Hearing the word “u kiyo-e”, you may be reminded of The Great Wave by Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849). It was commercially published as one of a series of thirty-six prints (which eventually exceeded this number) illustrating Mt. Fuji from different angles in the 1830s. This was a time when various landscape prints by many artists acquired popularity, to be established as one of the genres of ukiyo-e prints. Already indicated as a background to this phenomenon is the custom of traveling to distant shrines or temples that became more common among the general public than before, so that people were more curious about landscapes which they had never seen. In this talk, however, their contexts, or the demand for these prints as commercial products are examined more broadly in relation to their audiences.
The territorial dispute between Japan and Korea over the ownership of Dokdo/Takeshima islets resurfaced in the early 2000s and today is one of the major stumbling blocks in bilateral relations. However, the dispute is not limited to state to state relations, as in both countries there are citizens' groups actively engaged in protesting, lobbying, and educating the public. Who are these people? What do they do in their everyday life? What motivates them to engage in this kind of activism? How do they see the other side? The usually sensational media coverage of their activities does not answer these questions. In this talk Alexander Bukh will discuss his research project and a documentary film that aims to provide some answers to these questions.
Mari Miura, professor in Political Science, Sophia University, will talk about the strategic position of women in Japan's welfare capitalism.
September 20 2016: Japan’s security “normalization” and historical revisionism in the contemporary East Asian context
Koichi Nakano, professor in Political Science at Sophia University, will discuss the current trends in Japan’s security policy change and rising historical revisionism by first looking back at the challenges that Japan faced as the Cold War drew to a close a quarter of a century ago.
June 3 2016: How to tackle disease: medical knowledge in official home doctor manuals of early modern Japan
Regina Huebner will talk about official home doctor manuals in early modern Japan.
On March 23, Timon Screech (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London) will talk about Nihon-bashi (the 'Bridge of Japan') that was built in 1603 to commemorate the creation of the new shogunate.
November 20 2015: Weapons for the Revolution: the Meiji Restoration and the International Arms Trade
The Meiji Restoration of 1868 has been studied for almost 150 years so one would not expected significant re-interpretations at this stage. My presentation will approach the Meiji Restoration Period from the perspective of new advances in global history and explore a hitherto neglected but seminal topic in shifting the domestic balance of power and legitimacy in Japan itself and in East Asia at large: the international arms trade and its lasting political and economic implications.
On November 5, 2015, Steve Dodd of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London will deliver a lecture on aspects of same-sex desire in Natsume Soseki's novel, Kokoro , through the lens of translation studies theory.
On October 16, Barbara Ambros, from the University of North Carolina, will deliver a lecture on Anan kōshiki, a ritual that has been an important marker of female monastic identity for centuries.
September 24 2015: Intolerant but Morally Indifferent Regime? Social Control in early modern and modern Japan
The early modern political regime of Japan (Tokugawa Shogunate, 1600-1868) has been characterized as an oppressive system. On the other hand, however, the ethical norms of daily life of Tokugawa society have been viewed as quite flexible. How could these split characters coexist? This lecture attempts to suggest a way to understand the historical character of "heresies" and "misconducts" in the politico-ethical arguments in early modern Japan.
On May 1st, Edward Kamens will give a lecture on “Family Memorials, Waka, and Material Culture”. Edward Kamens is Sumitomo Professor of East Asian Languages & Literatures at the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, Yale University. His research interests focuses primarily on the poetry and prose genres of the early and medieval Japan.
Around the world, Japan is often associated with advanced technology and state-of-the-art machinery, such as automobiles, robotics, or various types of electronic devices. Notions like ’techno-orientalism’ or ’techno-nationalism’ are often used in an attempt to frame the economic, political and social discourses of Japanese technology within a domestic as well as an international context. Gunhild Borggreen (Copenhagen University) will give a lecture on this theme.
On November 14, Janet Hunter will give a lecture entitled ''Bad Practices' and 'Fraudulent Means': Japan and International Debates on Commercial Morality in the Late 19th - Early 20th Centuries'. Time: 15.10-17.00 hrs, Lipsius 0.28.
On October 9 Michel Vieillard-Baron will give a lecture on the Saishō shitennō-in Imperial Residence and its poems. The Saishō shitennō-in residence was built for Retired Emperor Gotoba in 1207. Time: 15:00-17:00 hrs. Venue: P.N. van Eyckhof 3, room 0.03c, Leiden.
On November 6, Constantine Vaporis will give a lecture on the Samurai in Japanese and world history. Time: 17:15-19:00 hrs, Lipsius 0.11.
Ted Bestor, Professor of Anthropology of Japan, Harvard University, will discuss ways in which the triple disasters of March 11 have become incorporated in local patterns of memorialization and planning toward reconstruction.
On May 8, Dimitri Vanoverbeke will give a lecture on three important waves of judicial reforms in postwar Japan; in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, in the 1960s and in the 1990s. In these periods, judicial policy showed a building up towards the realization of the post-1945 ideals of the democratization of justice. Yet, the long-awaited reforms did not happen until the end of the 1990s. Why did the reforms happen then and not earlier?