This article, which digs deeper into the topic of the month, is written by a scholar or a researcher in and outside Japan on his or her thoughts on the topic.
Tokyo 1955-1970: A New Avant-Garde was presented at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, between November 18, 2012 and February 25, 2013, aiming to show the energy of the avant-garde art, generated when multiple media and people intersected in the city of Tokyo during the remarkable period of high economic growth. This was an ambitious exhibition, encompassing many mediums: architecture (Metabolism), music (graphic scores), performance, graphic design, photography, and film.
Lecture "The Kojiki, a long forgotten Aeneid?--A hypothesis from a French researcher" by Professor François Macé of INALCO at the Maison Franco-Japonaise on October 11, 2012, in Tokyo.
The Japan Pavilion won the Golden Lion for Best National Participation at the 13th Venice Biennale International Architecture Exhibition. I imagine the pavilion commissioner Toyo Ito, an internationally renowned architect and winner of the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement in 2002, must have been overjoyed with the news, especially after architects in Japan had experienced the crushing verdict of the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011.
Japan-China relations once again face a serious crisis, with tensions mounting on both sides. The Japanese government's recent decision to purchase the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands from a private owner has further fueled Chinese resentment against Japan and sparked widespread anti-Japan protests across China. There have been dozens of reports of mob attacks on Japanese companies operated there.
Projects for "Japanese-language education overseas" are implemented through the Japanese language, aiming on the one hand to draw attention to aspects of Japan that we hope will attract people's interest and understanding, and, on the other,
The global traveling exhibition How Did Architects Respond Immediately After 3/11--The Great East Japan Earthquake. As the title suggests, the exhibition introduces the activities of architects following the earthquake and tsunami of unprecedented scale in northeastern Japan.
Japanese Studies has dramatically expanded to include three major departments of East Asian Studies at the universities in Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv and Haifa, and an increasing number of East Asian Studies programs offered by other universities and colleges throughout Israel. Extraordinarily high enrollment figures in these departments and programs testify to their unprecedented popularity among young Israelis.
The 800-meter wide Niranjana River runs between Bodh Gaya and its nearby villages. It is here on this riverbed that the artist Ichiro Endo and his team fly their magnificent kites in an art performance that heightens the excitement of the Wall Art Festival.
Cultural Meeting Points seminars provide opportunities for foreign embassy officials who are in charge of cultural affairs to gain a deeper appreciation of the latest trends and developments in the Japanese art scene. In the Spring Seminar 2012 held in March, one year after the Great East Japan Earthquake, speakers talked about various community rebuilding activities carried out by cultural exchange organizations based in the Tohoku region.
In December 2011, I participated in the Japanese Studies Forum held in Higashi Matsushima, Miyagi Prefecture. There, I witnessed at first hand the imprint made by the 3.11 disasters and the efforts Higashi Matsushima is making to rebuild its community. This was one of many occasions where I set foot in Miyagi and other parts of Eastern Japan following the catastrophic March earthquake. With each subsequent visit, I noticed the progress the region has made to regenerate. Observing the indomitable spirit of the Japanese, optimism about the future and energy to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of 3.11, I am convinced that vitality will be restored to Japan.