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Kyoto City University of Arts is abbreviated as KCUA. Indicating location, an “@” mark is added before this abbreviation to form @KCUA, read as “a-kua.” @KCUA is used as the university’s email host name as well as the name of the university gallery. @KCUA is a homophone of “aqua,” the Latin word for “water.” The name embodies our hope that the art and music conceived, fostered, and disseminated by the university will fill people’s bodies and minds like water, bringing a freshness in the manner of an abundant spring fountain that pervades society as a source of life.

Throughout  mankind’s long history, people in different regions and cultures have cherished the many values of art. This is because art as a rich creative activity has always given people freedom, stimulation, healing and a vibrant joy, as well as providing opportunities to sense and think deeply. Our mission as an art university is to continually question and reappraise our legacy, the meaning of art in the present era, and the means by which artists who will create the next generation of art can best be educated.

Having its roots in the Kyoto Prefectural School of Painting, which was established in the year Meiji 13 (1880), Kyoto City University of Arts has the longest history in Japan as a public art university. Fifty years have passed since it merged with Kyoto City Junior College of Music, (which had been established following World War II, in order to found the Faculty of Music), and became a truly comprehensive art university. In recent years, the university has successively established two research centers, the Research Center for Japanese Traditional Music, and the Archival Research Center, and also the Kyoto City University of Arts Art Gallery (@KCUA) as an off-campus city central satellite facility. Currently, the university is once again undergoing various exciting changes in preparation for the planned relocation of its campus in 2023.


Internationally known for its rich cultural heritage, Kyoto is a unique city from both domestic and international perspectives. While it has many wonderful traditions worthy of preservation, Kyoto also actively absorbs new cultures and trends.  The metaphorical chemical reaction caused by the combination of these traditional and contemporary elements, that inherently do not mix, has created this city’s unique characteristic atmosphere. Kyoto has long existed as a meeting point for many cultures and the people who conserve and sustain them. With this in mind, we believe that our role is to remain as a site for artistic creation where people can gather, exchange, and connect with one another, while bringing a wave of new artistic expression and research to the city. The university’s alumni not only include internationally renowned artists, musicians, designers, composers, craftsmen, and researchers, but also those whose work has influenced society from their respective positions. Our alumni continue to engage with society, pave unique paths, and present new ways of living based on their strong sense of creativity, rich ideas, and critical thinking that were cultivated while attending KCUA as students.


The university is also a place where people with differing abilities and backgrounds gather. More than ever, we are actively striving to build a community that respects diverse values regardless of their gender, sexuality, nationality, and cultural background. We believe that the art, music, research, and educational activities that are conducted in a university, which is a place of tolerance and genuinely acknowledges diverse values, are the most significant gifts that a public university such as Kyoto City University of Arts can give to society.


For all our students, while the years they spend at university is only a short period within their lifetime, it is nevertheless a very important period for them to consider how they will live their lives after graduation. Kyoto City University of Arts continues to strive to be a place for artistic creation where students with diverse and unique aspirations, abilities and backgrounds can gain a very meaningful experiences as they move towards their unique futures.

Tamame Akamatsu


Painter. Born in 1959 in Hyogo Prefecture, Akamatsu Tamame completed her postgraduate studies in oil painting at Kyoto City University of Arts in 1984. After graduation, Akamatsu focused on her artistic output, exhibiting her work in museums and galleries both in Japan and abroad, while also researching the possibilities of a painting expression that combines various materials and techniques, such as oil painting, watercolor, and fresco. After living and studying in Italy, Akamatsu assumed the position of lecturer on the Painting Course of the Faculty of Fine Arts in Kyoto City University of Arts in 1993. In 2018, she was appointed as the Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts.In 2019 she was appointed University President. Akamatsu also supports the artistic activities of children and adults with learning disabilities in collaboration with various institutions outside the university.


1984 2nd Kyoto Prefectural Art and Crafts Competition (winning work purchased by Kyoto Prefecture)

1986 33rd All Kansai Art Exhibition, First Prize

1999 Kyoto City Best Emerging Artist Award