Events category: Talk

17 November 2016

“I’m Alone, But Not Lonely” - An Essay on the Rise of Otaku

Sociologist Volker Grassmuck will give an illustrated talk about his visit to Tokyo in 1989 and the experiences which resulted in his popular and influential essay “I’m Alone, But Not Lonely”. The essay focuses on the emergence of the Otaku phenomenon. The essay’s enduring relevance and popularity today points to the implicit proposition ‘Are we not all Otaku now?’

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7 November 2016

Marriage in Crisis? The Development of Virtual Relationships in Japan

Japanese society faces not only a “marriage crisis” but also a “relationship crisis”. It is estimated that there are over 10 million adults without a spouse or a partner; many of these continue to live with their parents late into their working lives, often termed ‘Parasite Singles’. How are these people’s feelings of intimacy and relationship satisfied? In this talk, Professor Masahiro Yamada and Professor Adrian Favell will discuss the rise of unmarried adults, and how these relationship crises have led to the development of virtual relationships in Japan.

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20 October 2016

Joso’s Japan: Wood and Paper Houses

In this event, author Jayne Joso will talk us through the essential elements of the Japanese wood and paper house, and how one of these enigmatic spaces came to settle itself as a character in its own right in her critically acclaimed novel, My Falling Down House.

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12 October 2016

Earth, Pigment and Stone: Artist Julie Brook’s Japan

The 2015 Daiwa Art Prize shortlisted artist Julie Brook’s practice involves making sculptural work inspired by the specific environments she inhabits using materials found to hand such as earth, pigment and stone. Her work is transient, temporal, and ephemeral; her sculptures are made of the fabric of the landscape itself. This talk will give a brief introduction to the work the artist has made in wild landscapes in Libya, Namibia and Scotland and how her recent visit to Japan is influencing her future projects.

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10 October 2016

Contemporary Botanical Art from Japan: Kusabana-zu

This talk explores the idea of traditional Japanese painting (Nihonga) through the theme of the exhibition “Contemporary Botanical Art from Japan: Kusabana-zu”, serving as a forum for participating artists to explore the dichotomy and interrelationship between the traditional and the contemporary in Nihonga and how this impacts on their own individual art. It also aims to introduce a London audience to traditional Japanese painting media and materials used in Nihonga. In particular, it presents leading academic research into the conservation and restoration of Japanese handmade paper or washi, one of the key materials used in Nihonga painting.

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26 September 2016

Artist Talk: Blue Passages by Shino Yanai

Blue Passages documents Shino Yanai’s recent performance featuring video, photography, and salvaged objects. She followed the perilous mountain route between France and Spain that was made by the German Jewish philosopher Walter Benjamin in his doomed attempt to escape the Nazis in 1940.

The artist will be joined by Dr Jonathan Whitehall to discuss ideas of migration, ethics and personal and public history in relation to her new exhibition, Blue Passages.

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7 September 2016

High School and University Articulation Reforms: Revolutionising Education in Japan

In March 2016, Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) published further education reforms. The purpose of these reforms, the most revolutionary and comprehensive since the Second World War, is to restructure Japan’s education system, equipping students with 21st century competencies such as independent thought, creativity and initiative. Professor Takashi Otani will examine the reaction to and impact of these reforms, and consider the issues Japanese education will face in the future.

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27 July 2016

Artist Talk: The Future of Public Art

In today’s ever-changing world, how exactly has our view of publicness, commons and common spaces evolved?

Artist Kenji Yamada and curator Jason Waite are interested in exploring the intricate details of spaces closed off from society and historical places that have evolved from cultural forces. In this talk, they will discuss possible approaches to publicness as well as potential futures in our socio-cultural world.

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20 June 2016

How has the Financial Times influenced Japanese journalism?

The unexpected purchase of the Financial Times Group last year by the Nihon Keizai Shimbun surprised everyone both in Japan and in the UK. It is unprecedented for a major Japanese newspaper to purchase a highly regarded Western newspaper.

For this event, Ginko Kobayashi, author of Real Power of the Financial Times 「フィナンシャル・タイムズの実力], will be joined by financial columnist and FT journalist John Plender, to discuss the impact of the FT on Japanese journalism.

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24 May 2016

Ocean Acidification and Underwater Volcanoes in Japan

The oceans are acidifying at a rate that is unprecedented for at least the past 55 million years because they absorb around 25% of the carbon dioxide released by human activity. The coasts of Japan are already 30% more acidic than before the Industrial Revolution and look set to become 150% more acidic in our lifetimes.

Professor Jason Hall-Spencer will explain what ocean acidification is, and why it is a major environmental and economic concern for fisheries and coastal ecosystems in the NW Pacific. He will also introduce his groundbreaking three year project working with Shimoda Marine Station at the University of Tsukuba to explore the local marine life and carry out research at the CO2 seeps.

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