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The East Asia Center hosts a broad array of events covering the arts, humanities and social sciences. These events range from academic lectures by professors from the U.S. and East Asia to film festivals featuring documentary and feature films.


This Week

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April 2014

Reading and Writing Material: Koda Aya’s Kimono

Friday April 11, 2014
5:00 - 6:30 PM
Communications Bldg. 202

Dr. Michiko Suzuki

Sponsored by the UW Japan Studies Program and made possible by the Seattle Art Museum Gardner Center for Asian Art and Ideas

For more information contact japan@uw.edu

  The kimono has often been overlooked in the study of modern Japanese literature. Yet, this eloquent item of material culture deserves investigation for the multi-faceted ways it can represent character, symbolize critical aspects of narrative, and illuminate literary, historical and social contexts. This talk will focus on Kimono (1965-68), an unfinished novel by Kōda Aya (1904-90) that depicts a girl’s growing-up process through her experiences with kimono during the early decades of the twentieth century. While illustrating the protagonist's development and transformation through prewar dress culture, kimono in this work also serves a variety of other functions. By considering different ways of interpreting the reading and writing of kimono in this text, this lecture will offer a new analysis of the work, particularly in light of 1950-60s kimono culture and the novel’s posthumous publication and revitalization during 1990-2000s.

Michiko Suzuki is an associate professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Indiana University. Her works include Becoming Modern Women: Love and Female Identity in Prewar Japanese Literature and Culture (2010) and articles on gender and sexuality, and the relationship between literary texts and broader cultural discourses. She is the recipient of the 2013 Florence Howe Award for foreign languages and literatures (for feminist scholarship) and is currently working on two projects: early twentieth-century sexology discourse in Japan and literary representations of kimono.

Suzuki will also be presenting at the Seattle Art Museum as part of the Gardner Center's Saturday University series "Love, Loss and Longing" on April 12 with Love and the “Modern Girl” in Japan, 1920s–30s, 9:30 – 11:00 AM in the Stimson Auditorium. For ticket information visit: http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/GardnerCenter/default.asp

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Traditionally Modern: Folklore Studies, Nation, Japan

Tuesday April 15, 2014
1:30 - 3:00 PM
Communication Bldg. 202

Melek Ortabasi, Simon Fraser University, Canada

Co-sponsored by the Simpson Center for Humanities, UW Japan Studies Program and the Department of Comparative Literature

Check here for more information closer to the event date

  An eccentric but insightful critic of Japan's rush to modernize, Yanagita offers a compelling array of rebuttals to mainstream social and political trends in his carefully crafted writings. Through a close reading of his interdisciplinary texts, which comment on a wide range of key cultural issues that characterized the first half of Japan's twentieth century, Ortabasi will discuss how his work exposes, discursively, some of the fundamental assumptions we embrace about modernity and national identity in Japan and elsewhere.

Melek Ortabasi is Associate Professor of World Literature at Simon Fraser University in Surrey British Columbia, Canada. She teaches modern literature, film, and the theory and practice of translation; she specializes in Japanese literature and culture. Her research interests include cultural studies, comparative folklore studies, children’s literature, and film and popular culture in contemporary Japan. Some of Dr. Ortabasi's articles have appeared in the books Japanese Visual Culture, A Century of Popular Culture in Japan, and the Encyclopedia of Life Writing. Her co-edited anthology of literary translations, The Modern Murasaki: Women Writers of Meiji Japan, was published by the University of Columbia Press in 2006. Her book The Undiscovered Country: Text, Translation and Modernity in the Work of Yanagita Kunio is forthcoming from Harvard University Asia Center. Inspired by Yanagita’s interest in children and education, a topic she examines in her book, she is starting a new project on children’s literature and translation.

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Censors in Modern Korea and Their Colonial Making

Thursday April 17, 2014
Thomson Hall 317

Kyeong-Hee Choi, University of Chicago

Center for Korea Studies (uwcks@uw.edu)


Kyeong-Hee Choi
Censors in Modern Korea and Their Colonial Making


Thomson Hall 317
Thursday, April 17 @ 3:30PM





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Modernity in Common: Japan and World History

Monday April 21, 2014
7:00 - 8:30 PM
Kane Hall 220

Carol Gluck, Columbia University

Sponsored by the UW Japan Studies Program and made possible by the Mitsubishi Corporation

For information on details for this event please contact japan@uw.edu

Mitsubishi Corporation Lecture Series 2013-14

   Just as the modern history of a society cannot be explained in isolation from the world, it is also possible to explore the history of the modern world from the vantage point of any particular place in the existing "globeful of modernities." Here that place is Japan, which because it shares commonalities and connections with other modern societies offers the opportunity to think about the “modern” on empirical bases different from the European experiences that underlay earlier theories of modernity. As examples, the lecture takes four questions frequently asked about modern Japanese history from the nineteenth century until the present and places them in their global context -- in the context of “modernity in common."

Carol Gluck is the George Sansom Professor of History at Columbia University. Her field is the history of modern Japan from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, with writings on the political, social, and cultural history of Japan in transnational perspective, World War II, history-writing and public memory in Asia and the West. Her books include Japan's Modern Myths: Ideology in the Late Meiji Period,1985; Showa: the Japan of Hirohito,1992; Words in Motion: Toward a Global Lexicon, 2009; Thinking with the Past: Modern Japan and History, 2014; Past Obsessions: World War II in History and Memory, forthcoming; and in Japanese, Rekishi de kangaeru [Thinking about History], 2007.

Free and open to the public. Registration appreciated. To register go HERE

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Being a Translator: My Journey to becoming a freelance translator

Friday April 25, 2014
3:30 - 5:00 PM
Savery 131

Joseph Boxman, graduate student Asian Languages & Literature

Sponsored by the UW Japan Studies Program and the department of Asian Languages and Literature

For more information contact japan@uw.edu

For nearly five years in Seattle, I have been a professional Japanese to English translator. This talk will follow my path from Japanese language study to translation work. I will speak about my experience as a freelance translator, including details about how I find projects, what the work is, and how it gets done. In addition to presenting information based on my own experience, I will provide resources for further research into the field of professional translation.

Joseph Boxman is a graduate student in the Asian Literature and Languages Department at the University of Washington. Born and raised in southern Indiana, Boxman studied Japanese at Earlham College, then studied abroad at Waseda University in Tokyo. Upon his return to Indiana, he completed his degree while working as a translator/interpreter at an automotive factory (TBK America). In 2010 Boxman moved to Seattle and transitioned to freelance translation while working at an izakaya.

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A Reluctant Superpower: Prospects for China's Expanding Role in the Middle East

Monday April 28, 2014
3:30-5:00 p.m.
Thomson Hall, Room 317

Dr. Kyle Haddad-Fonda

Middle East Center & East Asia Center


Dr. Kyle Haddad-Fonda is the Director of the Strategic Initiatives at the Nicholas Sparks Foundation. He received his Ph.D. from Oxford University in 2013 with a dissertation titled :"Revolutionary Allies: Sino-Egyptian and Sino-Algerian Relations in the Bandung Period."

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Workshop for Educators: Exploring Asia: Asian Cities – Growth and Change

Tuesday April 29, 2014
5:00 - 8:00 pm
The Vancouver Room, Seattle Times Building, 1000 Denny Way, Seattle, WA 98109

The Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies and Newspapers In Education


The Asia Centers and the Center for Global Studies of the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington are proud to present Exploring Asia: Asian Cities - Growth and Change, its 2014 Newspapers In Education Series and Workshop. The five-part series, in conjunction with The Seattle Times, includes articles on Vietnam, China, India, and Central Asia, in addition to an overview article. The workshop will include presentations by series authors as well as an introduction to the curriculum guide that pairs with the articles.

This workshop is one aspect of a collaborative project between the Newspapers In Education program of The Seattle Times and the University of Washington Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies Asia and Global Studies outreach centers as well as the East Asia Resource Center. The project consists of a five-article series, a teaching guide, and this workshop for K-12 educators.

Designed with high school readers in mind, each article in the online newspaper series entitled Exploring Asia: Asian Cities - Growth and Change, focuses on cities of Asia. The teaching guide provides a lesson plan for each article that includes activities to do with students before, during, and after reading the featured article. Together, the articles and accompanying lessons take students on an exploration of contemporary urban issues in several Asian countries, asking students to look at the issues from multiple perspectives and investigate the complexities and challenges of Asia's rapidly growing cities.

The cost of registration for the workshop is $30.00, which includes three Washington State clock hours, dinner, and curriculum guide. To register for the workshop, please complete the online registration form at 

To view curriculum and video from last year's workshop, go to http://depts.washington.edu/nie/curriculum.htm

For more information, please email the South Asia Center at snodgras@uw.edu.

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May 2014

Post-Fascist Political Culture: Japan after World War II

Friday May 2, 2014
3:30 - 5:00 PM
Allen Library Auditorium

Laura Hein, Northwestern University

Sponsored by the UW Japan Studies Program and the Journal of Japanese Studies

For more information contact japan@uw.edu

Much excellent recent scholarship examines postwar Japan in its post-colonial and Cold War contexts but the context that most riveted Japanese themselves has faded from view: the aftermath of fascism, or what I call “post-fascism.” How do these new concepts change the way we think about postwar Japan? This talk focuses on progressive education experiments at the university level in postwar Japan.

Laura E. Hein (PhD Wisconsin, 1986) is a professor of Japanese history at Northwestern University. She specializes in the history of Japan in the 20th century, its international relations, and the effects of WWII and the Cold War. Her work focuses on debates over economic policy and the implications of various economic theories in postwar Japan. She also has a strong interest in problems of remembrance and public memory. Her books include Imagination Without Borders: Visual Artist Tomiyama Taeko and Social Responsibility, co-edited with Rebecca Jennison, CJS, (Univ. of Michigan Press, 2010) and Reasonable Men, Powerful Words: Political Culture and Expertise in 20th Century Japan (Univ. of California Press and WWIC Press, 2004, Japanese ed. Iwanami, 2007.) She edits the Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, an on-line publication read by people in 205 countries who access 120-150,000 articles per month.

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Sing Modern Choson: "Jazz Song" in the 1930s

Tuesday May 6, 2014
Allen Auditorium, Allen Library

Eujeong Zhang

Center for Korea Studies (uwcks@uw.edu)


Eujeong Zhang
Sing Modern Chosǒn: Korean "Jazz Song" in the 1930s


Allen Auditorium, Allen Library
Tuesday, May 6 @ 3:30PM




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Visualizing War, Visualizing Fascism: Film and Photography in Germany and Japan

Thursday May 8, 2014
3:30 - 6:00 PM
Communications Bldg. 120

Julia Adeney Thomas and Geoff Eley

Co-Sponsored by the UW Japan Studies Program, Simpson Center for Humanities and Dept of History

For more information contact japan@uw.edu

"The State of Unexception: Japan's War without Pictures" 

Bringing critical theory to bear on questions of power in modern societies, Julia Adeney Thomas investigates concepts of nature in Japanese political ideology, the impact of environmental history on historiography, and photography as a political practice. Her book, Reconfiguring Modernity, received the John K. Fairbank Prize from the American Historical Association in 2002 and her essay on wartime memory in Japan, "Photography, National Identity, and the 'Cataract of Times:' Wartime Images and the Case of Japan" in the American Historical Review received the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians' Best Article of the Year Award in 1999.

Before joining the faculty at Notre Dame, Julia Adeney Thomas taught at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Wisconsin, where she received tenure in 2001. She has also been a visiting scholar at the Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte in Berlin, the Universität Heidelberg, and the University of Michigan as well as a member of the University of Wisconsin Humanities Institute and of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

   "Questioning the Fascist Spectacle"

Geoff Eley is the Karl Pohrt Distinguished University Professor of Contemporary History at Michigan. He studied history at the Balliol College of Oxford University and received his PhD from the University of Sussex in 1974. His book is Forging Democracy: The History of the Left in Europe, 1850-2000 has been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, Serbian, Korean, Turkish and Greek. His most recentl book is a collection of essays on fascism called Nazism as Fascism: Violence, Ideology, and the Ground of Consent in Germany, 1930-1945 (Routledge Press 2013.)

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SAVE THE DATE: Robert Pekkanen

Tuesday May 13, 2014
3:30 - 5:30 PM
William H. Gates Hall, Room 447

Robert Pekkanen, University of Washington

Sponsored by the Asian Law Center, University of Washington

Please RSVP to asianlaw@uw.edu

Robert Pekkanen teaches an introductory class on contemporary Japan and graduate and undergraduate courses on Japanese civil society, politics and political parties.

He has published articles on Japanese politics in "The American Political Science Review", "The British Journal of Political Science", "Comparative Political Studies", and other journals. His first book, Japan's Dual Civil Society: Members without Advocates (Stanford University Press, 2006), won the Ohira Prize in 2008 and an award from the Japanese Nonprofit Research Association (JANPORA) in 2007. The Japan Times also featured it as one of the "Best Asia Books" of 2006. A Japanese translation appeared in 2008. His second book (coauthored with Ellis S. Krauss) The Rise and Fall of Japan's LDP: Political Party Organizations as Historical Institutions (Cornell, 2010) investigates the LDP - arguably the most successful political party in any democracy in the 20th Century. R. Pekkanen also produced a coauthored book in Japanese Bokutakusha (2009) on Japan's Neighborhood Associations and Local Governance, and co-edited a volume from Routledge on Local Organizations and Urban Goverence in East and Southeast Asia (with lead editor Benjamin Read).

For more information, please see the Asian Law Center webpage.

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Andrew L. Markus Memorial Lecture - Transplanting Buddhism on the Korean Peninsula

Tuesday May 13, 2014
7:30 p.m.
Walker-Ames Room (Kane 225)

Robert Buswell, Professor of Buddhist Studies at UCLA

Asian Languages & Literature


Robert E. Buswell Jr., Distinguished Professor of Buddhist Studies in the UCLA Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, is the Irving and Jean Stone Chair in Humanities at UCLA, and the founding director of the university’s Center for Buddhist Studies and Center for Korean Studies. From 2009-2011, he served concurrently as founding director of the Dongguk Institute for Buddhist Studies Research (Pulgyo Haksurwon) at Dongguk University in Seoul, Korea. Buswell has published fifteen books and some forty articles on various aspects of the Chinese, Korean, and Indian traditions of Buddhism, as well as on Korean religions more broadly.

This lectureship was established in memory of Andrew L. Markus, Associate Professor of Japanese Literature at the University of Washington from 1986-1995. Established through the generosity of family and friends, this annual lecture honors Professor Markus's contribution to the study of Asian languages and literatures.

The lecture series brings to the University of Washington distinguished scholars in the field of Asian Languages and Literature. The annual lecture is considered the premiere public event sponsored by the department and is the highest honor that the department can bestow on a scholar in the field.

The Markus lecture is free and open to the public. Parking is available.


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Hot Presses, Cold War: Furniture Manufacturing and Geopolitics in Occupation Era Japan

Thursday May 15, 2014
3:30 - 5:00 PM
Savery Hall 138

Sarah Teasley, Royal College of Art, London

Sponsored by the UW Japan Studies Program and made possible by the Seattle Art Museum Gardner Center for Asian Art and Ideas

For information contact japan@uw.edu

This talk explores the impact of the Allied Occupation of Japan (1945-52) on Japan's furniture manufacturing industry, looking at interactions of different magnitudes ranging from the broader economic and social policies and conditions such as materials shortages to commissioning processes that affected several hundred firms and specific interpersonal exchanges between Occupation members and key industry figures. Drawing on public, personal and corporate archival work in Japan and the US as well as on oral history and object analysis, the talk argues for a multi-level approach to understanding historical change, and suggests that close attention to seemingly obscure industries can be surprisingly fruitful.

Dr. Sarah Teasley (PhD, University of Tokyo) is Reader in Design History and Theory in the School of Humanities, Royal College of Art, London. Her research into the history of product and furniture design and manufacturing in modern and contemporary Japan brings historical analysis to bear on contemporary issues in design, society and technology today. Her current project explores the relationship between furniture manufacturing and public policy in Japan c. 1890-1970, with attention to areas including technical education, materials and technology R&D, industrial research institutes and class in manufacturing culture. Her publications include the books Global Design History (Routledge, 2011) and Designing Modern Japan (Reaktion, forthcoming 2014) as well as articles in journals including Japanstudien, The Journal of Design History and Design Issues. She is Associate Editor of the journal Design and Culture.

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After Assimilating Seoul: Ch’anggyong Garden and the Post-Colonial Remaking of Seoul’s Public Spaces

Friday May 16, 2014
Thomson Hall 317

Todd Henry, UC San Diego

Center for Korea Studies (uwcks@uw.edu)


Todd A. Henry
After Assimilating Seoul: Ch’anggyŏng Garden and the Post-Colonial Remaking of Seoul's Public Spaces


Thomson Hall 317
Friday, May 16 @ 3:30PM





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Getting your Foot in the Door and Progressing your Career in a Japanese (and other Asian Languages) Major

Wednesday May 21, 2014
3:30 - 5:00 PM
Smith Hall 105

Andrew Kim, Microsoft

Sponsored by the UW Japan Studies Program and the Department of Asian Languages and Literature

For more information contact japan@uw.edu

How do I further my skills in Japanese (and other Asian languages)? Are programs like JET helpful to my career? What kind of options are available and how do I continually progress?

Andrew Kim will address these concerns and share advice on transitioning from student to full-time employment. Topics to include how you can develop your language skills to get to that professional level, the value of teaching programs like JET, the process of job hunting and what companies look for in bilingual candidates, advancing your career, etc. Be sure to prepare questions and network with Andrew for possible referrals.

Andrew earned his B.A. in Japanese Linguistics from the University of Washington and spent three years as an assistant language teacher in the JET Program (placed in Miyoshi-shi, Tokushima-ken, Japan). Returning to Seattle he got into the IT industry with his Japanese language skills. He currently has nine years of combined experience in the education and IT sectors, and is currently a service manager for email at Microsoft.

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East Asian Security Challenges and Japan's New Strategy under Abe

Wednesday May 28, 2014
7:00 - 8:30 PM
Kane Hall 210

Shinichi Kitaoka, National Graduate Institure for Policy Studies

Sponsored by the UW Japan Studies Program and made possible by the Mitsubishi Corporation

For information on details and registration for this event please contact japan@uw.edu

Mitsubishi Corporation Lecture Series 2013-14

   Shinichi Kitaoka is a professor at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, and Executive Director of Research for the Institute for International Policy Studies (IIPS). He is a leading scholar in modern Japanese political and diplomatic history and has published on topics such as security issues, foreign policy, domestic politics, constitutional revision, and the United Nations. He earned degrees from the University of Tokyo (BA 1971, MA 1973, and Ph.D. 1976) and was a visiting fellow at Princeton University (1981-83). Dr. Kitaoka’s activities as a public intellectual include the participation in bilateral talks with the U.S., China (Japan-China 21st Century Friendship Committee), Korea (Japan-Korea Joint Study of History), Germany, India, and Singapore. Currently he is the Chairman of the Japanese scholars in Japan-China Joint Study of History that was established by President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2006.

Free and open to the public. Registration is appreciated. To register for this event contact JAPAN@UW.EDU


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East Asia Center
University of Washington
301 Thomson Hall
Box 353650
Seattle, WA 98195
(206) 543-6938 phone
(206) 685-0668 fax

William Lavely, Director
Mary Bernson, Director of Outreach
Kristi Roundtree, Associate Director
Stefanie Doolittle, Program Assistant
Curtis Reed, Program Coordinator