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In Memoriam

Leo Aoi Hosoya


 Leo in North Honshu, 1995 (Leo’s Japanese name alludes to young bamboo in the snow)


It is with great sadness we have learnt of the death of one of the first generation of graduates at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research

Leo Aoi Hosoya began her graduate studies at Cambridge in 1992. While primarily training as an archaeobotanist, she also drew enthusiastically from the lectures of Gina Barnes, Ian Hodder and others. From this base, like so many of her Pitt-Rivers Laboratory colleagues, Leo imaginatively embedded her archaeological science within a critical social historical approach.

She took this approach to many field studies around the world, in posts at Waseda University, the Kyoto Research Institute for Humanities and Nature, and finally as Associate Professor at Ochanomizu University.

Leo combined a keen and imaginative intellect, a shrewd understanding of both Japanese and British culture, and a wicked sense of humour. When Prince Charles visited the lab, he was rather taken aback to find Leo working at her microscope in full kimono, hair elaborately coiffured.  I am still not entirely sure how much Leo’s gesture was tongue-in-cheek.

Leo Aoi Hosoya is survived by husband Haruyosi and daughter Mina. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this time.

-Professor Emeritus Martin K. Jones, July 2019


The Archaeobotanist Blog: In Memoriam, 'Leo' Aoi Hosoya