Faculty & Staff

US Office

Peter Flueckiger


As Chair of AKP, Peter Flueckiger is responsible for the overall administration of the program. He is Professor of Japanese at Pomona College, where he teaches courses in Japanese language, literature, and philosophy. Before becoming Chair in 2018, he taught as a Visiting Faculty Fellow at the AKP Kyoto Center. He received his Ph.D. in East Asian Languages and Cultures from Columbia University and conducts research in Tokugawa-period Confucianism and nativism. He is the author of Imagining Harmony: Poetry, Empathy, and Community in Mid-Tokugawa Confucianism and Nativism (Stanford UP, 2011), as well as numerous articles, book chapters, and translations.

Arlynne Criste

Program Administrator

Since 2019, Arlynne Criste has overseen all aspects of the US Office’s day-to-day operations, which includes application management, student advising and support during pre-departure and re-entry, student recruitment, website maintenance, and engagement with home institution partners. She earned an M.A. in International Training and Education from American University and a B.A. in both Writing Seminars and East Asian Studies from Johns Hopkins University. Prior to joining AKP, she worked at the Embassy of Japan in Washington, DC, and NAFSA: Association for International Educators. She has studied abroad in Japan twice: on a summer homestay experience in high school and on a year-long exchange at the University of Tokyo in college.

2023–2024 Resident Director

Hideko Abe

Hideko Abe, Professor of East Asian Studies, Colby College, is a linguistic anthropologist who is engaged in research projects related to language, gender, and sexuality. She is the author of two books, Queer Japanese: Gender and Sexual Identities through Linguistic Practices (Palgrave, 2010) and Speaking of Power: Japanese Women and Their Speeches (Lincom Europa, 2000). She is the co-author, with Endo Orie (et al.), of Sonomanma no nihongo (Hitsuji Shobo, 2020). She is the translator of Inscribing Intimacy: The Fading Writing Tradition of Nushu (Createspace Independent Publishing Platform, 2019). Before teaching at Colby College, she taught at various universities including Vanderbilt University and the University of Michigan. She was born in Tokushima, and received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from Arizona State University. At Colby College, she has taught various courses in areas including Japanese language, Gender Studies, Linguistics, and Anthropology. She loves to read mystery books, especially Nordic Noir.


Kyoto Center Staff

Mari Kawata

Office Director

Mari Kawata is the Office Director at the AKP Kyoto Center, responsible for managing the day-to-day administrative operations including communications with the AKP US Office and with Doshisha University. She is a native of Kyoto and has studied abroad in the United States, where she lived in a homestay. She has been with the AKP Kyoto Center since 2005.


Kyoko Kimura

Homestay and Housing Coordinator

As Homestay and Housing Coordinator, Kyoko Kimura has been responsible for homestay and host family-related affairs since July 2022. She was born and raised in the Kansai region and is now a resident of Shiga. Before coming to AKP, she worked for many years at several universities as an administrator supporting international researchers and students. She is a big foodie and especially loves Japanese sweets.


Shoko Numano

Office Assistant

As Office Assistant at the AKP Kyoto Center, Shoko Numano handles a variety of matters including arranging extracurricular activities (such as lessons) and field trips. She has lived in Kyoto since her student days and joined the AKP Kyoto Center in 2020.


Megumi Yamaguchi

Accounting Coordinator

Megumi Yamaguchi oversees accounting and money matters at the AKP Kyoto Center. She speaks Kansai-ben and joined AKP in 2010.


Language Faculty

Shiho Imao

Shiho Imao received her B.A. in Japanese Literature from Ferris University and her M.A. in Teaching Japanese as a Foreign Language from San Francisco State University. She worked in the business world and then shifted to Japanese language education. She came to AKP in 2005 after teaching Japanese at Stanford University and Harvard University. She aims to create classes where students can actively learn while making use of the distinctive environment of study abroad. She enjoys playing with her dog.


Yoshiko Kishi

Yoshiko Kishi has been with AKP as a Japanese language instructor since Fall 2023. Since receiving her M.A. from New York University, she has been engaged in Japanese language education at North American universities for more than twenty years. She has also spent fifteen years teaching Japanese to college students studying abroad at summer programs in Japan. She strives to cultivate proficiency in Japanese language learners and aims to create a learning environment in which students can understand and connect with others through their study of Japanese. Through her involvement in Japanese language education, she hopes to continue to gain insight into how people learn.


Megumi Oyama

Megumi Oyama received her B.A. in Japanese Linguistics from International Christian University and her M.A. in East Asian Languages and Literatures from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She arrived at AKP in 2004 after teaching at the University of Oregon, Smith College, and elsewhere. She aims to create learner-centered classes and is interested in peer editing activities. She is from Chiba prefecture and loves cats.

国際基督教大学(教養学部 語学科 日本語学専攻)にて学士号取得、ウィスコンシン大学マディソン校(東アジア言語文学部)にて修士号取得。オレゴン大学、スミス大学などにて日本語教育に携わり、2004年より現職。学習者中心の授業を心がけており、ピアエディティングの活動に興味を持っている。千葉県出身。猫好き。

Kayo Yoshida

Kayo Yoshida received her B.A. in Linguistics from the University of Iowa and her M.A. in Japanese Language Education from Purdue University. She taught Japanese as a lecturer at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and at Binghamton University before joining AKP in 2019. She taught Japanese at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University in 2021–2022 and then returned to AKP, where she has taught since 2022. She is from Miyagi prefecture in the Tohoku region. Her personal interests are shamisen and calligraphy.

アイオワ大学言語学部卒業。インディアナ州パデュー大学で日本語教育を学び、修士 を取得。大学院を卒業後、マサチューセッツ大学ボストン校、ニューヨーク州立大学の一つであるビンガムトン大学で講師として日本語を教える。AKPは2019-2021年勤務。立命館アジア太平洋大学で1年間日本語を教えた後、2022年よりAKPにて現職。宮城県出身。趣味は三味線と書道。

Kazumi Yoshimura

Kazumi Yoshimura received her B.A. in German Language and Studies from Sophia University in Tokyo and her M.A. in Japanese Linguistics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has taught for the Japan Foundation (TAP Program), University of Wisconsin-Madison, Hokkaido International Foundation (Summer Intensive Course), and University of Sheffield (Summer Study Tour at Doshisha University). She has been with AKP since 1994. Her current position at AKP has its origins in the experiences and perspectives she gained from foreign language study as a German major in college. Through her participation in the establishment of a college department of Japanese language education in a previous position, she started down the path of Japanese language education. She treasures the many encounters with wonderful students and other participants that are only possible through her current work. She is from Nagoya in Aichi prefecture. Her hobbies are going to the theater, watching movies, art appreciation, and reading. She relieves stress with the help of the works and performances of her favorite artists and by spending time in the great outdoors.

上智大学外国語学部ドイツ語学科卒業。ウィスコンシン大学マディソン校大学院修士課程修了(日本語学) 。国際交流基金 (TAPプログラム)、ウィスコンシン大学マディソン校、北海道国際交流センター (夏期集中コース)、シェフィールド大学(同志社大学日本研修旅行)で日本語教育に携わる。1994年より現職。大学でドイツ語学を専攻し、そこでの外国語の学びの経験、視点が現職の原点。前職で大学の日本語教育学科の設置業務に携わったのがきっかけで、日本語教育の道へ。この仕事を通じてでなければありえなかった多くの素晴らしい学生、関係者との出会いが、人生の宝。出身は愛知県名古屋市。趣味は、観劇、映画鑑賞、美術鑑賞、読書。好きなアーティストの作品、パフォーマンスから力をもらうのと大自然に身を置くのがストレス解消法。

2023–2024 Elective Course Faculty

Leshui He

Leshui He (Spring 2024 Visiting Faculty Fellow) is Associate Professor of Economics at Bates College, where he teaches intermediate microeconomics, strategies in firms and markets, industrial organization, and senior thesis seminars. His current research interest focuses on the digital economy, firms’ competitive strategies, law and economics, organizational economics, and the economics of education. Some of his recent research covers topics such as whether Amazon raises its prices after its competing retailers disappear, what limits coordination within organizations, and how students in different classrooms can affect each other’s academic performances. He adopts first-hand data collection, statistical analysis in open-source software, and game theory in his work.

Catherine Ludvik

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 the Stanford Program in Kyoto, 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. She is the author of Recontextualizing the Praises of a Goddess (2006) and Sarasvatī, Riverine Goddess of Knowledge (2007), and is currently working on the goddess Uga-Benzaiten and the Shikoku Henro pilgrimage. She has taught Japanese religion and visual arts at AKP since 2002.

Mahon Murphy

Mahon Murphy is an associate professor at the Faculty of Law, Kyoto University, where he teaches courses on Japanese popular culture and international history. He obtained his Ph.D. in history from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2015. His thesis focused on the internment of German prisoners of war and civilian internees in the extra-European theatres of the First World War including Japan, which was also the subject of his first monograph. His main research focus is in looking at the cultural impact of the First World War on regions outside Europe. He is also currently working on the history of punk music in Kyoto and Kansai. He has recently completed a monograph (co-authored with Ran Zwigenberg) which discusses the development of hardcore punk in Kansai through a focus on the band S.O.B. and their 1987 album Don’t Be Swindle (Bloomsbury, forthcoming).

Jeff Richey

Jeff Richey (Spring 2024 Visiting Faculty Fellow) is Professor of Asian Studies at Berea College, where he teaches courses on Japanese and Chinese cultural, intellectual, and religious history. He earned his Ph.D. in the cultural and historical study of religion at the Graduate Theological Union, a cooperative graduate program with the University of California at Berkeley. The author of Confucius in East Asia (Association for Asian Studies, 2013, 2nd ed. 2022), he has edited multiple volumes on Confucian traditions as well as Chinese influences on Japanese religious culture, including Daoism in Japan (Routledge, 2015) and Chinese Influences on Japanese Religious Traditions (special issue of Religions, 2021).

Asuka Sango

Asuka Sango (Fall 2023 Visiting Faculty Fellow) is the John W. Nason Professor of Asian Studies and Religion at Carleton College. She earned her B.A. at Wittenberg University, her M.A. at the University of Illinois, and her Ph.D. at Princeton University. She teaches courses in the religions of East Asia. Her chief research field is Japanese Buddhism of the ancient and medieval periods. She is the author of The Halo of Golden Light: Imperial Authority and Buddhist Ritual in Heian Japan (2015), a study of Buddhist statecraft—how Buddhist rituals legitimized the political authority of the Japanese emperor and other elite ruling groups in early Japan.

Dwight Whitaker

Dwight Whitaker (Spring 2024 Visiting Faculty Fellow) is Professor of Physics at Pomona College in Claremont, CA. He earned his B.S. from the University of Connecticut and his Ph.D. from Brown University. He has taught physics for 22 years at Pomona and Williams with courses that span the curriculum including offerings for experts as well as non-scientists. His scientific research focuses on the role aerodynamics play in the dispersal of seeds and spores. These studies use high-speed video imaging and computer simulations to learn how plants have evolved myriad techniques to efficiently spread their propagules. His work on biomechanics has been published in Nature, Science, and Royal Society Interface. More recently, he has been exploring the role of optics in art. He recently collaborated with Victoria Sancho-Lobis to create a course investigating how optics technology, emerging in the 16th century, influenced European art of this period. This course was followed by a co-curated exhibition at the Benton Museum of Art.

Linus Yamane

Linus Yamane (Fall 2023 Visiting Faculty Fellow) is Professor of Economics at Pitzer College in Claremont, CA. He earned his B.S. in Economics at MIT and his Ph.D. in Economics at Yale University. He learned more during his study abroad semester in Japan than any other semester in college. At Pitzer, Professor Yamane teaches courses in Macroeconomics, Econometrics, and the Japanese Economy. His research focus has shifted from Asian Americans and labor market discrimination to the Japanese macroeconomic performance. He has previously worked at AT&T Bell Laboratories, the World Bank, and the Development Bank of Japan. His textbook on Statistics for Economists is forthcoming.