Events category: Talk

26 April 2018

Human Rights in Japan: Freedom of Expression, the Media and the Constitutional Amendment

In this talk, chaired by William Horsley, Dr Fujita will draw on her experiences to address how Japanese freedom of expression, including the independence of the media, has deteriorated under the current administration. She will also discuss the Government’s plans for constitutional amendment, which may have negative implications for human rights, and the Japanese Government’s response to the UN’s recommendations.

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9 April 2018

Abandoning the Kimono

Kimonos were among the most highly sought-after export wares produced for the Western market after Japan’s 200-year-long isolation policy ended in 1868, opening its ports to trade. Surviving kimonos from this period show British and Japanese cultural, political and industrial characteristics through each other’s eyes. In this talk, Elizabeth Kramer and Allie Yamaguchi will demonstrate the cultural relationship between Britain and Japan through dress with extant examples to show how Japanese kimonos became a strong visual trope representing a British understanding of the culture and people of Japan in the Meiji period.

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15 March 2018

Challenges of Regional Revitalisation in Japan

Japan’s population is shrinking at an alarming rate, and is expected to decrease from 127 million to 90 million people by 2060. In order to tackle this challenge, in 2014 Prime Minister Shinzo Abe created the Headquarter for Overcoming Population Decline and Vitalising Local Economy, which aims to promote regional revitalisation by implementing new policy and law. In this talk, Ueki Imaoka from Ministry of Finance will give a brief summary of Japanese Regional Revitalisation at the national level, while Takashi Hiranaka from the Embassy of Japan in the UK and Ichiro Oshiro, Mayor of Yawatahama will present several activities at the local level.

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27 March 2018

Bizen Osafune Japanese Swords

The origins of Japanese swords are not widely known, however the present-day form of Japanese swords originated around a thousand years ago. Nowadays, Japanese swords no longer serve as weapons, rather they are appreciated both in Japan and overseas as items of beauty or symbolic protection. In this talk, former diplomat Kaori Sato will give an overview of “Bizen Osafune Japanese Swords” as well as the Japanese spirit through the art of sword making. She will also discuss the city’s challenge to revitalise the local economy through Japanese sword making.

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22 March 2018

Japanese Security Legislation and Constitutional Reforms after the Elections: Prime Minister Abe’s Legacy?

In 2015, under Prime Minister Abe’s leadership, the Japanese government enacted controversial new security legislation with the aim to facilitate the country’s role as a ‘pro-active contributor’ to international peace and security. This seminar focuses on the political, legal, and strategic implications unfolding from possible constitutional reforms. This is a timely and much needed discussion with clear repercussions on Anglo-Japanese defence relations and on the prospects of Japan’s continued contribution to a stable international system. (The event is organised in cooperation with the King’s Japan Programme.)

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27 February 2018

Hands of Goze: the Tactile Culture of Visually Impaired People in Modern Japan

In this talk, Professor Kojiro Hirose discussed “the hands of Goze” and approach the relevance and the possibility of Goze culture from three different angles: “touching the sound”, “touching the colour”, and “touching the heart”. Referencing Goze folk songs, which Goze created and spread as their own oral traditions, Professor Hirose clarified the role that tactile culture of visually impaired people should play in today’s society.

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16 January 2018

Japanese Corporate Governance – The Inside Story

In this talk, Gerhard Fasol is joined by Sir Stephen Gomersall to discuss the reforms to Japanese corporate governance made in recent years, based on their direct experiences as non-Japanese Directors of Tokyo Stock Exchange-listed Japanese companies. The speakers will also discuss issues of diversity and its importance for the quality of management in Japanese corporations.

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23 January 2018

The Extraordinary Untold Story of James Bond and Japan

For a James Bond locale, exotic Japan fits the bill nicely with sliding doors and ninjas, high-tech gadgetry and interesting options for expendable henchmen. Yet for Ian Fleming Japan offered more than literary background colour. Grab your Beretta, put on your tuxedo and fire up the Bentley… In this talk, Dr Damian Flanagan took us on a thrilling spy adventure, showing us Japan in a way we had never imagined before – the extraordinary untold true story of Bond, James Bond and Japan.

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3 November 2017

Joso's Japan: Nature, Blood and Dust

Novelist Jayne Joso discussed Japan’s deep affinity with nature, how this permeates traditional everyday life and culture, and how it pulses through the country’s art and literature. She talked us through the insights she gained into Japan’s relationship with nature as one of a cycle of transmigration, as one that places the human in equal relation, and as one that is for forever fluid, dynamic and ultimately humbling.

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9 November 2017

Turning Point: The Momentous Events that Created Modern Japan

To Japan, the arrival of Commodore Perry and his Black Ships in 1853 was almost as shocking as if Martians had landed. In this talk, Lesley Downer began by setting the scene on the cusp of Perry’s arrival, telling the story of the Black Ships from both Japanese and American viewpoints. Her talk was illustrated with contemporary documents and pictures including woodblock prints of Perry and Harris as seen through Japanese eyes, and American drawings of the Japanese.

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