Meet the Kyoto Faculty

Classes at the Kyoto Program are taught by faculty from local universities, the Program Director, and by one Stanford Faculty-in-Residence per quarter. Local faculty teach all Stanford courses in English.

Faculty in Residence

Autumn Quarter 2020-21: Program suspended
Spring Quarter 2020-21: Tadashi Fukami (Biology)

Autumn Quarter 2021-22: Matthew Sommer (History)
Spring Quarter 2021-22: James Hamilton (Communication)

Local Faculty

Michael Hugh

Michael Hugh

OSPKYOTO 5B: Independent Study in News Shaping Japan Today (1 Unit)

Dr. Mike Hugh has been director of the Stanford Program in Kyoto since 2013. A U.K. citizen, he earned a Master’s degree and a Ph.D. from Imperial College London, focusing on the intersection of markets, technologies, and policy in the environmental energy sector. Prior to joining Stanford, he held teaching and research positions at the Instituto Superior Técnico in Portugal, and at the Nagoya University of Commerce and Business in Japan, where he also served as Director of the Department of International Affairs. Besides his academic work, Dr. Hugh has held project leadership positions for the U.K. Government and the European Commission, and has been quoted on sustainability issues in broadsheet publications such as the Financial Times and the Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun. His current area of interest focuses on the energy and environmental policy challenges facing Japan’s lawmakers following the Tōhoku earthquake and Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.


Yuka Kanno

Yuka Kanno

OSPKYOTO 41: Queer Culture and Life in Japan (4 Units)

Prof. Yuka Kanno gained her Ph.D. in Visual Studies with an emphasis in Feminist Studies from the Department of Women’s Studies, University of California, Irvine. She is Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Global Studies at Doshisha University and a founding member of Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (FGSS) Research Center, Doshisha University. Her research interests include queer theory and criticism, gender and sexuality studies, visual culture, feminist film studies and Japanese cinema. Her current projects focus on queer film festivals and transnational queer girls’ cinema and culture. The author of numerous publications on queer and film theory, Prof. Kanno has also organized several queer themed-film screenings in Japan. She has taught in the Stanford Program in Kyoto since 2017.


Catherine Ludvik

Catherine Ludvik

OSPKYOTO 13: Contemporary Religion in Japan's Ancient Capital: Sustaining and Recasting Tradition (4 Units)

OSPKYOTO 58: A Journey into the Buddhist Visual Arts of Japan (4 Units)

OSPKYOTO 42: Gardens of Kyoto: Spaces of Aesthetic and Spiritual Contemplation (3 Units)

Prof. Catherine Ludvik obtained a Ph.D. at the University of Toronto in the Centre for the Study of Religion and teaches Japanese religion, visual arts, culture and history at Doshisha University and Kyoto Sangyo University. Spanning Indian and Japanese religions and their visual arts, her research interests focus on the metamorphoses of originally Indian deities in texts, images and rituals of Japan, as well as on ascetic practices and pilgrimage. Prof. Ludvik is the author of Recontextualizing the Praises of a Goddess (2006) and Sarasvati, Riverine Goddess of Knowledge (2007). She is currently researching the goddess Uga-Benzaiten and the Shikoku Henro pilgrimage. She has taught courses on Japanese religion, visual arts and gardens on the Stanford Program in Kyoto since 2001.

Daiko Matsuyama

OSPKYOTO 19: Zazen: A Practicum in Zen Meditation (1 Unit)

Born in 1978 in Kyoto, Rev. Matsuyama obtained his Master’s degree in Agriculture and Life Sciences from the University of Tokyo. After three and half years of training at Heirin-ji Temple, Niiza, he became the deputy priest of Taizoin Temple in 2007. He has been a member of Kyoto’s Ambassadors for Tourism since 2011, and was listed as one of “The Top 100 People of the New Generation 2016” in Nikkei Business.  Matsuyama was appointed as a fellow of US-Japan Leadership Program from 2016. In 2017, he became a visiting professor at Kyoto University of Art and Design. As a young representative of the Zen Sect in Japan, Matsuyama has interacted with many religious leaders, such as having an audience with the Roman Catholic Pope and conversing with the 14th Dalai Lama. He also participated in the Davos World Economic Forum in 2014, and continues to work actively beyond national and religious borders. He is the author of the book, Forget What’s Important First: 30 Zen Teachings for the Wavering Soul (Sekai Bunka Publishing, 2014), Strolling around Zen Gardens in Kyoto (PHP Publishing, 2016), and Introduction of ZEN for workers (Kodansya Publishing, 2016). He received The Award of Commissioner for Cultural Affairs and Shigemitsu Award from Japan society in Boston in 2019. He has taught on the Stanford Kyoto Program since 2018.

Naoyuki Ogino


OSPKYOTO 39: Capturing Concepts: A Photographic Exploration of the Origins of Kanji (2 Units)

Naoyuki Ogino grew up in Tokyo and in Mexico, where he lived as a child. He graduated with a degree in physics from Nagoya University, but wanted to pursue his dream of becoming a photographer while working for Japan’s largest advertisement agency. In 2006 he left the agency to focus full-time on his career as an independent photographer. In the same year, he received the Grand Prix of the Japan Photographer’s Union. Since 1998 he has held several solo exhibitions in Mexico, the U.S., Taiwan and other countries. In 2008, Ogino published the photo book ‘A Geisha’s Journey: My Life as a Kyoto Apprentice’, in which a rare glimpse into the life of a modern-day geisha is given through intimate photographs of Komomo, a geiko in training. In 2010/2011 Ogino created the series ‘Womb of the Myth’ on the demise of movie studios in Japan. In 2014 he was appointed Principle Photographer of the Kyoto International Photographic Festival, one of the fastest growing and most groundbreaking photographic festivals in Japan. Ogino's latest series 'Shimmer of Vanir' was created during his residency in Norway in 2017 and pays tribute to the Nordic god 'Vanir', with ephemeral images befitting the Scandinavian atmosphere created with his handmade lens. He has taught on the Stanford Kyoto Program since 2017.