Shurijō in 2022: The Politics of Cultural Heritage on the 50th Anniversary of Okinawa’s Reversion

10.11.2022 18:30 - 20:00

A hybrid u:japan lecture by Tze M. Loo (University of Richmond).

| Abstract |

Fifty years after Okinawa’s reversion to Japan, the presence of U.S. military bases in the islands remains a source of deep friction between the prefecture and the central government in Tokyo. Okinawans’ repeated opposition to base construction at Henoko and Tokyo’s insistence on the base’s completion despite that popular opposition has come to encapsulate and symbolize that friction. The fact that construction crawls forward despite Okinawa’s attempts to stop it lays bare the profound asymmetry of power that endures between periphery and center.
   In contrast to the prefecture’s limited range of options in the base issue, this talk considers Okinawa’s deployment of its cultural heritage as a sphere of action from which a different picture of the prefecture emerges. Specifically, it shows how current plans to rebuild Shurijō – castle of the Ryukyuan court and putative symbol of Okinawan culture – following a devastating fire in 2019 suggest that the prefecture is strategically fashioning a more assertive self that gives it an ability to bend mainland agendas to better suit its purposes. This assertiveness impacts the castle’s rebuilding project, but also has the potential to contribute to the current prefectural leadership’s willingness to take a stronger position vis-à-vis Tokyo to safeguard Okinawa’s interests.

| Bio |

Tze M. Loo is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Richmond and is the author of Heritage Politics: Shuri Castle and Okinawa’s Incorporation into Modern Japan, 1879-2000 (Lanham: Lexington, 2014). Her current book project examines the transformations to Okinawa’s ritual landscapes that accompanied Okinawa’s incorporation into the modern Japanese nation state.

| Date & Time |

u:japan lecture | s05e06
Thursday 2022-11-10, 18:30~20:00
max. 50 participants (on site) + max. 300 participants (online) 

| Place & Preparations | 

LIVE @ Campus of the University of Vienna
Department of East Asian Studies, Japanese Studies
Seminarraum JAP 1, 2K-EG-21, Ground floor to the left
Spitalgasse 2, Hof 2.4 (Campus), 1090 Vienna, Austria

Please bear in mind, that strict Covid19-precautions are enforced, therefore bring and wear a FFP2-mask and comply to university's house rules. Please visit these links for university's special and general information regarding the current restrictions.

| Plattform & Link |

... and STREAMED online
Meeting-ID: 668 7550 9568 | PW: 379057

Instructions and Netiquette (in English and German)
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Frequently Asked Questions (in English)

| Further Questions? |

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Institut für Ostasienwissenschaften - Japanologie

Seminarraum 1 (Erdgeschoß)