Lecturers and Brief Abstract of Lectures

Date: August 2, Monday
Lecturer: Kaichiro Morikawa
Kaichiro Morikawa, associate professor of School of Global Japanese Studies at Meiji University since 2004, was born in 1971. He received MA in Architecture at Waseda University. He served as commissioner of the Japanese pavilion at the Venice Biennale 9th International Architecture Exhibition in 2004 to produce the exhibit OTAKU: persona=space=city (2004). He is involved in establishing Tokyo International Manga Library, and operating Yoshihiro Yonezawa Memorial Museum of Manga and Subcultures at Meiji University. Publications include: The Birth of a Personapolis (Gentosha, 2003).
Title of Lecture: LEARNING FROM AKIHABARA: The Otaku City
Brief Abstract of Lecture: In Japan, optimism about an ever-progressing technological future ran out in the 70's. It was in the mid-80's that the term otaku was coined to signify a new personality that had emerged as a reaction to the loss of “future.” The term evokes a stereotyped image of an unfashionable computer nerd, preoccupied with games and anime even after his adolescence. The loss of “future” was also critical to Akihabara, a small area amongst the central districts of Tokyo, which is widely known by the unrivaled concentration of electronics stores. “Community of interest” has taken an urban form in Akihabara. This could be a prophetic phenomenon in which a city is simulating cyberspace, as opposed to the conventional notion of cyberspace simulating a city.
Date: August 3, Tuesday
Lecturer: Kate Allen, John Ingulsrud
Kate Allen is Professor in the School of Global Studies at Meiji University. John E. Ingulsrud is Professor in the Department of International Studies at Meisei University. They are authors of “Reading Japan Cool: Patterns of Manga Literacy and Discourse”.
Title of Lecture: Manga Readers: Strategies and Practices
Brief Abstract of Lecture: Hardly anyone is praised for reading manga. But is it really as simple as it seems? In this session we will speak about how Japanese manga readers learn to read manga, how their reading practices are sustained, and what strategies they use to understand and enjoy manga.
Date: August 3, Tuesday
Lecturer: Hirohito Miyamoto
Hirohito Miyamoto, associate professor of School of Global Japanese Studies at Meiji University, was born in 1970. He is an expert in Japanese manga and animation history. He researches relationship between wartime manga and animation and war itself. He is also known as a commentator of modern manga. He co-authored “マンガの居場所” (NTT Publishing, 2003) with Fusanosuke Natsume, Yoshimitsu Uryuu, Reni Suzuka, and Tomoko Yamada.
Title of Lecture: How Japanese Animation was refined into “Anime”?
Brief Abstract of Lecture: Internationally-popular Japanese Animations are acknowledged as “Anime” among fans, and have its own unique styles and themes. How did the identity shaped? We will learn the origin and the feature of Japanese “Anime”, comparing with U.S. Animations and so forth.
Date: August 3, Tuesday
Lecturer: Yukari Fujimoto
Yukari Fujimoto, associate professor of School of Global Japanese Studies at Meiji University since 2008, was born in 1959. She was the editor at Chikumashobo for 25 years. Also she has been working as a commentator for over 20 years, and as a member of selection committee for several manga prizes. Her expertise lies in girls’ comic study and international comparison of manga. Her books include 『私の居場所はどこにあるの?』『快楽電流』『少女まんが魂』『愛情評論』.
Title of Lecture: Manga magazines characterize Japanese manga.
Brief Abstract of Lecture: 99% of Japanese manga are published in magazines at first. Then only selected manga are published in book form. Also manga magazines are classified by gender and age of readers. That characterizes the foundation of Japanese manga.
Date: August 5, Thursday
Lecturer: Patrick Macias
Patrick Macias is the editor in chief of Otaku USA, a bi-monthly newsstand magazine covering anime, manga, and J-pop for the North American market. He is also the co-owner of jaPRESS, a publishing and localization company that provides media content to both Japan and America. Patrick is also the author of several books including “Otaku in USA” and “Japanese Schoolgirl Inferno: Tokyo Teen Fashion Subculture Handbook”. He has participated in lectures at the University of California, Los Angeles and Temple University, Japan Campus.
Title of Lecture: J-pop Without Borders: Music, Film, Fashion
Brief Abstract of Lecture: Anime and manga represent the most visible parts of the “Cool Japan” package. But other Japanese pop culture (J-pop) genres – such as idol music, visual kei bands, cult film, and street fashion – have also played a key role in shaping Japan’s image overseas. This two-part seminar with writer Patrick Macias will present profiles of foreign subcultures that have evolved around these J-pop exports and examine how they relate to notions of identity and the search for authenticity in a globalized world.
Date: August 5, Thursday
Lecturer: Midori Matsui
Midori Matsui is an art critic who has written extensively on contemporary art and its international relevance. Her main publications include “Beyond the Pleasure Room to a Chaotic Street: Transformations of Cute Subculture in the Art of the Japanese Nineties,” Little Boy: The Arts of Japan’s Exploding Subculture, (New York: Japan Society, 2005), and "Conversation Days: New Japanese Art in 1991 and 1995." She received Ph. D. in Comparative Literature from Princeton University in 1996. Former Associate Professor of American Studies at Tohoku University, she now teaches contemporary art theory and history at Tama Art University since 2004.
Title of Lecture: Superflat, Anti-Pop, and Micropop: Changing Phases of Contemporary Japanese Art in the 1990s and the 2000s
Brief Abstract of Lecture: This lecture surveys unique developments of contemporary Japanese art since 1992 to 2007. Through the analysis of representative artistic works of such artists as Takashi Murakami, Tsuyoshi Ozawa, Makoto Aida, and Yoshitomo Nara. The lecture examines the ideological, emotional, and phenomenological significance of their heterogeneous aesthetics and conceptual methods, including Murakami’s influential aesthetic of the Superflat. Their heterogeneous artistic styles will be interpreted as the unique responses of different generations to the changing milieu of the transforming Japanese society, while being parts of the larger current of the post-1990s Japanese art that aspires to become vehicles of interpreting the incommensurable reality of the global age.
Date: August 5, Thursday
Lecturer: Azby Brown
AZBY BROWN, a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, is an artist and designer who has lived in Japan since 1985. He is the author of The Genius of Japanese Carpentry (1995), Small Spaces (1996), The Japanese Dream House (2001) and The Very Small Home (2005). His most recent book, "Just Enough: Lessons in living green from traditional Japan" was published this year by Kodansha International. On the faculty of the Kanazawa Institute of Technology since 1995, he is the director of the KIT Future Design Institute in Tokyo.
Title of Lecture: New Architecture for New People: The latest in building design in Tokyo
Brief Abstract of Lecture: This lecture will introduce recent work by leading architectural designers in the Shibuya-Aoyama-Omotesando area of Tokyo, in preparation for the walking tour the following day. We will discuss how Tokyo developed, the character of some of its neighborhoods, why it is so open to experimental architecture and new ideas, and what this means for the cityscape and for people living and working here. The lecture will also touch on shop interiors and other aspects of contemporary design. Designers to be discussed include Tadao Ando, Kengo Kuma, Herzog and DeMeuron, Toyo Ito, Kazuyo Sejima, and others.
Date: August 6, Friday
Lecturer: Renato Rivera Rusca
Renato Rivera Rusca is a graduate of Japanese Studies at Stirling University in Scotland and has conducted research on Japanese popular culture in Osaka University and Kyoto University. He has lectured at the Manga Faculty at Kyoto Seika University and has participated in many projects involving the Kyoto International Manga Museum since its inception. He is currently a lecturer at Meiji University.
Title of Lecture: From Japonisme to Cool Japan
Brief Abstract of Lecture: Japanese popular culture has become an international industry. The process and policy of capitalizing on these contents has been nicknamed the “Cool Japan” movement. However, if we take a look back at the history through which this came to be, and track the roots of “Cool Japan” back to the 60s and 70s flourishing of Japanese subculture and its relations with the West, we may notice some similarities with another movement propagating the wonders of Japanese art throughout Europe around the turn of the 20th Century: that of Japonisme. This lecture will explore the identity of a “Popular Japan” and its interactions with the West through a comparison with the major events and players surrounding the themes of both ukiyo-e and today’s pop culture.
Date: August 6, Friday
Lecturer: Patrick W. Galbraith
Patrick W. Galbraith is a Ph.D. candidate in the Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies at the University of Tokyo. His research focus is the impact of shifts in modes of capitalism and consumption on youth culture, specifically otaku in Japan. In 2007, he cofounded a weekly walking tour of Akihabara, and He is the author of “Tokyo Realtime: Akihabara” and “The Otaku Encyclopedia.”
Title of Lecture: Idols: Image, performance and desire
Brief Abstract of Lecture: This class will examine Japanese idols, or highly produced singers and models. The class will cover the “agency” system – both its parallels to the old Hollywood star system and its unique emphasis on purity and control – and the growth of idols in the 1970s and 1980s. Finally, it will consider how idols have become images that can be constructed by producers and consumers independent of physical human models. Examples include anime and “virtual” idols, and representations of these such as figures and statues. This desire for the inorganic raises questions about commodity fetishism, and “information” fetishism among Japanese “otaku” fans in particular.
Date: August 7, Saturday
Lecturer: Everett Kennedy Brown
Everett Kennedy Brown is the regional chief photographer of European Pressphoto Agency (epa), based in Tokyo, Japan. His work appears regularly in The New York Times, International Herald Tribune and other major newspapers and magazines. Everett's books include, 『俺たちのニッポン』Shogakukan Publishers, 『Ganguro Girls』Koenemann, 『生きているだけで、いいんじゃない』Kindaieiga-sha and 『日本力』Parco publishers.
Title of Lecture: JAPAN(S): Focusing on the Cultural Diversity of Japan
Brief Abstract of Lecture: Cool Japan: the catchphrase coined by the Japanese government to market Japan as a commercial commodity is being promoted globally through the media. How are contemporary views of Japan becoming polarized by this agenda? In this lecture, photojournalist Everett Kennedy Brown explores this question, while shedding light on more deeper and pluralistic aspects of Japanese culture. Through a series of photographs the speaker will address the sources of the modern Japanese malaise, and then focus deeper on elements of the culture that emerge beneath the surface of contemporary trends.
Date: August 9, Monday
Lecturer: Tsuyoshi Ogawa
Tsuyoshi Ogawa, received MA in Art at Kyoto Seika University, was born in 1981. He is in charge of the workshop at Kyoto International Manga Museum. He is involved in planning and operation of exhibitions and workshops on the theme of manga.
Title of Lecture: Hands-on experience of manga artists’ assistant
Brief Abstract of Lecture: Everyday you see manga at book stores and convenience stores in Japan. There are a lot of funs who have been waiting for the next issue every week and every month. Why can we enjoy reading manga? That is because manga has several rules and techniques of expression for attracting people. The lecture will explore these rules and techniques by painting manga by yourself so that you can learn the difference of effect and impression.
Date: August 11, Friday
Lecturer: Alex Kerr
Alex majored in Japanese Studies at Yale University, studied for a year at Keio University in Tokyo and earned a BA and MA in Chinese Studies as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, before returning to work permanently in Japan in 1977. He wrote his first book LOST JAPAN (English edition: Lonely Planet, 1996) in Japanese, and it later won the Shincho Gakugei Prize (Japan’s equivalent of a Pulitzer), for the best work of non-fiction of 1993, the first time this award was ever granted to a foreigner. Alex’s next book, DOGS AND DEMONS (Hill and Wang, 2001) has had an even greater impact.
Title of Lecture: Kyoto Cultural Immersion: Origin Arts Program
Brief Abstract of Lecture: Kyoto’s traditional arts and culture have been polished and refined for over 1200 years. The aim of this program is to provide participants, within a short time span, a direct physical experience of the roots of these art forms. Participants will study traditional Japanese calligraphy – Shodo, or the Way of the Brush. Also participants will study Kyogen, which shares a 600-year history with Noh drama. Emphasis again will be for the participants to physically learn the basics: how to walk, laugh, cry and use the fan as a prop on-stage. The workshop will conclude with a full performance by the teachers of a Kyogen comic play.