Fwd: Donald Keene Center events at Columbia University

Aaron Gerow gerow
Wed Oct 16 22:56:23 EDT 2002

---------------- Begin Forwarded Message ----------------

Upcoming events at the Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture, Columbia

All events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise indicated.
To view a Columbia campus map on-line, go to:

For program details and updates please visit our website at:

October 16 (Wednesday)   6:30pm
"Modern Japanese Literature: One Hundred Years of Solitude"
Genichiro Takahashi, novelist and Visiting Fellow of the Donald Keene
403 Kent Hall, Columbia University (116th Street and Amsterdam Ave.)
Sponsored by the Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture

Genichiro Takahashi is one of Japan's leading postmodern writers.  He
has published numerous novels, short stories, and essays over the past
two decades.  His first novel, Sayonara, Gyangutachi (Sayonara,
Gangsters 1982), won the Gunzo Literary Award for First Novels.  In
addition, his Yuga de kansho-teki na Nippon-yakyuu (Japanese Baseball:
Elegant and Sentimental) won the Mishima Yukio Award in 1988, and his
Nihon bungaku seisui shi recently received the Itoh Sei Literature
Award.  His other works include Penguin mura ni hi wa ochite (Sunset in
Penguin Village, 1989), Wakusei P-13 no himitsu (The Secret of Planet
13, 1990), and Gosutobasutazu (Ghostbusters, 1997).

In this talk, Mr. Takahashi will be reading from his first published
novel, Sayonara, Gyangutachi.  He also will also be commenting on
Japanese literature from the turn of the 20th century to the present.

(Please note this lecture will be in Japanese with English translation

Mr. Takahashi is a Visiting Fellow of the Donald Keene Center, under a
program sponsored by the United States-Japan Foundation.

October 21 (Monday)
Screening of "Lily Festival" ("Yurisai") and Q&A Session with the Film's
Award-winning director Hamano Sachi
Roone Arledge Cinema, Lerner Hall, Columbia University (115th St. &
7:00 PM

Directed by HAMANO Sachi
Starring Yoshiyuki Kazuko, Mickey Curtis, Shoji Utae, Shirakawa Kazuko
Japan 2001. 100 minutes. In Japanese with English subtitles

This movie is based on the novel "Lily Festival" ("Yurisai") by MOMOTANI
Hoko, a caustic and brightly humorous portrayal of the sexuality of
elderly women.  The heroines of the story are seven women who range in
age from 69 to 91. When an elderly ladies' man moves into their
old-fashioned apartment building, a tremendous commotion ensues.  The
women of this film are bold and overflowing with energy. In Japan,
desexualized 'cute old ladies' sometimes appear as an ideal
representation of the aged, but the residents of Lily Festival's
apartment building are not pent up by the image of the 'old lady.' Once
the gray-haired dandy has shown them the possibilities of sexuality,
they dauntlessly break out of their shells and begin to act. This film
portrays the lively reawakening of the sexual energies of old women who
had been shackled by both oppression of women and discrimination against
the elderly.

HAMANO Sachi had always wanted to work as a director. But in the 1960s,
when she tried to get into the world of film-making, the Japanese movie
business was a male-dominated society, and there were almost no studios
willing to hire women as potential directors. However, in 1968 Hamano
succeeded in finding work as an assistant director in independent
production companies, and in 1971 she debuted as a director. In 1984 she
founded her own production company, Tantansha. Since then, working as
both producer and director, she has released over 300 low-budget adult
films portraying sexuality from women's perspectives, becoming one of
the most popular and respected filmmakers in this genre. Throughout her
career Hamano has maintained her philosophy of celebrating the sexuality
of her heroines but not degrading their images, and her recent
independent films have been widely supported in Japan by women's and
grass-roots groups. In 1998 she produced "In Search of a Lost Writer"
("Dainanakankai hoko: Ozaki Midori o sagashite") which depicted the life
and work of the forgotten female writer OZAKI Midori (1896-1971).
Funding for this film was provided in part by donations from over 12,000
women from all over Japan. Hamano was awarded Japan's 4th Women's
Culture Prize for "Lost Writer" in 2000; that same year she encountered
MOMOTANI Hoko's novel on elderly sexuality, "Lily Festival" ("Yurisai"),
and determined to adapt it for the screen. The resulting feature film,
completed in 2001, has been screened throughout Japan, and by invitation
at film festivals elsewhere in Asia, North America, and Europe,
including the International Tokyo Women's Film Festival, the Montreal
International Film Festival, and the International Women's Film Festival
in Turin, Italy, where it was awarded Second Prize in the Dramatic
Features category.

Sponsored by the Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture

November 12 (Tuesday)
Lecture & demonstration: Aizome
Ken'ichi Utsuki (of Aizenkobo, a leading establishment of traditional
indigo dyeing in Kyoto)
403 Kent Hall, Columbia University (116th St. & Amsterdam Ave.)
6:00 PM

Kenichi Utsuki was born and raised in Kyoto, Japan. He took an early
interest in fabrics, influenced by his grandfather who was a textile
merchant and amateur painter. Mr. Utsuki studied mathematics at Nihon
University, and earned a bachelor's degree in English from Kyoto Sangyo
University. He learned the skill of Japanese indigo dyeing with natural
dyes from his father, and has gone on to promote this traditional craft
with his own improvements. His works have been displayed in museums,
including the following works in the permanent collection at the
Victoria & Albert Museum in London: Stencil dye of Japanese pure indigo
Noren "Momokuri Sannnen Kaki Hachinen" (2/1995); Stencil dye of Japanese
pure indigo Noren "Haru mata Kaeru" (10/1996); Japanese pure indigo
paper with pure gold scroll "Setsugetsuka" (6/1997).

Sponsored by the Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture

November 14 (Thursday)
Lecture and slide presentation: "Against the Grain: An Aesthetics of
Japanese Popular Prints, 1915-1960"
Kendall Brown (Professor of Art History, California State University,
Long Beach)
403 Kent Hall, Columbia University (116th St. & Amsterdam Ave.)
6:00 PM

Most studies of modern Japanese art privilege the avant-garde and
marginalize that which is too overtly commercial, sentimental or
traditional. Those few examinations of conservative modern artistic
movements tend to focus on biography or social context, thus avoiding
the presumably dubious issue of aesthetics. This talk attempts to
elucidate and account for the concepts of beauty active in the modern
prints known collectively as Shin hanga.

Sponsored by the Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture and the Ukiyo-e
Society of America, Inc.
November 20 (Wednesday)
Lecture: "The Iconography of Ships and the Problem of 'Isolation' in the
Later Edo Period"
Timon Screech, School of Oriental and African Studies, Sainsbury
Institute and Visiting Professor, New York University
612 Schermerhorn Hall, Columbia University (118th St. & Amsterdam Ave.,
enter campus at 116th Street)
6:00 PM

The Tokugawa regime foreswore ocean-going ships early in the 17th
century.  International trade was thus entirely in the hands of
foreigners, mostly Chinese and Dutch, but these merchants were of course
working for their own, not the shogunate's, advantage. In the 1780s, the
Tokugawa therefore determined to construct a fleet. This is a forgotten
but fascinating moment. Their huge dilemma was how these ships should
look. They could not be too visibly outlandish, but at the same time a
Japanese-style vessel would not stay afloat in high seas. They
compromised and produced a prototype, the 'Ship of the Three Countries'
(Sangoku-maru). It sank.

Sponsored by the Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture and the
Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University

----------------- End Forwarded Message -----------------

More information about the KineJapan mailing list