Mayu Fujikawa

Mayu Fujikawa

Berenson Fellow
The European Visualization of Two Japanese Embassies, 1582-1620


Mayu Fujikawa (PhD, Washington University in St. Louis) investigates how Early Modern Europeans represented East Asians and their cultures. She has published on the images of the Japanese ambassador Hasekura Tsunenaga, Rubens’ portrayal of a man in East Asian costume, and the historiography of studies on the Jesuits in Japan. Her other interest is the effect of pilgrimage upon Renaissance art. She has written about the artistic administration of the Opera della Sacra Cintola at Santo Stefano, a pilgrimage church in Prato. She has taught at Ithaca College, Bucknell University, and Middlebury College as a Visiting Assistant Professor. 

Project Summary

The project is to complete a manuscript, which will be the first book-length investigation into the European visual images of both the Tenshō and Keichō embassies from Japan (1582-90 and 1613-20, respectively). Based on archival documents, the book analyzes why and how Europeans depicted these embassies from the perspectives of papal politics, court diplomacy, information network, and historicizing effort, both institutionally and individually. Discussions also include costumes, gifts, and the images of other non-Europeans to situate those of the Japanese within the larger diplomatic, artistic, and cross-cultural contexts.