Events category: Book launch

13 May 2014

Zen-Life: Ikkyū and Beyond

This book examines the Japanese culture of the Muromachi epoch (14-16 centuries) with Ikkyū Sōjun (1394-1481), a celebrated monk and poet, as its focal point. Ikkyū’s contribution to the culture of his time was all-embracing and unique. He can be called the embodiment of his era, given that all the features typical for the Japanese culture of the High Middle Ages were concentrated in his personality. The book also discusses in great detail Ikkyū’s religious and ethical principles, as well as his attitude towards sex, and shows that his rebellious and iconoclastic ways were deeply embedded in the tradition.

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8 April 2014

The art lover’s guide to Japanese museums

We were delighted to host the London launch of the Japan Society’s latest publication, “The art lover’s guide to Japanese museums” by Sophie Richard. Japan is a ‘museum kingdom,’ operating some 5600 museums nationwide – a figure that eclipses the 1800 or so accredited museums in the UK. The museums of Japan feature rich collections and excellent exhibitions in world-class galleries. The art lover’s guide to Japanese Museums acts as a personal guide, introducing readers to some of the most distinctive and inspiring art museums in the country.

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17 January 2014

Bending Adversity: Japan and the Art of Survival

David Pilling, Asia Correspondent at the Financial Times, talked about his newly released book Bending Adversity, a portrait of contemporary Japan. Despite years of stagnation, Japan remains one of the world’s largest economies and a country which exerts a remarkable cultural fascination. David Pilling’s new book is an entertaining, deeply knowledgeable and surprising analysis of a group of islands which have shown great resilience, both in the face of financial distress and when confronted with the overwhelming disaster of the 2011 earthquake.

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6 December 2013

Schoolgirls, Money and Rebellion in Japan

Dr Sharon Kinsella of the University of Manchester launches her new book ‘Schoolgirls, Money and Rebellion in Japan’ at Daiwa Foundation Japan House. Weaving through topics such as compensated dating (enjo kōsai), street fashion and nineteenth century black and white minstrelsy, Dr Kinsella analyses the cult of schoolgirls in contemporary Japan.

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13 September 2013

Strong in the Rain

Dr David McNeill, one of the authors of ‘Strong in the Rain’ (co-authored with ‘Time’ magazine’s Tokyo correspondent Lucy Birmingham), spoke at the Daiwa Foundation about his book. The book tells the story of the March 11 2011 triple disaster and its aftermath through the eyes of six people Their stories illustrate the extraordinary bravery and heroism of ordinary Japanese people during the nation’s worst post-war disaster, but also some of Japan’s deep-rooted structural problems. Despite the enormous problems facing the country’s northeast, however, the book is ultimately positive and hopeful that the 2011 tragedy offers a new way forward.

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25 September 2013

The Road to Recovery – How and Why Economic Policy Must Change

Economist Andrew Smithers launched his new book ‘The Road to Recovery – How and Why Economic Policy Must Change’ at the Daiwa Foundation, giving a talk followed by Q and A and a book signing. His book addresses the issue of the world economy which still underperforms despite massive attempts at stimulus. Governments and central banks have the wrong policies because they do not understand today’s problems. Those who advocate stimulus, whether fiscal or monetary, assume that the problems are cyclical and thus temporary. But recovery in Japan, the UK and the US is inhibited by structural problems, which will not be solved by trying to boost demand.

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19 March 2013

Washi: The Art of Japanese Paper

‘Washi: The Art of Japanese Paper’ celebrates both the rich history of washi and the stunning variety that exists within the washi universe. The book features images and descriptions of over one hundred pieces from two collections: the portion of the nineteenth century Parkes Collection held in the Economic Botany Collection at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and the twenty-first century Washi: The Soul of Japan collection.

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26 March 2013

At Home Abroad: The Contemporary Western Experience in Japan

With Japan’s working population greying and dwindling, supplementing the labour shortage with non-Japanese workers has been proposed as one solution to this demographic crisis. It is crucial, however, that foreign nationals not only be “imported,” but also that Japanese and non-Japanese can coexist comfortably and thrive together. Interviewees reveal the extent that they feel accepted within Japanese society as well as what can be done by both Japanese and non-Japanese to strengthen the inclusion of foreign nationals.

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5 March 2013

Painting Nature for the Nation

In ‘Painting Nature for the Nation: Taki Katei and the Transformation of Sinophile Culture in Meiji Japan’, Dr Rosina Buckland offers an account of the painter Taki Katei (1830–1901). Despite becoming one of the most successful painters of his generation, a founding member of the prominent Japan Art Association and recipient of the title Imperial Household Artist, Katei has been relatively neglected, due to political and art historical biases of the post-WW2 era.

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5 February 2013

Factional Politics: How Dominant Parties Implode or Stabilize

In her book, ‘Factional Politics: How Dominant Parties Implode or Stabilize’ a survey of the British Conservative Party, the Liberal Party of Canada, the Christian Democratic Party of Italy and the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan, Dr Françoise Boucek explores the paradox of and the potential dangers of factional politics for dominant political parties. She intoduced her book and discussed its themes with Professor Kensuke Takayasu(discussant).

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