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 was introduced to Japan in the first half of the sixth century and eventually flourished as a core belief system in Japan; 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, 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 (formerly ARH399)
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 (formerly ARH4/510)