President of the University - Sakiko Yoshikawa

A Message Regarding My Post as President

To us, in an age where humans can live up to 100 years, art activities in various sectors of society have become even more important, and one can say that “a life together with the arts” will become something essential. I have a deep interest and reverence for the power of the arts to move people’s hearts, its power to make people’s minds richer, and the power of humans to create works that touch people.

“To realize a peaceful and happy society with the power of the arts.”
“I want to create a university that pursues the ideals and philosophy of the arts.”
This strong conviction, over fifty years ago, of founder and first Chairman of this university, Shochoku Tokuyama is the origin of Kyoto University of the Arts. From there, the two main founding principles of the school were born: “A future built on the arts,” and “Toward a Kyoto Renaissance”. Unchanged, they are still the pillars of the faculty, staff, and students of this school.

After being appointed Vice-President as of April, 2020, the university was faced with the state of emergency from the spread of COVID-19. With the changing circumstances each day, decisions were carried out after meetings with Chairman Yutaka Tokuyama, President Kazuo Oike, as well as faculty and staff members, and I was struck by how swiftly a new educational system was created. A framework whereby all classes could be held online was completed at an early stage, and faculty members did their best to adapt to “a new arts education held online,” carrying out daily classes with students separated by distance via computer.
There were teachers who said, “Even though the class was interrupted midway, students would cheer us on to continue,” and through communication with staff members who supported these classes, it was a year where I came to realize that the future of a new arts education could be created through knowledge and ingenuity during critical times. This flexible response and initiative, as well as a broad-minded creativity and imagination that produce arts, are I believe the greatest strengths of this university.

I was appointed President from spring 2021, which marked the 30th anniversary of the school’s founding. In an age where humans can live to a 100 years of age, and as a university that can appeal to not only those in their teens and 20s but also those in the 80s and 90s, it is important to provide arts education of high quality. For all you students, there are a great number of faculty waiting for you, who are active in academic research and the international stage as artists, researchers, authors, and designers. I, too, will do my very best to further enrich the arts education at this energetic and diverse school.

I look forward to studying and having dialogue with all of you.

Sakiko Yoshikawa
President, Kyoto University of the Arts Sakiko Yoshikawa

Graduated from Kyoto University, Faculty of Education. Kyoto University, Graduate School of Education, Faculty of Education, Doctoral coursework completed without degree. PhD (Education). Assistant and Assistant Professor at Otemon Gakuin University, visiting researcher at University of Nottingham, Assistant Professor / Professor at Kyoto University, Graduate School of Education, Faculty of Education. In 2007, appointed Director of Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University (until March, 2018). Director of The Institute for Philosophy and Science of Art(IPSA), Kyoto University of the Arts. Emeritus Professor, Kyoto University. Specially-appointed Professor at Field Science Education and Research Center, Kyoto University. Specialty in cognitive psychology. Main research fields are in how we can understand the feelings of others through face and expression researching cognitive, emotional and behavioral characteristics related to face-to-face communication. Committee member of Kyoto City Social Welfare Council, Member of Special Committee of Kyoto City Hagurumi Promotion Council, and Japan Humanitude Association director. Received Encouragement Award (1996) and Excellent Thesis Award (2017) from Japanese Psychological Association, and Kyoto Prefecture Akebono Award (2018).

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