Events category: Book launch

26 April 2016

Japan, Russia and their Territorial Dispute: The Northern Delusion

The territorial dispute between Japan and Russia over the Northern Territories/Southern Kurils has been an enduring obstacle to closer relations between the two powers. Despite the passage of more than seven decades, within Japan there remains a resilience of belief that the four islands will eventually be returned. Dr James D. J. Brown offers an account of why Tokyo believes it still has a chance of securing the return of the islands, and will also provide a summary of the Abe administration’s latest efforts to achieve this goal.

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31 March 2016

Writing Photography’s History in Meiji Japan: New Approaches and Challenges

A Career of Japan is the first study of one of the major photographers and personalities of nineteenth-century Japan. Baron Raimund von Stillfried was the most important foreign-born photographer of the Meiji era and played a key role in the international image of Japan and the adoption of photography within Japanese society itself.

Dr Luke Gartlan will reflect on the historiographical challenges that were encountered in the writing of the first detailed study of von Stillfried’s work. Why do we need a book on Stillfried? In what ways does his career re-orient current understandings of nineteenth-century photography in Japan?

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1 March 2016

Femininity, Self-Harm and Eating Disorders in Japan: Navigating contradiction in narrative and visual culture

From the 1980s onwards, the incidence of eating disorders and self-harm has been on the rise amongst Japanese women. Mirroring this, women’s self-directed violence is a theme increasingly seen in Japanese narrative and visual cultures.

Dr Gitte Marianne Hansen will discuss the relationship between normative femininity and women’s self-directed violence in contemporary Japanese culture, examining a range of well-known works such as Hayao Miyazaki’s animations alongside more unfamiliar creations. Hear how women’s private struggles with their own bodies have now become public discourse, available for consumption as entertainment and lifestyle products.

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3 December 2015

Mindful Design of Japan: 40 Modern Tea-Ceremony Rooms

The Japanese tea-ceremony, or Way of Tea, is one of the most profound manifestations of mindfulness. The ceremony, with its roots in Zen Buddhism, dates as far back as the 15th century and takes place within a traditional tea-ceremony room. Author and acclaimed photographer, Michael Freeman, will give a talk about his experiences in visiting and photographing the modern tea ceremony rooms featured in his book “Mindful Design of Japan: 40 Modern Tea-Ceremony Rooms”.

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20 October 2015

Kimono Now

From the refined homes of Tokyo to the nightclubs of Kyoto; from gangster chic to Harajuku street style; from ateliers and catwalks to city sidewalks and religious festivals–this book shows how the kimono has continued to be one of Japan’s most exciting wardrobe elements.

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25 June 2015

Poetry Reading: One More Civil Gesture — with C. E. J. Simons

The poems in One More Civil Gesture, the first full collection of poetry by C. E. J. Simons, were written in Japan, where he has lived since 2006. The book contains poems inspired by Japan, and also by frequent travel in Burma, China and Mongolia.The gestures of these poems are ‘civil’ in two senses: in their bold and exciting use of inherited forms, whether Western or Japanese; and in their aspiration to eschew self-expression in search of representations of the human capacity to engage with the other – to be civilised through immersion in the unknown.

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19 February 2015

The Great Transformation of Japanese Capitalism

In the 1980s the performance of Japan’s economy was an international success story, and led many economists to suggest that the 1990s would be a Japanese decade. Today, however, the dominant view is that Japan is inescapably on a downward slope. Rather than focusing on the evolution of the performance of Japanese capitalism, this book reflects on the changes that it has experienced over the past 30 years, and presents a comprehensive analysis of the great transformation of Japanese capitalism from the heights of the 1980s, through the lost decades of the 1990s, and well into the 21st century.

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24 February 2015

Men to Devils, Devils to Men: Japanese War Crimes and Chinese Justice

The Japanese Army committed numerous atrocities during its pitiless campaigns in China from 1931 to 1945. When the Chinese emerged victorious with the Allies at the end of World War II, many seemed ready to exact retribution for these crimes. Rather than resort to violence, however, they chose to deal with their former enemy through legal and diplomatic means. Focusing on the trials of, and policies toward, Japanese war criminals in the post-war period, Men to Devils, Devils to Men analyses the complex political manoeuvring between China and Japan that shaped East Asian realpolitik during the Cold War.

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