HONOLULU – Her Imperial Highness Princess Akiko of Mikasa, a recognized art historian as well as a member of Japan’s royal family, will speak on “Constructing the History of Japanese Art in the British Museum” on Tuesday, Dec. 10, at Hawaiʻi Pacific University.

The princess’ lecture will begin at 1:30 p.m. at Aloha Tower Marketplace in the Hale O Kai meeting room on the ground floor. The talk is free and open to the public, but attendees should expect to be screened by security prior to entry.

Princess Akiko is part of the oldest continuous hereditary monarchy in the world. She is the daughter of Princess Tomohito of Mikasa and the late Prince Tomohito of Mikasa, who was a first cousin of Emperor Akihito, Japan’s reigning emperor.

Born in 1981, Princess Akiko has distinguished herself as a scholar in art history. She earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Gakushuin University in Tokyo before leaving for England to become a doctoral student at Oxford University, specializing in Japanese art in the Western world. When she earned her D.Phil. in 2011 from Merton College, the oldest of Oxford’s colleges, she became only the second member of the Japanese imperial household to complete a doctorate degree.

She has been active at home and abroad in arts scholarship, assisting Japanese universities with exhibitions and symposia, doing research at the Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture, working as a visiting associate professor at Ritsumeikan University’s Kinugasa Research Organization in Kyoto and more. She recently published a new book, “The Power of Utsushi: A Matrix of Creation and Continuity,” which is co-edited by Kazuko Kameda-Madar, Ph.D., an adjunct professor of art history at HPU.

When her father, Prince Tomohito, died last year, Princess Akiko hosted his funeral ceremony. Since then, she has taken a more prominent role in Japanese affairs, serving earlier this year as part of the Japanese delegation to Buenos Aires in support of Tokyo’s successful Olympic bid.

Prior to her lecture, HPU Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Matthew Liao-Troth will host a private luncheon in the princess’ honor.

Hawai‘i Pacific University is the state’s largest private university with 7,000 students from the United States and more than 80 foreign nations. HPU is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the Council on Social Work Education and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


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