Events

Upcoming Events

Time:
19:30 (Door open at 19:00)
Speaker:
  • Valérie Niquet (Head of the Asia department at FRS (Fondation pour la recherche stratégique), and adjunct senior fellow at the Japan Institute for International Affairs (JIIA))

In her recently published book, La puissance chinoise en 100 questions: un géant fragile? (China’s Power in 100 Questions: A Fragile Giant?), Dr. Valérie Niquet provides a complete picture of the economic, cultural, demographic, political and military “superpower” that China represents today but also looks at the limits of this new giant. In a few decades, China has become the second largest economic power in the world: first exporting power, first importer of oil and raw materials, and second military power in budgetary terms. The size of its market, its trade, but also its strategic choices, influence the future of the world. However, since 2015, the significant slowdown in economic…
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Time:
19:00 (Door open at 18:30)
Speakers:
  • Yoshihiro Takishita (architect and minka restorer)
  • Azby Brown (former director of the Future Design Institute at the Kanazawa Institute of Technology and member of Safecast)

The Japanese minka — traditional farmhouses — have been celebrated worldwide as vernacular architectural masterpieces. Once ubiquitous and found in incredible variety throughout the Japanese archipelago, they are rapidly disappearing as lifestyles change and rural towns age and depopulate. A minka preservation movement has arisen, however, and an increasing number of forward-thinking individuals have devoted themselves to restoring and reusing these inspirational buildings. The motivations are not simply aesthetic, as the traditional Japanese farmstead was a model of sustainable design, careful use of scarce resources, and superb integration with natural surroundings, all of which are crucial aspects of any successful approach to the challenges we face in the future. This…
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Time:
19:30 (Door open at 19:00)
Speaker:
  • John West (Sophia University)

This talk is based on John’s recent book, “Asian Century… on a Knife-edge” (Palgrave Macmillan 2018), in which he questions the conventional wisdom that the 21st century belongs to Asia. He argues that Asia is suffering from stunted economic and social development, and that Asia’s emerging giants of China, India and Indonesia are fragile superpowers. John identifies seven economic, social, political and geopolitical challenges for realising an Asian Century, but doubts that Asia’s leading economies have the will to tackle these challenges.

Time:
19:30 (Door open at 19:00)
Speaker:
  • Giulio Pugliese (Lecturer in War Studies at King’s College London)

In recent years, China’s rapid emergence as a central actor in world politics has coincided with a more assertive and risk-taking foreign and security policy. Under Xi Jinping, especially, Beijing’s push to secure hotly contested territorial and maritime claims has ruffled the feathers of several regional states. The Japan-China standoff over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands has unveiled the antagonistic quality to contemporary Sino-Japanese relations, with important additions to standard balancing behavior: economic statecraft and, notably, active engagement with government-led strategic communications. Under the Xi and Abe administrations, China and Japan have insisted on their moral position as benign and peaceful powers, and portrayed their neighbour as an aggressive revisionist. These strategic…
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Time:
19:30 (Door open at 19:00)
Speaker:
  • W. David Marx (writer)

In this lecture, W. David Marx, author of the book Ametora: How Japan Saved American Style, will talk through the development of the apparel market for young men in the post-war period, from the Ivy League boom of the 1960s to the birth of Japanese denim to the export of high-end Japanese fashion to the rest of the world. The lecture will look at four major moments in Japanese fashion history. First, the brand VAN Jacket and its intentional business decision to copy Ivy League fashion as a way to create a youth market. Second, the denim brands in the Okayama area who made the country’s first jeans to keep…
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