[S2E26] 👩‍🦯 Infrastructure for the Blind with Maud Rowell

Oliver is joined by Maud Rowell, blind freelance journalist and author of ‘Blind Spot: Exploring and Educating on Blindness’, to discuss Infrastructure for the Blind.

[S2E25] 😸 Pets & Animal Cafés with Brittany Rapone

Oliver is joined by Brittany Rapone, PhD candidate at the School of Social Sciences at Oxford Brookes University, to discuss attitudes towards pets and animal cafes in Japan. Brittany walks us through the cultural commonality of human-animal relationships and the “rent-a-pet” model of animal cafes in Japan, providing the iyashi, or “comfort”, of animal interaction at an hourly rate.

[S2E24] 💀 Public Opinion on Capital Punishment with Dr Viviana Andreescu

Oliver is joined by Viviana Andreescu, Associate Professor of Justice Administration at the University of Louisville, to discuss public opinion on capital punishment in Japan. Viviana’s 2020 article, ‘Public opinion and the death penalty in Japan’, took a look at over 2,500 responses of the Japanese General Social Survey to gauge who supports the death penalty and who would recommend it as a member of the relatively new Citizen Judge System.

[S2E23] 👩‍🎨 Global Crafts: Woodblock Prints with Wuon-Gean Ho

This week Oliver is joined by Wuon-Gean Ho, printmaker and research associate at the University of West England’s Centre for Print Research, to discuss the place of mokuhanga, or woodblock printmaking, in the global spread of traditional crafts.

[S2E22] 👤 The Body Politic with Dr Andreas Musolff

This week we are joined by Dr Andreas Musolff, professor at the School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies at the University of East Anglia, to discuss the body politic and how metaphors for nations vary across the world. Andreas shares the insights from his recent book, National Conceptualisations of the Body Politic: Cultural Experience and Political Imagination, covering an 8-year survey of over 2,000 students across 29 countries.

[S2E21] 😂 Humour in Art: Kawanabe Kyōsai with Dr Koto Sadamura

This week we are joined by Dr Koto Sadamura, Robert & Lisa Sainsbury Research Fellow at the Sainsbury Institute, to discuss the place of humour in art through the works of the eccentric 19th century painter Kawanabe Kyōsai. Kyōsai’s specialty of kyōga, or “comic pictures”, have historically been overlooked when compared with his more traditional works, despite being of equal skill and cultural significance. Koto also unpicks how comic devices such as inversion of legendary figures were used to depict humorous situations which people of all classes could relate to, much like the memes of today.

[S2E20] ⛩️ Global Shinto with Kaitlyn Ugoretz

This week we are joined by Kaitlyn Ugoretz, anthropologist of religion and a PhD candidate in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies at UC Santa Barbara, to discuss the global appeal of Shinto in the digital era. Kaitlyn introduces us to online Shinto communities as old as the internet itself, as well as the many international faces of Shinto, from official shrines in the USA to localised rituals and Marie Kondo’s brand of spiritualism.

[S2E19] 🤰 Family Planning Policy with Dr Aya Homei

This week we are joined by Dr Aya Homei from the University of Manchester to discuss family planning, looking at how Japan’s history of medical science has influenced policy and its impact on the current aging population. Aya unpacks historical attitudes in Japan towards child-bearing held by individuals and the nation and explains that through scientific thought of the time, such as eugenics, much can be understood about attitudes today in Japan and East Asia.

[S2E18] ⚔️ Samurai in Cinema with Dr Jonathan Wroot

his week we are joined by Dr Jonathan Wroot, Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of Greenwich, to discuss Samurai in Cinema. Oliver and Jonathan take a look at the many faces of samurai in Japanese cinema and their global influence on film producers. Jonathan also focusses on Zatoichi, the lone blind swordsman that has graced film and TV in Japan and elsewhere for over 50 years.

[S2E17] 🎨 Art & Cultural Exchange with David Elliott

This week we are joined by art historian, curator and writer David Elliott to discuss art as a means of cultural exchange. David shares with us his experience of challenging the Euro-American concept of Modern Art by exhibiting contemporary Asian, African and Latin American artists, as well as his new approach of looking at art history through trousers.