CEAS Colloquium Series

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

Of crucial importance to the history of literacy in Japan is the complex of writing and reading practices known as kundoku, whereby strings of characters are associated with actual or potential utterances in Japanese. These practices have profound implications for the study of Japanese culture and broad significance for the world history of writing, but this talk focuses on their role in the creation of differing written styles in 7th and 8th century Japan. Two sets of parallel texts will be juxtaposed: dedicatory inscriptions on two Buddhist images in the main hall of Hôryûji, and the well...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

Anyone who observed the anti-Japanese demonstrations in China last spring cannot deny that the Second World War is far from forgotten in Asia. Media coverage of rising anti-Chinese sentiment and Prime Minister Koizumi’s defensive posture on Yasukuni points to the resurgence of a nationalistic Japan. Professor DiNitto’s presentation works to counter the increasingly singular interpretation of the war that is taking placed on the national level. She presents a range of reactions to and representations of the war in popular manga (illustrated texts) by three artists working in the late...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

Post-colonialism has been translated as Hou Zhimin Zhuyi (后殖民主义) in Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, but they mean different things. “Traveling Theory” was put forward by Edward W.Said. In this article, Said criticized the general discussion of cultural misunderstanding, and stressed the historical situation of traveling theory. The difference of post-colonialism in Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong is just the result of different location and historical situation. The purpose of Professor Zhao’s talk is to comment on the relationship between the different versions of post-colonialism...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

There are many far reaching consequences of the economic reform initiated by Deng Xiaoping in 1978. Many are intended outcomes such as the intensification of rural industrialization and urbanization in selected coastal regions designated as Special Economic Zones, and the massive internal labour migration involving over 100 million people that supplies the much needed labour to work on public projects and factories in these rapidly developing regions within the country. The Pearl River Delta of Guangdong is a prime example of the rapid economic development in post-1978 China driven by...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

This presentation will explore the changing relationship between the former British colony of Hong Kong and the neighboring region of the People’s Republic of China. Integration between Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta changed sharply three times in the last half century, and these turning points ultimately had significant repercussions for the entire world. In 1950, the border was closed for the first time during peace, and Hong Kong experienced transition from colonial port to a key flexible manufacturing platform, while simultaneously helping China survive economic sanctions through...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

Buddhists around the world widely celebrate the benefits of worshipping Kannon (Avalokiteśvara in Sanskrit), one of the most beloved deities in Buddhism, and believe that when Kannon appears in multiple manifestations the deity’s magnificent powers are increased to even greater heights. This concept has spawned important cults throughout history and among the most significant was the cult of the Six Kannon that flourished in Japan from the tenth through the fourteenth centuries. This talk will focus upon a gorgeous set made in the thirteenth century from Daihoonji in Kyoto. In addition to a...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

During the second through fourth centuries, a complex set of debates developed over the nature of antiquity. Who were the ancient sages? Are they a thing of the past? Is it possible for new sages to arise now? Professor Puett’s goal in this paper will be to explore why these debates developed, how they progressed over the course of the late Eastern Han through the Eastern Jin dynasties, and what implications this debate had for later Chinese history.

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

The Chinese Communist Party’s embrace of the private sector has been a key part of its efforts to promote economic development. At the same time, it has brought new interests and new people into the political system. Drawing on original survey data, this talk will show how the integration of political and economic elites is creating a convergence of policy views among local officials and private entrepreneurs. In addition, it will show how the rapid growth of the private sector, the increased prominence of entrepreneurs in the political system, and the formation of more autonomous and...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

As a source of identity and component of selfhood, concepts of “race” and their manipulation through racial representation exert a powerful influence on constructions of Self and Other, national identity, the nature of interpersonal experiences in cross-cultural contexts, and how those experiences are verbalized, interpreted and translated into various kinds of social performance. Increasingly, globalized discourses and iconographies of “blackness” have come to mediate a space through which Western notions of “race” are circulated, re-inscribed re-presented and reproduced abroad, and deployed...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

Marie Anchordoguy will talk about the arguments in her recent book, Reprogramming Japan: The High Tech Crisis under Communitarian Capitalism. The book explores the nature of Japan’s capitalist system and how this system has contributed to both the rise and the stagnation of Japan’s high tech sector. The book argues that Japan’s capitalist system is communitarian in nature. By communitarian capitalism, she means a quasi-socialist system with an activist state that works together with the private sector to nurture economic development but also promote social stability, equitable treatment of...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

Japan’s monastic warriors have fared poorly in comparison to the samurai, both in terms of historical reputation and representations in popular culture. Often maligned and criticized for their involvement in politics and other secular matters, they have been seen as a coherent group of fighters known as sōhei (monk-warriors) separate from the larger military class. However, a closer examination of late Heian (794-1185) and Kamakura (1185-1333) sources reveals that these groups have a common ancestry, identical social and political origins, and were equally skilled in the warfare techniques of...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

The presentation will discuss various ways that the French literary critic Gerard Genette’s concept of the “paratext” can be productively used to analyze the evolution of this late 16th c. compendium of illustrated instructional tales. Professor Murray will examine selected examples, from the initial submission of a manuscript edition to the Wanli emperor in 1573 to recent mass-produced photo-offset editions for contemporary audiences, in order to demonstrate the ways that modifications in elements such as prefaces, size, picture design, quality of printing, and other elements provide...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

Among prehistoric archaeologists, the Jomon culture (ca. 14,000 -500 BC) of the Japanese archipelago has been cited as an example of so-called “affluent” or “complex” hunter-gatherer cultures. In particular, the Middle Jomon culture (ca. 3000-2000 BC) in Eastern Japan is known for the presence of large settlements, large shell-middens, sophistication of material culture and long-distance trade. Focusing on archaeological data from the Sannai Maruyama site (the Early-Middle Jomon periods), this presentation demonstrates how the rich Jomon data can contribute to our understanding of the...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

Compared to the popular and business U.S. press, the Japanese popular press tends to be more pessimistic about the Chinese economy. This Japanese attitude and perception about the Chinese economy can be observed in recent Japanese Manga (comic strip). In the talk, Professor Deckle will briefly trace the recent history of the Japanese economy as observed in the Japanese Manga. He will also assess the realism of this pessimistic Japanese popular perception of the Chinese economy.

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

“The Designer of the Garden of Total Vision” is an illustrated lecture examining a hitherto overlooked textual source for the design of the garden which forms the allegorical heart of The Story of the Stone (a.k.a. The Dream of the Red Chamber). This presentation will also include new visual material on the design of the garden.

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

Scholars and policy makers often focus on the more formal and mechanical trappings of democracy to measure a country’s political pluralization. In the case of China, this leads to a discussion over whether democratization in China is a top-down, elite-driven process or whether it is best explained by the growth in village-level elections over the past decade. Professor Mertha’s research suggests that by focusing on this dichotomy, we may be missing out on an extremely important aspect of political liberalization unfolding before our eyes. He draws on recent changes in hydropower policy...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

During the sixth century Buddhists in Shandong province carved massive transcriptions of sutras and names of deities on the slopes of mountains. This lecture explores the significance of these carvings and seeks to argue that the vast scale of the writing embodied concepts central to Buddhist thought.

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

This paper examines major Japanese lesbian critical writing of the 1980s and 1990s, with particular emphasis on the work of Kakefuda Hiroko, the most significant lesbian writer in Japan. It focuses on three recurring themes in this body of writing ”the lesbian image in heterosexual Japanese pornography, the exclusions of straight feminism, and the non-possibility of alliance with gay men. It then takes up the question of sexual and social autonomy (shutaisei) and the role of privacy in lesbian narratives of resistance. It concludes with a discussion of recent developments in Japanese lesbian...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

Japan has experienced a prolonged period of slow growth, deflation, and other economic ills since the early 1990s. Economists agree on the basics of what has happened, but substantial disputes continue over the fundamental causes. Are Japan’s troubles just a series of macroeconomic policy blunders, or have structural problems in the economy played a role?Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow Edward Lincoln will explore these and other topics concerning Japan’s economic performance.

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

Takeuchi Yoshimi (1910-1977), noted social critic and China scholar of postwar Japan, set forth a notion of thought in his writings that was based on an opening onto alterity. Professor Calichman’ s presentation will focus on these passages so as to lay the ground for a critique of subjective interiority.

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