Events 2011

January 21st, 2011

Donald Keene Center 25th Anniversary Event
Eiko & Koma
Performance & Lecture
Venue: Miller Theatre, 116th Street & Broadway, Columbia University

Eiko & Koma dance about what matters to them. Their subjects are elemental; their message pitiless yet humanistic. Both their choreography and stagecraft are characterized by bold, highly theatrical strokes. The result is stark, infused with a relentless stillness that subverts and transcends our everyday notions of time and space. Eiko & Koma want the vulnerability of their own dancing bodies to invite the audience’s empathy.

Eiko & Koma have received two “Bessies” (1984 and 1990) and have been awarded Guggenheim (1985), MacArthur (1996), and United States Artists (2006) Fellowships. They were honored with the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award (2004) and the Dance Magazine Award (2006) for lifetime achievement in modern dance.

Admission is free


February 3rd, 2011 (Thursday) 6:00 PM

6:00 PM
"Social Inequalities in Contemporary Japan: From a Mass-Middle-Class Society to a Class-Divided Society"
Lecture by Sawako Shirahase, University of Tokyo
Venue: Room 403 Kent Hall, Columbia University

Lecture Information:
Japan was the first Asian country to succeed in industrialization. From the 1970s into the 1980s, the buzzword in Japan was "all-middle-class society." More recently, issues of poverty and inequality have become a popular topic of discussion among Japanese, especially conspicuous since the end of 2008. This lecture examines some of the factors that have contributed to the increasingly active discourse on inequality, focusing in particular on demographic and family changes in contemporary Japan.

Lecturer Information:
Sawako Shirahase is a professor at the Department of Sociology, the University of Tokyo, and a visiting fellow of Todai-Yale Initiative in 2010-11. Her research interests include ageing and socio-economic inequality, family change and the social security system, and the comparative study of welfare states. Her recent books are Ikikata no Fubyodo: Otagaisama no Shakai ni Mukete (Inequalities in Life Course: Seeking for the Mutually Supportive Society), published by Iwanami in 2010, and Nihon no Fubyodo wo Kangaeru: Shoshi Korei Shakai no Kokusai Hikaku (Thinking about Inequality in Japan: A Comparative Study of Ageing Societies), published by the University of Tokyo Press in 2009.


February 25th, 2011

6:00 PM
"The Japan U.S.-Friendship Commission Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature"
A Ceremony Honoring the 2010-2011 Winners
Venue: C.V. Starr East Asian Library, 300 Kent Hall, Columbia University

Tom Hare is William Sauter LaPorte '28 Professor in Regional Studies, in the Department of Comparative Literature at Princeton University. His intellectual interests include Japanese drama and Buddhism, writing systems, Egyptology, portraiture, and the interaction of literature and the arts. He did his PhD in Far Eastern Languages and Literatures at the University of Michigan and studied the musicology of noh at Tokyo University of Fine Arts (Tôkyô Geijutsu Daigaku). He taught in the Departments of Asian Languages and Comparative Literature at Stanford University before moving to Princeton. He is the author of Zeami: Performance Notes (Columbia University Press, 2008), Zeami's Style (Stanford University Press, 1986) and ReMembering Osiris (Stanford, 1999). He is currently working on a project on performance and practice in Buddhist Japan.

Michael Emmerich is Assistant Professor of Premodern Japanese Literature and Cultural Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is currently completing a manuscript about the early modern and modern canonization of The Tale of Genji as a classic of both Japanese and world literature. He is the translator of numerous novels and short-story collections by authors as diverse as Kawabata Yasunari and Takahashi Gen'ichirô, and is the editor of Read Real Japanese Fiction and the forthcoming New Penguin Parallel Texts: Short Stories in Japanese.

March 29th, 2011

12:00 - 1:30 PM
“Design’s Objects: Furniture, Technical Drawing, and Education in Japan ca. 1890–1910”
Lecture by Sarah Teasley, Royal College of Art
918 International Affairs Building, Columbia University

Lecture Information:
In 1903, the Japanese Ministry of Education decreed that all pupils in elementary schools would learn rudimentary western-style technical drawing for the manufacture of wooden objects as part of compulsory manual-education classes. Professor Teasley’s talk explores the broader context for this regulation. Through an analysis of the changing status of the technical drawing and technical specification, it considers ideas of technology, expertise, design, and the public in late Meiji Japan.

Lecturer Information:
Sarah Teasley teaches design history at the Royal College of Art in London. She received her doctorate in Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies at the University of Tokyo, and has published widely in both English and Japanese on the history of Japanese design. Her books include 20th Century Design History (Tokyo: Petit Grand Publishing, 2005), which she co-authored with Watabe Chiharu.

April 14th, 2011

6:00 PM
“Black Markets and the Ruins of Empire in Postwar Tokyo”
Lecture by Seiji M. Lippit, UCLA
Venue: 333 Uris, Columbia University

Lecture Information:
As both abstract and concrete space, the black markets (yami ichi) played a central role in the development of postwar Tokyo, while helping to shape the literary and popular imagination of the city. This lecture examines the literary representation of the black markets, focusing on their role as mediating spaces between the collapse of empire and the reconstruction of the postwar nation-state.

Lecturer Information:
Seiji M. Lippit teaches Japanese literature and culture at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research interests include modernism, mass culture, urban space, and minority literature, as well as representations of decolonization, occupation, and the transformation of national consciousness in postwar Japan. His publications include Topographies of Japanese Modernism (Columbia UP, 2002), an examination of modernist fiction in the 1920s and 30s, and the edited volume The Essential Akutagawa (Marsilio, 1999), an anthology of writings by the celebrated writer Akutagawa Ryûnosuke. Professor Lippit is currently working on a book project on literature of the immediate postwar period that focuses on representations of urban space in the wake of empire’s collapse.

April 15th, 2011

1:00 - 3:00 PM
“The Legacies of Donald Keene” Symposium
Venue: Room 403 Kent Hall, Columbia University

This semester, Shincho Professor Emeritus Donald Keene teaches his last class at Columbia University. We invite you to join us in celebrating over fifty years of Professor Keene's contributions to Japanese Studies.

Through the generous support of the Japan Foundation, a symposium on "The Legacies of Donald Keene" will be held on April 15th. Speakers include Karen Brazell, Van Gessel, Carol Gluck, Amy Heinrich, Susan Matisoff, and Carolyn Morley, all of whose distinguished careers in the Japanese Studies field began in one of Professor Keene's classrooms. Drawing on personal experiences, the speakers will address Professor Keene's unique pedagogy and long-term contributions to the field of Japanese Studies.

This symposium is free and open to the general public. We recommend arriving early in order to secure a seat.

April 18th, 2011

12:00 PM
“Fabricating Consumers: The Sewing Machine in Modern Japan”
Lecture by Andrew Gordon, Harvard University
918 International Affairs Building, Columbia University

Lecture Information:
In this talk, Professor Gordon considers the selling, buying, and the using of the sewing machine in the early-to-mid twentieth century. On the demand side, the focus is on women users in the home, with attention as well to home-based commercial production by seamstresses or dressmakers. On the supply side the main actors are Singer Sewing Machine Company and then its Japanese competitors. An extraordinary variety of meanings and experiences attached to this object, which allows us to study the modern transformation of daily life with its continuing harshness, its new opportunities, and its new imposition of discipline on both the men who sold it and the women who used it.

Lecturer Information:
Andrew Gordon is the Lee and Juliet Folger Fund Professor of History at Harvard University. His teaching and research focus primarily on modern Japan. Professor Gordon has published numerous books and articles, including several important works on the history of Japanese labor, and the widely used textbook A Modern History of Japan (2002).

May 4th, 2011

7:00 PM
ANPO: Art X War
Film screening and discussion
Featuring: Linda Hoaglund, Director and Producer, ANPO
In conversation with Carol Gluck, George Sansom Professor of History, Columbia University
Venue: 301 Uris Hall, Columbia University
Please bring your printed ticket with you. Registration is free.

Movie Information:
ANPO refers to the U.S.-Japan Mutual Security Treaty, which permits the continued presence of numerous U.S. military bases in Japan. In 1960, public resentment against the military presence erupted in massive popular demonstrations that were crushed by Japan’s C.I.A.-backed Prime Minister Kishi. A wide range of Japanese artists depicted this resistance with a rich archive of art and films, including many large-scale paintings long hidden from public view. Contemporary artists continue to draw on their predecessors’ legacy, depicting problems generated by the bases. Shot in high definition, the film reveals the extraordinary passion behind this wave of paintings, photographs, anime, and documentary and narrative films.

September 16th-17th, 2011

8:30 PM
International Symposium on Japanese Visual Culture:
Performance, Media, and Text
Venue: Room 403 Kent Hall, Columbia University
*Sponsored by National Institute for Japanese Literature, Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture, and the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures and Department of Archeology and Art History at Columbia University Symposium Information:
The symposium is an outgrowth of a multi-year research project by an international team of scholars, sponsored by the National Institute of Japanese Literature, of visual artifacts and texts in collections in the United States, notably at the Spencer Collection in the New York Public Library, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Mary Griggs Burke Collection of Japanese Art, John C. Weber Collection, and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The symposium focuses on a cluster of key issues foregrounded by these visual artifacts: 1) the place of other worlds, from animals and plants to the supernatural, and their intersection with orthodox religious views, 2) the reconstructions of court culture and their variegated functions in the medieval and Edo periods, 3) the role of famous places and cultural topography, and 4) the role of samurai narratives and their relationship to performance, painting, and gender. Through these four major themes, the symposium examines the larger issues of media, performance, and texts, with particular attention to the rich interrelationships among painting, literary culture, religion, and theater.

Friday September 16th

  • 8:30-9:15 – Registration
  • 9:15-9:45 – Keynote Speech: Haruo Shirane, Columbia University
    "Cultures of the Book, the Parlor, and the Roadside: Muromachi Tales and Issues of Text, Picture, and Media"

  • Literature of Other Worlds, Animals, and Plants:
    From Folk Literature to Picture Scrolls

    Session 1
  • 10:00-10:25 – Komine Kazuaki, Rikkyō University (in Japanese)
    “In Search of the Dragon Palace: Representations of an Other World”
  • 10:25-10:50 – Saitō Maori, NIJL (in Japanese)
    “Alien Creatures and Pictorial Expression: Tales of Messengers from the Gods and Buddhas”
  • 10:50-11:15 – R. Keller Kimbrough, University of Colorado
    “Sacred Charnel Visions: Painting the Dead in Illustrated Scrolls of the Demon Shuten Dôji”
  • 11:15-11:45 – Discussant: Bernard Faure (Columbia University)

  • Session 2
  • 13:00-13:25 – Max Moerman, Barnard College/Columbia University
    “Demonology and Eroticism: Islands of Women in the Japanese Buddhist Imagination”
  • 13:25-13:50 – Tokuda Kazuo, Gakushūin Women's College (in Japanese)
    “Images of Monsters—the Achievement of Muromachi Tale Picture Scrolls”
  • 13:50-14:20 – Discussant: Michael Como (Columbia University)

  • Famous Places and Cultural Topography

    Session 3
  • 14:30-14:55 – Takagishi Akira, Tokyo Institute of Technology (in Japanese)
    “The Intersection of Temple Origin Myths and Buddhist Paintings — Illustrated Scrolls of the Shrine Origin Myth of Kitano Tenjin and the Development of Medieval Paintings of the Six Paths”
  • 14:55-15:20 – Matthew P. McKelway, Columbia University
    “When Famous Places Become Narrative: Gukei's 'Handscrolls of Scenes of City and Country'”
  • 15:20-15:50 – Discussant: Sinead Kehoe (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

  • Session 4
  • 16:00-16:25 – Tomoko Sakomura, Swarthmore College
    “Visual Remembrances: Flower Viewing, Poetry, and Yoshino in Text and Image”
  • 16:25-16:50 – Suzuki Jun, NIJL (in Japanese)
    “Image and Text in Hokusai’s Azuma Asobi (Playing in the Eastern Provinces)”
  • 16:50-17:20 – Discussant: Robert Goree (Columbia University)

Saturday September 17th

  • 8:30-9:15 – Registration
  • 9:15-9:45 – Keynote Speech: Imanishi Yūichirō, Director General of NIJL (in Japanese)
    “Illustrated Books and Graphemes”
  • Discussant: David Lurie (Columbia University)

  • Reconstructing Court Culture: From Emaki to Edo Visual Culture

    Session 5
  • 10:00-10:25 – Terashima Tsuneyo, NIJL (in Japanese)
    “Portraits of Poetic Immortals and Classical Poetry: The Origins and Development of Kasen-e”
  • 10:25-10:50 – Ishikawa Tōru, Keiō University (in Japanese)
    “Japanese Court Culture as Represented in Tale of Genji Illustrations and Nara Ehon”
  • 10:50-11:20 – Discussant: Masako Watanabe (Metropolitan Museum)

  • Session 6
  • 11:30-11:55 – Melissa McCormick, Harvard University
    “Flower Personification and Imperial Regeneration in The Chrysanthemum Spirit”
  • 11:55-12:20 – Andrew Watsky, Princeton University
    “Representation in the Non-representational Arts: Poetry and Pots in Sixteenth-Century Japan”
  • 12:20-12:50 – Discussant: John Carpenter (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

  • Performance and Painting: Women and Samurai Narratives

    Session 7
  • 14:00-14:25 – Kobayashi Kenji, NIJL (in Japanese)
    “Illustrated Texts of Kōwaka Performance Narrations: The Case of the Takebun Screen Painting”
  • 14:25-14:50 – Suzuki Hiroko, Tezukayama University (in Japanese)
    “Female Characters in History Puppet Plays (Jidai Jōruri)”
  • 14:50-15:15 – Roberta Strippoli, Binghamton University, State University of New York
    “Song without Music, Dance without Rhythm: Illustrating Shirabyōshi in Early Modern Scrolls and Albums"
  • 15:15-15:45 – Discussant: Joshua Mostow (University of British Columbia)
  • 15:45-16:00 Closing Remarks: Haruo Shirane

October 3rd, 2011

12:00 - 1:30PM
Weatherhead East Asian Institute: Brown Bag Lecture
"The Labor of Cute: Net Idols, Cute Culture, and the Social Factory in Contemporary Japan"
Gabriella Lukács, University of Pittsburgh
Venue: 918 International Affairs Building, Columbia University
No registration required
*Co-sponsored by the Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture, the Department of Anthropology, and the Center of Japanese Economy and Business

October 4th, 2011

2:00 - 4:00 PM
“From Gold Soup to Iron Chef: The Culture and History of Japanese Cuisine”
A Panel Discussion
Jordan Sand, Georgetown University; Eric Rath, University of Kansas; Gabriella Lukács, University of Pittsburgh
Venue: 403 Kent Hall, Columbia University

25th Anniversary Event

October 4th, 2011

6:00 - 8:00 PM
Cooking Demonstration and Lecture by “Iron Chef” Morimoto
Venue: Casa Italiana, Columbia University
Admission is free
*This program is made possible by the generous support of the Orient Finance Co. Endowment for the Donald Keene Center and the Sen Lectureship Endowment
Demonstration Information:
Star of the hit television show Iron Chef, Masaharu Morimoto is acclaimed for his ability to integrate Western ingredients into traditional Japanese cuisine such as tempura, sushi, and sashimi. Offering uniquely contemporary Japanese cuisine, Morimoto has revolutionized the restaurant scene in New York and beyond. A cooking demonstration by Chef Morimoto will be followed by a dialogue with food historian Jordan Sand (Georgetown University) and a Q-and-A session with audience members.


October 13th, 2011

6:30 PM
2011 Donald Keene Center — Shirato Lecture
“The Identity of Older Japanese Women in Conversational Narratives”
Yoshiko Matsumoto, Stanford University
Venue: Julius Held Auditorium (304 Barnard Hall)

October 14th-15th, 2011

9:00 AM
Buddhism and the Performing Arts (geinō)
A Columbia Center for Japanese Religion Symposium
Click here to download a complete schedule of the symposium.
Venue: 403 Kent Hall, Columbia University
This symposium has been made possible by the generous support of Dr. John C. Weber

October 20th, 2011

6:00 PM
“Utopia and Dystopia in Modernist Fiction”
Angela Yiu, Sophia University
Venue: 403 Kent Hall, Columbia University
*Co-sponsored with the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures

November 3rd, 2011

6:00 PM
“The World in Japanese”
Ian Hideo Levy, Independent Scholar, Novelist, and Translator
Venue: Room 403 Kent Hall, Columbia University
Sponsored by Columbia University Press, Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture, and the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University
Lecture Information:
Levy Hideo, the first westerner to become a critically acclaimed novelist in Japanese, will relate the story of his own "life in a new language." In doing so he will refer to the inspiration he received both from ancient Japanese literature and from the minority and bilingual novelists at the forefront of contemporary writing in Japan. This event is in commemoration of the publication of A Room Where the Star-Spangled Banner Cannot Be Heard, the first translation of his work into English.

November 11th, 2011

9:00 am – 5:45 pm
“The Makino Collection at Columbia:
The Present and Future of an Archive”
Download the Symposium Schedule here
Venue: Room 403 Kent Hall, Columbia University
Organized by Paul Anderer, Jim Cheng, Hikari Hori, and Beth Katzoff
Partially funded by the Orient Finance Co. Endowment for the Donald Keene Center

November 17th, 2011

4:30 PM
“The Geopolitics of Collaboration: Colonial Korean Culture after the ‘Manchurian Incident’”
Nayoung Aimee Kwon, Duke University
Venue: Room 918 IAB, Columbia University
*Co-sponsored with the Center for Korean Research

November 18th, 2011

9:00 AM
“Sixty Years after the San Francisco Peace Treaty:
Peace, Conflict, and Historical Reconciliation in the Asia-Pacific”
Venue: 501 Schermerhorn Hall, Columbia University
Download the full symposium schedule here
*Sponsored by the Center for Korean Research and the Northeast Asian History Foundation

Co-sponsored by APEC Study Center, the Donald Keene Center, the Harriman Institute, the Institute for the Study of Human Rights, and the Center for Korean Legal Studies

December 8th, 2011

6:30 PM
“Furs and Fears: The Eighteenth-Century Little Ice Age and the ‘Closing’ of Japan”
Ronald Toby, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana
Venue: Room 403 Kent Hall, Columbia University


This is an HTML-Template by Ruven Pelka. You can purchase it at