Professor Emerita Akiko Yoshie, Teikoku University, a leading historian of Women's History, will give two Zoom lectures in this virtual Ito Center Lecture Series. For some years, Yoshie has been writing a series of monographs and essays on female rulers in early Japanese history, producing most recently a rich study of Great King Suiko, who ruled the Yamato confederation around the turn of the 7th century. In Tsukurareta Himiko, Yoshie revised what we know about the female ruler that the Chinese called "the Queen of Wa," Himiko, who died in the mid third century. Yoshie also curated an epoch-making exhibit on gender history at the National Museum of Japanese History in 2020. In her two lectures Professor Yoshie will discuss her books on Himiko and Suiko as well as ongoing research in written and archaeological sources, and why the topic of female rulership remains compelling today. Professor Yoshie will be joined by discussants who will facilitate the conversation and questions. 


Feb. 2 4-6:30 PM PST  “What to Make of Himiko”

Discussants: Prof. Joan Piggott with Dr. Sachiko Kawai and Dr. Nadia Kanagawa


Feb. 9 4-6:30 PM PST “Why Suiko Matters”

Discussants: Prof. Bryan Lowe with Dr. Nadia Kanagawa and Dr. Sachiko Kawai


Bilingual PowerPoint slides and English interpretation will make her lectures accessible to all.


Flyer | Register for the Zoom link here.  


Born in 1948, Yoshie Akiko graduated from the Tokyo University of Education in 1971. While raising a family, she completed coursework for the doctorate in 1979 and received her Doctor of Letters degree from Tokyo Metropolitan University in 1987. Her dissertation was entitled, ”The Structure of the Uji Kin Group in Classical Japan”
『日本古代の氏の構造』. After teaching at various institutions, Yoshie was appointed Assistant Professor at Teikyô University in 1992 and promoted to Full Professor in 1999. Having retired in 2013, she is now Professor Emerita at Teikyô University.


Her main publications and prizes include:


1986 The Structure of the Uji Kin Group in Classical Japan『日本古代の氏の構造』Yoshikawa Kôbunkan

1996 Ritual and Women in Classical Japan 『日本古代の祭祀と女性』Yoshikawa Kôbunkan

(*Aoyama Prize for Women’s History)

2000 How Genealogies Were Drawn in Classical Japan『日本古代系譜様式論』Yoshikawa


2005 The Making of Himiko『つくられた卑弥呼』Chikuma Shinsho Chikuma Shobô

2017 Female Monarchs in Classical Japan 『日本古代女帝論』Hanawa Shobô (*Kadokawa

Genyoshi Prize)

2020 Suiko Tennô, The Monarch Suiko『推古天皇』Minerva Shobô

2021 Female Monarchs in Classical Kingship, a History『女帝の古代王権史』Chikuma Shinsho Chikuma Shobô

Event Details

  • Julia Coursey
  • Jared Low

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