Professor Mayuko Kawakami joins Princeton as the Numata Visiting Scholar for the fall of 2022. She is currently an Associate Professor with tenure at Osaka University in Japan. She previously taught at Nara Women’s University. She received her PhD from Kyūshū University in 2010 and also has a B.A. and M.A. from Hokkaidō University.
Professor Kawakami is the world’s leading scholar on Buddhist exchange between premodern China and Japan. Her first book, Kodai Ajia sekai no taigai kōshō to Bukkyō (From Buddhist Missionaries to Bodhisattva Emperors: A Study of the Relationship between China and Surrounding Kingdoms, 400-900), was published to great acclaim in 2011 by Yamakawa shuppansha. Her second book, Kodai Nicchū kankeishi: Wa no goō kara kentō-shi ikō made (A History of Diplomatic Relations between Ancient China and Japan: From the Five Kings of Wa to Japanese Envoys to Tang China, and Beyond), was published in 2019 with Chūō kōron shinsha and was awarded the Cultural Prize for Ancient History from the Ancient History and Culture Promotion Council in Japan. In addition, she has published a range of articles on a number of topics including the transmission of Buddhism to Japan, Japanese envoys to China, representations of motherhood, ancient Japanese capitals, and many more. Altogether, she has published more than thirty articles and reviews. In 2022, she received the prestigious Hamada Seiryō Award, which recognizes research that helps promote archaeology.
While at Princeton, she will be co-teaching a graduate seminar with Professor Bryan Lowe on Buddhist exchange between China, Korea, and Japan.