July 23 (Wed) - August 7 (Thurs), 2014 in Tokyo, Yamanashi and Kamakura

Profiles of Lectures and Brief Abstracts of Lectures (2014)

Date: Wednesday, July 23 Lecturer: Renato Rivera
Title of Lecture: Introduction to Cool Japan, Pop Culture
Brief Abstract of Lecture:
Modern Japanese pop culture contents currently enjoy enormous popularity all around the world -- what is it about these works that foreign cultures find so endearing and attractive, and how does this process of cultural trade work? To find out, first we must look at the history of manga and anime in Japanese society, trace them back to their roots and identify the factors which make these uniquely Japanese, yet intrinsically universal.
Renato Rivera Rusca Renato Rivera Rusca, M.A. is a graduate of Japanese Studies at Stirling University in Scotland and conducted his Master and Doctorate postgraduate 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 teaches Manga Culture at the School of Global Japanese Studies in Meiji University and coordinates the Meiji University Cool Japan Summer Program, and is also a member on the Board of Directors of the Astrosociology Research Institute in California. Recently, his writing has been featured in English in “Mechademia 8: Tezuka's Manga Life” (University of Minnesota Press) in English, and 『宇宙エレベーターの本:実現したら未来はこうなる』(Uchuu Erebeetaa no hon: jitsugen shitara mirai wa kou naru / The Space Elevator Book : The Shape of the Future Society") (Aspect Publishing) in Japanese. He has a semi-regular column in the Japanese-language animation magazine, “Febri” (Ichijinsha).
Date: Thursday, July 24 Lecturer: Kaichiro Morikawa
Title of Lecture: The Otaku Culture
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.
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).
Date: Thursday, July 24 Lecturer: Yukari Fujimoto
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, And in particular I will explain the characteristics within the genre of shojo manga using specific examples.”
Yukari Fujimoto, 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』.
Date: Thursday, July 24 WS: Ichiro Itano
Title of WS: Ichiro Itano Animation Seminar
Welcome to Graphinica, home to world-famous animation director Ichiro Itano. The charismatic Mr. Itano’s credits include key action animation for classic anime like Mobile Suit Gundam (1979), Space Runaway Ideon (1980), and series director on newer hits such as Gantz (2004) and Blassreiter (2008). He is most famous, however, for his revolutionary high-speed action sequences in Super Dimension Fortress Macross (1982), creating the technique known as the “Itano Circus”. Mr. Itano has prepared a crash-course in the unique techniques behind Japanese-style animation production, giving us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn the secrets behind the scenes of anime, and experience them first-hand.
Date: Friday, July 25 Lecturer: Patrick McCoy
Title of Lecture: Movies
Brief Abstract of Lecture:
Japan has had a long and celebrated history of cinema known throughout the world and this lecture will provide an overview of some of Japan’s greatest film directors from the early masters to the postwar humanists to the Japanese New Wave and beyond. Each director will be discussed in terms of their cinematic themes, body of work, and reputation among critics throughout the world. The first part of the lecture will focus on the films of Kenji Mizoguchi, Mikio Naruse, and Yasujiro Ozu, who are considered the early masters of Japanese film. This is followed by a talk about a group known as postwar humanists that includes Akira Kurosawa, Kon Ichikawa, and Masaki Kobayashi. The Japanese New Wave movements will discuss the films of Shohei Imamaura, Nagisa Oshima, Masahiro Shinoda, Seijun Suzuki, and Hiroshi Teshigahara. The lecture will conclude with a look at contemporary filmmakers Takeshi Kitano and Takashi Miike.
Patrick McCoy is an Associate Professor at The School of Global Japanese Studies at Meiji University, where he teaches English, literature, and Japanese cinema. He has been living in Japan since 1997. He has written several journal articles on film such as “The Hardboiled Samurai: Crime Fiction and the Films of Akira Kurosawa” and “Two Paths After Defeat: Postwar Mentality And Morality in Stray Dog.”
Date: Friday, July 25 Lecturer: Michiyo Kagami
Title of Lecture: What is Daikagura?
Brief Abstract of Lecture:
Daikagura is known as the Japanese traditional and spiritual performance.
In the Edo era, for the people who couldn’t offer prayers to major shrines like Ise shrine or Atsuta shrine because of the distance, Daikagura troupes visited houses in Edo and gave charms and danced the ritualistic Lion dance to dispel evil spirits and perform juggling to bring in food fortune.
Within juggling, every move has an auspicious meaning.
For example, we use the umbrella to show prosperity because the open umbrella represents spreading wealth. And the movement called Gokaijawan in which the performer balances cups and bowls on his/her chin is represents the audience’s happiness piling up as things are added.
Daikagura performers no longer visit houses and give charms these days, but the spirit to pray for someone’s happiness has not changed.
Michiyo Kagami is a Daikagura performer.
She graduated International Christian University (Tokyo, Japan) and worked at a PR company.
After her career as a corporate employee, she entered the training center for Japanese traditional arts at the National Theater and trained for 3 years. She learned Japanese dance and Japanese music instruments like the shamisen, drum and flute, as well as Daikagura. After graduation, she joined the Rakugo Geijutsu Kyokai (Rakugo Arts Association) as an apprentice of Bonbon Brothers, the Daikagura masters.
She started her stage career from April 2011 at Asakusa Engei Hall (entertainment hall). She performs not only on the theater stage, but also at the disaster area after the Great East Japan Earthquake, elementary and high schools, parties and abroad.
Date: Monday, July 28 Lecturer: Ryusuke Hikawa
Title of Lecture: Introduction to Pop Culture
Brief Abstract of Lecture:
In anime of Japan, “background scenery” or “landscape” often insists more important meaning than character avtivity.Recent years, the phenomenon so called “Seichi Junrei; pilgrimage to sacred places”. that means a fan visits the stage of anime. attracts attention, and this also has relation in this feature deeply. Why is such realistic scenery required for the anime, even it can draw the fictitious world? What kind of mean does it transmit? The anime history how scenery became so realistic will be analyzed, and the characteristic of anime as Japanese culture is clarified.
Born in Hyogo Prefecture in 1958, HIKAWA graduated from the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, School of Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology. From when he was a student he was active as a magazine editor, music album creator, and writer in the field of animation special effects. After gaining experience as an engineer/manager at an IT company, he launched his own writing business, through which he provides commentary on various topics for magazines, videograms, and the Web. Other activities include directing the “Anime Maestro” segment of the television program BS Anime Yawa, commenting on products distributed on the Bandai Channel, and serving as a lecturer at Ikebukuro Community College. His publications include 20 Nenme no Zambot 3 (The 20th Year of Zambot 3; Ohta Publishing, 1997) and Akira Archive (Kodansha, 2002).
Date: Friday, July 28 Lecturer: Patrick W. Galbraith
Title of Lecture: Idol Culture
Brief Abstract of Lecture:
Spend even a day in a major Japanese city like Tokyo and you won’t be able to ignore them: “idols,” or heavily produced and promoted men and women who perform across media genres and platforms. Though central to the workings and experience of Japanese media culture, idols have received little attention in the study of Japan, which leads to naive and reactionary criticism (for example, Noel Gallagher's comments about J-pop artists lacking talent in 2012). In this lecture, we will consider idols in social, economic and political context. Tracing the rise of Japanese popular music after WWII, we will explore how the unruly energy of rock was subdued by the establishment of “agencies,” which discipline and control performers in order to sell them to advertisers and the nation. If time allows, we will discuss contemporary idol groups such as Arashi, AKB48, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu and Baby Metal.
Patrick W. Galbraith received a Ph.D. in Information Studies from the University of Tokyo, and is currently pursuing a second Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology at Duke University. He is the author of The Otaku Encyclopedia (Kodansha International, 2009), Tokyo Realtime: Akihabara (White Rabbit Press, 2010), Otaku Spaces (Chin Music Press, 2012) and The Moe Manifesto (Tuttle, 2014), and the co-editor of Idols and Celebrity in Japanese Media Culture (Palgrave, 2012).
Date: Tuesday, July 29 Lecturer: David Marx
Title of Lecture: Fashion
Brief Abstract of Lecture:
Clothing is an important part of Japan's emergence as a cultural power in the last century. The Japanese started the modern Meiji Period in traditional robes, but by 1900, leaders wore British suits, the armed forces wore European uniforms, and students wore Prussian-inspired gakuran. After WWII, the entire country broke from the idea of uniforms and started to experiment with American styles. Since then, one of the world's largest apparel industries has bloomed in Japan, and Japan now exports its own versions of Western clothing to the rest of the world.
W. David Marx is a writer based in Tokyo, Japan and Chief Editor of Néojaponisme. He is a former editor of CNNGo, Tokion, and the Harvard Lampoon and has provided writing and translation for such publications as GQ, Brutus, and Nylon. Marx also contributed a chapter to Palgrave Macmillan anthology Idols and Celebrity in Japanese Media Culture as well as Da Capo’s Best Music Writing 2009. He is a graduate of Harvard University (B.A., East Asian Studies) and Keio University (M.A., Marketing and Consumer Behavior).
Date: Tuesday, July 29 Lecturer: Matthew Alt
Title of Lecture: Character Cool Japan
Brief Abstract of Lecture:
Why is Japan so good at creating characters?
This talk focuses on the yokai, creatures from traditional folklore. At turns spooky and wacky, these illustrated flights of fancy are the direct ancestors of modern Japanese manga, anime, and mascot culture.
Matthew Alt , a native of Washington, D.C., has been working as a professional translator and writer since the early 1990s. His experience includes four years as an in-house technical Japanese translator for the United States Patent and Trademark Office. He currently runs AltJapan Co., Ltd., a Tokyo-based localization company that produces the English versions of video games, comic books, and other forms of entertainment. An expert in Japanese folktales and character culture, he is the co-author of numerous books, including “Hello Please! Very Helpful Super Kawaii Characters from Japan” and “Yokai Attack! The Japanese Monster Survival Guide.”
Date: Wednesday, July 30 Lecturer:  Roland Kelts
Special Guest: Motoyuki Shibata
Title of Lecture: Japanese literature & Pop Culture
Brief Abstract of Lecture:
Osamu Tezuka is known in Japan as “the God of manga.” He was a protean talent, illustrating topics as wide-ranging as his robot-boy superhero, Astro Boy, and the horrors of Nazi Germany in Adolf. But he was also uniquely positioned in history to help create a template for postwar Japanese art and literature. Influenced by the flood of Western culture into Japan (Disney and Fleisher cartoons; European, American and Chinese cinema), and a child of the war, Tezuka and his art offer a portal into the emergence of a newly hybridized Japanese aesthetic.
How has Tezuka’s postwar artistic hybridization evolved into the image and voice of today’s Japan? Monkey Business magazine presents contemporary Japanese stories and poetry, visual art, Haiku and Tanka, manga and modern photography. It also includes the voices of Western writers to show just how intertwined our global cultures and imaginations have become.

Roland Kelts is a half-Japanese American writer, editor and lecturer who divides his time between New York and Tokyo. He is the author of Japanamerica: How Japanese Pop Culture has Invaded the US and the forthcoming novel, Access. He has presented on contemporary Japanese culture worldwide and has taught at numerous universities in Japan and the US, including New York University and the University of Tokyo. His fiction and nonfiction appear in such publications as Zoetrope: All Story, Psychology Today, Playboy, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue Japan, Adbusters magazine, The Millions, The Japan Times, Animation Magazine, Bookforum, and The Village Voice. He is the Editor in Chief of the Anime Masterpieces screening and discussion program, the commentator for National Public Radio's series, “Pacific Rim Diary” and the author of a weekly column for The Daily Yomiuri newspaper. His latest project is the English edition of the Japanese literary culture magazine, Monkey Business, and his blog is: http://japanamerica.blogspot.com/

Motoyuki Shibata was a professor at the University of Tokyo and the founder of the literary magazine Monkey Business, which exists in both English and Japanese.
A translator, reviewer, and essayist, Motoyuki has translated into Japanese the works of contemporary American authors including Paul Auster, Steve Erickson, Steven Millhauser, Richard Powers, Stuart Dybek, Barry Yourgrau and Ethan Canin, among others. He received the 1992 Kodansha Essay Award for his book “The Half-Hearted Scholar” and was the winner of the 27th Suntory Prize for Social Sciences and Humanities for “American Narushisu” (American Narcissus).
Date: Thursday, July 31 Lecturer: Hiroki Fukunaga
Title of Lecture: Japanese culture and hospitality
Brief Abstract of Lecture:
Japanese culture and hospitality storming the world
For more than 1300 years, the traditionally family-run “Ryokan” (traditional inn) business has developed and maintained its importance through the spirit of Japanese hospitality (omotenashi). This omotenashi has contributed to the country’s high economic growth and made Japan what it is today. Furthermore it has also played an important role in the Japanese creative industry. So what is the very essence of omotenashi? All Japanese embody this omotenashi spirit so naturally and unconsciously, and it adds a “story” to the “Made in Japan” product making it the one and only “Japan Brand”.

Managing Director, R Project Inc, and Councilor for the Cool Japan Blue-Ribbon Panel held by Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). After working 15 years in an English first class hotel, he started “The Ryokan Collection” from 2004, which challenges traditional Inns to exceed the branding image of a modern first class hotel. He is also the director for the Luxury Travel Market Committee under METI, and the Japanese representative (from 2010) for International Luxuriate Travel Market (ILTM) which is the most prestigious business conference targeting the travel market for wealthy people.
Date: Thursday, July 31 Lecturer: Masao Kikuchi
Title of Lecture: ?Tourism and Regional Promotion
Brief Abstract of Lecture:
Warm Mascot Character (Yurukyara) and Local Economic Development Facing severe economic difficulty and depopulation, local governments in Japan are keen to revitalize the local economy by cultivating local resources. One of the unique Japanese innovations using soft resources is the local warm mascot character called Yurukyara. Icons unique to the local culture and history are characterized as warm and soft mascots as PR agents for local goods and tourism. The lecture will examine the challenges and opportunities of Yurukara as local economic development tools by introducing popular Yurukyara in Japan. Students are required to invent own Yurukyara of their hometowns in the lecture.
Masao Kikuchi is Associate Professor of Public Policy and Management of the Department of Public Management in the School of Business Administration, Meiji University, Tokyo. Prior to his current position, he was a research fellow at the Institute of Administrative Management, while he was also a research associate at the Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry. He has published articles in following journals: Public Administration Review, Asian Review of Public Administration, and others. He serves as various advisory commission member positions both in national and local government in Japan. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science.
Date: Thursday, July 31 Lecturer: Hiroaki Koyama
Title of Lecture: “Furoshiki” Wrapping Workshop
Brief Abstract of Lecture:
A Furoshiki is a square shaped cloth used to wrap items. It has long been an essential item in Japanese people’s daily life, but sad to say, it is now not so used as often as before. Even though Furoshiki is considered as a “tool used in the past” if you get to know the usage of it, you will see that it is still very convenient. Furoshiki has recently gained its attention as an eco-friendly item, since it helps reduce wrapping paper waste.
In this workshop we will first learn about the basic information of Furoshiki, and actually practice how to use it! Using Furoshiki is very simple! Once you learn it you will be able to practice it in your daily life. I hope you can learn the simplicity, convenience and the depth of the world of Furoshiki, and also wish this workshop will give you insights of Japanese culture by actually experiencing it in your own hands.
Hiroaki Koyama, Chief of Planning and Development Section, Miyai Inc. is also a curator, handling the company’s gallery exhibits. He conducts lectures in Sodo-Kimono-Gakuin (theme “Knowledge about Furoshiki and Fukusa” (twice a year), and other various lectures even abroad such as Paris (at Toraya-Paris Branch) and England (JAPAN SOCIETY LONDON “The FUROSHIKI PROJECT”). He has published a book called “Bi no tsubo- Furoshiki” (NHK Publication), and also took part in planning and producing “Furoshiki” (PIE INTERNATIONAL). He has been interviewed in various magazines, TV programs and educational text books. He also collaborates with other museums or gallery by providing support or the lending company’s collection.
Date: Friday, August 1 Lecturer: Everett Kennedy Brown
Title of Lecture: Japanese Culture ? Depth and Diversity
Brief Abstract of Lecture:
JAPAN(S): On deeper and pluralistic aspects of Japanese culture Cool Japan: the catchphrase coined by the Japanese government to market Japan as a commercial commodity is being promoted globally through the media. What really is Cool Japan and how are contemporary views of Japan becoming polarized by this agenda? In this photographic slideshow and talk, writer and photojournalist Everett Kennedy Brown explores these questions, and then will focus on deeper elements of the culture that emerge beneath the surface of contemporary trends.
Everett Kennedy Brown is a writer and 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.
Date: Wednesday, August 6 Lecturer: Kazuhiko Tsutsumi
Title of Lecture: Promoting Cool Japan to the World
Brief Abstract of Lecture:
The NHK “Cool Japan” is a program that has focused in discovering cool things about Japan from foreigners’ perspective. The themes showcased in the past were pop-culture, traditional culture, cutting-edge technology, “Japanese” service, Japanese lifestyle etc. What aspects catch foreigners’ attention and makes them think it’s “cool”? This lecture will analyze the current Japanese culture through foreigners’ perspective seen in the making of these programs. Furthermore, when we look at the history of Japan, we notice that we have also continuously been learning from other countries. It can be said that the progress of civilization has become possible through people's interaction in this multi-ethnic world. The globalization and the widespread of the internet have enabled us to share more information and deepen cultural exchange. I personally hope more people in the world will get to know the “cool” side of Japanese culture, and that it help enrich their lifestyle. And I also wish the young generation will take major roles in this world's cultural exchange.

* NHK Cool Japan website:
Executive producer of NHK Enterprise Inc. After graduating in 1977 (University of Tokyo, BA Faculty of Letters, major in Western history), he entered NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation), and has worked as a director/producer for politics, economy, and international information programs/news. From 2004, he became in charge of youth debate and cultural information programs in NHK Enterprise Inc.
Currently he is the Chief Producer of “Cool Japan~ Discovering COOL things about Japan” which is shown on NHK Satellite channel. He has also published a book called “What makes Japan great!! Cool Japan from foreigners point of view” (2011, Takeda Random House Japan).
http://www.meiji.ac.jp/cip/english/programs/cooljapan/images/lecturers_p_18.jpg Manabu Kitawaki
“Cool Japan Summer Program” Producer.
Born in Osaka. After having directed many international projects and programs at Kyoto Seika University, since 2010 he has been working for Meiji University’s Organization for International Collaboration as an assistant professor and international student advisor. His field of study is intercultural social work and teaches Cross-cultural Education for the School of Global Japanese Studies.
“By holding the Cool Japan Summer Program, we would like to invite many young people from around the world to Japan and promote the values and aesthetics of the creative Japanese culture to the world.”