positions

Opettajankoulutusfoorumi: varajäsen, Opetus- ja kulttuuriministeriö

1 Mar 201931 Dec 2023

Core Curriculum for Upper Secondary Schools (LOPS2021) Workgroup: Foreign Languages & 2nd National Language, Opetushallitus

22 Aug 20182021

Fields of Science

  • 6121 Languages

International and National Collaboration

Publications and projects within past five years.