Professor Kobayashi Tatsuo elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

We are delighted to congratulate Professor Kobayashi Tatsuo, Senior Advisor for Archaeology to the Sainsbury Institute, on his election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. This honour recognises Professor Kobayashi’s sustained contribution to bringing the archaeology of the Jomon period to a global audience. Professor Kobayashi was elected along with other luminaries in their respective fields including actress Michelle Yeoh (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”) author Zadie Smith (“White Teeth”), and architect David Adjaye (Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington DC).

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences honours excellence and convenes leaders from every field of human endeavour to examine new ideas, address issues of importance to the nation and the world, and work together “to cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honour, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent, and virtuous people.” Professor Kobayashi joins some 14,500 members elected since 1780, including Charles Darwin, Claude Levi-Strauss, Thomas Jefferson and Nelson Mandela.

Professor Kobayashi Tatsuo and participants in the International Jomon Forum in Niigata in February 2023 organised by the Shinano River Flame Pottery Association.

Our Executive Director, Simon Kaner, met Professor Kobayashi at the International Jomon Forum in Niigata City in February. Simon was a panellist and discussant for a session introducing recent work at Stonehenge, featuring the current exhibition Circles of Stone: Stonehenge and Jomon Japan, presented in partnership with English Heritage. Professor Kobayashi gave an inspirational talk making the case for treating Jomon ceramics as central to the early history of art, on a par with the cave paintings of Palaeolithic Europe. Professor Kobayashi is Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at Kokugakuin University, Tokyo and Founding Director of the Niigata Prefectural Museum of History. His book, Jomon Reflections: Forager Life and Culture in the Prehistoric Japanese Archipelago is available as a free download from Oxbow Books.

Simon Kaner
Executive Director and Head of Centre for Archaeology and Heritage