In this episode, Shawn De Haven (IUHW) explains why the passing of famous comedian Shimura Ken in late March had such a profound impact on Japan, along with discussing the importance of television comedy in Japan and highlighting the recent emergence of political comedians in Japanese society.
In this episode, Dr. Curtis (Yale) discusses the "rebirth" of Japanese Studies in light of recent challenges confronting academia around the world and offers thoughts on how scholars can work together to rebuild a more inclusive academic environment.
In this episode, Dr. Michael Kim (Yonsei) responds to controversial claims that Japan's higher "mindo" (level of culture) explains its successful response to the coronavirus pandemic, providing historical context about how rhetoric of "mindo" fit into Japanese colonial rule in Korea.
In this episode, Dr. Katada (USC) discusses how the recent change in Japanese administrations might impact foreign trade in the Asia-Pacific, outlining how Japan has taken advantage of competition between China and the USA to reposition itself over the last two decades into a more active role shaping geoeconomics in the region.
In this episode, Dr. Helen Hardacre (Harvard) discusses the impacts of Prime Minister Abe's resignation on the future of the constitutional revision debate in Japan, explaining why constitutional revision was such an important policy goal for Abe and why it was always unlikely to succeed.
In this episode, AAS President Dr. Christine Yano (Hawaii) talks about how recent developments including COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement have presented an opportunity for scholars to tear down the traditional hierarchies and rigid structures that have propped up the Ivory Tower for so long and to rebuild a new academic environment.
In this episode, Dr. Masako Egawa (Hitotsubashi) discusses her involvement in debates at the University of Tokyo about changing the start of the Japanese school year to September, laying out arguments both for and against adopting the September start date before talking about how COVID-19 has impacted ongoing discussions about September enrollment.
In this episode, Dr. Sonja Petrovic (Melbourne) details how the 3/11 Tōhoku Triple Disaster in 2011 caused a decline in public trust in media and government information, changed media consumption habits in Japan, and shaped popular reception of the Japanese government response to COVID-19.
In this episode, Dr. Allison Alexy (Michigan) reacts to news coverage of #CovidDivorce in Japan as the latest example of sensationalist media treatments of Japanese intimacies before outlining how intimate relationship in Japan have changed over the last several years even before COVID-19.
In this episode, Dr. Sven Saaler (Sophia) responds to recent controversies over public statues by describing the active role statues and monuments play in shaping popular understandings of history, communicating ideas about society to future generations, and even disrupting Japanese diplomatic relations in East Asia.
Anpo, Street Protests, and Civil Disobedience in Japan on the Record with Dr. Nick Kapur (Rutgers-Camden)
In this episode, Dr. Nick Kapur (Rutgers-Camden) places recent BLM marches into the context of Japan’s longer history of street protests and civil disobedience, highlighting the violent protests opposing the resigning of the controversial US-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security, or Anpo Treaty, in 1960.
Blackface, Whitewashing, and Anti-Black Racism in Japan on the Record with Dr. John G. Russell (Gifu University)
In this episode, Dr. John G. Russell (Gifu) explains the endurance of Blackface performance in Japan, along with discussing how the Whitewashing of prominent Black Japanese and depictions of Black masculinity in Japanese pop culture reveal racist attitudes towards Blackness, Whiteness, and national belonging.
#BlackInTheIvory in Japan on the Record with Teeka Gray (Indiana), Yasmine Krings (UCLA), Kimberlee Sanders (Harvard), and Dr. Garrett Washington (UMass-Amherst)
In this episode, Dr. Garrett Washington (UMass-Amherst) hosts a roundtable discussion of issues confronting Black scholars of Japanese Studies in the United States and Japan with panelists Teeka Gray (Indiana), Yasmine Krings (UCLA), and Kimberlee Sanders (Harvard). Because of technical difficulties during recording, Kimberlee Sanders' responses were recorded separately in a follow-up interview.
The NHK BLM Video and Depictions of Blackness in Japan on the Record with Dr. Reginald Jackson (Michigan)
In this episode, Dr. Reginald Jackson (Michigan) places the recent NHK Black Lives Matter video in the context of historical depictions of Blackness dating back to the 16th century, discussing how the video reveals enduring anti-Black attitudes in Japan shaped by these earlier depictions along with reflecting on the racist roots of Japanese studies in the United States.
In this episode, Dr. Mitzi Uehara Carter (FIU) calls attention to the discrimination and racism faced by Black Japanese/Okinawans and biracial communities in Japan, noting the solidarity between Black and Okinawan communities and pointing out how signifiers of Blackness differ in Okinawa and the Japanese mainland.
Reggae, Racial Difference, and Representations of Blackness in Japan on the Record with Dr. Marvin Sterling (Indiana)
In this episode, Dr. Marvin Sterling (Indiana) discusses the popularity of Reggae music and Black culture in Japan, noting how non-majority Japanese communities embrace Reggae and other representations of Blackness to express their own identities and politics.
COVID-19 and Anti-Asian Racism in North America on the Record with Dr. Michael Jin (UIC) & Dr. Vivian Shaw (Harvard)
In this episode, Dr. Michael Jin (UIC) and Dr. Vivian Shaw (Harvard) react to the sharp increase in acts of discrimination, racism, and violence targeting Asian communities in North America as a result of COVID-19. Dr. Jin places this increase into the longer history of Anti-Asian xenophobia and violence in North America, while Dr. Shaw documents how Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities are responding to both COVID-19 and to recent acts of racism.
No new episode today. Instead, please take the 15 minutes you normally use to listen to new episodes to check out the following news stories and podcast content regarding Black Lives Matter and Black experiences of racism and discrimination in Japan.
In this episode, Dr. Axel Klein (Duisburg-Essen) asks whether or not populism exists in Japan, focusing on the Reiwa Shinsengumi political party, and cautions against too quickly placing Japan into the context of a rise in populism around the world.
In this episode, Dr. Kadia (Colorado) locates the historical origins of Japan's strict anti-drug laws in Meiji-era nation-building, discussing the role narcotics played in Japan's image of itself as a modern nation, Japanese imperialism in China, and the postwar criminal underworld.
In this episode, Dr. Patricia Maclachlan (Texas) looks to Japan for lessons on postal privatization, discussing the background of postal privatization in the early 2000s, whether or not it was successful, and how Japan's experiences can be instructive for other countries considering postal reform.
In this episode, Dr. Levi McLaughlin (NC State) surveys how Japanese religious groups have responded to the coronavirus pandemic, questioning sensationalist media coverage of Japanese religious groups, and introducing innovative adaptations religious groups have adopted to stay in contact with followers.
In this episode, Dr. David Slater (Sophia) raises awareness of conditions for refugees detained inside the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau, highlighting how officials' limited efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus inside are indicative of Japan's restrictive refugee policies more broadly.
In this episode, Dr. Amy Catalinac (NYU) provides background for recent news of conflict within the LDP-Kōmeitō coalition, outlining how the electoral reforms of 1994 set the stage for coalition politics in Japan today and allow the small Kōmeitō to exert outsized political influence on the larger LDP.
In this episode, Mark Bookman (Penn) reviews the history of disability in Japan to discuss how the Coronavirus pandemic presents new opportunities for able-bodied individuals to reflect on obstacles to accessibility in Japan and to work together to increase accessibility for all.
In this episode, Dr. Erica Baffelli (Manchester) calls attention to the 25th anniversary of the 1995 Tokyo Sarin Gas Attack, discussing how Aum Shinrikyō became violent, what role women played in the group, and how media coverage of the 25th anniversary was impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
In this episode, Dr. David Fedman (UC Irvine) recalls the history of the firebombing of Tokyo on March 9-10, 1945, discussing media coverage of the recent 75th anniversary, the significance of the bombing within the history of World War II, and ongoing efforts to commemorate the event today.
In this episode, Dr. Paul Kreitman (Columbia) revisits the history of wartime home front mass mobilization campaigns in Japan, the UK, and the USA, to ask how lessons from this history can be applied to the current COVID-19 pandemic.
In this episode, Dr. Eiko Maruko Siniawer (Williams) contextualizes recent toilet paper panics around the world in response to coronavirus by revisiting the history of Japan's earlier toilet paper panic in the 1970s, discussing why people panic over toilet paper and what such panic buying reveals about Japanese society both in the past and today.
In this episode, Dr. Hillary Maxson (Pacific) de-mystifies the "Japanese secret" of saving money using Kakeibo, tracing the history of Kakeibo in Japan and how Kakeibo reveal not only postwar food consumption habits, but also how women shaped everyday life and cuisine in postwar Japan.
In this episode, Dr. David Leheny (Waseda) takes a long-term view of the administration of Prime Minister Abe Shinzō, discussing how Abe was able to inspire optimism amongst voters and embrace pop culture to cultivate a popular image that has allowed him to become Japan's longest-serving prime minister.
In this episode, Dr. Travis Seifman (University of Tokyo) discusses the catastrophic destruction of Shuri Castle in Okinawa and the devastating impact of the loss of hundreds of cultural artifacts, along with plans to reconstruct the castle and the unexpected benefits of restoring and replacing lost traditional Okinawan arts and crafts.
In this episode, Dr. Robin Kietlinski (LaGuardia CC-CUNY), details how the preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics have reshaped Tokyo Bay, outlines the history of landfills in Tokyo Bay, and describes measures the Tokyo government is taking to limit environmental problems.
In this episode, Dr. Richard Samuels (MIT) outlines Japan's current security concerns, touching on the status of the US-Japan alliance, the possibility of a fully nuclear-capable North Korea, and ongoing disputes between Japan and South Korea.