Events category: Book launch

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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4 December 2014

Japanese Tree Burial: Ecology, Kinship and the Culture of Death

Tree burial (樹木葬, jumokusou), a new form of disposing the remains of the dead in Japan, was initiated in 1999 by a Zen Buddhist temple in the northeast region of Tohoku. Unlike conventional cemeteries filled with ancestral gravestones, its graveyards are vast woodlands where newly planted trees and small wooden tablets inscribed with the names of the deceased mark the burial sites. Although varying in style and scale, over fifty cemeteries are now popularizing tree burial as an alternative mode of dealing with death in Japan.

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11 November 2014

Yukio Mishima

Yukio Mishima was the most internationally acclaimed Japanese author of the twentieth century: prodigiously talented, dazzlingly prolific and a prime candidate for the Nobel Prize. Yet in 1970 Mishima shocked the world with a bizarre attempt at a coup d’état, which ended in his suicide by ritual disembowelment. In his radically new analysis of an extraordinary life, Damian Flanagan moves away from the stereotypical depiction of Mishima as a right-wing nationalist and aesthete and presents him as a man utterly obsessed with time – time-keeping devices and symbols – arguing that this compulsion was at the heart of the author’s literature and life.

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