Mgr. Zuzana Kubovčáková, M.A., Ph.D.
Zuzana Kubovčáková began her studies in Bratislava, Slovakia, at the then Department of Languages and Cultures of East Asia, choosing Japanese Language and Intercultural Communication as her major. Before fully completing the curriculum, she won a state scholarship of the Japanese Ministry of Education (Monbukagakushō) and spent a study-year at the Ōsaka University of Foreign Studies (Ōsaka gaikokugo daigaku) fully concentrating on her studies of Japanese language. From Ōsaka she continued to London to study an M.A. programme in Japanese Religions at School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Both in Ōsaka and London, dr. Kubovčáková studied earliest history of Zen schools in Japan, as well as interconnection of Rinzai School with ruling samurai class. After completing her M.A. studies both in Bratislava and London, dr. Kubovčáková continued with a Ph.D. at Department for the Study of Religions at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic. She graduated in 2012 with a thesis on earliest development of Shintō called Politization of Kami and Emergence of Narrative Ideology in Ancient Japan: Earliest worship of Japanese deities and their Reflection in the Chronicles.
In her research, dr. Kubovčáková concentrates on general Buddhist thought, Japanese Buddhism and Japanese religious history. More specifically, her research topics deal with Dōgen studies, Sōtō School studies, earliest Japanese religious history, Japanese Buddhist art, architecture, iconography and liturgy.
In 2017, dr. Kubovčáková was invited as a Numata Visiting Professor in Buddhist Studies for a teaching stay at Institute for South Asia, Tibet and Buddhist Studies at University of Vienna, Austria. Furthermore, she spent Spring Semester of 2018 as a lecturer at Center for Japanese Studies, Nanzan University in Nagoya, Japan, teaching international students about Japanese religions.
In relation to her professional interest, dr. Kubovčáková has participated in a number of calligraphy seminars led by the Japanese artist and calligrapher Kazuaki Tanahashi, as well as in numerous retreats in American Zen Centers, namely Upaya Zen Center in New Mexico, San Francisco Zen Center, Green Gulch, Tassajara Zen Center and Berkeley Zen Center in California.
Dr. Kubovčáková is one of the founding members of the Department of Japanese Studies, where she has been teaching since 2008. Between 2013—2017, dr. Kubovčáková was the head of the Department.