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Professor Yutaka Yoshida FBA

The philological and historical studies of Sogdian and other Middle Iranian texts unearthed from the area along the ancient Silk Roads
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About this Fellow

Yutaka Yoshida has been Professor of Linguistics at the Graduate School of Letters, Kyoto University, Japan since 2006, when he moved from Kobe City University, where he had taught for twenty years. He spent one year during 1981-82 at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, under the supervision of Professor N. Sims-Williams. He received the World Book Award of Iran in February 2014 for his book on Sogdian arts and language. His main interest is Sogdian and other Iranian languages once spoken along the Silk Road. He is well known as a decipherer of the Sogdian materials recently discovered in China and has published all the Sogdian texts preserved in Japan, among which is one brand on two pieces of sandalwood imported to Japan some 1300 years ago. He is uniquely distinguished among Iranianists for his research on Middle Iranian words transcribed in Chinese characters. Another important contribution to Central Asian studies is his recent discovery of as many as ten Chinese Manichaean silk paintings preserved in Japan, the likenesses of which have never been encountered so far.


Current post

  • Professor of Central Asian Studies, Graduate School of Letters, Kyoto University


Iranian fragments from the Otani Collection (in Japanese, with K. Kudara and W. Sundermann) 1997


Studies in the new Manichaean texts recovered from Turfan (in Chinese) 2000


Notes on the Khotanese documents of the 8th-9th centuries unearthed from Khotan (in Japanese) 2006


Sogdian, in: G. Windfuhr (ed.), The Iranian languages 2009


Sogdian arts and language (in Japanese, with H. Sobugawa) 2011


Studies of the Chinese Manichaean paintings of South Chinese origin preserved in Japan (in Japanese, with Sh. Furukawa) 2015


Other Africa, Asia and the Middle East Fellows

Professor Emilie Savage-Smith

The history of medicine and science in medieval Islam; medieval Arabic artefacts and treatises relating to ophthalmology, anatomy, cartography (celestial and terrestrial), and divinatory techniques

Professor Peter Jackson

The Mongol Empire & its relations with the Catholic West; the Crusades & the Latin East; & the eastern Islamic world in the Middle Ages.

Professor Elizabeth Perry

The history and politics of modern China, with special attention to traditions of rebellion and revolution and their influence on contemporary patterns of protest and governance

Professor Jane Duckett

Contemporary Chinese government and politics; Chinese health and social policy, poverty and inequality; comparative politics