Tokyo-based author W. David Marx will speak about his 2015 cultural history of American fashion in Japan — Ametora: How Japan Saved American Style — which has recently been re-released by Basic Books with a new afterword after surprising global success. Marx will give a presentation in conversation with Japanamerica author and moderator Roland Kelts on this fascinating micro-history of how American menswear came to Japan in the post-war period through the brand VAN Jacket, led to the growth of the denim industry, morphed into a full-fledged obsession with American vintage clothing, and created a robust apparel industry that now exports premium versions of jeans, button-down shirts, and military jackets back to the United States. Ametora serves as a specific and clear case study of how fashion and globalization work in Japan and how Japan can still compete on the global stage.
Marx's writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The New Republic, VOX, and Popeye, as well as on NewYorker.com. In 2022, he released his second book, Status and Culture: How Our Desire for Social Rank Creates Taste, Identity, Art, Fashion, and Constant Change (Viking Books), a general theory of culture. Marx serves as Outside Director for Otsumo Co., Ltd, the company behind the Japanese streetwear brand Human Made. He graduated from Harvard College with a B.A. in East Asian Studies and from Keio University with an M.A. in Marketing and Consumer Behavior. His Master's research on the Japanese music industry was anthologized in the academic work, Idols and Celebrity in Japanese Media Culture (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).
Roland Nozomu Kelts is an award-winning Japanese-American journalist who has written for The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian and others, and is the author of Japanamerica: How Japanese Pop Culture has Invaded the US and The Art of Blade Runner: Black Lotus. He was a Nieman Fellow in Journalism at Harvard University and is currently a visiting professor at Waseda University and an editor of the annual literary magazine, Monkey: New Writing from Japan.
Doors open at 6:00 pm. Dinner is served from 6:15 pm. The presentation starts from 7:15 pm.
Menu: Salad/ Grilled Pork with Pistou Sauce/ Bread/ Ice Cream/ Coffee or Tea with One Drink. Book Break charges are 3,000 yen/ 4,000 yen (members/ non-members) per person.
FCCJ members can sign up at the reception desk. Reservations cancelled less than 72 hours in advance will be charged in full. Non-members can reserve at the reception desk by email (email@example.com). Payment is in advance till Friday, December 8th, 2023. No refund is available unless the event is cancelled by FCCJ.
Online attendance (via Zoom) is available at 550 yen per person. Please indicate the intention to attend online when signing up. Details on how to join online will be sent to individual emails after their reservations are confirmed.
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Library, Archives & Workroom Committee