Toshio Akai

Professor of Cultural Studies

Kobe Gakuin University

Toshio Akai is a Professor teaching cultural studies at the Humanities Department of Kobe Gakuin University, Kobe, Japan. He earned a master’s degree in English Literature at Kwainsei Gakuin University, Nishinomiya, Japan. He later studied Anglo-Irish Literature at the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland, where he researched George W. Russell aka A. E. and his fellow Dublin Theosophists. He read papers on the revival of Druidism attempted by W. B. Yeats and Scottish/Irish artists several times in Anglo-Irish Literary Conferences, published a series of monographs on the Cottingley Fairies Photographs and Spirit Photography, and contributed an article on Mirra Alfassa and Max Theon to a Japanese publication. He joined a research project on a nineteenth-century Buddhist educator Kinza Hirai, who invited Henry S. Olcott to Japan, and compiled the coeval Japanese Buddhist publications mentioning the coming of Olcott and Theosophist activities. He is a member of “Theosophist International Network across Asian Countries,” the current research project funded by JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research. Another field of his interest is film study of Indian cinema, on which he published several monographs in Japanese and English.