Beyond Japan Ep. #34: History & Myth in Ancient Texts with Prof Bryan Lowe

Our third and final Shōtoku interviewee is Bryan Lowe, Assistant Professor of Religion at Princeton University, with whom Oliver will be getting to grips with the tricky task of reading history from mythology in ancient texts such as the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki.

Beyond Japan Ep. #33: The First Empress Jingū – Powerful Women in Ancient Japan with Professor Chizuko Allen

Our second Shōtoku interviewee is Chizuko Allen, Professor of Asian Pacific American Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and researcher of Korea-Japan relations in ancient times, who will discuss the hidden history of the powerful women of Japan’s distant past through the First Empress of Japan, Empress Jingū.

Beyond Japan Ep. #32: Mixed Religions – Buddhism, Shinto & Honji Suijaku (本地垂迹)

Oliver is joined by Marcus Teeuwen, Professor of Japanese Studies at the University of Oslo, who explains the changing faiths of Japan in the 7th century through the Buddhist concept of honji suijaku (本地垂迹), a notion which allowed Buddhist monks to explain the gods, or kami, worshipped in Japan at the time as traces of Buddhist deities.

Beyond Japan Ep. #31: International Research Post-COVID with Professor Simon Kaner

Oliver is joined by Professor Simon Kaner for a reflective episode on international research post-pandemic. Simon will share with us how research projects at the Sainsbury Institute have been altered by the pandemic, the pros and cons of such changes and how he believes future international research will look once we’re out the other side.

Beyond Japan Ep. #30: Big Data in Prehistory with Dr Enrico Crema

Oliver is joined by Dr Enrico Crema of the University of Cambridge to discuss how big data is revolutionising our understandings of prehistoric societies, laying out shifts in demographics and cultural exchange that occurred with early migration from the Korean peninsula to the Japanese mainland.

Friday Food For Thought: Japan cautious as 6 of G7 back Chinese sanctions

In response to the appalling treatment of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang, China by the Chinese government, the G7 have together issued a slew of hard-hitting sanctions – all except Japan. Oliver explores the fine balancing act of Sino-Japanese relations behind this decision.

Beyond Japan Ep. #29: Disaster Heritage with Dr Andrew Littlejohn

Oliver is joined by Dr Andrew Littlejohn of Leiden University to discuss disaster heritage around the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011. Together they explore how disaster heritage fosters debate around the relationship between humans and their environments, as well as its potential to disrupt authorised heritage discourse.

Friday Food For Thought: More Tokyo 2021 gaffes and body-shaming in Japan

In the aftermath of Yoshiro Mori’s resignation as the head of the Olympics Committee for his derogatory comments on women, another senior head of the committee has rolled after creative chief Hiroshi Sasaki announced his resignation after suggesting plus-size comedian Naomi Watanabe could feature as an “Olympig”. It’s difficult to believe that after Mori’s blunderContinue reading “Friday Food For Thought: More Tokyo 2021 gaffes and body-shaming in Japan”

Beyond Japan Ep. #28: Nihonjinron – the Future of “Japanese-ness” with Prof David Rear

Oliver is joined by Professor David Rear of Chuō University to discuss the once-dominant discourse of nihonjinron, or “Japanese-ness”, which has shaped many aspects of Japanese society over the last century through its ideas of Japanese uniqueness and group-consciousness.