In this issue:
Marie Anchordoguy, Chair UW Japan Studies Program
Japan’s Ambassador to the United States, Ichiro Fujisaki, launched the new academic year with a lecture on the UW campus. Other speakers presented by the Japan Studies Program early in autumn quarter included Glen Fukushima, a former officer of the U.S. Trade Representative and corporate executive who reflected on changes in Japan from 1990 to 2012, and Janice Bardsley from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who spoke about beauty queens and fashion models in postwar Japan. The Jackson School, Foster School of Business, and Japan-America Society hosted a roundtable on social media and how major corporations, such as Microsoft, Starbucks, and Nico Nico, utilize this technology to reach Japanese customers. The program also hosted talks by Consul General Kiyokazu Ota on the March 11 triple disasters and the debris issue; by J. Keith Vincent of Boston University, a specialist of Japanese literature; and by R. Keller Kimbrough of the University of Colorado Boulder, who discussed his work on medieval tales. Looking ahead to May, the Andrew L. Markus Memorial Lecture will feature Edward Kamens, Sumitomo Professor of Japanese Studies at Yale University, for an evening event on Tuesday, May 7, 2013. Also that month, Michiyo Morioka will give the Griffith and Patricia Way Lecture with a presentation entitled “From Honolulu to Japan: Frances Blakemore’s War Propaganda Leaflets, 1944” on Monday, May 13, 2013.
Recent events in Japan stimulate discussion and research on campus. The unresolved territorial disputes between Japan and its neighbors fueled a dialogue between speakers Matake Kamiya, of the National Defense Academy of Japan, and Yoichiro Sato, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University. The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) admitted that radiation problems after the Great Tohoku Earthquake of
March 2011 were avoidable, generating further debate over Japan’s future energy supply, ties between the government and nuclear power companies, and decision making and democracy in Japan. In the December 2012 Lower House elections, Shinzō Abe is likely to be prime minister once again and to lead in coalition with other parties. Upper House elections are scheduled for summer 2013.
The Japan Studies Program at UW remains one of the oldest and strongest in the country and is dedicated to cutting-edge research, teaching, and outreach on all aspects of Japan.