Seminar: Friday 19 September 2014
Excavating cultural heritage: the archaeological implications of the Great East Japan disaster three years on
As well as the terrible human cost, the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the Pacific coast of northern Honshu in March 2011 had a major impact on cultural heritage.
In the first instance a number of museums, stores and other facilities were directly damaged, and great quantities of heritage materials, both public and personal, were lost. This initial impact was to an extent mitigated by a programme of ‘cultural heritage rescue’. A second impact has been on buried archaeological sites and the important remains they contain in advance of the redevelopment of the region.
Special event: Thursday 25 September 2014
Satoshi Hashimoto is currently one of Japan’s most ‘alarming’ artists, producing works of art that make the viewer feel like someone witnessing a traffic accident. By somehow “questioning your stance”, “ignoring you”, “making a contract with you” or “transferring ownership to you”, they transcend social laws and morality and turn you into a participant, not just an observer.
Special event: Thursday 2 October 2014
On Monday April 25th 2005, a West Japan Railway (JR West) commuter train crashed into an apartment building and killed 107 people when a driver tried to catch up with an 80-second delay. Since the accident, the official committee report has concluded that the direct cause of the accident was over-speeding and JR West have agreed to pay compensation for the victims and changed the timetable. However, the fundamental question has remained unanswered – what made the driver risk so many lives for an 80-second delay?
Book launch: Wednesday 8 October 2014
Professor Junji Banno is a prolific and widely read writer on the political history of modern Japan, whose many insights into its kaleidoscopic politics from the middle of the nineteenth century until the late 1930s have re-written various aspects of Japanese political history. This translation of his latest work by Professor Arthur Stockwin treats eighty crucial years of history with a combination of synoptic overview and fascinating detail.
Book launch: Thursday 16 October 2014
“Across the Three Pagodas Pass” is a translation of the only known detailed account of the building of the notorious 262-mile long Thai-Burma Railway by one of the Japanese professional engineers who was involved in its construction. The author, Yoshihiko Futamatsu, provides an invaluable new source of historical and technical reference that complements the existing large body of literature in English on this subject.