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Events 1999

January 21

Lecture: Rimpa Painting
Professor Masamoto Kawai (Professor of Japanese Art History, Keio University)
403 Kent Hall, Columbia University (116th St. & Amsterdam Ave.)
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Prof. Kawai, currently a visiting scholar at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is a specialist in Edo-period painting and has written extensively on the work of Kaiho Yusho and other painters in the Rimpa style.
His talk will be in Japanese with English translation.

January 27

Lecture:Imitations, Interpretations, and Revivals: Re-examining the Impact of China on Edo-Period Japanese Porcelains
Professor Nicole Coolidge Rousmaniere (Professor of Japanese Art History, University of East Anglia, Norwich, England)
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
403 Kent Hall, Columbia University (116 th St. & Amsterdam Ave.)
Prof. Rousmaniere, a specialist on decorative art of the Edo period, is a co-author of the catalog for the Edo Art Exhibition currently on view at the National Gallery, Washington DC.

 

February 2 - March 2

Film Series: Kurosawa Remembered
Miller Theatre, Columbia University (116th St. & Broadway)
6:00 PM

Beginning on Tuesday, February 2, and continuing until March 2, 1999, the Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture will present a series of eight films by one of the world's most celebrated directors, Akira Kurosawa.  Intended as a memorial to this cinematic giant, who died in September 1998, the series consists of eight of Kurosawa's finest films, as well as panel discussions with noted American film artists and critics.
• All are welcome.
• Films will be screened at Columbia University's Miller Theatre  (Broadway at 116th Street). 
• Tickets for each evening are $10.00 ($5.00 for students with ID and senior citizens) and can be purchased at the Miller Theatre Box Office in the theatre lobby.  A subscription to the entire series is also available for $30.00  Tickets may also be purchased in advance by telephone, fax, or mail using a major credit card. 
• For more information, please contact Miller Theatre Box Office, 2960 Broadway, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027 (TEL: 212-854-7799).

February 2

Panel Discussion: Lumet on Kurosawa
Miller Theatre
, Columbia University (116th St. & Broadway)
6:00 PM
A panel discussion with American film artists, including director Sidney Lumet, about the influence of Akira Kurosawa.

Film: Ikiru
Director: Akira Kurosawa. (1952, 140 min.)
With Tadashi Shimura, Nobuo Nakamura, Kamatari Fujiwara, Miki Odagiri, Bokuzen Hidari, and Minoru Chiakii
Miller Theatre, Columbia University (116th St. & Broadway)
8:30 PM
A petty official in a city ward office learns that he is dying of cancer.  Told that he has only six months to live, he struggles to give meaning to his life.  Kurosawa combines poetic imagery and complex flashbacks to tell the story of a man's despair in the face of his own mortality.  Takashi Shimura gives one of world cinema's finest performances as the lonely protagonist.  In scene after scene, his barely audible grunts, shuffling walk, and almost imperceptible gestures form a characterization that cannot be shaken from memory.

February 9

Panel Discussion
Miller Theatre, Columbia University (116th St. & Broadway)
6:00 PM

Panel discussion with film critics Andrew Sarris and Stanley Kauffmann, Columbia professors Paul Anderer and Lewis Cole, and Donald Keene Center director Peter Grilli about Akira Kurosawa's life and legacy.


Film: Seven Samurai (Shichinin no Samurai)
Director: Akira Kurosawa. (1954, 208min.)
With Tadashi Shimura, Toshiro Mifune, Seiji Miyaguchi, Kamatari Fujiwara, Daisuke Kato, Isao Kimura, Kuninori Kodo, and Minoru Chiakii.
Miller Theatre, Columbia University (116th St. & Broadway)
8:30 PM

One of the enduring classics of world cinema, Seven Samurai is regularly named to "best ever" lists by international film critics.  In a 1979 poll of Japanese critics, it was selected as the best Japanese film ever made (Ikiru was voted No. 2, Rashomon No. 9, and Yojimbo No. 11).  Seven Samurai is the apotheosis of the action film, and moviegoers everywhere have reacted enthusiastically to its elemental plot.  A small band of good, strong men come to the aid of a farm village besieged by marauding bandits.  They do so because it is the right and honorable thing to do, even thought they receive little tangible award and even less thanks.  This film inspired an American re-make called The Magnificent Seven, as well as several sequences of Star Wars.

Part of "Kurosawa Remembered" Film Series

February 10

Screening of the Documemtary and Discussion: The Making of Kagemusha
702 Hamilton Hall, Columbia University (116th St. & Amsterdam Ave.)
7:00 - 9:00 PM

Columbia University's Nihon Benkyokai and the Donald Keene Center are cosponsoring a special screening of the documentary The Making of Kagemusha about the shooting of Akira Kurosawa's classic 1980 film. The screening will be followed by a discussion with Peter Grilli, Director of the Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture. Mr. Grilli has produced a number of award-winning documentaries, including Shinto: Nature, Gods, and Man in Japan, Dream Window: Reflections on the Japanese Garden, and Music for the Movies: Toru Takemitsu, a film portrait of the great Japanese film composer. Grilli, who was a close friend with Kurosawa for nearly twenty-five years, produced the first complete retrospective of Kurosawa films and was the Japanese language coach for Richard Gere in Kurosawa's Rhapsody in August.
Co-sponsored by Nihon Benkyokai

 

February 11

Lecture: The Construction of 'Japanese' and 'Oriental' Art History in Meiji Japan
Prof. Shigemi Inaga (Associate Professor, International Research Center for Japanese Studies)
101 Kress Room, C.V. Starr East Asian Library, Columbia University (116th St. & Amsterdam Ave.)
6:00 - 8:00 PM

Professor Inaga is a member of the International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Kyoto) and currently a Visiting Scholar at Columbia in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures. He holds degrees from both Tokyo University and the University of Paris. An art historian and specialist in French art and culture, he has published numerous books and articles on French art of the 19th century, including his recent prize-winning book on Manet’s paintings, Kaiga no tasogare: Edouard Manet botsugo. He has also written extensively on Japanese art, literature, and comparative culture.

February 16

Film: Drunken Angel (Yoidore Tenshi)
Director: Akira Kurosawa. (1948, 98 min.)
With Takashi Shimura,  Toshiro Mifune, Michiyo Kogure, Reizaburo Yamamoto, Noriko Sengoku,  and Eitaro Shindo
Miller Theatre, Columbia University (116th St. & Broadway)
6:00 PM

A dedicated doctor confronts both his own alcoholism and the sinister underworld as he tries to rehabilitate a young gangster. Working with Toshiro Mifune for the first time, Kurosawa later wrote: "...I could not restrain the overpowering force of Mifune’s acting. The doctor was supposed to be the film’s hero, but what a shame it would have been to stifle Mifune’s vitality.  He reacts so swiftly to direction: if I say one thing, he understands ten. I decided to turn him loose in this film..." Drunken Angel captures perfectly the spirit of postwar Japan: a society in ruins, full of fears and hopes, virtue faced with degradation, idealism with the gloom of reality.

Film: Rashomon
Director: Akira Kurosawa. (1950, 88 min.)
With Toshiro Mifune, Machiko Kyo,  Masayuki Mori, and Takashi Shimura
Miller Theatre, Columbia University (116th St. & Broadway)
8:30 PM
Kurosawa’s Oscar-winning film statement on the relativity (or unknowability) of Truth. A crime is witnessed by four individuals, and each later presents a version of the facts that is colored by self-interest and deception. Winning the Grand Prize of the Venice Film Festival, Rashomon was the film that introduced Western critics both to a brilliant new director and to a national cinema of great artistry and sophistication.
Part of "Kurosawa Remembered" Film Series

February 20

One-Day Workshop: Expanding Edo Art
Kent Hall, Columbia University (116th St. & Amsterdam Ave.)
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

In order to take advantage of the interest generated by the major exhibition "Edo: Art in Japan 1615-1868" at the National Gallery of Art (Washington DC), the Donald Keene Center is sponsoring a one-day workshop to discuss new directions in the study of Edo art. "Expanding Edo Art" will consist of of five 90 minute sessions led by a moderator and three presenters who will offer provocative opening statements of ten minutes or less.

THE PANNELS
Session 1 The Canon of "Edo Art" in Present and Past Perspective
Moderator Melanie Trede (Columbia University)
Provacateurs Yoshiaki Shimizu (Princeton University), John Carpenter (Vanderbilt Univeristy), Lawrence Marceau (University of Delaware)
Session 2 The Temporal and Spatial Borders of "Edo Art"
Moderator
Henry Smith (Columbia University)
Provacateurs Lee Butler (Brigham Young University), Matthew McKelway (University of Pittsburgh), Tamaki Maeda (University of Washington)
Session 3 Stages, Bodies, Gender
Moderator
Christine Guth (Independent Scholar)
Provacateurs David Pollack (University of Rochester), Timon Screech (SOAS, University of London), Mara Miller (Agnes Scott College)
Session 4 China Holland, and Other Others
Moderator
Mimi Yiengpruksawan (Yale University)
Provacateurs Nicole Rousmaniere (Sainsbury Institute), Allen Hockley (Dartmouth College), Robert Eskildsen (Smith College)
Session 5 Wrap-up Session

February 22

Lecture: Four Japanese Novelists: Yasunari Kawabata
Prof. Donald Keene (University Professor Emeritus and Shincho Professor Emeritus, Columbia University)
GSAS Lounge, Philosophy Hall, Columbia University (116th St. & Amsterdam Ave.)
6:00 PM

Donald Keene, the Western world's most celebrated scholar of Japanese literature and culture, will relate personal reminiscences about Yasunari Kawabata and comment on his literary legacy.  Awarded the Nobel prize for Literature in 1968, Kawabata wrote of impossible love and fragility of human life.  His works include "The Izu Dancer" ("Izu no Odoriko," 1955), Snow Country (Yukiguni, 1956), A Thousand Cranes (Sembazuru, 1959), and The Sound of the Mountain (Yama no Oto, 1970).   This lecture is the first in a series of four by Prof. Keene.  In the coming weeks, Prof. Keene will also lecture about Jun'ichiro Tanizaki (3/8), Kobo Abe (4/5), and Yukio Mishima (4/19).

February 23

Film: Yojimbo
Director: Akira Kurosawa. (1961, 110 min.)
With Toshiro Mifune, Eijiro Tono, Kamatari Fujiwara, Isuzu Yamada, Takashi Shimura,  Tatsuya Nakadai, and Daisuke Kato
Miller Theatre, Columbia University (116th St. & Broadway) 6:00 PM

Kurosawa’s darkly humorous film is a biting satire on greed, violence, and human weakness. A  wandering samurai-for-hire turns a feud between two merchant families to his own advantage. One of the most popular Japanese films in international release, Yojimbo inspired Sergio Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars  (starring Clint Eastwood) and the genre of "spaghetti-Westerns" that followed.  Since Yojimbo was itself inspired by American westerns, Kurosawa was not at all surprised by this "reverse imitation."

Film: The Bad Sleep Well (Warui Yatsu Hodo Yoku Nemuru)
Director: Akira Kurosawa. (1960, 151 min.)
With Toshiro Mifune, Takeshi Kato, Masayuki Mori, Takashi Shimura, Kamatari Fujiwara, Kyoko Kagawa
Miller Theatre, Columbia University (116th St. & Broadway) 8:30 PM

In Kurosawa’s powerful commentary on corruption in big business, a young man takes revenge for his father’s murder on powerful corporate and political leaders. Kurosawa’s fascination  with the plays of Shakespeare resulted in powerful adaptations of Macbeth (Throne of Blood) and King Lear (Ran). In this film, the parallels with Hamlet are clear, but Kurosawa sets his mythic drama in the boardrooms of 20th-century Japan.
Part of "Kurosawa Remembered" Film Series

February 24

Lecture: Edouard Manet's Posthumous Struggle for Glory: Scandal, Japonisme, and the Atelier Auction of 1884
Prof. Shigemi Inaga (Associate Professor, International Research Center for Japanese Studies)
930 Schermerhorn, Columbia University (116th St. & Amsterdam Ave.)
6:00 - 8:00 PM
Professor Inaga will speak about Manet and Japonisme in his second public lecture as a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University's Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures. He is a member of the International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Kyoto) and holds degrees from both Tokyo University and the University of Paris. An art historian and specialist in French art and culture, Prof. Inaga has published numerous books and articles on French art of the 19th century, including his recent prize-winning book on Manet’s paintings, Kaiga no tasogare: Edouard Manet botsugo. He has also written extensively on Japanese art, literature, and comparative culture.

March 1 (Monday)
Shakuhachi Master Class with Teruhisa Fukuda


Prof. Shigemi Inaga (Associate Professor, International Research Center for Japanese Studies)
403 Kent Hall, Columbia University (116th St. & Amsterdam Ave.)
6:00 - 8:00 PM
Teruhisa Fukuda will finish up his American Debut Tour with Music From Japan by teaching a Shakuhachi Master Class at Columbia University.  For reservations, please call the Institute for Medieval Japanese Studies at (212) 854-7403.  Fees are $30 for participants (please bring music stands), $10 for observers, and $5 for student observers.  Please make checks payable to Music from Japan.
Co-sponsored by Music From Japan and the Institute for Medieval Japanese Studies

March 2

Film: Throne of Blood (Kumonosu-jo)
Director: Akira Kurosawa. (1957, 110 min.)
With Toshiro Mifune, Isuzu Yamada, Minoru Chiaki, and Takashi Shimura
Miller Theatre, Columbia University (116th St. & Broadway)
6:00 PM

In the first of his adaptations of Shakespeare plays to a Japanese historical context (the other being the 1985 Ran, based on King Lear), Kurosawa sets Macbeth in Japan of the 15th or 16th century. The film is full of the imagery of the Noh drama, and viewers are plunged into an atmosphere of obsessive madness and supernatural compulsion. Stylized Noh-like acting and impeccable authenticity of historical details result in a film of overwhelming power and beauty.  Film stars Toshiro Mifune, as the Macbeth-figure, and Isuzu Yamada, as his wife, give two of the most memorable performances of their long, celebrated careers.

Film: High and Low (Tengoku to Jigoku)
Director: Akira Kurosawa. (1963, 143 min.)
With Toshiro Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai, Kyoko Kagawa, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Takashi Shimura,  Susumu Fujita
Miller Theatre, Columbia University (116th St. & Broadway)
8:30 PM
Well known for the variety of his sources (including Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky, Gorki, as well as American Westerns and Kabuki and Noh dramas), Kurosawa here adapts an American detective thriller (King’s Ransom by Ed McBain) to contemporary Japan. When the son of a   wealthy executive’s chauffeur is kidnapped by mistake—the executive’s own son was the target—the businessman is faced with a moral dilemma. Should he throw away his personal and corporate fortune to rescue the poor underling’s child? As might be expected, Kurosawa’s humanism is combined with dazzling visual style and narrative technique to produce a drama of unforgettable power.
Part of "Kurosawa Remembered" Film Series


March 3

Lecture: Is There a Chinese Equivalent of Ukiyo-e? - Urban Studio Paintings in Late Imperial China
Prof. James Cahill (Professor Emeritus, U.C. Berkeley, Visiting Professor, Princeton University)
403 Kent Hall, Columbia University (116th St. & Amsterdam Ave.)
6:00 - 7:30 PM

James Cahill, a specialist in Chinese and Japanese painting, is one of America's most distinguished art historians. From 1965 until his retirement in 1994, he was professor of art history at the University of California, Berkeley. He currently teaches at Princeton University.  Prof. Cahill is the author of many books on Chinese painting, a great number of which have been translated into Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, as well as several European languages.  His 1979 Norton Lectures at Harvard were published in 1982 as The Compelling Image: Nature and Style in 17th-Century Chinese Painting, a work which was awarded the College Art Association's Morey Prize as the best art history book of the year.

This lecture is sponsored by the Ukiyo-e Society of America and cosponsored by the Donald Keene Center and the Department of Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University

March 8

Lecture: Four Japanese Novelists: Jun'ichiro Tanizaki
Prof. Donald Keene (University Professor Emeritus and Shincho Professor Emeritus, Columbia University)
GSAS Lounge, Philosophy Hall, Columbia University (116th St. & Amsterdam Ave.)
6:00 PM

Donald Keene, the Western world's most celebrated scholar of Japanese literature and culture, will relate personal reminiscences about Jun'ichiro Tanizaki (1886-1965) and his literary contributions. Jun'ichiro Tanizaki's writings include such masterpieces as The Makioka Sisters (Sasameyuki, 1957), The Key (Kagi, 1956), and Diary of a Mad Old Man (Futen rojin nikki, 1962).

Tickets are $15.00 per lecture.
Columbia students are admitted free with an ID.
Tickets are available at the door and can also be purchased in advance by sending a check payable to The Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture and a self-addressed stamped envelope to The Donald Keene Center, 507 Kent Hall, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027.

Part of Four Japanese Novelists Lecture Series

 

March 11

Lecture and Demonstration: Memories of the Founder, Memories of Doshu
Mary Heiny (6th Dan, Hombu Aikido Dojo)
Altschul Auditorium, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University (118th St. & Amsterdam Ave.)
3:00 - 5:00 PM

Mary Heiny, one of North America's senior practitioners of the modern Japanese martial art of Aikido, will relate personal reminiscences about Ueshiba Morihei, the founder of Aikido, and his son, Ueshiba Kisshomaru, the recently deceased Doshu, as well as share her insights and experiences as a key figure in the transmission of this art to the West. Heiny began her training in 1965. She has studied at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo and also underwent intensive training as a student of Hikitsuchi Michio, 10th Dan, at the Shingu-Kumano Dojo, which places special emphasis on the spiritual aspects of aikido training.

Following a thirty minute lecture, Heiny will teach a one-hour master-class, demonstrating the training methodology and distinctive movements of modern aikido. The program will conclude with an open question and answer period. Aikido practitioners of ikkyu and above who wish to participate in Heiny's master-class should contact Aikido of the Hudson Valley, the cosponsor of this event, for f urther details.
Co-sponsored by Aikido of the Hudson Valley

March 18

Book Reading: Modern Girls, Shining Stars, The Skies of Tokyo: Five Japanese Women
Phyllis Birnbaum (Writer)
403 Kent Hall, Columbia University (116th St. & Amsterdam Ave.)
6:00 PM

The Columbia University Press and the Donald Keene Center host Phyllis Birnbaum as she reads from her new book Modern Girls, Shining Stars, The Skies of Tokyo: Five Japanese Women.  Ms. Birnbaum's work explores the lives of five strong-minded women who challenged the status quo of Japanese society through the fearlessness of their art and their private lives.  These women include two actresses, Matsui Sumako and Takamine Hideko, poet Yanagiwara Byakuren, novelist Uno Chiyo, and painter Takamura Chieko. Phyllis Birnbaum has also authored the novel An Eastern Tradition and translated Rabbits, Crabs, Etc.: Stories by Japanese Women and Uno Chiyo's Confessions of Love, for which she was awarded the 1989 Japan-U.S Friendship Commission Japanese Literary Translation Prize.

April 5

Lecture: Four Japanese Novelists: Kobo Abe
Prof. Donald Keene (University Professor Emeritus and Shincho Professor Emeritus, Columbia University)
GSAS Lounge, Philosophy Hall, Columbia University (116th St. & Amsterdam Ave.)
6:00 PM

Donald Keene, the Western world's most celebrated scholar of Japanese literature and culture, will relate personal reminiscences about Kobo Abe and comment on his literary achievements.  A novelist and playwright, Kobo Abe is one of the most accomplished figures in Japanese postwar literature. Often writing about the alienation of modern life, Abe's most famous works include The Woman in the Dunes (Suna no onna, 1962), The Box Man (Hako otoko, 1973), The Ruined Map (Moetsukita chizu, 1967) and Friends (Tomodachi, 1967). Several of his works have been translated into English by Donald Keene.

Tickets are $15.00 per lecture. 
Columbia students are admitted free with an ID. 
Tickets are available at the door and can also be purchased in advance by sending a check payable to The Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture and a self-addressed stamped envelope to The Donald Keene Center, 507 Kent Hall, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027.

Part of Four Japanese Novelists Lecture Series


 

April 12

The 1999 Soshitsu Sen XV Distinguished Lecture on Japanese Culture: Japan: The Magic of Mountains
Fosco Maraini (Professor, University of Florence)
The Teatro, Casa Italiana, 1161 Amsterdam Ave. (adjacent to Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs); RSVP REQUIRED

Writer, photographer, scholar, and mountaineer, Fosco Maraini has gained distinction in numerous fields. He is one of the most accomplished scholars of things Japanese. In 1938, Prof. Maraini first visited Japan to undertake research on the Ainu, Japan's aboriginal people. This led to a doctorate in anthropology and a book on the Ainu religion and customs.  Subsequently, he was appointed lecturer at Kyoto University and returned to Japan. From 1943 to 1945, Prof. Maraini was interned with his family as a war prisoner in a Buddhist temple near Nagoya.

Following the war, Prof. Maraini returned to Italy and in the 1950s worked in the Italian film industry. He revisited Japan in 1953 to produce a documentary film and to gather material for his well-known book Meeting with Japan. In addition to Japan, Prof. Maraini has pursued studies of other Eastern cultures and religions at the University of Florence, at Oxford University, and on his frequent and extensive travels in Asia. Prof. Maraini's other works include: Secret Tibet, published after a series of expeditions to the Himalayas; Where Four Worlds Meet, an account of leading an Italian Alpine Club expedition to the Hindu Kush; Jerusalem: Rock of the Ages; and Japan: Patterns of Continuity.

In addition to his writings about Japan and Asia, Prof. Maraini is well known as a photographer.  Exhibitions of his photographs have been held in Italy and Japan.

Beginning April 13, an exhibition of Prof. Maraini's photographs will open at the Tenri Gallery in Soho (575 Broadway, 4th Floor; TEL: 212-925-8500).

Professor Maraini's lecture will be followed by a reception in his honor. Seating is limited, so those wishing to attend the lecture are requested to make reservations by calling the Donald Keene Center at (212) 854-5036.


Cosponsored by The Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America

April 15

Lecture: Mysterious Women, Mythical Beasts, and Medieval Buddhism
Prof. Bernard Faure (Professor of Religious Studies, Stanford University)
403 Kent Hall, Columbia University (116th St. & Amsterdam Ave.)
8:00 - 9:30 PM

Professor of Religious Studies at Stanford University and co-director of the Stanford Buddhist Studies Center, Bernard Faure is one of the world's leading scholars of Buddhism. He has won numerous awards for his books and articles. His works include: The Red Thread: Buddhist Approaches to Sexuality (1998), Chan Insights and Oversights: An Epistemological Critique of the Chan/Zen Tradition (1993), and The Rhetoric of Immediacy: A Cultural Critique of Chan/Zen Buddhism (1991).


Co-sponsored by The University Seminar on Buddhist Studies


April 16

Benefit Concert: Tokyo String Quartet with Clarinetist Richard Stoltzman
Miller Theatre, Columbia University (116th St. & Broadway) 8:00 PM
Benefit tickets can be purchased for $100 each by credit card over the telephone [TEl: 212- 854-5036], or by check mailed to the Donald Keene Center, 507 Kent Hall, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027.

The Tokyo String Quartet will be joined by clarinetist Richard Stoltzman for a performance to benefit the Donald Keene Center. The concert will begin at 8:00 p.m. and will be followed by a reception.

The Tokyo String Quartet is one of the supreme chamber ensembles of the world. It performs on the renowned Stradivarius instruments known as "The Paganini Quartet," and its recordings have earned it such honors as the Grand Prix du Disque Montreux, seven Grammy nominations, and "Best Chamber Music Recording of the Year" awards from both Gramophone and Stereo Review magazines.

Richard Stoltzman's virtuosity, musicianship, and sheer personal magnetism have catapulted him to the highest ranks of international acclaim, making him one of today's most sought-after concert artists. As soloist with more than a hundred orchestras, as a captivating recitalist and chamber music performer, and as an innovative jazz artist, two-time Grammy award winner Stoltzman defies categorization and dazzles critics and audiences alike in his performances of all genres of music.

April 19

Lecture: Four Japanese Novelists: Yukio Mishima
Prof. Donald Keene (University Professor Emeritus and Shincho Professor Emeritus, Columbia University)
**NOTE** LOCATION CHANGED TO: Altschul Auditorium on the 4th floor of the International Affairs Building (118th St. & Amsterdam Ave.), Columbia University 6:00 PM

Donald Keene, the Western world's most celebrated scholar of Japanese literature and culture, will relate personal reminiscences about Yukio Mishima and comment on his literary achievements. One of the most talented writers to emerge in postwar Japan, Yukio Mishima completed his first novel the year he entered the University of Tokyo. Twenty three more followed, along with more than forty plays, over ninety short stories, several poetry and travel volumes, and hundreds of essays.  In 1970, at the peak of a brilliant literary career, he shocked the world with his suicide. His death brought an irreparable loss to the world of Japanese letters.

Tickets are $15.00 per lecture.
Columbia students are admitted free with an ID.
Tickets are available at the door and can also be purchased in advance by sending a check payable to The Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture and a self-addressed stamped envelope to The Donald Keene Center, 507 Kent Hall, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027.
Part of Four Japanese Novelists Lecture Series

April 26

Booktalk: Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II
Prof. John Dower(Elting E. Morrison Professor of History, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
GSAS Lounge, Philosophy Hall), Columbia University (116th St. & Amsterdam Ave.) 6:30 PM

Professor John Dower, one of the most distinguished historians of modern Japan, will speak about his newly published book Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II, a study of the aftermath of Japan's defeat in World War II. Prof. Dower has gained preeminence in the field of Japanese studies with his analyses of modern Japanese history and US-Japan relations, breaking new ground through his scholarly use of visual materials and various manifestations of popular culture. His War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War (1987), won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Ohira Masayoshi Memorial Prize, and was hailed by The New Republic as "the most important study of the Pacific War ever published." Other scholarly publications include: Empire and Aftermath: Yoshida Shigeru and the Japanese Experience (1979) and Japan in War and Peace: Selected Essays (1993). Prof. Dower has also done a great deal of work in other fields, publishing The Elements of Japanese Design (1971); A Century of Japanese Photography (1980); The Hiroshima Murals (1985), an examination of the political art of the painters Maruki Iri and Maruki Toshi; and garnering an Academy Award nomination for his production of Hellfire—A Journey from Hiroshima, a documentary film on the work of the Marukis.

 

May 4

Lecture: Miho Museum
Tim Culbert (Architect)
Ware Lounge, Architecture Building (6th Floor), Columbia University (116th St. & Amsterdam Ave.) 6:00 PM
Award-winning architect Tim Culbert will speak about the construction of the Miho Museum in Shigaraki, Japan.
From 1992 to 1997, Mr. Culbert worked with I.M. Pei as project architect during the construction of the Miho Museum in Shigaraki, Japan. The new museum is set in a mountaintop nature preserve outside Kyoto and its revolutionary design has drawn attention from around the globe. Designed to house the Shumei Family Collection of ancient art, much of the building is buried beneath 7,000 newly planted trees, leaving only a network of glass-paneled rooftops exposed.

Mr. Culbert has won recognition in various national and international architectural competitions. In 1987, he received the young Architects Prize (Album de la Juene Architecture) awarded by the French Ministry for Architecture and Urban Development. He has also received prizes for his submissions for the Paris-Bastille Opera House Competition, the Fourteenth Session PAN-Housing Competition, France and for the European Museum of Photography Competition (MEP), Paris.
Co-sponsored by the Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation

September 21

Lecture: Sexuality in Modern Japanese Women's Poetry
Hiroaki Sato (Poet and Translator)
403 Kent Hall, Columbia University (116th St. & Amsterdam Ave.)
6:00 - 7:30 PM
Hiroaki Sato is a poet and translator of modern and classical Japanese poetry. Among his  many books are  Basho's Narrow Road; Spring and Autumn Passages; One Hundred Frogs; From Renga to Haiku to English; and with Burton Watson; From the Country of Eight Islands: An Anthology of Japanese Poetry. He is now preparing an anthology of Japanese women poets. In 1999, Mr. Sato was awarded the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Prize for Translation of Japanese Literature.

Presented by the Institute for Medieval Japanese Studies

October 11

Lecture: Reconsidering Medieval Japanese Literature: The Issue of Setsuwa Bungaku
Prof. Hiroshi Araki (Professor of Japanese Literature, University of Osaka)
403 Kent Hall, Columbia University (116th St. & Amsterdam Ave.)
4:00 - 6:00 PM
Professor Hiroaki Araki, a specialist in classical and medieval literature on leave from the University of Osaka, is currently a Visiting Professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Columbia. Please note: Professor Araki will lecture in Japanese.
Co-sponsored by The Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures in cooperation with the Institute for Medieval Japanese Studies

October 12

Brownbag Lecture: Sony: The Private Life
Prof. John Nathan (Professor of Japanese Cultural Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara)
918 International Affairs Bldg, Columbia University (118th St. and Amsterdam Ave.)
12:00 -1:30 PM
John Nathan is the Takashima Professor of Japanese Cultural Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Also celebrated as a filmmaker and writer, he is author of a definitive biography of Yukio Mishima and principal translator of the Nobel Laureate Kenzaburo Oe. His prizewinning documentary films include Full Moon Lunch, Blind Swordsman, Farm Song, and The Colonel Comes to Japan.
Co-sponsored by the East Asian Institute and the Center on Japanese Economy and Business

Lecture: Revisiting Full Moon Lunch: John Nathan's Films on Japan
Prof. John Nathan (Professor of Japanese Cultural Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara)
567 Lerner Hall, Columbia University (115th St. and Broadway)
6:00 - 8:00 PM
During the late 1970s and 1980s, John Nathan produced a number of films on Japan that are still considered the most penetrating documentary portraits of contemporary Japanese society. His 3-part series, The Japanese (including Full Moon Lunch, Blind Swordsman, and Farm Song) has been broadcast repeatedly on PBS. The Colonel Comes to Japan, about Kentucky Fried Chicken in Japan, is a humorous and highly revealing look at American business and Japanese consumerism. Nathan's films have won Emmy awards and numerous other international documentary-film prizes. In this program, John Nathan will show excerpts of several of his films and reflect on filmmaking in Japan then...and now.

October 20

Lecture: Untamed Samurai: The Ten Old Men in the Ako Vendetta
Prof. Thomas Harper (Professor Emeritus of JapaneseLiterature, Leiden University)
403 Kent Hall, Columbia University (116th St. and Amsterdam Ave.)
4:00 PM
Co-sponsored by the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures

October 20

Lecture: Yosano Akiko and the Canonization of the Tale of Genji
Prof. Gaye Rowley (Lecturer in Japanese, University of Wales, Cardiff)
403 Kent Hall, Columbia University (116th St. and Amsterdam Ave.)
5:30 PM
Co-sponsored by the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures

October 21

Panel Discussion: Post-War Japanese Photography
Moderated by Prof. Marilyn Ivy (Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Columbia University); featuring Alexandra Munroe (Director, Japan Society Gallery) and Leo Rubinfien (Photographer and Independent Scholar)
Davis Auditorium, Schapiro Hall (CEPSR), Columbia University
6:00 - 8:00 PM

Presented in conjunction with The Daido Moriyama Photography Exhibits at the Japan Society and the Metropolitan Museum of Art

During the 1950s and 1960s, photography flourished in Japan both as a vital art form and as a powerful medium of social commentary.  In conjunction with a number of current New York exhibitions of Japanese photography, this program will examine the period, the photographic form, and a number of its principal exponents.  ALEXANDRA MUNROE is a specialist in modern Japanese art; she was curator of the exhibition "Scream Against the Sky: Japanese Art After 1945."   LEO RUBINFIEN has lived many years in Japan, where he was active as a photographer and writer on contemporary Japanese arts and society.
Three related gallery shows will also take place in New York at roughly the same time as the Moriyama retrospective:

Miscellaneous work by Moriyama September 16th - October 30th
Work by Shomei Tomatsu and books by the "Provoke" group
September 23rd - October 23rd
Work from "Crows", and miscellaneous photographs, by Masahisa Fukase:
Laurence Miller Gallery
20 West 57th St.
Roth Horowitz Gallery
160A E. 70th St.
Robert Mann Gallery
210 11th Ave.
October 28th - December 11th

November 3

Lecture: In the Tracks of the Iwakura Embassy: The U.S. and Japan in 1872
Prof. Martin Collcutt (Chair, East Asian Department, Princeton University) and Mrs. Akiko Collcutt
403 Kent Hall, Columbia University (116th St. & Amsterdam Ave.)
6:00 - 8:00 PM
In 1871-73, Japanese Minister of State Iwakura Tomomi led an official mission of forty-eight government leaders and bureaucrats and fifty-four students to the United States and Europe, with the purpose of studying Western institutions and lifestyles. The undertaking had a major effect on how newly modernizing Japan came to view the West and its own role in international affairs. Two years ago, historian Martin Collcutt and his wife Akiko Collcutt accompanied a group of Japanese historians in precisely retracing the Iwakura Mission's progress across the American continent. They visited all major cities and small towns where the Japanese embassy had stopped, investigated local historical societies and newspapers, collecting documentary materials and personal recollections of the experience of America by the early-Meiji travelers. Illustrated by slides and other materials, Prof. and Mrs. Collcutt will describe their own journey of discovery.
Co-sponsored by the East Asian Institute

November 10

Lecture: Destroying the World to Save It: Aum Shinrikyo, Apocalyptic Violence, and the New Global Terrorism
Prof. Robert J. Lifton M.D. (Senior University Lecturer, John Jay College)
403 Kent Hall, Columbia University (116th St. & Amsterdam Ave.)
6:00 - 8:00 PM
In 1995, members of a little known Japanese religious cult called Aum Shinrikyo stunned the world with a poison-gas attack in the Tokyo subways, leaving 12 people dead and more than 6,000 injured. The trials of cult leader Asahara and his followers have moved slowly through the Japanese legal system and memories of the terrorist attack will continue to have a corrosive effect on Japanese society for many years to come. Psychiatrist and psycho-historian Dr. Robert J. Lifton has studied the psychology of the terrorists and the apocalyptic vision of their leaders in his new book Destroying the World to Save It. His previous books include Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism (1961), Death in Life: Survivors of Hiroshima (1967),  Revolutionary Immortality: Mao Tse-tung and the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1968), America and the Asian Revolutions (1970), History and Human Survival (1970), Home From the War: Vietnam Veterans--Neither Victims Nor Executioners (1973), Explorations in Psychohistory: The Wellfleet Papers  (1975), Six Lives Six Deaths: Portraits from Modern Japan (1979), Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide (1986), Genocidal Mentality: Nazi Holocaust and Nuclear Threat (1990), Hiroshima in America:  50 Years of Denial (1995).
Co-sponsored by the East Asian Institute

November 22

Lecture: The Tokugawa Shoguns and the Ceremonies of Light at the Toshogu
Prof. Timon Screech (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures)
Institute of Fine Arts, New York University (1 East 78th Street)
6:00 PM (A reception will follow in the Loeb Room
Co-sponsored by the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University and the Ukiyo-e Society of America, Inc.

 

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