Nara to Norwich, Nibbles, and News

Today (25th January), Professor Simon Kaner will be giving an online lecture at UCL’s Institute of Archaeology about SISJAC’s new project, Nara to Norwich: Art and Belief at the Ends of the Silk Roads, 500 – 1000 CE. Working with colleagues at the British Museum, Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, University of Seoul, University of Uppsala, UCL, and the Sainsbury Centre, the project will address this overarching question through an interdisciplinary approach to several interrelated research themes including Silk Road studies, history and in particular the comparative history of religion, archaeology, architectural and art history, landscape studies, literature and digital humanities. It will examine how two world religions (Buddhism and Christianity) changed and effected change as they moved into new areas (pen/insular east Asia and northwest Europe respectively), coming into contact with, adapting to, and assimilating indigenous religious beliefs and practices (shamanism and Shinto in East Asia, and ancient ritual and religious practices in Europe).

In his lecture, Professor Kaner will be introducing the project, reporting in particular on a study visit to Korea and Japan in 2019 taking in the recently inscribed UNESCO World Heritage sites of the Korean kingdom of Baekje, along with the Asuka region in Japan.

The lecture begins at 16:00 (GMT) and will be held over Zoom. Find out more here.

In my post today, I am also bringing food and beverage news from Japan. Pringles have released a karaage flavoured version of their potato snack in Japan, part of a trend in creative flavours in Japanese snack foods, the perhaps most well-known examples being the various kinds of Japanese KitKats available. A man has also been arrested in Japan for filling his coffee cup with 200 yen’s worth of coffee after only paying 100 yen at a convenience store in Kumamoto. He was reported to the police after staff at the store became suspicious of him over the course of several months. The man would pay for a regular coffee, receive his cup, take it over to the self-service machine and fill it up to the brim.

What’s your favourite snack/flavour from Japan? Let us know in the comments!

On the topic of news, where do you get your information about Japan? Do you read English or Japanese news sites or blogs?

If you join Professor Kaner’s lecture, let us know what you think! What did you know about the Silk Roads before?

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