Events by year: 2013

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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26 November 2013

Multisensory Internet Communication and Virtual Love

The era of hyperconnected internet allows for new embodied interaction between humans, animals and computers, leading to new forms of social and physical expression. The technologies being developed will in the future augment or mix the real world together with the virtual world. Humans will be able to experience new types of communication environments using all of the senses, where we can see virtual objects in the real environment, virtually touch someone from a distance away, and smell and taste virtual food. Our physical world will be augmented with sensors connected to the internet, buildings and physical spaces, cars, clothes and even our bodies. In this seminar we also asked the question: will this merging of computing with the physical world lead to us developing personal feelings for computers, machines, and robots?

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21 November 2013

The Way I See - Beyond Portraiture by Hideyuki Sobue

This talk will explore the themes surrounding Hideyuki Sobue’s exhibition The Way I See at the Daiwa Foundation Japan House Gallery, where he will discuss his artistic approach to the human cognitive process and latest attempt to push the boundaries of contemporary portraiture. Hideyuki Sobue is a Japanese artist living and working in the Lake District, where this project is based. The exhibition, supported by Arts Council England, embodies a series of portraits of people he has come to know personally.

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13 November 2013

Japan’s Direction: Pacifism and Legitimate Use of Force

How is the Japanese debate about the use of force evolving? In a fast-evolving East Asian security environment, there is an intensifying debate among Japanese politicians and legal experts about when the use of force in international relations is acceptable, and the interpretation, and possible revision, of Japan’s post-War “Peace Constitution”.

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6 November 2013

Shifting Values: How should we care for older people in society?

Despite persistent economic weakness, Japan, as the country with the world’s oldest population, set out in 2000 to establish an entirely new approach to social care. Part-social insurance model, part-general taxation model, the Japanese system has grappled with a series of questions which we are facing in the social care sector here in the UK: what should the state offer; who should be eligible; and how should it be funded? The speakers and chair, Holly Holder, discussed the Japanese experience of health care reform, care for frail and/or vulnerable older people, and the latest thinking on the progress towards funding reform and integration in England.

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29 October 2013

Who Was William Adams?

Fascinated by the story of William Adams or Anjin (his Japanese name) since his days as a research student in Japan, Professor Richard Irving of Kwansei Gakuin University is currently researching the life of Adams, the first officially-recognised western samurai, for a book and has material which will shed new light on the life of Anjin. Professor Irving gave a talk at the Daiwa Foundation on this fascinating historical figure, who was a pioneer of UK-Japan relations. He told the story of Adams and Nihonbashi and its ‘role’ in the building of Edo Castle, also touching upon the Adams monument in Nihonbashi and the naming of Anjin-cho in Tokyo. Professor Timon Screech of SOAS, University of London, who is co-organiser of this year’s Japan 400 celebration of 400 years of UK-Japan relations, acted as chair for this timely event which explores the shared history of the UK and Japan.

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24 October 2013

Hideyuki Sobue: The Way I See

We celebrated the opening of Hideyuki Sobue’s exhibition The Way I See at the Daiwa Foundation Japan House Gallery on 24 October 2013. The artist was introduced by Jimmy S. S. Lek, the founder of ArtGemini Prize, London. Hideyuki Sobue is a Japanese artist living and working in the Lake District where this project is based. This exhibition, supported by Arts Council England, embodies a series of portraits of people he has come to know personally, with each work designed to be exhibited in diptychs: one half featuring the portrait, the other a carpet of fallen leaves observed in the area. The leaves also symbolize the vast majority of people, who have never been the subject of a portrait and thus the works become a metaphoric juxtaposition.

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17 October 2013

Youth Entrepreneurship in Japan and the UK: New hope for ‘desperate societies’?

Amid gloomy news about deepening youth unemployment and increasingly precarious labour conditions, entrepreneurship has been highlighted as an alternative career path for today’s young adults in both Japan and the United Kingdom. There seems to be a general consensus — or at least a widely shared hope — that more entrepreneurial activity by the young will lead not only to more jobs and greater opportunity, but also to more economic growth. The speakers Noritoshi Furuichi, Japan’s leading young public sociologist. and Stephen Miller of UnLtd – the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs, discussed whether youth entrepreneurship can truly serve as a source of hope and vitality for our affluent but ‘desperate’ modern societies, or whether we are we mistaken to place high expectations on young entrepreneurs without supporting their activity at a level commensurate with these expectations.

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15 October 2013

Acting Out of Nothingness: from the APT Collection

For this artist talk, the Director of APT Institute, Justin R. Merino described in detail the work of his organisation. The artist Kanako Sasaki, who is featured in the exhibition Acting Out of Nothingness, introduced her photography and explained the thoughts and processes that inform her work. London-based Japanese photographer Tomoko Yoneda, whose work addresses similar themes, lead a discussion on journalism, history and contemporary photography. The speakers also debated on the topic of Japanese photography today.

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11 October 2013

Music from Baroque Europe: Played by Taro Takeuchi with Kaori Katayama

In this concert respected early guitar/lute player Taro Takeuchi and guest performed some of the finest pieces from the British Baroque period. The concert will include pieces by Nicolla Matteis, Henry Purcell, Francesco Geminiani, George Frideric Handel and others. Taro Takeuchi uses antique guitars from the 18th century as well as a faithful modern copy of an original 17th century lute.

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9 October 2013

Shunga: sex and pleasure in Japanese art

In early modern Japan, 1600-1900, thousands of sexually explicit works of art were produced, known as ‘spring pictures’ (‘shunga’). Tim Clark is currently curating a major ‘shunga’ exhibition at the British Museum, which celebrates this often tender, funny and beautiful erotic art-form, produced by some of the great masters of Japanese art such as Utamaro and Hokusai. Showing some key works from the exhibition, Tim explored important questions about what is ‘shunga’, how it circulated and to whom, and why it was produced.

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3 October 2013

Why Japanese Studies? Considering the Past, Present and Future

This roundtable aimed to stimulate a discussion on Japanese Studies in the United Kingdom and the wider world in celebration of fifty years of Japanese Studies at the University of Sheffield. By reflecting on the past, present and future of Japan and Japanese Studies, the speakers Professor Glenn Hook (Chair), Professor Hugo Dobson, Graham Healey, Dr Mark Pendleton and Sir David Warren will offer their own answers to the question, ‘Why Japanese Studies?’

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