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Dr. Freya Terryn is a teaching and research fellow at KU Leuven (Belgium) and specializes in Japanese visual and print culture of the nineteenth century. She holds a PhD in Japanese Studies from KU Leuven (2021) and her research has been funded by the Research Foundation – Flanders (2017-2021, 2022) and the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation (2022).


Her primary research interests lie in the arts and material cultures of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Japan, with a particular focus on prints, illustrated books, and paintings. She also explores issues relating to artistic and commercial collaboration, the interaction between governing bodies and artists, pictorial quotation, exhibition culture, Japonisme, and the formation of Japanese art collections in Europe.



PhD in Japanese Studies

KU Leuven - Leuven, Belgium

November 2016 - June 2021


Dissertation: Japanese woodblock prints and the Meiji state: Production, intention, and reception in the prints of Tsukioka Yoshitoshi and Utagawa Hiroshige III

Funding: PhD Fellowship from the Research Foundation Flanders from October 2017 to September 2021

Postdoctoral researcher

KU Leuven - Leuven, Belgium

October 2021 - current

Next to my research, I am currently teaching courses on Japanese culture, art history, classical Japanese grammar, Japanese language classes, critical thinking and (academic) writing, and supervising MA and BA theses.



  • Ishibashi Foundation / The Japan Foundation Fellowship Program for Research on Japanese Art (39 days)


  • Anne van Biema Fellow at the Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery (FSGA, Smithsonian, Washington, D.C.) (2 months)


  • Fellow at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin (SBB; Berlin State Library) as part of the scholarship program of the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz (1 month) for the research project Hyakunin isshu across generations

  • Research Foundation – Flanders Grant for a Short Study Visit Abroad (1 month) for the research project Hyakunin isshu across generations

  • Research Foundation – Flanders Travel Grant for participation in the conference 10th Forum for East Asian Art History (June 17-18, 2022, University of Zurich)


  • PhD Fellowship Research Foundation – Flanders


  • Japan Student Service Organization (JASSO) scholarship



indicates peer reviewed publications


Book chapters

Journal articles 


  • Terryn, F. 2021. “Japanese woodblock prints and the Meiji state: Production, reception, and intention in the prints of Tsukioka Yoshitoshi and Utagawa Hiroshige III,” PhD dissertation. University of Leuven (KU Leuven).


  • “Reevaluating The Bunmei Kaika Cameraman: Utagawa Hiroshige III and his Artistic Practices,” 2024 Association for Asian Studies (AAS) Annual Conference, Seattle, March 14-17, 2024

Selection of past talks

  • “三代歌川広重の肉筆浮世絵画帖について: 初代・二代広重の作品との比較を中心に,” 29th Fall Conference of the International Ukiyo-e Society, Kanagawa University, Yokohama, Japan (online), November 25, 2023 (in Japanese)

  • “Tomii Masa’akira and Émile Guimet: A Collaborative Effort to Promote Japanese Art and Culture,” 17th International Conference of the European Association for Japanese Studies (EAJS), Ghent, Belgium, August 17-20, 2023.

  • "フランス留学時代の富井政章―西洋と日本の美術の架け橋―," 74th General Meeting of JALHA (Japan Legal History Association 日本法制史学会), Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan. June 10-11, 2023.

  • “The Humble Beginnings of “The Last (Genius) Ukiyo-e Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi & his Illustrated Books of the 1850s, ” 11th Forum for East Asian Art History, Vienna, Austria, May 19-20, 2023.

  • “Ukiyo-e 101: Introduction to Japanese Woodblock Print Culture,” invited lecture, Karel de Grote University College, May 9, 2023.

  • “La dualité du manga dans l’œuvre de Tsukioka Yoshitoshi,” invited lecture, University of Liège, March 17, 2023.

  • “One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each Across Generations: The Hiroshige Studio and the Classical Anthology,” invited lecture for Culture in Perspective: South and East Asia, Ghent University, March 14, 2023.

  • "The Allure of Japan: The Appreciation of Japanese Art in Belgium from the 1860s to the 1920s,” invited lecture for Guest lectures to accompany the exhibition "Japan's Book Donation to the University of Louvain", KU Leuven Libraries, Leuven, December 8, 2022.

  • "De allure van Japan: Belgische kunstenaars en de Japanse prentkunst," invited lecture for Shin hanga: De nieuwe prenten van Japan, Davidsfonds, Brussels, December 3, 2022.

  • “Hyakunin isshu in geïllustreerde boeken: Focus op Utagawa Hiroshige III,” Boekhistorisch Forum, KU Leuven, Leuven, November 25, 2022.

  • “Hyakunin isshu and the Hiroshige studio: Utagawa Hiroshige’s take on the classical Japanese anthology,” Wissenswerkstatt / Werkstattgespräche, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Berlin (online), November 3, 2022.

  • “The duality of manga in the work of Tsukioka Yoshitoshi,” Bande dessinée en Asie de l'Est / East Asian Comics, Lyon, September 16, 2022.

  • “Japanese woodblock prints on commission: Nikuhitsu ukiyo-e as exhibition art and diplomatic gifts,” 10th Forum for East Asian Art History, Zurich, June 17-18, 2022.

  • “À la recherche d’un moyen d’éduquer la nation: Tanaka Fujimaro et l’imagerie populaire,” invited by Prof. Christian Galan for Éducation, Enfance-s et Société en Asie Orientale (EESAO), INALCO Paris, November 26, 2021.

  • “More than the “ukiyo-e quartet”: A case study of Yoshitoshi’s Short Illustrated History of Great Japan,” EAJS 2021, Ghent University, Belgium (online), August 25-28, 2021.

  • “Okura Magobei and National Industrial Exhibitions: Japanese woodblock prints as educational material,” 8th Forum East Asian Art History, Heidelberg, Germany, October 4-5, 2019.

  • “To collect or not to collect: The Meiji period woodblock prints in the Royal Museums of Art and History (Belgium).” 11th International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS 11), Leiden, the Netherlands, July 16-19, 2019.

  • “The shokusan kogyo policy through woodblock prints: The Yushima Seido Exhibition of 1872 and the National Domestic Exhibition of 1877,” The IAJS Thematic Conference 2018 – The West in Japanese Imagination / Japan in Western Imagination, Tel Aviv, Israel, December 18-20, 2018.


2021~ (KU Leuven)

  • Instructor F0TE6a: Modern Japanese II: Language proficiency: translation course from Japanese to Dutch (BA2)

  • Co-instructor F0TC8A: Introduction to Japanese culture and society (BA1)

  • Co-instructor F0YK8A: Konishi BA seminar (BA3)

  • Co-instructor F0UV2A/F0YM4A: Satsuma MA seminar (MA)


MA thesis advisor, 2021~ ( KU Leuven)

Thesis supervision of seven MA theses as of AY 2023-2024.

BA thesis advisor, 2020~ ( KU Leuven)

Thesis supervision of fourteen BA theses as of AY 2023-2024.

2021-2022 (KU Leuven)

  • Instructor F0TF9A: Grammar of classical Japanese (BA3)

  • Co-instructor F0TF3B: Modern Japanese III: Language proficiency: News Media (BA3)

  • Co-instructor F0YK7A: Close reading and critical discussion of new research on Japan (BA3)

2020-2021 (KU Leuven)

  • Co-instructor F0YK8A: Konishi BA seminar (BA3)

  • Co-instructor F0TC8A: Introduction to Japanese culture and society (BA1)

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