Book Break: " Reading Colonial Japan"
Reading Colonial Japan: Text, Context, and Critique
Michele M. Mason
Professor of Modern Japanese Literature and Cultural Studies
University of Maryland, College Park
Tuesday, July 10, 2012, from 6.15 pm to 8.30 pmLanguage:
(The talk will be in English)Description:
The Japanese empire lasted from 1869 to 1945 and reigned as the only non-western colonial power of the 20th century. Impacting the lives of millions of Asians and Micronesians, the political, economic, and cultural ramifications of this era are still felt today.
How was the Japanese imperial project understood, imagined, and lived? "Reading Colonial Japan" is a unique anthology that deepens knowledge of Japanese colonialism(s) by providing an eclectic selection of translated Japanese primary sources and analytical essays that illuminate Japan's many and varied colonial projects. The primary documents highlight how central cultural production was to the colonial effort, while accentuating the myriad ways colonialism permeated every facet of life. The genres explored include legal documents, children's literature, cookbooks, serialized comics, and literary texts by well-known authors of the time. These cultural works, produced by a broad spectrum of "ordinary" Japanese citizens (a housewife in Manchuria, settlers in Korea, a manga artist in mainland Japan, and so on), functioned effectively to reinforce the official policies that controlled the lives of the colonized throughout Japan's empire.
By making available and analyzing a range of sources that represent "media" during the Japanese colonial period, "Reading Colonial Japan" draws attention to the powerful role that language and imagination played in producing the material realities of Japanese colonialism.
Sabine Früstrük (University of California, Santa Barbara) describes RCJ as "a splendid collection of colonial writings in translation, paired with critical essays that address historical and theoretical concerns in original and engaging ways. It is an exceptional achievement and a truly important addition to cultural studies, Asian studies, history, and the study of colonialism/postcolonialism, migration, and translation."
”There will be a book sale/signing by the author."
The library committee is now offering a cocktail party - “meet the author” -starting at 6:15 pm, followed by dinner at 6:45 pm. Drinks can be ordered on a pay basis from the bar in the room.
Book Break charges 2,000 yen (including tax) for the event. Sign up now at the reception desk (3211-3161) or online at http://www.fccj.or.jp/node/7473. To help us plan proper seating and food preparation, please reserve in advance, preferably by noon of the day of the event. Those without reservations will be turned away once available seats are filled.
Reservations cancelled less than 24 hours in advance will be charged in full.
Library Committee, THE FOREIGN CORRESPONDENTS' CLUB OF JAPAN