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October 2017

BOOK LAUNCH AND RECEPTION: Placing Empire: Travel and the Social Imagination in Imperial Japan

October 9, 2017 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Kate McDonald (History, UCSB) With commentary by: Ken Ruoff (History, Center for Japanese Studies, Portland State University), and Sabine Frühstück (Modern Japanese Cultural Studies, East Asia Center, UCSB) Please join us to celebrate the publication of Kate McDonald's new book, Placing Empire: Travel and the Social Imagination in Imperial Japan. Placing Empire examines the spatial politics of Japanese imperialism through a study of Japanese travel and tourism to Korea, Manchuria, and Taiwan between the late nineteenth century and the early 1950s. In a departure from standard histories of Japan, this book shows how debates over the role of colonized lands reshaped the social and spatial imaginary of the modern Japanese nation. In turn, this socio-spatial imaginary affected the ways in which colonial difference was conceptualized and enacted. The book thus illuminates how ideas of place became central to the production of new forms of colonial

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November 2017

TALK: Discoveries in Japanese Literature: The Beginnings of a Translation History

November 1, 2017 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Michael Emmerich (Asian Languages and Cultures, UCLA) is the author of The Tale of Genji: Translation, Canonization, and World Literature (Columbia University Press, 2013), as well as more than a dozen book-length translations of works by Japanese writers including Kawabata Yasunari, Yoshimoto Banana, Takahashi Gen’ichirō, Akasaka Mari, Yamada Taichi, Matsuura Rieko, Kawakami Hiromi, Furukawa Hideo, and Inoue Yasushi. Sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, the East Asia Center, the Dept. of East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies, the Dept. of History, and the IHC’s Reinventing Japan RFG.

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February 2018

Research Focus Group Talk: Finding Echigo in Edo: Snow Country Migrants and their Urban Worlds
Amy Stanley

February 28, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

The Echigo province migrant was a familiar type in nineteenth-century Edo. Every year in the tenth month, snow country peasants would come down the mountains on the Nakasendō Highway and enter the city through Itabashi Station. They wandered down the main street in Hongō, where they were met by labor scouts who had learned to recognize their bewildered expressions and country accents. Many ended up in the city’s notorious boarding houses for laborers, where they were dispatched to rice polishers and bathhouses. Others found work in service with the help of migrants who had come before. Most went home eventually, but others stayed on in the city to become shop owners, peddlers, and even low-ranking samurai. This talk delineates the importance of regional connections and rural-urban migration in the development of Japan’s largest city, and considers how documents kept in

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April 2019

Research Focus Group Talk: Epistemological Revolution in Japan’s Long 1968
Miriam Kingsberg Kadia

April 17, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

A focus on student actors has often led historians of Japan to dismiss the idea of epochal change in “the long 1968.” This talk adopts the perspective of the older generation of Japanese social scientists to show these years as a watershed in the basis of authoritative knowledge. The existing historiography often presents these scholars as reactionary. I show how they, in concert with their colleagues abroad, actually anticipated and indeed accelerated epistemological revolution. Born in the two decades from 1900-1920, “transwar” social scientists assumed leadership of their disciplines in the 1930s and maintained intellectual hegemony across the chronological divide of World War II. They were linked by shared demographic characteristics and, more importantly, through a common commitment to objectivity. Transcending the domestic intellectual community, conviction in objectivity drew together a transnational network of scholars able to trust and engage

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