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Ortansia Oje

MARQUIS Who's Who


Yoko Williams Recognized by Marquis Who’s Who for Excellence in the Intellectual History of Japan and Music

An orientalist, occidental philosophy expert, educator, writer, musician and composer, Dr. Williams has made 
an incredible impact on many populations of people in Tokyo

TOKYO, JAPAN, April 14, 2017, Dr. Yoko Williams has been included in Marquis Who’s Who. As in all Marquis Who’s Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.

 “I became involved in my career as an orientalist as I was always interested in both oriental and occidental philosophy and ways of thinking, and wanted to acquire greater knowledge in this field,” says Dr. Williams, who received her doctorate from the University of Oxford under the supervision of the scholar of Confucian thought and institutions Dr. I.J. McMullen. Her professional tenure has been marked by her research in the similarities and differences expressed in poetry and literature. Regarded for her expertise in the intellectual history of early Japan, she is tremendously knowledgeable of the cultural relevance of texts in law, literature, philosophy and religion. Dr. Williams’ background in these areas led her to achieve prominent roles including lecturer in the department of letters, arts and sciences at Waseda University, where she demonstrated her academic specialty in oriental studies. A published author in the field, Dr. Williams is credited with writing “Tsumi- Offence and Retribution in Early Japan” and “'Japan c.450-1863’ in History in Quotations: Reflecting 5000 Years of World History.” When asked of her success, Dr. Williams credits the influence of her father, who taught her to always think beyond the concepts taught at school and to strive for success with ambition. When reflecting on her childhood, she says of her father: “He treated me equal to his intelligence. That is how I began to think and feel with my own mind and heart, and that has continued to this very day - and it has made me achieve the things I dreamed about.”

Another part of Dr. Williams’ upbringing centered on the importance of life outside of work. “I was told, ‘become a professional to serve others, and after acquiring and mastering knowledge, pursue your own interest and develop your given talent,”’ she says, adding that this attitude led her to develop a passion for music. In fact, her personal investment of time and passion to writing music led Dr. Williams in attaining a second career as a composer-singer. Known by the stage name Ortansia Oje, she released two albums that have been positively acclaimed for their lyricism, melodies and orchestra. Dr. Williams has worked with highly regarded producers and conductors from St. Petersburg, including Alim Shakh, principal conductor of the Rimsky-Korsakov St. Petersburg State Conservatory’s Opera and Ballet Theater and the Novosibirsk Philharmonic Orchestra, and acclaimed composer Anton Tanonov, head of the composition department at the Conservatory.

As she looks to the future, Dr. Williams doesn’t have any intention of slowing down as it pertains to either aspect of her teaching, writing and musical careers. In  the years to come, she hopes to encounter new opportunities that will allow her to showcase her expertise and talents while adding value to significant projects.