Samurai Exhibit Pwned

The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco has been targeted by an anonymous artistic and political intervention that parodies the current Lords of the Samurai exhibition with a well designed website and a series of pamphlets distributed in San Francisco. The website is worth exploring, and becomes particularly interesting when paired with an interview with the […]

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The (Ongoing) Economic Crisis

One of my students is doing a summer research project on the Japanese financial crisis of the 1990s and we just looked at Jon Woronoff’s book The Japanese Economic Crisis (1992) which was originally published as Japan, the Coming Economic Crisis (1979). Woronoff, who was at one point a correspondent for the journal “Asian Business” […]

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Film Festival

Just received this from friends at the Japanese American National Museum: The Japanese American National Museum is accepting film & video submissions for their Second annual ID Film Festival, a series of films that challenge and celebrate what it means to be Asian. To take place from October 1-3, ID Film Fest will showcase both […]

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A bounty of medieval symposia

Premodernists, particularly those who focus on history, sometimes feel gloomy about the state of premodern Japanese studies in the U.S., where a number of large graduate programs have shrunk, disappeared, or fundamentally changed in emphasis in the past two decades. Some of us have even been known to eulogize the field, as if the heart […]

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Noteworthy Archaeological Sites, Issue 2008

Walter Edwards of Tenri University reported in a message to H-Japan that the newest issue of “Noteworthy Archaeological Sites” is online. The report consists of a selection of items from 『発掘された日本列島2008』, translated into English. The members of the Committee for International Relations of the Japanese Archaeological Association (JAA), who translate these and other materials on […]

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The Soul of Japan

I’m teaching a survey course on premodern Japanese history this semester. It focuses on medieval and early modern Japan, and I wanted the first paper to deal with a big question in the secondary literature and the second paper to deal with a similarly big issue by looking at primary documents (in translation). After perusing […]

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The Crazy Guy for Prime Minister, Please

OK, admittedly I am supremely unqualified to write a post about the current prime ministerial vacancy in Japan. I’m a historian who works on the 16th century, not an expert in contemporary politics. And many people have their eyes fixed on the Palin-Biden-Clinton-McCain-Obama slugfest. But this story–Manga-obsessed, Stanford- and SOAS-educated, former Olympic skeetshooter, cement CEO, […]

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