ICJS Event: Frederik L. Schodt on "How a Native American Named Ranald MacDonald Entered Japan Five Years Before Commodore Perry"

Tuesday, January 25, 2005
12:30 p.m.
Temple University, Japan Campus, Azabu Hall 213 (access)
This lecture is free and open to the general public, but space may be limited. RSVP is not required: seating is on a first come, first served basis.

Frederik L. Schodt is a writer, translator, and professional interpreter who lives in San Francisco. He has written extensively on Japanese comics (manga), and on technology and history. His first book, Manga! Manga! The World of Japanese Comics (Kodansha International, 1983), helped trigger the current popularity of Japanese comics in the United States and - along with its sequel, Dreamland Japan: Writings on Modern Manga (Stone Bridge Press, 1996) - is regarded as a something of a classic. Dreamland Japan has also been translated into Japanese (Nippon Mangaron, Maaru-sha, 1998), as well as Korean (Daseossure, 1999), and a German edition is planned.

His most recent book, Native American in the Land of the Shogun: Ranald MacDonald and the Opening of Japan, was selected by the American Library Association's Choice Magazine as one of its "Outstanding Academic Titles" of the year. In this book Schodt tells the story of how Ranald MacDonald, a young half-Chinook, half-Scot entered Japan in 1848 -- five years before the arrival of Commodore Perry -- and deliberately marooned himself on an island off Hokkaido. During a nearly ten month stay in Japan, he taught English to the official government interpreters in Nagasaki, thus indirectly helping Japan preserve her independence during later negotiations with foreign governments. In his Tuesday afternoon lecture, Schodt will explore how MacDonald conceived of and carried out his extraordinary adventure.

In 2000, Schodt was awarded the special category of the Asahi Shimbun's Osamu Tezuka Culture Award, for his work in popularizing manga overseas. In addition to his own writings, he has been a pioneer in the translation of manga, and is responsible for the English versions of such well-known works such as Astro Boy, The Phoenix, Ghost in the Shell, Man Machine Interface, and many others."

More information on Frederik L. Schodt is available at: http://www.jai2.com

About ICJS

The Institute of Contemporary Japanese Studies (ICJS) is an organization dedicated to fostering study and research on various topics related to contemporary Japan and Asia.