Center for Japanese Studies

photos of downtown Portland and Tokyo side by side to create one image.

Over the past two decades, the Center for Japanese Studies has become world renowned for its vibrant academic, business, and cultural programming. Each academic year, we bring to PSU some of the world’s foremost experts on Japan. The Center has helped launch many students into successful careers through introductions to our worldwide network of experts.  We serve as a resource for the entire region, as we fundamentally increase our community’s understanding of Japan and its complexity.  

2021-02 to 2021-02: 20 Years of Excellence, Center for Japanese Studies

Upcoming events

Mishima Yukio and the Far Right in Postwar Japan

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Add to my Calendar 2021-02-11 18:00:00 2021-02-11 20:00:00 Mishima Yukio and the Far Right in Postwar Japan Join PSU's Center for Japanese Studies, with co-sponsors Department of World Languages and the Institute for Asian Studies, for our series, "Re-discovering the Work of Mishima Yukio, Fifty Years Out." REGISTER FOR WEBINAR Japan, a pluralistic democracy, is a country of 125 million people, including some who support what could be termed far right positions in reference to numerous issues. In this roundtable, Professors Yamaguchi and Ruoff, who have researched and written extensively about Japan’s far right, will introduce how Japan’s far right views numerous topics, ranging from the legitimacy of the Postwar Constitution to issues related to gender to how to interpret Japan’s role in the Asia Pacific War (1931-1945). The political right has arguably been predominant in Japan for most of the postwar era, and this discussion focuses on the slice of the political spectrum that pushes on the center right from further to the right.    Tomomi Yamaguchi is a cultural anthropologist who has written extensively about far right views of gender roles, as well as women’s roles in far right movements. She has recently been working on projects on the history of Japanese feminism from 1970s to present. Ken Ruoff is a historian who has begun a book-length project about the Political Right in Postwar Japan.  His most recent book is Japan’s Monarchy in the Postwar Era, 1945-2019, which includes numerous references to far rightist views of the imperial house. This series has been made possible by a grant from the Toshiba International Foundation. Remote cjs@pdx.edu cjs@pdx.edu America/Los_Angeles public

Mishima's Popular Literature - Travesty and Entertainment (…

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Add to my Calendar 2021-02-04 18:00:00 2021-02-04 20:00:00 Mishima's Popular Literature - Travesty and Entertainment (Issues in Publication, Reception, and Translation) Join PSU's Center for Japanese Studies, with co-sponsors Department of World Languages and the Institute for Asian Studies, for our series, "Re-discovering the Work of Mishima Yukio, Fifty Years Out." REGISTER FOR WEBINAR Yukio Mishima wrote two sorts of literature – "pure" literature and his "entertainments." This roundtable, moderated by PSU professor of Japanese Laurence Kominz, is an exploration of the latter – light novels and playful essays that poke fun at everything that takes place in Japanese society, and everyone in it. These works abound in hyperbole, travesty, and camp, and his characters run the gamut of narcissistic playboys, egotistical intellectuals, greedy businessmen, manipulative starlets, overbearing matrons. Mishima explored in a more entertaining way his hot issues: human arrogance, pride, and pretension and our obsessions with material wealth, sex, and status. Nathaniel Bond is a Ph.D. candidate in Japanese Literature at the University of Washington and a Visiting Assistant Professor of Japanese at Western Washington University. His dissertation topic is palliative and dark humor in Japanese Literature, and his current scholarly interests are literary humor, popular literature, and four-panel comics. His non-scholarly interests are gardening, dog ownership, and child-rearing. Sam Bett is a writer and Japanese translator. Awarded Grand Prize in the 2016 JLPP International Translation Competition, he won the 2019/2020 Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Prize for his translation of Star by Yukio Mishima (New Directions, 2019). Sam has translated fiction by Yoko Ogawa, NISIOISIN and Keigo Higashino as well as essays by Banana Yoshimoto, Haruomi Hosono and Toshiyuki Horie. He is also a founder and host of Us&Them, a quarterly Brooklyn-based reading series showcasing the work of writers who translate. With David Boyd, he is co-translating the novels of Mieko Kawakami for Europa Editions.  This series has been made possible by a grant from the Toshiba International Foundation. Remote cjs@pdx.edu cjs@pdx.edu America/Los_Angeles public

Sun and Celluloid: The Films of Mishima Yukio

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Add to my Calendar 2021-02-25 18:00:00 2021-02-25 20:00:00 Sun and Celluloid: The Films of Mishima Yukio Join PSU's Center for Japanese Studies, with co-sponsors Department of World Languages and the Institute for Asian Studies, for our series, "Re-discovering the Work of Mishima Yukio, Fifty Years Out." REGISTER FOR WEBINAR Known primarily for his exceptional prose and dynamic personality Mishima Yukio continues to fascinate and intrigue audiences around the world. Within Mishima’s literary and pop culture success, however, was a personal fascination with cinema. This talk will analyze Mishima’s film-work not as a hobby or sideshow, but argue that it forms a core component in the totality of Mishima’s artistic development. From Yakuza pictures of the studio system, stunt casting in avante-garde film, or even a mock rehearsal of his own death, Mishima Yukio contributed to a brief, but potent component of Japanese cinema history. Patrick A. Terry is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the School of Film at Portland State University offering courses pertaining to East Asian and transnational cinemas. His PhD work at the University of Kansas addresses the intersection of art and commerce in Japan’s domestic film industry from the late 1960s to early 1990s with emphasis on the collapse of the studio system and rise of independent production companies. He is currently working on articles and a manuscript pertaining to the rise of Kadokawa Pictures and their company head, Kadokawa Haruki. This series has been made possible by a grant from the Toshiba International Foundation. Remote cjs@pdx.edu cjs@pdx.edu America/Los_Angeles public

Directing Plays by Mishima: Appeal, Challenges and Rewards

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Add to my Calendar 2021-03-09 18:00:00 2021-03-09 20:00:00 Directing Plays by Mishima: Appeal, Challenges and Rewards Join PSU's Center for Japanese Studies, with co-sponsors Department of World Languages and the Institute for Asian Studies, for our series, "Re-discovering the Work of Mishima Yukio, Fifty Years Out." REGISTER FOR WEBINAR Miyamoto Amon is one of Japan’s leading theater directors. He has directed numerous straight plays, musicals, and opera productions. In the last two decades he has taken many of his shows to the United States, Europe, and Canada. His debut in New York was as director of his Japanese version of the Broadway musical, Pacific Overtures, at the Lincoln Center Festival in 2004. Miyamoto is fascinated by the plays of Mishima Yukio. His award winning adaptation of Mishima’s masterpiece, Kinkakuji (The Temple of the Golden Pavilion) was performed to acclaim abroad as well in New York and in France. In 2016 Amon produced and directed Mishima’s big-cast blockbuster, The Terrace of the Leper King, set in the medieval Khmer Kingdom. Performance rights difficulties had prevented the play’s performance for almost fifty years. Miyamoto’s performance was the first staging since Mishima’s death. During the Corona lockdown in Japan last year, Miyamoto organized the huge “Sing for Hope” project which involved participants from all around the country. David Kaplan is the curator and co-founder of the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival, now in its sixteenth year. In 2007 he directed the world premiere of “The Day in Which a Man Dies,” a play written by Tennessee Williams about the death of Jackson Pollock as told by a Mishima-inspired narrator. This began Kaplan’s research into the relationship, personal and professional, between Mishima and Williams. In 2018 Kaplan curated a Tennessee Williams and Mishima season in Provincetown, pairing productions of four plays by Williams with four by Mishima. Jerry Mouawad is Artistic Co-Director and Founding Member of Imago Theatre in Portland, Oregon. In the spring and fall of 2012, he directed and choreographed the English-language premiere of the 1961 masterpiece The Black Lizard, which is Yukio Mishima’s most technically challenging modern play available in translation, incorporating many elements of kabuki acting and staging. Jerry studied the teachings of Jacques Lecoq at the Hayes-Marshall School of Theatre Arts. His awards include an Oregon Arts Commission Fellowship, Portland Theater Guild Fellowship, Best Director by the Independent Reviewers of New England, the New York Dance Film Award, and Portland Theatre awards for acting, light design, choreography, and best original play. This series has been made possible by a grant from the Toshiba International Foundation. Remote cjs@pdx.edu cjs@pdx.edu America/Los_Angeles public