Message from the Executive Director
A full year of research, outreach and education programmes
We are already in the second month of 2017, the year of the rooster. As the Sainsbury Institute will continue to carry out numerous programs throughout the year in all three of our main fields of activity – research, outreach and education – there is plenty to look forward to for all of our friends and supporters.
This summer will be a particularly busy one. We are planning to hold three academic workshops during May and June with our current and past fellows at 64 The Close. The themes will vary from Japanese films, manga and legal issues to merchants in East Asia. Our main audience for these workshops will be academics but some workshops will be open to the public. Please keep an eye on our website and register if the theme intrigues you.
From 12-14 to July, we will co-host with UEA’s Centre for Japanese Studies an international conference to examine the status of Japanese cultural studies and Japanese art collections in Europe. We have invited art historians and curators from the UK, Europe, Japan and the US who will present papers and engage in debates. Prominent scholars, along with current and former policy makers, will also join us from Japan and London. The third and final day of the conference will be held at the Norwich Cathedral Hostry and will be open to the public. We are keen to learn not only from the experts but also from members of the public concerning what they think we all gain from promoting Japanese arts and culture in Europe. What is our mission, is there enough impact for this venture to be supported by governments, charities and individuals? The goal of the conference is to come up with policy recommendations that will help secure the future of Japanese arts and cultures in Europe. In short, we are asking the big question: do SISJAC’s activities matter in the larger realm?
At the same time as the conference, the summer school ‘Japan Orientation’, run by the Centre for Japanese Studies and supported by SISJAC, will take place for the 4th year in a row. For the past three years, students mainly from central and eastern European countries have applied to this one-month course. Full bursaries will be provided to 15 students thanks to our sponsor the Toshiba International Foundation. This year as in previous years we hope to receive many applications and to continue to inspire the younger generation. For information on how to apply please see here.
Another educational program which is reaching its end just as I am write this piece is the two-week long Winter Student Exchange program based on our collaboration with the faculty of Letters of the University of Tokyo. Tokyo University is renown as the highest ranking Japanese university in international higher education. It was indeed a great honour for our Institute when they chose us to be their international partner for this program. Students from Tokyo University come to the UK in the winter to learn about British culture and heritage with British and European students. Then in summer, the British and European students are, in turn, sent to Japan to learn about Japanese cultural heritage with the Japanese students. It is a wonderful and enriching exchange program in the truest sense.
Some of you may remember an exquisite exhibition of Japanese dolls that was held a few years back at the Assembly House in Norwich. These beautiful dolls made by Ono Hatsuko will now travel to Salamanca, Spain. We are working with the Centro Cultural Hispano Japones of the University of Salamanca to open this exhibition from 10 May to the end of July. Those who missed the chance to enjoy the exhibition in Norwich now have a good reason to visit Salamanca and observe how these Japanese dolls will be elegantly exhibited in the medieval building of the Centro on the campus of one of the oldest universities in Europe and indeed the world.
Our monthly lecture series held at the Norwich Cathedral Hostry, the Third Thursday Lectures, are already lined up until the end of the year. Lectures on Japanese film script-writing, Japanese comedy rakugo, kimono, manga and more will be delivered each month. We are grateful and proud of our dedicated audience, and would also like to welcome newcomers who would like to experience the flavor and history of Japanese culture.
Last but not least, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of East Anglia, Professor David Richardson, who is also our Chair, will make his second official visit to Japan from late May to early June. His week-long stay in Japan will be a non-stop round of appointments and events reflecting our strong network in Japan. The 4th Ishibashi Lecture series, this time on Japanese tea culture and the trade of tea, will take place while Professor Richardson is in Japan. You can find information on this event here.
This list is far from the entire picture of our activities, so keep an eye on our website for updates and and to enjoy all that we offer.