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Podcast interview: Dean Brink, “Japanese Poetry and its Publics”

Podcasts
Is classical Japanese poetry something to be enjoyed in private, an object of study for scholars, or an item of public life teeming with hints about how to understand and deal with our past and our future? In Japanese Poetry and its Publics: From Colonial Taiwan to Fukushima (Routledge, 2018), Dean Anthony Brink, Associate Professor at the National Chiao Tung University in Hsinchu, Taiwan, argues that certain forms of Japanese classical poetry (especially tanka and senryū) have remained central to public life in both Japan and its former colony of Taiwan. Brink analyzes poems published in regular newspaper columns and various blogs, examining the way in which they reflect specific historical moments and exploring how they can be used for (and in) politics. Brink’s conclusion is that poetry has an ambivalent function, as it can serve…
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CFP: “Japan: Pre-modern, Modern, and Contemporary”, 2-4 September, Bucharest

CFP
The Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures (Japanese Department) at the “Dimitrie Cantemir” Christian University, with the support of its collaborators from the University of Hyogo, Kyoto University, and the University of Tokyo, is pleased to announce the organizing of the seventh international conference “Japan: Pre-modern, Modern, and Contemporary: A Return Trip from the East to the West. Learning in, about and from Japan”, on September 2-4, 2019 in Bucharest, Romania. The topics of the conference include, but are not limited to: * Literary studies * History and (inter)cultural studies * Language studies and linguistics * Anthropology * Mythology and folklore * Art * Philosophy and history of ideas Etc. A selection of papers will be published in the Annals of the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures of “Dimitrie…
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Podcast interview: Ronald P. Loftus, “The Turn Against the Modern”

Podcasts
Taoka Reiun (1870-1912) was a literary critic and thinker who was active from the early 1890s in Meiji period Japan. Not satisfied with the meaning of bunmei kaika (“civilization and enlightenment”), the trajectory that the government had mapped out for the modernization of the country, he called on his readers to question its premises and promises. He found himself drawn to the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer, but at the same time he turned to ancient Indian and Chinese thought, from the Upanishads to Zhuangzi’s essays. In The Turn Against the Modern: The Critical Essays of Taoka Reiun (1870-1912) (Association for Asian Studies, 2017), Ronald Loftus, professor of Japanese language and East Asian History at Willamette University, retraces Taoka Reiun’s personal and professional life from the point of view of the…
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CFP: Why the Kyoto School Today?

CFP
WHY THE KYOTO SCHOOL (京都学派) TODAY? The Centre for Advanced Research in European Philosophy, King’s University College at Western University, announces a call for papers for an upcoming international conference: Why the Kyoto School Today? Date: March 21-24, 2019 Location: King’s University College at Western University, London, Ontario, Canada Plenary Speakers: • Dr. Bret Davis (Loyola University Maryland) • Dr. Rolf Elberfeld (Universität Hildesheim) • Dr. John Krummel (Hobart and William Smith Colleges) • Dr. John Maraldo (University of North Florida) • Dr. Brian Schroeder (Rochester Institute of Technology) • Dr. Mayuko Uehara (Kyoto University) • Dr. Jason Wirth (University Seattle) • Dr. Michiko Yusa (Western Washington University) The so-called Kyoto School of Japanese philosophy arose out of a critical confrontation (Auseinandersetzung) with the European philosophical tradition at the beginning…
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Podcast interview: Kaori Okano and Yoshio Sugimoto (eds.), “Rethinking Japanese Studies”

Podcasts
Rethinking Japanese Studies. Eurocentrism and the Asia-Pacific Region (Routledge, 2018) is co-edited by Kaori Okano and Yoshio Sugimoto. The book tries to look at the discipline of Japanese Studies from a variety of perspectives and in a variety of contexts, starting from the premise that – as the authors put it – Japanese Studies is not the exclusive property of the anglophone world. In the volume, the authors try to answer several key questions:   What variations are there among the academic communities of Japanese Studies in Asia? Is there a local intellectual approach that displays a degree of autonomy from the global scholarship in the English-using world? In what ways have some academic disciplines or approaches been affected by Anglo-Western scholarship to a greater extent than others? Why? What…
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Philosophy lunches with students

Education
I'm so excited! Today, I just got the final version of the poster for the philosophy lunches I will be doing with my students, and I think the Media Center at the university did a really god job with the design. It's finally happening! I actually came up with the idea for these "philosophy lunches" about half a year ago, but it was the middle of the semester so I decided it would be better to wait for the new academic year. In the mean time, I thought a lot about the format (they were not "lunches" in the beginning), about the texts we would read (Japanese? Western? modern? premodern?), about the topics we would discuss, about how to initiate and moderate the discussions,  etc. etc. etc. My idea was…
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Sympathies and symphonies

Education
One of the courses I have been teaching for the last couple of years at KUIS is a Creative Writing class - to be more specific, "Creative Thinking, Living and Writing". I was in class the other day, with my students - they were working in groups on creating the plot for a fairy tale. (One of the things we do is to tell different stories in different formats, from fairy tales to manga.) I was walking around the room, observing the interactions within the groups, giving a piece of advice here and there and trying not to interfere too much with the whole process. The task was to take the characters they had created during the previous class, integrate them within the story while at the same time thinking…
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CFP: 4th ENOJP Conference on Japanese Philosophy

CFP
Call for Papers: 4th ENOJP Conference on Japanese Philosophy *** The 4th European Network of Japanese Philosophy (ENOJP) Conference at University of Hildesheim​, Germany​ (Sept 5–8 2018)  ​​Übergänge – Transitions – 移り渉り: Crossing the Boundaries in Japanese Philosophy *** We encourage applicants to send in proposals for individual presentations or group proposals of 3 presenters to collaborate on a panel together. Papers dealing with the conference theme “Übergänge – Transitions – 移り渉り” are particularly welcome, but papers on other aspects related to Comparative & Japanese Philosophy will also be considered. It is not necessary to adjust your presentation to the general theme in a very strict manner – we want to use the topic in a thought provoking rather than restrictive way! Please feel free to interpret the theme creatively.…
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Japan Guidebook

Books
The Research Institute for Japanese Studies at Kanda University of International Studies has just published Japan Guidebook, the second edition. (You can find the official press release here.)  The guidebook consists of 20 parts with more than 100 short, dictionary-like entries that cover a variety of topics and themes, from basic information about the geographical characteristics of the country to articles focusing on history, art, literature, education, economy, politics, popular culture, etc. It also includes 20 one-page essays that present the topics from a more general, comprehensive perspective. All the entries and essays are bilingual (Japanese / English). The book is the result of a collective effort - all the researchers associated with the Institute contributed - not only articles, but also time, ideas, and energy. It was not always…
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Book review: “Japanese Environmental Philosophy”

reviews
J. Baird Callicott, James McRae, eds. Japanese Environmental Philosophy. New York Oxford University Press, 2017. xxiii + 310 pp. $45.00 (paper), ISBN 978-0-19-045633-7. The Oxford University Press website describes Japanese Environmental Philosophy as "an anthology that responds to the environmental problems of the 21st century by drawing from Japanese philosophical traditions to investigate our relationships with other humans, nonhuman animals, and the environment." This is a fairly accurate description, and if I were to change only one word in it, it would probably be the word "response," as the book does not offer a unitary "response" to the environmental crisis - there is no red thread connecting the essays to combine them in a single, undivided entity (this is not to say that there should be such a red thread).…
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