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October 2018

No Nukes for Dinner: Katsumata Susumu’s Anti-Nuclear Manga

Thursday, October 18
  • Ryan Holmberg (Visiting Associate Professor at University of Tokyo, freelance art historian/critic and editor/translator of manga)

One of the regulars of the legendary alternative manga monthly Garo in the magazine’s heyday of the late 1960s and early 1970s, Susumu Katsumata (1943-2007) has the curious distinction of having risen within the world of political cartooning and literary comics while studying toward a graduate degree in nuclear physics in Tokyo. While best known for his stories about life and myth in the Japanese countryside, Katsumata also drew frequently about political and social issues since the mid 1960s, including…

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Why is Myanmar Persecuting Rohingyas?: A “Buddhist” Nationalist Perspective

Tuesday, October 23
  • Maung Zarni (UK-exiled Burmese Buddhist human rights campaigner)

In a recent comment, Antonio Guetteres, UN Secretary General and former head of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), repeated a typical characterization, "one of the most persecuted peoples" in the world. Upon a closer look, Rohingyas are Myanmar's Jews singled out by the most powerful national institution, the Armed Forces, for no other reason than they exist as Muslims in the wrong place at the wrong time. Out of the total of 50 million in a predominantly Buddhist society, Rohingyas make…

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November 2018

Why is Japan resisting changes?

Tuesday, November 6
  • Hiromi Murakami (Founder and President of Japan Institute for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship (JSIE))

Winning his 3rd term as LDP president, Shinzo Abe is on course to become Japan’s longest-serving prime minister. In his “Innovation 2025” vision released in 2007 during his first stint as premier, he committed his cabinet to turning Japan into an innovative nation. But 11 years later, not only is Japan not an innovative nation, it is losing the innovation race to China, the United States, South Korea and others such as Taiwan, Germany and Singapore. Why? While technology has…

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After the Midterm Elections – US Politics/Society and Japan

Wednesday, November 14
  • Miya Shichinohe-Suga (Professor in the Area Studies Department at Tokyo Gakugei University)
  • Paul Sracic (Chair of the Department of Politics and International Relations at Youngstown State University in Ohio)

Following the US mid-term Congressional elections, we will have a discussion their results and what they tell us about American society and its evolution. We'll also discuss how young Japanese are reacting to events in the United States and how this impacts Japanese society and perceptions of the United States.

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