Elizabeth Tinsley

Ph.D. Candidate in Religion
Andrew W. Mellon Art History Fellow in the Asian Art Department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Fellow, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
Elizabeth received her B.A. in History of Art from the University of Cambridge, an M.A. in Japanese Studies at SOAS, and a Ph.D. in Buddhist Culture from Otani University in Kyoto. Throughout she has been interested in issues of visual culture from Renaissance portraiture to Edo techniques of perspective to icons of kami (deities) in Buddhist ritual practice. She was a research student at the Tokyo University of the Arts, a Research Associate at the Medieval Japanese Studies Institute: Center for the Study of Women, Buddhism and Cultural History (in Kyoto), an intern at Nara National Museum, and a Research Associate at Yokohama City University. She is now at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York as an Art History Fellow.
She is currently working on the history of medieval visual culture at the esoteric Buddhist mountain complex of Koyasan under the supervision of Professor Bernard Faure and Professor Michael Como. She focuses particularly on the doctrinal debates and the mountain kami-related icons, oracles, and program of ritual practices they involved. She is also interested in Christian and Buddhist images in the visual culture of the grotesque, ruins, and fragments in Japan, extending from the turn of the century through postwar pulp literature, art, and film, and into present day subcultures.
Selected Publications:
"The Composition of Decomposition: The Kusozu Images of Matsui Fuyuko and Ito Seiu, and Buddhism in Erotic Grotesque Modernity" in Journal of Asian Humanities at Kyushu University 2, March 2017. 
"Indirect Transmission in Shingon Buddhism: Notes on the Henmyoin Oracle" in The Eastern Buddhist 45/1&2, 2016: pp. 77-111.
“Kukai and the Development of Shingon Buddhism” in Esoteric Buddhism and the Tantras in East Asia ed. Charles D. Orzech, Henrik H. Sorensen, and Richard K. Payne, Brill, 2010, pp. 691-708.
“Intangible Gifts: Buddhist doctrinal debate as an offering to the kami at medieval Kōyasan” in Otani Daigaku Otani Daigaku Daigakuin Kenkyu Kiyo 27, December 2010: pp. 141-172 (In Japanese).