As a follow-on to our recent panel on tensions in Northeast Asia, Paula Harrell, adjunct Professor of History at Georgetown University, will discuss signs of a continued warming trend in China-Japan relations as new regional arrangements make partnership an increasingly rational choice. Is the weight of events now favoring detente?
Please join the debate on March 4 on this critically important topic.
The Burakumin. Stigmatized in Japanese history as an outcaste group, their identity is still “risky,” their social presence mostly silent, and their experience marginalized in public discourse.
Based on his recent monograph, Christopher Bondy, Associate Professor of Sociology and Coordinator for Japan Studies, International Christian University, Tokyo, will present the results of a longitudinal study exploring the experience of burakumin youth from two different communities and with different social movement organizations.
It was CJS’s turn this year to invite the annual Florence Liu Macaulay Distinguished Lecturer and the center had the pleasure of inviting Tessa Morris-Suzuki, Australian Laureate Fellow and Professor of Japanese History at Australian National University. In addition to her Feburary 10 Macaulay lecture presentation in the Center for Korean Studies Auditorium entitled “Peace in the Valley: A Century of Japanese Social Alternatives and their Inter-Asia Connections,” Professor Morris-Suzuki spent an entire week in residence at UHM doing various activities on campus including discussions with CJS faculty and graduate students and participation in a panel on historical memory and reconciliation (see below).
In her lecture Dr. Morris-Suzuki masterfully examined the formation and the national and international dissemination of an alternative grassroots social activist tradition originating in the Chikuma River Valley of Nagano Prefecture that was inspired by the English poet William Blake and initially propagated by the well-known prewar Japanese literary group known as the Shirakabaha or White Birch Society. In doing so, Professor Morris-Suzuki challenged us to reconsider our understanding of activism, the “political,” and the ways in which social thought is transmitted across time and space.
On Friday, February 12, before an audience of around 100 in the Art Auditorium, three distinguished guest historians and two Mānoa faculty members tackled the topical subject of historical memory issues that currently bedevil relations among Japan, China, and the two Koreas. Members of the panel were: Bruce Cumings, renowned Korea historian and Swift Distinguished Service Professor of history at the University of Chicago; Tessa Morris-Suzuki, renowned Australian National University historian of Japan and East Asia; Paula Harrell of Georgetown University who has a long record of work in the area of Sino-Japanese relations; UHM’s Manfred Henningsen, a political theorist whose current focus is on memory and regimes of terror; and UHM Korea sociologist Hagen Koo who served as moderator.
The panelists engaged in a wide-ranging, multifaceted, and deeply enlightening discussion that covered not only such Northeast Asia-related issues of memory and reconciliation as the “comfort women,” forced labor, the Nanjing Massacre, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Korean War, repression in North Korea, and the Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution in China, but also mobilized comparative cases from such places as Germany, Kenya, and South Africa. Click HERE to view the event flyer.
On Friday, February 5 in the Tokioka Room UHM Anthropology doctoral candidate Michelle Daigle inaugurated a new CJS seminar series that highlights the accomplishments of CJS’s Crown Prince Akihito Scholarship (CPAS) recipients. Michelle was a 2011-2013 CPAS recipient and during that time conducted extensive fieldwork in Minamata, Kyushu. Her talk, entitled Manifesting Disaster, or “My Minamata disease isn’t over yet” was based on this fieldwork and highlighted the lingering impact of mass mercury poisoning (the Minamata disease) on the community as it reaches the 60th anniversary of the disease’s discovery.
Michelle was introduced by another former CPAS recipient, Dr. Christine Yano of the UHM Anthropology department who also serves on the scholarship fund’s governing board. The scholarship is administered through the Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH) and in attendance were JASH President Lenny Yajima and Vice President Marsha Yokomichi, along with CPAS Foundation Trustee Allen Uyeda.
For more details on the Crown Prince Akihito Scholarship, visit their website HERE. Click HERE to view the event flyer.