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Mikiko Hirayama

Title: Associate Professor
Office: 728 Old Chemistry Building
Tel: 513-556-0265

Professor Hirayama teaches courses on Japanese and Chinese art history. Her research focuses on Japanese art criticism of the early twentieth century. Her recent publications include  “‘Fictionalized Truth’: Realism as the Vehicle for War Painting” in Art and War in Japan and Its Empire, 1931-1960 (2012), "Notes on Japanese Art Criticism" in Since Meiji: Perspectives on the Japanese Visual Arts (2011),  "The Emperor's New Clothes: Japanese Visuality and Imperial Portrait Photography" in History of Photography (2009), “From Art without Borders to Art for the Nation: Japanist (Nihonshugi) Painting by Dokuritsu Bijutsu Kyōkai during the 1930s” in Monumenta Nipponica (2010), and Reflecting Truth: Japanese Photography in the Nineteenth Century (co-editor, 2005).  She has delivered papers at venues such as the College Art Association conference, Association for Asian Studies conference, and Asian Studies Conference Japan.   Hirayama's service to the field included serving as an anonymous reviewer for Art Bulletin and Ars Orientalis.


  • Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 2001 (Japanese art history).
  • Master of Arts, International Christian University Graduate School, Tokyo, Japan , 1993 (Japanese Art History).
  • Bachelor of Arts, International Christian University, Tokyo, Japan, 1991 (Japanese Art History).

Research Information

Research Interests

Japanese Painting (18th century-prewar) Modern Japanese art criticism Early Japanese photography and photographic theory Chinese and Japanese Aesthetics Selected Recent MA theses directed by Prof. Hirayama 2010: Surrender or Subversion?: Contextual and Theoretical Analysis of the Paintings by Japan's Hidden Christians, 1640-1873 2009: A History of Dissent: Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861) as Agent of the Edokko Chonin 2008: Genji in Graphic Form: "the Tale of Genji" in Manga, and the Bond between Japan's Past and Present in Popular Art The Art of Tattooing: A Comparative Analysis of Japanese and American Tattoos 2007: "Aspects of Fairyland: American Perceptions of the Japanese Hooden, Lady's Boudoir, and Tea Houses at the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893" (Honors)

Research Support

  • FDC Collaborative grant. 6,088. 2014 to 2015.
  • Short-Term Research Fellowship. 6,420. 2011 to 2012.
  • Northeast Asia Council Short-Term Travel Grant. 3,000. 2010 to 2011.
  • Grant for Advanced Research and Publication by Individual Scholars. 3,000. 2008 to 2009.
  • Northeast Asia Council Short-Term Travel Grant. 2,000. 2004 to 2005.
  • The Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Postdoctoral Fellowship. 35,000. 2001 to 2002.
  • Japan Iron and Steel Graduate Fellowship . 11,000. 2000 to 2001.
  • Andrew Mellon Predoctoral Fellowship. 14,000. 1999 to 2000.
  • Metropolitan Center Grants for Dissertation Research in Far Eastern Art Studies. 9,477. 1999 to 2000.
  • Mitsubishi Foundation Graduate Fellowship . 11,000. 1998 to 1999.

Experience & Service

Work Experience

  • 2008 to Present, Associate Professor, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH.
  • 2001 to 2008, Assistant Professor, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati,OH.
  • 2000 to 2001, Teaching Fellow, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA .
  • 1991 to 1995, Clerical Assistant, International Christian University, Tokyo, Japan.