March 21, 2024 | This panel discussion titled, "Toyota, Sony, and Sushi: Nisei and the Japan Boom in the US," sheds light on the often-overlooked involvement of second-generation Japanese Americans in facilitating this rise of Japanese exports. America’s current love affair with Japanese consumer products, popular culture, and tastes stems from an era just after World War II that produced the “Japan Boom.” This panel highlights and explores the hidden role that second-generation Japanese Americans (Nisei) played in this boom in Japanese exports. What were Japan’s postwar export strategies and how and why did Nisei contribute to them as ethnic brokers paving the way for fledging companies such as Toyota and Sony, and new tastes such as sushi to enter the US market? Each of the panelists addresses a different part of this question. Professor Saori Katada lays out the context of postwar Japan’s international and domestic economic policies. Jon Kaji and Shawn Layden addresses the crucial role played by Nisei for Toyota and Sony, respectively. Atsuko Kanai discusses her Nisei father Noritoshi Kanai and his role in birthing the sushi boom in the US through his business Mutual Trading Company. Finally, Professor Lon Kurashige chairs the panel and introduces the themes connecting the panelists’ talks. Panelists: Jon Kaji, Shawn Layden, Atsuko Kanai, Saori Katada, and Lon Kurashige.
September 29, 2023 | This information video goes over program information about the Spring 2024 Global East Asia Maymester programs, including a step-by-step guide on how to apply. Global East Asia (GEA) is a four week upper-division Maymester research course with a study abroad component for USC undergraduate students, made possible by the East Asian Studies Center and USC Dornsife. This intensive program gives students the opportunity to travel and conduct research in Japan. Students from all majors, schools and language backgrounds are eligible to apply and experience East Asia in a unique way.
July 21, 2023 | An informational webinar intended for newly admitted students to the USC East Asian Area Studies MA program.