Japanese Studies Online Lectures

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From Fenollosa to kokubungaku – aesthetics and the birth of the utsukushii Nihon

25.06.2020 18:30 - 20:00

This virtual lecture by Arthur Mitteau explores the shift from the first iterations of modern aesthetical discourse to the men that first held the newly created chairs of aesthetics at Imperial Universities.

Abstract

In this lecture, we will explore the shift from the generation building, in the 1880s and 1890s, the first iterations of modern aesthetical discourse, with writers such as Ernest Fenollosa, Tsubouchi Shôyô and Okakura Tenshin, to another group in the 1920s and the 1930s, men that first held the newly created chairs of aesthetics at Imperial Universities, such as Ôtsuka Yasuji or Ônishi Yoshinori. This shift has implications for contemporary Japan, down to politics of identity, since that second generation was responsible for the “re-invention” of aesthetical notions picked in Japan’s past, such as wabi, yûgen and aware. How did we come from a model that included, in the first half of Meiji era, almost nothing of what is considered today as hallmarks of Japanese aesthetical characteristics, such as minimalism, the sense of nature or sensibility projected within objects (aware), to our actual set of representations that build up, around such stereotypes, an image of Japan as the land of beauty, with the blessing of some of nowadays’ political speeches and cultural policy?

Bio

Arthur Mitteau is a junior research associate at Paris EHESS’s Centre for Studies on Corea, China and Japan (CCJ), and will be working as an associate professor at France Aix-Marseille University from next fall. He studies the history of aesthetics, defined as ideas and discourses on art, while also collaborating to researches on art history and cultural history, mainly around the worlds of painting and of tea gatherings in Meiji era Japan. Recent works include articles in French, and participation to CIHA (International Committee for Art History)’s 34th international symposium in Tokyo in 2019. He is currently working on a book, which projected content will be the topic of the lecture.

Date & Time:

Thursday 25.06.2020, 18:30~20:00 (iCal)
max. 100 participants 

Plattform & Link:

Further Questions?

 Please contact bernhard.leitner@univie.ac.at

Okakura Tenshin
lacquerware with plover motive (Gengensai)
Onishi Yoshinori
Arthur Mitteau

Locating Heisei in Japanese Film: The Historical Imagination of the Lost Decades

18.06.2020 18:30 - 20:00

This presentation will discuss the films of the “lost decades” of Japan’s Heisei period (1989–2019)—three decades of economic stagnation, social malaise, and natural disaster.

Abstract:

Through an examination of the films of major Heisei filmmakers—including Kurosawa Kiyoshi, Ichikawa Jun, Kore-eda Hirokazu, Sono Shion, and others—it explores the dissonance between the dominant history of Japan’s recent past and the representation of this past in the popular imagination of the period. Along with posing a challenge to normative accounts of history, Heisei film, this presentation will also suggest, explores new forms of referentiality between contemporary Japan and its past.

Bio: 

Marc Yamada is Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Humanities at Brigham Young University. He received a PhD in Japanese Literature & Film from UC Berkeley. He has published articles on modern Japanese literature, film, and manga and a book on Japan's Heisei Period. He is currently working on a book on filmmaker Kore-eda Hirokazu.

Date & Time:

Thursday 18.06.2020, 18:30~20:00 (iCal)
max. 100 participants 

Plattform & Link:

Further Questions?

 Please contact bernhard.leitner@univie.ac.at.

 

Organiser:

Department of East Asian Studies - Japanese Studies

Locating Heisei in Japanese Fiction and Film: The Historical Imagination of the Lost Decades (2019)
Love Exposure (2008) by Sion Sono
Shoplifters (2018) by Hirokazu Kore'eda
Distance (2001) by Hirokazu Kore'eda
Marc Yamada (Brigham Young University)

Shamanic practices in contemporary Japan: Local habits and national fascination (04.06.2020, 18:30~20:00)

04.06.2020 18:30 - 20:00

This virtual lecture by Marianna Zanetta explores the transformative and inventive process of popular religions practitioners (minkan fusha) in contemporary Japan.

Abstract:

Contemporary Japan still cherishes a significant variety of the so called “minkan fusha”, popular religions practitioners (often translated with the term “shaman”) who work as mediators between the world of the living and the dimension of the sacred.
   They are mainly women, and their role went through some significant transformations in the course of the last three centuries.
  Today, these shamans (heiresses of older traditions) are facing different challenges, while their profession is evolving to answer the new needs and questions of their clients.
This talk explores the transformative and inventive process of these practices, and how in today Japan minkan fusha are regarded in the local communities and at a national level.

Bio:

Marianna Zanetta is an independent researcher at the University of Turin (Dept. Cultures, Politics and Society) and a visiting scholar at Hosei Daigaku (International Studies). She obtained the PhD in 2016 at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (Paris Sorbonne) in co-tutoring with the University of Turin, in Religious Anthropology and Far Eastern Studies. The PhD project focused mainly on the itako practices of northeast Japan, and their connection with family and ancestors.
   Today, she is working on two different areas: funeral and ritual practices in contemporary Japan, and the phenomenon of hikikomori in a comparative perspective with the Italian situation.

Date & Time:

Thursday 04.06.2020, 18:30~20:00 (ical)
max. 100 participants

Plattform & Link: Zoom Meeting:

Further Questions?

Please contact bernhard.leitner@univie.ac.at.

Organiser:

Department of East Asian Studies - Japanese Studies

practicing religious practitioner
Itako
thousand-armed Kannon (Senjukannon)
Marianna Zanetta

Tracing Atomic Utopia and Dystopia in Japan (18.05.2020 - 18:30~20:00)

18.05.2020 18:30 - 20:00

This virtual lecture by Maika Nakao explores the background and transition of the image of radiation and nuclear energy in Japan.

Abstract:

In prewar Japan, radiation was considered having positive effects on the human health and during the war, there were discourses embracing the production of atomic bombs. How was this positive image of radiation and nuclear weapons before and during the war created and what changed after the war? This talk explores the background and transition of the image of radiation and nuclear energy in Japan and shows how scientists, media, and the public were involved in the emergence of atomic utopia and dystopia.

Bio:

Maika Nakao is Assistant Professor at Nagasaki University and currently Research Fellow at the University of Vienna's history department. She is working on the cultural history of nuclear science and technology. After receiving her Ph.D. in history of science from the University of Tokyo (2015), she published two books,『核の誘惑: 戦前日本の科学文化と「原子力ユートピア」の出現』[Allure of Nuclear: Science Culture in Prewar Japan and the Emergence of "Atomic Utopia"]  (Keisō Shōbō, 2015) and『科学者と魔法使いの弟子ー科学と非科学の境界ー』[Scientists and the Sorcerer's Apprentice: The Border between Science and Non-Science] (Seidosha, 2019).

Date & Time:

Monday 18.05.2020, 18:30~20:00
max. 100 participants 

Plattform & Link:

Further Questions?

 Please contact bernhard.leitner@univie.ac.at.

Organiser:

Department of East Asian Studies - Japanese Studies

Yomiuri Shimbun 19 Nov 1940
Mighty Atom
Maika Nakao