The Japanese Imperial Household has announced that Princess Akiko has become a visiting professor at Ritsumeikan University.
Her Imperial Highness will hold lectures about Japanese culture and literature, as well as Japanese art around the world, her specialty from graduate school, and other topics, depending on the University’s needs.
She will be based in the University’s College of Letters and Graduate School of Letters, an indication that Japanese culture and history will be the predominant topics of her lectures.
Ritsumeikan University is based in the Kyoto area of Japan, and is one of the country’s top four private colleges. It was founded in 1869, and counts today with its main campus, Kinugasa, as well as two satellite campuses, Biwako-Kusatsu and Osaka-Ibaraki.
The institution holds bilateral relations with several universities around the world, including the University of British Columbia, in Canada, and King’s College London in the UK. These international and global ties make it unsurprising that one of the University’s most prestigious programs is International Relations.
Based on the list of repartition of disciplines, Princess Akiko will be based mostly on Kinugasa Campus, where both the College of Letters and the Graduate School of Letters are located.
On campus there is also the Art Research Center, which focuses on studying Japanese art and culture through digital archives and databases. The Princess graduated Gakushuin University and Oxford University with dissertations on the impact of Japanese art and culture around the world.
Her doctoral thesis, which she discussed at Oxford’s Faculty of Oriental Studies, was titled “William Anderson Collection at the British Museum – Western Interest in Japanese Art in the Nineteenth Century”, and was based on the prominent British surgeon who, through teaching anatomy in the country, became a crucial scholar and collector of Japanese art.
This new step at Ritsumeikan University comes after the Princess has already collaborated with the institution in various role, as well as being asked to give lectures in other Japanese Universities.