The 2017-2018 Soshitsu Sen Distinguished Lecture on Japanese Culture

The Long Yellow Road: The Life and Music of TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI

Friday 4 May 2018, 6PM, Miller Theatre, Columbia University
2960 Broadway, at W. 116th Street
Pre-registration is required by April 30th. Click on button to RSVP. RSVP Now

About the Sen Lecture

The Soshitsu Sen Distinguished Lectures on Japanese Culture were established by an endowment of $500,000 from the Urasenke Foundation of Kyoto, Japan. Named in honor of Hounsai Sen Genshitsu, Former Grand Master (Iemoto) Sen Soshitsu XV, of the Urasenke School of Tea, this public lecture series is held annually at Columbia University to increase American awareness and understanding of Japanese culture.

The series began in 1988 with a lecture by Dr. Soshitsu Sen XV entitled "The Heart of Tea." In 1989, the Japanese composer, Takemitsu Toru, presented a lecture "Sound in the East/Sound in the West" which was accompanied by an exhibition of his scores, the first All-Takemitsu concert, a pro-seminar for student composers, and a film series highlighting Takemitsu's music for the cinema. In subsequent years, Sen Lecturers have included Donald Keene, novelists Shiba Ryotaro and Kono Taeko, designer Yokoo Tadanori, and Professor Edwin McClellan of Yale University. In 1993, the Sen Lecture program presented performances of Noh drama featuring the distinguished actors Kanze Hideo and Umewaka Rokuro and sponsored a symposium on Noh theater. In 1996, the program consisted of a major international symposium commemorating the life and work of Abe Kobo. In 1999, writer, photographer and scholar Fosco Maraini spoke on "Japan: The Magic of Mountains", and the 2000 Sen Lecture, "Sitting in a Circle: Thoughts on the Japanese Group Mentality" was presented by the poet Makoto Ooka. More recently, the distinguished lecturers have included poet Gary Snyder in 2008 and chef Masaharu Morimoto in 2011. In 2015, Hisa Uzawa and Hikaru Uzawa, a mother-daughter Noh theater dance perfomers, presented behind-the-scenes details of costume and choreography, and danced clim`actic sequences from four major plays.

2017 Minae Mizumura, novelist and author
2016 Keijiro Suga, poet, literary critic, translator, and writer
2015 Hisa Uzawa and Hikaru Uzawa, Noh theater dance performers
2014 Jun Tomita, weaver
2013 Hyuga Himawari, kōdan storyteller
2012 Ban Shigeru, architect
2011 Masaharu Morimoto, chef
2010 Yasumasa Morimura, artist
2009 Royall Tyler, translator
2008 Gary Snyder, poet
2007 Natsuo Kirino, author
2006 Genshitsu Sen, tea master
2005 Setouchi Jakucho, author and Buddhist nun
2004 Beate Sirota Gordon, former director of performing arts at Japan Society and Asia Society
2003 Bunzo Torigoe, scholar of Bunraku and Kabuki
2002 Tadashi Suzuki, experimental theater director
2001 Burton Watson, translator of Japanese and Chinese works
2000 Makoto Ooka, poet and literary critic
1999 Fosco Maraini, professor, writer, and photographer
1998 Edwin McClellan, professor and translator
1997 Soshitsu Sen XV, Grand Master of Urasenke
1996 Kobo Abe Commemoration(symposium, performances, film series, and exhibitions)
1995 Tadanori Yokoo, graphic designer
1994 Taeko Kono, novelist
1993 Kanze Noh Troupe (performance and symposium)
1991 Ryotaro Shiba, novelist
1990 Donald Keene, professor and translator
1989 Toru Takemitsu, composer
1988 Soshitsu Sen XV, Grand Master of Urasenke


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