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Europe Japan Research Centre Podcasts

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[Recorded 9th December 2020] Recent years have seen an increased focus on global cultural histories of HIV/AIDS of the 1980s and 1990s. However these have tended to focus on the transnational circulation of cultural products, activist networks
[Recorded 18th November 2020] In this talk, I will discuss competing streams of historical consciousness in Mount Haguro, a sacred mountain in northeastern Japan known for its mountain ascetic traditions. Applying the notion of ressentiment (hi
[Recorded 4th November 2020] In Nagoro, in the middle of Shikoku, close to two hundred scarecrows stand in the farm fields where nothing but weeds now grow; they wait at the bus stop past which busses no longer run; and they sit in an elementar
[Recorded 14th October 2020] Kinship is a restrictive and yet mutable logic by which many nation-states in East Asia nationalize transnational mobility today. This talk elucidates the seemingly paradoxical but deeply systemic stratification of
[Recorded 21st October 2020] Child welfare and well-being are fragile kin to each other. Such is the case in Japan, where the ethnographic data for this paper originate, but also across the world, as policy makers, caregivers, and people with e
[Recorded 4 December 2019] Ezra Pound had meaningful interactions with his contemporary Japanese artists. This paper argues that his rivalry with Yone Noguchi, a poet who wrote hokku (Japanese traditional short poems) in English, was significan
[Recorded 20 November 2019] Based upon anthropological fieldwork conducted in the Koenji neighbourhood of Tokyo, I examine the lives of street-based amateur musicians newly arrived in the metropolis. In many cases, initial aspirations of progre
[Recorded 6 November 2019] Following decades of low fertility and long average lifespans, Japan's aging society is currently undergoing a social and demographic transformation on a scale never before seen in human history. Concerns about the ca
[Recorded 16 October 2019] In the mid-nineteenth century, showmen like P. T. Barnum were earning big money by displaying Japanese mummified mermaids to their British and US audiences. At the same time, naturalists were inspecting these specimen
[Recorded 27 March 2019] Anticipating a major retrospective of Koreeda Hirokazu’s films at the British Film Insitute in London during April and May, this mini-symposium brings together two researchers currently working on the director’s cinema
[Recorded 20 March 2019] This talk explores the intersections between Buddhism/Buddhist institutions and madness/mental institutions. After a general discussion of the place of madness within the Buddhist tradition I will move to the intriguing
[Recorded 26 February 2020] Our understanding of language in Meiji Japan is chiefly focused upon the changes to the Japanese language itself: the creation of a central standardised Japanese and the relegation of regional variants to the status
[Recorded 27 February 2019] Old Japanese is the name given to the stage of the Japanese language as it was spoken during the eighth century CE. The corpus of written text that is understood to encode this language is small but of considerable q
[Recorded 21 February 2019] Science fiction existed in Japanese since the early years after the Meiji Restoration (1868), but primarily as translations of Western canonical works. Between 1890 and 1910, new stories were written by Japanese auth
[Recorded 13 February 2019] For a number of years, Japanese stand-up comedians have also been successful with publications on the domestic book market. Benefiting from their high popularity and constant presence in the media, publications by co
[Recorded 28 November 2018] For over fifty years the shinkansen has been transporting people across Japan punctually, quickly, comfortably and safely. When it began services on 1 October 1964, in time for the Tōkyō Olympics, it heralded a new a
[Recorded 21 November 2018] September 1964, when the Tokyo Olympics were about to start, the reputed American middle-class- oriented Life magazine published a large special issue on Japan, teeming with superb photography and acutely written chr
[Recorded 17 October 2018] Ordinary, Japanese idol means young boys/girls groups which is constructed by singers, actors and TV talents. In these days, it is said that idol is one of the typical Japanese pop culture. They look really good-looki
[Recorded 10 October 2018] The Japanese kimono is iconic – an instantly recognisable marker of Japanese aesthetics and nationhood throughout the world. Little is known however about the industry that makes and sells the kimono. How is the indus
[Recorded 22nd November 2017] Japanese anime, a global phenomenon and a locally powerful industry, has a tendency to be viewed outside Japan in relation to its extreme content, lending it a ‘cult’ air. Through such discussions, it becomes easy
[Recorded 8th November 2017] Aesop’s fables bookend early modern Japan’s image of a “closed country”. Their appearance in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, their disappearance and subsequent reappearance in the later nineteent
[Recorded 1st November 2017] Hikikimori is a category coined in the late 1990s to refer to 'youth social withdrawal,' and has been considered a social problem in Japan since the 2000s afflicting (mostly male) youth. Drawing on Mathews and Izqui
[Recorded 25th October 2017] The Edo-period Japan (1603–1868) saw the emergence of an art music genre called Jiuta-sōkyoku. Some of the song texts were taken from classical literature, some were descriptions of nature, some celebratory, and som
[Recorded 11th October 2017] On 15 August 1945, Emperor Hirohito announced Japan’s defeat in the Second World War to millions of his subjects. “Enduring the unendurable”, the nation was now to start on the road of peace and rebuilding. Yet for
[Recorded 5th April 2017] It is a strange and bitter irony that the US naval bombardment which launched the Battle of Okinawa in 1945 was called the ‘typhoon of steel’, invoking the turbulent winds that annually buffet this small island. Okinaw
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