This lab is focused on generating innovative solutions to the question of Japan’s role on the global stage in the 21st-century.
Featuring future-oriented visioning through exchange between Japanese and global thought leaders, we highlight three critical areas to Japan’s future: 1) cultural power (Bunkaryoku both in pop culture and the engagement of deep culture to the world), 2) Green Japan (leadership in ecological policy, product development, and philosophy of nature), and 3) Multiethnic Japan (towards coordinating a more open and immigration-friendly Japan to seriously tackle the demographic future emerging from the graying of society). Williams will produce a book-length manuscript both in English and Japanese titled “Hybrid Japan” and a website dedicated to these ideas that will include video recordings of all the workshops, lectures, and conferences held at USC around this theme.
Monday, October 1, 2018
Join us as we hear from Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu about his new book, From Mindfulness to Heartfulness: Transforming Self and Society with Compassion. Millions have found mindfulness to be a powerful practice for reducing stress, enhancing attention, and instilling tranquility. But it can offer so much more—it can transform you, make you more fully awake, alive, and aware of your connection to all beings. Come to learn about the eight “heartfulness” principles that help us realize that the deepest expression of an enlightened mind is found in our relation to others…
Friday, November 10, 2017
In this lecture we will look at the many challenges presented by translating this 6th-century Chinese Buddhist text into English: how much attention should be given to explanatory notes, what problems are presented by attempting a “consistent” translation, how much should one rely on traditional commentaries, and so forth. Some of these challenges are common to any translation enterprise, others are specific to this text or translating Chinese into English. We will also look at some specific passages to illustrate these issues and indicate the content and influence of this text…
Saturday, November 11, 2017
A Hybrid Japan Project workshop with Paul Swanson (Nanzan University).
Building on the previous day’s lecture, we will take a close look at and analyze some specific passages from the Mo-ho chih–kuan. Possible passages include the opening introduction; specific practices summarized under the rubric of the “Four Samadhis;” the famous passage on “contemplating objects as inconceivable;” and a sublime passage on the threefold truth (of emptiness, conventionality, and the Middle Path). We can analyze and discuss specific phrases and ideas, and compare various possible translations…
Thursday, September 24, 2015
Native American Explorer, Ranald MacDonald, and Comicbook Artist, Henry Yoshitaka Kiyama
In a talk illustrated with slides, Frederik L. Schodt, will introduce the story of two pioneers, and discuss what they accomplished, why they were forgotten, and why they should be remembered…
Thursday, September 24, 2015
How an American Acrobat Introduced Circus to Japan—and Japan to the West
Author Fred L. Schodt discusses Professor Risley who introduced circus to Japan:
Risley was a famous acrobat in his own right, and the story of how he introduced circus to Japan, and how he triggered a craze in Japanese performers in the West (and contributed to the Japonisme movement), is part of a fascinating lost-but-recently-uncovered history. In a presentation heavily illustrated with photographs and drawings, Frederik L. Schodt will reveal the story of Risley and his troupe, who gave the world one of its first glimpses of Japanese popular culture. In 2013, Schodt’s book, Professor Risley and the Imperial Japanese Troupe: How an American Acrobat Introduced Circus to Japan—And Japan to the West, won the Circus Historical Society’s Stuart Thayer Prize…
Friday, September 25, 2015
With film screening of “The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness”
Go inside one of the most celebrated animation studios, Studio Ghibli in this documentary directed by Mami Sunada. The film follows the the three men who are the lifeblood of Studio Ghibli- diretor Hayao Miyazaki, the producer Toshio Suzuki, and the influential director Isao Takahata- over the course of a year as the studio rushes to complete two films, Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises and Takahata’s Tale of the Princess Kaguya.
Less known outside of Japan is the fact that Miyazaki is also a prolific writer, speaker, and controversial intellectual, who boasts two giant volumes of interviews and essays. Translated into English as Starting Point: 1979-1996, and Turning Point: 1997-2008, these books total over 900 pages of text, and are both published by Viz Media in San Francisco. In an illustrated talk, Beth Cary and Frederik Schodt, the translators of the works, will explore the reasons for the appeal of Miyazaki and his films, in both Japan and the United States, and examine the role of Studio Ghibli, which is enjoying its 30th anniversary this year…
Friday, September 25, 2015
Translator and interpreter Beth Cary discusses her experience in the field including how to tackle the frustrations that arise in the translation process.
The challenge of translation often is finding the right word, the right phrase, the right tone in the target language. Depending on the original text, requirements may vary from exact word-for-word equivalence to an inspired rendering of meaning and nuance. As a translator and interpreter of wide-ranging experience, Beth Cary will ground her presentation in real-life examples from the field and will tackle the one frustration that every translator from Japanese faces: What do I do with those pernicious “vague-ifiers” that seem to plague every Japanese sentence?…
Saturday, October 3, 2015
Like Japanese linked verse (Renga) poets of old, four artists inspire and riff off of one other in unexpected ways. Enka superstar Jero, video animator Yoriko Mizushiri, legendary illustrator Katsuya Terada, and creative genius Matt Fargo share a single stage…
Sunday, February 22, 2015
This day-long conference features distinguished speakers from around the world working on the historical dimensions of multiethnic Japan. Spanning from discussions of continental Asian migration to the Japanese archipelago during the classical period, through the early encounters with the Portuguese and Dutch in Hirado, the subsequent development of Nagasaki as a hub of international encounters, and the early twentieth century development of Yokohama’s Chinatown and the so-called “return migration” of Japanese Americans, this conference will highlight the long history of multi-ethnicity in Japan that can inform the future of Japan’s immigration policies…
Saturday, February 28, 2015
One of Japan’s leading experts on migration within East Asia during the classical (kodai) period, Professor Fumio Tanaka (Kanto Gakuin University), provides an overview of the interregional movement of peoples and their integration into the Japanese archipelago. His lecture will focus on how the state developed an “immigration policy” that transformed those from beyond into the emerging Japanese polity, centered around the “civilizing” force of the tenno…
Friday, April 25, 2014
Japan’s declining population demographics has recently been increasingly recognized as not only an issue that affects the future of Japan’s workforce, but its taxation, pension, and health care futures. As Japan contemplates a more open immigration policy to address this imbalance, this symposium features the foremost experts on a Japanese-style immigration policy who will discuss the challenges to immigrant integration and how Japan might learn from other nations like South Korea and the U.S. to create a more multiethnic Japan…
Monday, September 24, 2012
An evening poetry reading and conversation with Pulitzer Prize–winning poet, Gary Snyder.
Gary Snyder is a Pulitzer Prize–winning poet with a radical vision that integrates Zen Buddhism, American Indian practices and ecological thinking. He began his career in the 1950s as a noted member of the Beat Generation and was also a part of the San Francisco Renaissance. This evening event will be an opportunity to engage Snyder about his experiences as a poet in the United States, his time as a Zen monk in Japan, and the impact of his thinking on social and ecological issues in American society, both in the past and today…
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
A poetry workshop with Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, Gary Snyder.
Gary Snyder is a Pulitzer Prize–winning poet with a radical vision that integrates Zen Buddhism, American Indian practices and ecological thinking. He began his career in the 1950s as a noted member of the Beat Generation and was also a part of the San Francisco Renaissance. This poetry workshop with Gary Snyder will be a rare opportunity for students to read and workshop their poems a Pulitzer Prize–winning poet…
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
A Japanese Tea Ceremony and conversation about Buddhism with Pulitzer Prize–winning poet, Gary Snyder.
Gary Snyder is a Pulitzer Prize–winning poet with a radical vision that integrates Zen Buddhism, American Indian practices and ecological thinking. He began his career in the 1950s as a noted member of the Beat Generation and was also a part of the San Francisco Renaissance. This event will include a Japanese Tea Ceremony lead by Reverend Shumyo Kojima of the Zenshuji Temple in Los Angeles, and an open and intimate conversation on Buddhism with Snyder.
Monday, October 15, 2012
Lecture by Tohoku University professor Kazuyuki Tohji on how Tohoku University, in partnership with University of Tokyo researchers, has developed a vision for an energy management system which integrates both energy and transportation/communication infrastructures to improve energy security in the event of disasters.
Professor Kazuyuki Tohji of Tohoku University outlines an environmentally friendly energy vision to be applied in post-tsunami reconstruction.
Co-Sponsored by the Consulate-General of Japan in Los Angeles
Saturday, March 9, 2013
An interdisciplinary symposium on the humanities and the environment in Japan and global contexts.
As climate change, resource depletion, and the environment have moved from the margins to the forefront of our concerns in the twenty-first century, those of us engaged in the traditional humanities are increasingly compelled to rethink how we approach our various specializations and disciplines. Japan and China, the main focus of the symposium, present their own unique challenges.