Japan Studies Newsletters
Autumn 2018 Newsletter
Table of Contents
The longstanding tradition of excellence and accomplishment in the University of Washington Japan Studies Program was recognized in the last year by numerous awards and honors bestowed on program faculty and staff for their contributions to the field.
The Japanese Program of the UW Department of Asian Languages and Literature was selected this summer as a recipient of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan’s Foreign Minister’s Commendation. This commendation is presented to individuals and groups for outstanding achievements in international fields to acknowledge their contributions to the promotion of friendship between Japan and other countries. The UW Japan Studies Program received this commendation in 2009.
Mary Hammond Bernson, former director of the East Asia Resource Center at the UW and former president of the Japan-America Society of the State of Washington, was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette. This honor, established in 1875 as Japan’s first order, is one of the most prestigious bestowed by the Japanese government on behalf of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan. It recognizes Bernson’s outstanding career in promoting understanding of Japan in the United States and educational exchange between Japan and the United States including long service to the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program.
Two professors in the Jackson School received the Consul General’s Commendation from the Consulate-General of Japan in Seattle. Marie Anchordoguy, professor, was recognized for contributions to Japan-U.S. relations. “Through her work, Anchordoguy continues to contribute to furthering the field of Japan Studies, and promote mutual understanding between Japan and the United States,” said the consul general. Her current research focuses on technology startups in Japan’s ecosystem.
Donald Hellmann, professor emeritus, also received the commendation for major contributions in his fields of research including tireless efforts in assisting policymakers here and abroad, and the executive branch in Washington D.C. over several administrations, and for “bringing academics and government officials together from across the Asia-Pacific region to form cooperative research partnerships.” In addition to participation in many international organizations, Hellmann also served as chair of the UW Japan Studies Program in the early 1970s and was instrumental in securing for UW one of ten grants offered to U.S. universities by Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka which became the foundational endowment for the program.
Ken Tadashi Oshima, professor in the Department of Architecture, received a Japan Foundation Fellowship to research “Rediscovering Japanese Urban Space” at the University of Tokyo as a senior research fellow this academic year during his sabbatical.
Robert Pekkanen, professor in the Jackson School Japan Studies Program, received a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) fellowship to support his research for two peer-reviewed articles and a book on populism in Japanese politics in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. The research will lead to the first English-language book on populism in Japan and will seek to incorporate the study of Japan into broader discussions to mutual benefit.
Japan Studies at the University of Washington continues to thrive as a university-wide, interdisciplinary research and teaching collaboration to promote a deeper understanding of Japan and Japanese within a global context. Its strategic position on the Pacific Rim supports important partnerships, locally, regionally, and internationally. As co-chairs for 2018–19, it is our great privilege to bring together a tremendous group of faculty and students as we work together with friends and colleagues near and far.
As featured in this newsletter, we are extremely pleased to celebrate recent recognition of members of the program: our senior faculty members Donald Hellmann and Marie Anchordoguy were commended by the Consul General of Japan in Seattle; the Japanese Program in the Department of Asian Languages and Literature was honored by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and Mary Hammond Bernson was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, by the Emperor of Japan.
The 2018–19 year is filled with a broad range of talks, book launches, and symposia, from affiliate faculty member John Treat’s discussion of his literary history The Rise and Fall of Japanese Literature to an upcoming symposium on the challenges and possibilities of creating inclusive societies in Japan and the United States generously sponsored by the Mitsubishi Corporation. For a full listing of current and upcoming events, please see jsis.washington.edu/japan/events/.
Mitsubishi Corporation Gift Funds Inclusivity Course and Panel
The UW Japan Studies Program is again the recipient of a generous gift from the Mitsubishi Corporation. Funds are supporting a new undergraduate course to be offered winter quarter 2019 entitled ”Mixed Race and Ethnicity in Japan.” Taught by Dr. Andrea Gevurtz Arai, the course and a panel discussion aim at addressing the growing need for the understanding of individuals identifying as racially, ethnically, and/or sexually diverse. Coursework and discussion explore intersections with ethnic identities in Japan and the United States, including connections to migration and prewar imperialism, investigations of historical forms of exclusion, present efforts in Japan and the U.S. to create awareness and inclusiveness of people related to gender and gender identities, and the Me Too movement in Japan. The panel discussion event will be held on February 21, 2019, at 7:00 PM in Kane Hall 225 and is free and open to the public. Panelists include Professor Makiko Deguchi (Sophia University, Tokyo) who teaches on cultural psychology with a focus on racial and minority issues and privilege awareness, and Dr. Ayako Takamori (University of California, Santa Barbara), an anthropologist whose work considers comparative race and ethnicity, multiculturalism, and gender and sexuality. The panel will be moderated by Dr. Arai, a cultural anthropologist of Japan and East Asia.
In Memory of Griffith Way
Griffith Way, a close friend of the Japan Studies Program and the University of Washington, passed away on July 27, 2018. Griff practiced law in the United States and Japan and was a long-time collector of Japanese art. He supported the University as a member of the Jackson School’s Visiting Committee, as a trustee of the Journal of Japanese Studies, and as advocate and advisor. He was known to leave his busy law practice to audit UW language classes and use the language lab to maintain his Japanese language facility.
Griff graduated from the Japanese Language Training School in Boulder, Colorado, in 1943 and was assigned to the 2nd Marine Division HQ of the Navy’s Pacific Command, serving as an interpreter in the battles for Saipan and Tinian. He was one of the first Americans in the occupation of Japan, where he served until late 1945.
Following graduation from the UW Law School in 1949, Griff joined the Tokyo law practice of Thomas Blakemore, beginning a legal partnership and friendship that lasted more than four decades. As part of this collaboration, Griff helped found and manage the Blakemore Foundation, established by Tom and Frances Blakemore in 1990. The foundation provides grants for the advanced study of Asian languages and for projects that improve understanding of Asian art in the United States. Griff read every application and stayed in touch with past recipients. He also worked closely with Dan Fenno Henderson to establish (and offer occasional courses in) the first Asian law program in the United States at the University of Washington.
Together with his wife Patricia, Griff built a significant collection of Japanese art, focusing on late 19th and early 20th century painting. Part of their collection was exhibited in 1999 at the Seattle Art Museum (where he was a member of the board for 23 years), in 2000 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and in seven museums in Japan where the collection toured in 2001–2. A gift from the Way collection to the Seattle Art Museum makes 150 Nihonga paintings available to the public.
His personal interests were broad. Griff sailed a dinghy to Canada as a child, was a member of both the American Alpine Club and the Japan Alpine Club, and participated in dozens of marathon races all over Japan. He helped Shigeru Yoshida and his son translate the prime minister’s memoirs into English and was a frequent visitor to the Yoshida villa in Oiso.
Among his many honors were the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Commendation Award and the University of Washington Law School Distinguished Alumnus Award, and he was recognized in 1993 by the Pacific Rim Law and Policy Journal as the outstanding lawyer of the year in foreign practice. Griff received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, bestowed by His Majesty Akihito, the Emperor of Japan, in 2007 in recognition of his outstanding contribution to developing economic and cultural exchanges between Japan and the United States.
At his family’s request, remembrances may be directed to the Griffith and Patricia Way Lecture fund. Contact email@example.com, or go to washington.edu/giving/make-a-gift/ and search for “Griffith and Patricia Way.”
The 2019 Griffith and Patricia Way Lecture on May 13, 2019, will feature Ken Ruoff, a professor of history and director of the Center for Japanese Studies at Portland State University, for a lecture presentation about the new Emperor of Japan. Watch for further details on our events calendar.
Honors Study Tour in Japan
Ten undergraduates of various majors at UW Seattle and six undergraduates from the Bothell campus studied the construction of national identity in Japan from late August to mid-September 2018. The National Olympics Memorial Youth Center in the heart of Tokyo served as the headquarters for this Honors Exploration Seminar, led by David Goldstein, principal lecturer in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at UW Bothell, and Chris Lowy, doctoral candidate in Japanese literature at UW Seattle.
In addition to visiting historical and cultural sites in Tokyo, the students spent a day in Hiroshima at the Peace Memorial Museum, and two days in the old capital of Kyoto, where they also waited out Typhoon Jebi in a comfortable, sturdy hostel. Students listened to mini-lectures and participated in class discussions most mornings before heading out in small groups to explore the city, braving the hot, humid weather. They reflected on their experiences by writing in private journals nightly and blogging publicly at the end of each week. The course culminated in individual research projects according to students’ own interests.
Andrea Gevurtz Arai gave two invited talks (March 2018 UW Anthropology and University of North Carolina Anthropology) on her book and current ethnographic project, ”Turning to the Periphery: Creative Action, D.I.Y. Migrants and Revaluations of Value in Japan and Beyond.” Arai is teaching a new undergraduate course “Mixed Race and Ethnicity in Japan.”
Paul S. Atkins published an article in English and Japanese: “The Poet in Limbo: From the Nō play Teika to Myōjō (Hengoku no kajin: yōkyoku Teika kara Myōjō e)” in Teika no motarashita mono (Kanrin Shobō, 2018). “Origins of the Statue of Kannon as a Boy,” his translation of the medieval Japanese short story “Chigo Kannon engi,” along with an introduction, appeared in Monsters, Animals, and Other Worlds: A Collection of Short Medieval Japanese Tales, ed. Keller Kimbrough and Haruo Shirane (Columbia University Press, 2018). Notable among his lectures to community groups and the public were “Pirates, Poets, and the Restoration of Sino-Japanese Relations in 1405” for the UW alumni chapter in Shanghai and “Making It New in Medieval Japanese Poetry” at the UWAA conference in Tokyo in November.
Justin Jesty’s new monograph Art and Engagement in Early Postwar Japan (Cornell University Press, 2018) is a cultural history of the relationship between art and politics in Japan during the turbulent period, 1945–60. He recently published an essay “Shakaiteki tenkai no ronsō (Debates of the social turn)” in the Japanese anthology Sōsharii engeijido āto no keifu, riron, jissen: geijutsu no shakaiteki tenkai o megutte (Genealogy, theory, and practice of socially engaged art: considering art’s social turn) (Firumu Āto-sha, 2018). Jesty is on sabbatical and was promoted to associate professor, tenure track, effective September 2018.
Izumi Matsuda-Kiami and Itsuko Nishikawa hosted the 3rd Northwest Conference on Japanese Pedagogy in May. It attracted 40 college-level and secondary-school teachers from the region and across the nation. The conference theme was “Content Based Language Instruction (CBLI): Implementation and Effectiveness.” The keynote speech was given by Professor Masako Douglas, California State University Long Beach.
Mark Metzler is teaching a survey of “Japanese History in Ecological Perspective,” and he taught during the summer term at Waseda University as a visiting professor of global economic history. He is now writing a brief history of Japanese industrialization in ecological perspective for the new Cambridge History of Japan. He is also completing a global history of booms, bubbles, and busts during the late nineteenth century. His article, “Japan and the World Conjuncture of 1866,” will appear in the book The Meiji Restoration in Global Perspective, to be published this year by Cambridge University Press.
Ken Tadashi Oshima served as president of the Society of Architectural Historians, 2016–18. He was co-curator of the hugely popular “Japan in Architecture: Geneologies of Its Transformation” exhibit at the Mori Museum (Tokyo, 2018) which was visited by over 538,000 people in less than five months. Oshima will be researching the topic ”Rediscovering Japanese Urban Space” at the University of Tokyo as a Japan Foundation senior research fellow for four months (2018–19).
Robert Pekkanen has in 2018 published his eighth and ninth books: The Oxford Handbook of Electoral Systems (co-editor, Oxford Handbook) and Japan Decides 2017: The Japanese General Election (co-editor, Palgrave Macmillan). His tenth book is due out this winter. He was also awarded the National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for Advanced Research on Japan for research on populism in Japanese politics of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
Kenneth B. Pyle’s latest book, Japan in the American Century (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2018) was published in October. He also published an article in Asia Policy entitled “Japan’s Return to Great Power Politics: Abe’s Restoration.” This autumn is the beginning of Pyle’s 54th year teaching at the University of Washington.
Professor Youngran Kō was the annual visiting professor in Japanese literature in the Department of Asian Languages and Literature in spring quarter 2018. She co-taught a seminar on modern Japanese literature with Professor Ted Mack. During her stay, Kō met frequently with students, participated in and helped organize the Transpacific Workshop, and traveled to the University of British Columbia and the University of Victoria to give talks. She is a professor of modern Japanese literature at Nihon University. UW faculty and students alike are grateful for her willingness to join UW for such a productive quarter.
Thirty-five graduate students focus on Japan/Japanese research and study this year at UW, and many are scheduled to participate in conferences and symposia both here and in Japan thanks to travel and research grants.
On June 9, the University hosted the fifth annual Transpacific Workshop, welcoming fourteen scholars of diverse disciplines from Japan and North America. Among them were academic luminaries such as Minoru Iwasaki (vice president for Personnel and Research, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies), Ryūichi Narita (professor of history, Japan Women’s University), and Kensuke Kōno (professor of Japanese literature, Nihon University). The one-day roundtable topic chosen by UW graduate students was “play.” Each presenter interpreted this theme differently. Topics included a modern theatrical adaptation of the famous story The Treasury of Loyal Retainers, the politics of higher education in contemporary Japan, the poetry of Shūson Katō, and more.
Another topic that arose during the workshop was discussed at length in the closing roundtable: the relationship between gender and play. By highlighting the issue of gender as it relates to “play,” the roundtable posed questions that had been overlooked: Who “plays” with whom? Does everyone have equal access to “play”? When we talk about “play,” what power relationships must we acknowledge? This led to additional questions about the political aspects of play and provided participants with a chance for critical reflection on “play” in humanities today.
Following the Transpacific Workshop, and including some of the same participants, was a two-day intensive seminar on modern Japanese-language poetry taught by Professor Hideto Tsuboi of the International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Nichibunken) on June 11–12, 2018. University of Washington faculty, graduate students, and alumni participated in this rare micro-seminar, benefiting from the knowledge of one of the leading scholars of modern Japanese literature.
Notable Student Awards
Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowships awarded to UW Japan Studies students for Japanese language study: Dylan Plung (JSIS MA), Monica Twork (JSIS MA), Ryan Zielonka (JSIS PhD).
UW Japan Studies scholarships
Ayako Betty Murakami Scholarship: Sayo Sakamoto (AL&L MA)
Kristen Kawakami Dean Fellowship in Japan Studies: Chris Choi (JSIS MA/MBA)
Kasai-Buerge Scholarship: Yuta Kaminishi (Comp. Lit. PhD), Ryan Zielonka (JSIS PhD)
Kitto Fellowship: Chris Choi (JSIS MA/MBA), Dylan Plung (JSIS MA)
Travel/Research Grants: Muyang Chen (JSIS PhD), Yuta Kaminishi (Comp. Lit. PhD), Chris Lowy (AL&L PhD), Fatuma Muhamed (AL&L MA), Dylan Plung (JSIS MA), Rie Tsujihara (AL&L MA), Monica Twork (JSIS MA)
UW Graduate School awards
GO-MAP Graduate Tuition Award: Enzo Marino (JSIS MA)
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