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Japan Research Centre

Gambare Nippon – Imagi(ni)ng Japan post 3/11

Date: 3 September 2014Time: 1:00 PM

Finishes: 4 September 2014Time: 6:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Type of Event: Symposium

The 11 March 2011 has been a defining date for contemporary Japanese Studies.  Not so much the earthquake and tsunami that happened on the day, as devastating as they were, but the nuclear catastrophe that came with the natural disaster has become the new focal point of interest. Fukushima, the term itself is symbolic, summing up all the problems that Japan has faced since 2011.  Fukushima seems to have become the flipside of Japan, as bad news continue to dominate international discourses.  On the other hand, Cool Japan still draws in many audiences, and Japanese popular culture is still going strong across the world, counterbalancing Fukushima.  The catchphrase Gambare Nippon (Hold on, Japan) that was heard so often in 2011, does not really seem to have been needed.

Japan seems to be developing two faces, the shiny, glittering one that is created through its extraordinarily successful popular culture and the craze around the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020, and the darker face that comes from Fukushima and the issues surrounding the nuclear plant.  At the same time that ‘our’ image of Japan begins to change, it also stays the same.  Thus, in this field of tension, it becomes important to expand the academic discourse to look at representations of Fukushima, but also at how the images that the Japanese have of themselves and how Japan is shown abroad have changed since 2011.


Wednesday, 3 September 2014
13:00 - 17:00B104Roundtable Discussion with Iwabuchi Koichi
17:00 - 20:00Khalili Lecture TheatreFilm Screening: Land of Hope
Thursday, 4 September 2014
9:00 - 18:00B104Symposium


The events on 3 September 2014 are free and open to the public. No booking required. 

Registration for 4 September 2014 symposium will be open in the coming weeks. 

Organiser: Centres & Programmes Office

Contact email: centres@soas.ac.uk

Contact Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4893