u:japan lectures

Season 1 | Autumn-Winter 2020/21 | University of Vienna - Department of East Asian Studies - Japanese Studies


Retrospections of u:japan lectures - Season 1

11.02.2021

Looking back at the first full season of u:japan lectures, we want to thank all speakers and guests for their effort, enthusiasm and most of all their generosity to share their knowledge with us.

We heard about the Japanese gendered job marked, homosocial desires in Abe Kazushige’s fiction, revisited the ethnographic primal scene of Suye Mura and explored medieval concepts of menstruation and time. One lecture focused on android perspectives on affect, another on creativity in rural Japan, and a third one on the role of Buddhist temples as storehouses in a literal and emotional sense. We learned about seed laws and taijinkyōfu – the fear of others – but also about the Japanese language in the age of post-standardization, and finished our first season with an excursion into all-female worlds in Japanese speculative fiction.

For those of you who missed a lecture or want to re-watch it, visit our recorded lectures section (https://japanologie.univie.ac.at/ujapanlectures/records/)

And for those who are more future-oriented – rest assured – the second season of the u:japan lectures will start soon (at the 4th of March 2021), consisting of 13 distinguished scholars delivering lectures about crucial subjects in Japanese studies. For more information visit https://japanologie.univie.ac.at/ujapanlectures

See you soon in season two,
meanwhile enjoy the recorded lectures,
your u:japan lecture team

The Single-Gender Worlds of Suzuki Izumi, Kurahashi Yumiko and Shōno Yoriko – A Short History of Ambivalence Towards All-Female Worlds in Japanese Speculative Fiction

28.01.2021 12:30 - 14:00

Our eleventh virtual u:japan lecture this semester is a lunch lecture by Stefan Würrer and will explore how selected texts critically negotiate sexism and patriarchy in Japan, their ambivalence towards all-female worlds and the systemic problem within referenced feminist discourses.

Abstract

In this talk I will take a closer look at three speculative novels by Japanese woman writers that negotiate the utopian potential of all-female worlds: Suzuki Izumi’s 鈴木いづみ (1949-1986) “Onna to onna no yononaka” 女と女の世の中 (Women’s World, 1977) , Kurahashi Yumiko’s 倉橋由美子 (1935-2005) Amanon-koku ōkanki アマノン国往還記 (Record of a Voyage to Amanon, 1986)  and Shōno Yoriko’s 笙野頼子 (1956-) Suishōnai-seido 水晶内制度 (World Within the Crystal, 2003). What these texts have in common is the fact that the all-female worlds they portray are not so much the locus of utopian hope – as, for instance, ‘Whileaway’ in Joanna Russ’s epochal The Female Man (1975) – but rather the object of ambivalent dis-identification. What to make of this ambivalence

Locating these texts within the broader context of utopian thought, feminist speculative fiction and feminism in Japan, I will demonstrate that, while these texts do constitute a critical negotiation of sexism and patriarchy in Japan, their ambivalence towards all-female worlds also bespeaks a systemic problem within the feminist discourses they reference. That is, by taking a closer look at the sexual politics of these texts (as opposed to their gender politics), I attempt to show that this ambivalence is not simply an expression of doubt about 1) the political potential of feminist separatism or 2) utopianism more generally, but 3) must also be understood as an effect of heteronormativity.

Bio

Stefan Würrer is a graduate student (Ph.D.) at Tokyo University’s Department for Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies, Research Institute Assistant at International Christian University’s Center for Gender Studies and Lecturer at Musashi University. In his Ph.D. project he explores the utopian potential of self-construction in Shōno Yoriko’s work from a feminist/queer perspective. His research interests include modern and contemporary Japanese literature, feminist/queer theory, and the cultural history of gender & sexuality in Japan.

Date & Time:

u:japan lunch lecture
Thursday 2021-01-28, 12:30~14:00

max. 100 participants 

Plattform & Link:

Further Questions?

Please contact bernhard.leitner@univie.ac.at or
florian.purkarthofer@univie.ac.at.

Organiser:

Institut für Ostasienwissenschaften - Japanologie

Japanese in the Age of Post-Standardization: Language Trends in the 21st Century

14.01.2021 18:30 - 20:00

Our tenth virtual u:japan lecture this semester by Asahi Yoshiyuki explores how recent changes have impacted Japanese, touching on subjects such as de-standardization, new-honorifics, emojis or dialect cosplay as well as linguistic diversity in local administration.

Abstract

Language standardization was the most prominent linguistic Japanese phenomenon in the second half of the 20th century. It became widespread across the country, resulting in a linguistic landscape where Japanese speakers nowadays find it easier to communicate with those who live on the other side of the country. Around the turn of the century, we also witnessed the rise of new social network devices and services such as smartphones, e-mail, texting, and so forth, which have impacted our social and life and language. Another trend is the influx of non-native speakers especially into the large japanese cities, which has contributed to a multilingual and multicultural Japanese society. This talk will focus on how these changes have impacted Japanese, touching on subjects such as de-standardization, new-honorifics, emojis or dialect cosplay as well as linguistic diversity in local administration. I will bring in a sociolinguistic research perspective to explain the current situation, referencing research projects at the National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics.

Bio

Yoshiyuki Asahi is Associate Professor of Sociolinguistics, Division of Language Variation, Department of Research at National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics. After completing his PhD in Japanese Linguistics at Osaka University, he has worked on language variation and change through dialect contact. He is the author of “Synchronic and diachronic variation in the use of spatial frames of reference: An analysis of Japanese route instruction” Journal of Sociolinguistics (with Kuniyoshi Kataoka) (vol. 19-2, pp.133-150, 2015), “Towards an integration of studies in honorifics and real-time language change studies”, The Japanese Journal of Language in Society, (with Kenjiro Matsuda) (Vol.11. no.1, pp.39-50, 2008), Saharin-ni Nokosareta Nihongo Karafuto Hogen [A Japanese dialect of Karafuto in Sakhalin Russia] (Meiji Shoin, 2012), Nyutaun Kotoba no Keisei-ni Kansuru Shakaigengogakuteki Kenkyu [A sociolinguistic study on the formation of a new town koine] (Hituzi Syobo, 2008), and the editor of Sociolinguistics illustrated (2nd edition) (Akiyama Shoten, 2010), and Handbook of Japanese Sociolinguistics (Mouton, in preparation, expected completion 2022). He also serves as an editorial board of Asia-Pacific Language Variation (John Benjamins) and International Journal of the Sociology of Language (De Gruyter).

Date & Time:

Thursday 2021-01-14, 18:30~20:00
max. 100 participants 

Plattform & Link:

Further Questions?

Please contact bernhard.leitner@univie.ac.at or
florian.purkarthofer@univie.ac.at.

Organiser:

Institut für Ostasienwissenschaften - Japanologie

Asahi Yoshiyuki

The fear of others – Taijinkyōfu: Emergence, development and demise of a psychiatric diagnosis

07.01.2021 18:30 - 20:00

Our ninth virtual u:japan lecture this fall by Sarah Terrail Lormel explores the theoretical, institutional and intellectual factors underlying the fortune of pathological shyness in Japanese psychiatry, from its first becoming the object of medical scrutiny in the 1930s until its slow demise from the 1990s.

Abstract

During a period that roughly coincides with the Shōwa era, taijinkyōfu or “interpersonal phobia”, has been a common diagnosis for Japanese psychiatrists, defined as a form of anxiety that develops in the presence of other people and leads to the avoidance of interpersonal relationships. Although it closely resembles what contemporary international classifications call “social anxiety disorder” and “social phobia”, taijinkyōfu has attracted much attention in Japan at a time when this condition was virtually absent of psychiatric and psychological literature elsewhere. How is taijinkyōfu different from mere shyness? Can it be cured or does one have to learn to live with it? Are there delusional forms of shyness? Is Japanese society a particularly fertile ground for this condition? These are the questions that have driven Japanese psychiatrists for decades. Proposing a clinical deconstruction of this diagnosis, this lecture will analyze the theoretical, institutional and intellectual factors underlying the fortune of pathological shyness in Japanese psychiatry, from its first becoming the object of medical scrutiny in the 1930s, through its success during the high economic growth era as a typically Japanese neurosis, until its slow demise from the 1990s. 

Bio

Sarah Terrail Lormel is lecturer in Japanese studies at INALCO (Paris) since 2019. She holds a PhD in Epistemology & History of Science from INALCO with a dissertation on A Japanese History of neurosis - Interpersonal phobia (taijinkyōfu) 1930-1970 (2018). She was Junior Fellow of the Japan Foundation in 2012-2013 at Keio University. Her field of research is the history of psy disciplines in modern and contemporary Japan, focusing on the evolution of nosology and therapies, and the global circulation of concepts and practices.

Date & Time:

Thursday 2021-01-07, 18:30~20:00
max. 100 participants 

Plattform & Link:

Further Questions?

Please contact bernhard.leitner@univie.ac.at or
florian.purkarthofer@univie.ac.at.

Organiser:

Institut für Ostasienwissenschaften - Japanologie

Sarah T. Lomel

Ceding Control: Politics, the Environment and Japan’s Food System

17.12.2020 18:30 - 20:00

Our eighth virtual u:japan lecture this fall by Nicole L. Freiner explores how the revision of the Seed Law, the declining relevance of JA Zenchu and shifting demographics are remaking Japan’s food system.

Abstract

For decades, Japan’s Seed Law had been the bulwark of a seed preservation, storage and maintenance system that kept control over staple crops in local hands. The Seed Law and the policies that support it, played a vital role in managing agricultural policy and Japan’s food system. The Seed Law was revised in 2018 and the effects of these revisions are already reverberating across the agricultural policy arena, down to local level actors who have responded by creating prefectural level laws to resist the weakening of Japan’s decades old agricultural policy framework, the bulwarks of which are a public institution: the Ministry for Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry (MAFF) and a semi-public institution: Japan’s National Union of Agricultural Cooperatives also known as JA Zenchu. The two institutions together were responsible for maintaining a small-scale rice growing system in rural areas across the country.

Toyama prefecture is situated in the Toyama plain. Every spring when the snow melt begins to gush downward from the nearby Japanese alps, farmers begin readying their fields for rice planting. The clear, cold mountain water is thought to make rice grown here especially delicious and it is a matter of pride for the farmers in this region of Japan. Since first living here as an exchange student in the 1990s, I have returned here every year. This prefecture provides a window into local public policy efforts in one corner of Japan, that relates to extensive nation-wide changes vis-a vis policymaking within national level ministries such as the MAFF. My research focuses on how the revision of the Seed Law, the declining relevance of JA Zenchu and shifting demographics are remaking Japan’s food system. 

Bio

Nicole L. Freiner is Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Global Studies Program at Bryant University where she teaches courses on Asian and Japanese Politics and Society, Comparative and Environmental Politics and Policy and Global Politics. She is the author of two books on Japanese Politics: The Social and Gender Politics of Confucian Nationalism: Women and the Japanese State (2012), and Rice and Agricultural Policies in Japan: The Loss of a Traditional Lifestyle (2019), both published by Palgrave MacMillan. Alongside the two books, she is the author of numerous articles including “Mobilizing Mothers: The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Catastrophe and Environmental Activism in Japan” (AsiaNetworkExchange, Fall 2013) and others published in The Japanese Studies Association Journal and The Diplomat among others. Most recently, she was the recipient of a research grant from the Northeast Asia Council (NEAC) of the Association for Asian Studies to study Japan’s Seed Law and Biotechnology Policy.

Date & Time:

Thursday 2020-12-17, 18:30~20:00
max. 100 participants 

Plattform & Link:

Further Questions?

Please contact bernhard.leitner@univie.ac.at or
florian.purkarthofer@univie.ac.at.

Organiser:

Institut für Ostasienwissenschaften - Japanologie

Nicole L. Freiner

Storehouses of value: materiality of belonging in Japanese Buddhist temples

10.12.2020 18:30 - 20:00

Our seventh virtual u:japan lecture this fall by Paulina Kolata explores how Buddhist temples preserve a community and survive economically in contemporary Japan.

Abstract

What, how, and why people “store” at local Buddhist temples? Can biographies of things deposited at a local temple tell a story of a community? How do people’s individual material histories become matters of communal concern? While walking a fine line between memory and abandonment, we will discover and map out the material and affective networks of community preservation in Japan’s depopulating regions. We will travel to rural Hiroshima Prefecture to imagine Japanese Buddhist temple communities as storehouses of value and consider Buddhist institutions’ role as anchors of people’s belonging in contemporary Japan. By stepping into the shoes of a local Buddhist priest at Myōkoji temple, we will walk down the corridors of donated artwork, photo albums, plane propellers, Buddhist altars, people’s ashes, and entire households to reveal physical, karmic, and emotional connections people strive to maintain and, in turn, make sense of the anticipated decline in their communities.

Bio

Paulina Kolata obtained her PhD in 2019 from The University of Manchester. She is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Manchester Metropolitan University and an Early Career Research Fellow at The University of Manchester. Her doctoral work investigated the religious, economic, and social impact of depopulation and demographic ageing in Buddhist temple communities in regional Japan. Currently she is developing a book manuscript based on her doctoral research. 

Date & Time:

Thursday 2020-12-10, 18:30~20:00
max. 100 participants 

Plattform & Link:

Further Questions?

Please contact bernhard.leitner@univie.ac.at or
florian.purkarthofer@univie.ac.at.

Organiser:

Institut für Ostasienwissenschaften - Japanologie

Paula Kolata

‘Creativity’ in rural Japan: Sōzō nōson and its implications in regional revitalization policies

26.11.2020 18:30 - 20:00

Our sixth virtual u:japan lecture this fall by Shilla Lee explores how the idea of ‘creativity’ is fostered by collective initiatives led by the local government and discuss how this could contribute to our understanding of Japan’s changing rurality.

Abstract

In public discourse today, rural Japan is growingly described in diverse perspectives. Not limited to urban centers anymore, popular magazines such as Forbes Japan refer to rural areas as ‘creative’ and ‘innovative’. In a similar manner, recent scholarship highlights cases of entrepreneurs and migrants starting innovative businesses or building new lifestyles in the countryside. These findings broaden our perception of rural Japan beyond the image of furusato – the native place – to more progressive views. In this presentation, I would like to explore municipal policies, a subject usually lacking closer attention in discussions. Based on ethnographic fieldwork on the revitalization policy of sōzō nōson (creative village) in Tamba Sasayama (Hyogo prefecture), I show how the idea of ‘creativity’ is fostered by collective initiatives led by the local government and discuss how this could contribute to our understanding of Japan’s changing rurality.

Bio

Shilla Lee is a PhD candidate at Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle, Germany. Her research focuses on the notion of creativity in regional revitalization policies and the cooperative activities of traditional craftsmen in Japan. She conducted fieldwork in Tamba Sasayama (Hyogo prefecture) in 2018-2019 and is currently working on her dissertation. 

Date & Time:

Thursday 2020-11-26, 18:30~20:00
max. 100 participants 

Plattform & Link:

Further Questions?

Please contact bernhard.leitner@univie.ac.at or
florian.purkarthofer@univie.ac.at.

Organiser:

Institut für Ostasienwissenschaften - Japanologie

‘Creativity’ in rural Japan
Shilla Lee

Model Emotion: Android Perspectives on Affect in Japan

19.11.2020 18:30 - 20:00

Our fifth virtual u:japan lecture this fall by Daniel White explores what robotic perspectives on affect contribute to anthropological research on the emotions in contemporary Japanese technocultures.

Abstract

Since at least the 1980s, robotics engineers in Japan have explored not only what robots can teach us about being human, but also how robots might serve humans’ emotional needs. Toward this end, engineers engage in practices of “emotion modeling” when designing social robots by building psychological, mechatronic, algorithmic, and even ethical models of artificial emotion. Because these affective capacities implemented in robots draw on social as much as machine models for emotion, practices of emotion modeling produce complex agents with novel perspectives on affect. Considering findings from both human and robot interlocutors, this talk asks how so-called “androids” understand affect in human-robot interactive settings. Based on ethnographic observations of engineers building robots with emotional intelligence, as well as of the application of robots in public, pedagogical, and religious settings, the lecture explores what robotic perspectives on affect contribute to anthropological research on the emotions in contemporary Japanese technocultures.

Bio

Daniel White is a visiting scholar in the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge. Currently he investigates practices of emotion modeling in the development of affect recognition software, social robots, and artificial emotional intelligence in Japan and the UK.

Date & Time:

Thursday 2020-11-19, 18:30~20:00
max. 100 participants 

Plattform & Link:

Further Questions?

Please contact bernhard.leitner@univie.ac.at or
florian.purkarthofer@univie.ac.at.

Organiser:

Institut für Ostasienwissenschaften - Japanologie

Daniel White (Cambridge University)

Menstruation und Konzeptionen von Weiblichkeit im japanischen Mittelalter

05.11.2020 18:30 - 20:00

Our fourth virtual u:japan lecture this fall by Daniela Tan explores menstruation and the conceptions of femininity in medieval Japan.

Abstract

Das Mittelalter als Epoche grosser politischer und sozialer Veränderungen in Japan brachte einen Wandel des Frauenbildes, was sich auf die rechtliche und gesellschaftliche Stellung der Frauen auswirkte.
  Die Menstruation als physiologischer, zyklischer Ablauf steht zum einen im direkten Zusammenhang mit der Phase der biologischen Reproduktion. Ein regelmässiger und beschwerdefreier Zyklus gilt als Zeichen für Gesundheit einer Frau in der reproduktiven Phase zwischen Menarche und Menopause. Zugleich steht das Thema Menstruation mit tabuisierten Themen wie Blut, menschlichen Ausscheidungen und Fortpflanzung im Zusammenhang, an denen sich die ambivalenten Vorstellungen über Weiblichkeit in jeder Epoche - auch heute - aufzeigen lassen. Das komplexe Zusammenspiel der Vorstellungen und Weiblichkeitskonzepte lässt sich anhand verschiedener Bereiche wie Religion, Medizin und Literatur aufzeigen.
   Die medizinischen Sammlungen Ton'ishō und Man'anpō des Mönchsarztes Kajiwara Shōzen dokumentieren das Wissen über Menstruation, religiöse Texte wie das Blut-Sutra belegen die buddhistische Vorstellungen über Weiblichkeit im Buddhismus, und in den Tagebüchern kommen die Frauen selbst zu Wort. Am Beispiel der Menstruation werden die rechtlichen und sozialen Auswirkungen auf Frauen und die Veränderungen der Weiblichkeitskonzepte aufgezeigt und diskutiert. Am Beispiel der Menstruation werden die rechtlichen und sozialen Auswirkungen auf Frauen und die Veränderungen der Weiblichkeitskonzepte aufgezeigt und diskutiert.

Bio

Dr. Daniela Tan ist als Dozentin für Literatur und Religionen Japans am Asien-Orient-Institut der Universität Zürich (UZH) tätig und verfasste diverse Publikationen zur Gegenwartsliteratur Japans. Im ERC-Projekt TIMEJ „Time in Medieval Japan“ forscht sie zum weiblichen Zyklus und erschliesst mittelalterliche medizinische, religiöse und literarische Quellen.

Date & Time:

Thursday 2020-11-05, 18:30~20:00 (iCal)
max. 100 participants
! This lecture will not be recorded, meaning it will not be available at a later time. 

Plattform & Link:

Further Questions?

Please contact bernhard.leitner@univie.ac.at or
florian.purkarthofer@univie.ac.at.

Organiser:

Institut für Ostasienwissenschaften - Japanologie

Daniela Tan

85 years of Suye Mura: The life history of a Japanese village—and its anthropology

29.10.2020 18:30 - 20:00

Our third virtual u:japan lecture this fall by William W. Kelly explores the life history of the Japanese village Suye Mura.

Abstract

There have been to date over 250 ethnographic monographs published in the anthropology of Japan, and of those, the one with the most surprising and most enduring afterlife is the very first, John Embree’s Suye Mura (1939), a study of a village in Kyushu based on his fieldwork in 1935-1936. For a book that is widely ignored by scholars and unread by students, it has been a potent force in local and prefectural politics in debates on land reform, administration amalgamation, local identity, and economic revitalization. In this presentation, I want to revisit the book, its author, and the village to trace something of its remarkable legacy over 85 years and its relevance to the issues that continue to vex contemporary regional Japan.

Bio

William W. Kelly is professor emeritus of anthropology and the Sumitomo Professor Emeritus of Japanese Studies at Yale University, where he has taught continuously since 1980. A principal research interest has been the historical dynamics of regional society in Japan, based on extended fieldwork in the Shōnai area of Yamagata Prefecture that began in the 1970s and continues at present. He has also explored sport and body culture and their significance in modern Japan. Among his recent publications is The Sportsworld of the Hanshin Tigers: Professional Baseball in Modern Japan (2018). He is presently writing a book on the history of Japan anthropology and its importance for Japan studies and for sociocultural anthropology.

Date & Time:

Thursday 2020-10-29, 18:30~20:00 (iCal)
max. 100 participants 

Plattform & Link:

Further Questions?

Please contact bernhard.leitner@univie.ac.at or
florian.purkarthofer@univie.ac.at.

Organiser:

Institut für Ostasienwissenschaften - Japanologie

William W. Kelly

Abe Kazushige’s Male Homosocial Worlds: Duels and Complaints

22.10.2020 18:30 - 20:00

Our second virtual u:japan lecture this fall by Maria Roemer explores the Japanese writer Abe Kazushige’s early fiction.

Abstract

Abe Kazushige’s 1990s fiction destabilizes hegemonic notions of manliness. This lecture analyzes how Abe’s debut novel Amerika no yoru (Day by Night, 1994) and his short story Minagoroshi (Massacre, 1998) evoke homoerotic images through depicting male homosocial competition or intimacy in heterosexual erotic triangles. The analysis will highlight how, in both pieces, such affect specifically expresses through speech; two men who are opponents by definition of their positions within the triangle, form a union by sharing a common topic of conversation (the women in question). The lecture will theorize these speech patterns as “dueling discourse” according to Roland Barthes on the one hand, and “male complaint” by inverting Lauren Berlant on the other. It finally will debate whether representations of such feminized masculinities relate to the specific historical context of post-bubble Japan. 

Bio

Maria Roemer obtained her Ph.D. in 2019 from Heidelberg University with a dissertation Metafiction and Masculinities in Abe Kazushige's 90s Fiction.  Her research focuses on gender and masculinities, precarity, Transcultural Studies, formalism and translation in contemporary Japanese literature and film. She currently teaches at The University of Leeds. 

Date & Time:

Thursday 2020-10-22, 18:30~20:00 (iCal)
max. 100 participants 

Plattform & Link:

Further Questions?

Please contact bernhard.leitner@univie.ac.at or florian.purkarthofer@univie.ac.at.

Organiser:

Institut für Ostasienwissenschaften - Japanologie

u:japan lectures - Maria Roemer - Abe Kazushige’s Male Homosocial Worlds: Duels and Complaints
Maria Roemer (University of Leeds)

Work "like a woman": The construction of femininity and the female body in the Japanese job hunting

15.10.2020 18:30 - 20:00

Our first virtual u:japan lecture this fall by Anna Lughezzani explores the construction of femininity and the female body in the Japanese job hunting (shūkatsu)

Abstract

Shūkatsu (就活), namely job-hunting, is a salient moment in the life of a university student in Japan: if they succeed, they will become shakaijin, proper members of society. An anthropopoietic rite of passage in which the Japanese society molds its youth into adults, shūkatsu inscribes in them socio-culturally constructed ideas of “right” femininity and masculinity, and normative female/male roles in the enterprise-society and in the family, by molding their bodies through various bodily techiques that set boys and girls apart. Nine months of ethnographic fieldwork in Tokyo informed a research on the ways female university students experience shūkatsu and make their first career choice, and on the different ways companies adopt in order to appeal to female and male possible candidates, in the context of Japanese demographic crisis, labor shortage, and Abe’s “Womenomics”, on a national scale, and governor Koike’s “Josei ga kagayaku Tokyo” campaign, on a municipal one.

Bio

Anna Lughezzani is a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology at University of Padova, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and University of Verona (Italy). She has a BA in Japanese Studies and an MA in anthropology both from Ca’ Foscari, Venice. For her master thesis, Bodies and Identities of Women in the Shūshoku Katsudo. An ethnography of job hunting among female university students in Tokyo she spent nine months doing field research at Waseda University in Tokyo. Now, her research focuses on the koseki, the Japanese family register, and the problem of the mukosekiji, the unregistered children.

Date & Time:

Thursday 2020-10-15, 18:30~20:00 (iCal)
max. 100 participants 

Plattform & Link:

Further Questions?

Please contact bernhard.leitner@univie.ac.at or florian.purkarthofer@univie.ac.at.

Organiser:

Institut für Ostasienwissenschaften - Japanologie

Work "like a woman" - Poster
Anna Lughezzani

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:

Institut für Ostasienwissenschaften - Japanologie

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:

Institut für Ostasienwissenschaften - Japanologie

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:

Institut für Ostasienwissenschaften - Japanologie

Yomiuri Shimbun 19 Nov 1940
Mighty Atom
Maika Nakao