Profile picture of Akiko Walley

Akiko Walley

Maude I. Kerns Associate Professor of Japanese Art
Phone: 541-346-1800
Office: 237A Lawrence Hall
Research Interests: Japanese Art

Aoyama Gakuin University (Tokyo, Japan), BA, 1998; MA, 2001

Harvard University, AM, 2004; PhD, 2009

Akiko Walley received her AM in Regional Studies East Asia and PhD in Art History from Harvard University. She specializes in Japanese Buddhist art of the seventh and eighth centuries. Buddhism is the bedrock of every aspect of Japanese lives even today. Walley focuses on the incipient period of Japanese Buddhism to reconsider the idea of “transmission” (denrai). She is the author of Constructing the Dharma King: The Hōryūji Shaka Triad and the Birth of the Prince Shōtoku Cult (Japanese Visual Culture Series, vol. 15; Leiden: Brill, 2015). Her work has been published in journals including Ars Orientalis, Archives of Asian Art, Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, Artibus Asiae, Religions, and International Journal of Comic Art. Walley's current book-length project investigates early Buddhist relic devotion in Japan in a trans-Asian context, focusing on the performative nature of Buddhist reliquaries. She also has secondary and tertiary research interests in topics such as: Edo-period (1615-1868) literati painting; Buddhist scriptures and the materiality of East Asian calligraphy; Edo-period luxurious prints (surimono); Contemporary prints, particularly by Kusama Yayoi; and manga modes of expression and the impact of onomatopoeia on animation sound effects.

Walley teaches a wide range of courses on Japanese art from prehistoric to contemporary times. Recent upper-division themed courses she has offered include: 6th-8th Century East Asian Buddhist Networks; Nirvana; Japanese Art and Christianity; Eccentrics in Japanese Art; Global Japan; War and Japanese Art; Contemporary Japanese Prints; and History of Manga. She has advised graduate students interested in an array of topics from Heian-period Buddhist sculpture, early modern woodblock prints and painting, underground Christian artifacts, to Araki Nobuyoshi’s photography.


Selected Courses Taught

ARH 209 History of Japanese Art

ARH 397 Japanese Buddhist Art

ARH 350 History of Manga

ARH 399 War and Japanese Art

ARH 399 Christianity and Japanese Art

ARH407 Divine Art (co-taught with Prof. Maile Hutterer)

ARH 4/510 Global Japan

ARH 4/510 Nirvana  

ARH 4/510 East Asian Buddhist Calligraphy and Inscription

ARH 4/585 Basara: Art of the Japanese Warriors  

ARH 4/585 Eccentrics in Japanese Art

ARH 4/585 Art and Devotion

ARH 4/585 Japanaese Art of Writing

ARH 4/588 Contemporary Japanese Prints

ARH 4/588 Long 19th Century in Japanese Prints

ARH 4/588 Utagawa School

ARH 607 Intention and Interpretation

ARH 607 Performativity and Agency