WWII, Japan and the Gardens

Third Thursday Lectures
Thursday 21 Dec 2017 | 6 PM

Weston Room
Norwich Cathedral Hostry
Norwich NR1 4DH

Professor Toshio Watanabe
Sainsbury Institute and University of the Arts, London

About the Lecture

In this talk the relationships between World War II, Japan and the gardens are explored with a number of specific examples, many of them unfamiliar even to specialists in Japanese gardens. First, we will look into what happened during the World War II. One might think a period of war is not a time for creating new gardens, but this is not so. Three such examples from Japan, Hong Kong and the USA will be introduced. However, after the war many more gardens have been and are still created as a way of remembering the war. When we encounter many of these gardens, it becomes clear that the nature of the memory is very diverse. Some are commemorating victory against Japan, some are emphasising their own victimhood and in others the message is a push for peace. All of them seem to include at least some kind of memory of sacrifice. The diversity doesn’t stop with why these gardens were created but also how these gardens are experienced. Examples will be shown from across the world.

About the Speaker

Toshio Watanabe is Professor for Japanese Arts and Cultural Heritage at Sainsbury Institute, University of East Anglia and Professor of History of Art and Design at the University of the Arts London (UAL). He was the Founding Director of the Research Centre for Transnational Art, Identity and Nation (TrAIN) at UAL (2004-2015). His research has explored how the arts of different places and culture intermingle and affect each other. His publications include High Victorian Japonisme (1991. Society for the Study of Japonisme Prize), Japan and Britain: An Aesthetic Dialogue 1850-1930 (1991, Japanese edition 1992, co-edited), and Ruskin in Japan 1890-1940: Nature for art, art for life (1997, Japan Festival Prize and Gesner Gold Award). He is currently working among others on modern Japanese garden in a transnational context.

To book your seat, please go to the booking form or email the Sainsbury Institute

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About the Third Thursday Lecture Series

The Third Thursday Lectures hosted by the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures are on a range of topics related to the art and culture of Japan. Talks begin at 6pm (50-minute lecture followed by refreshments). Speakers are all specialists in their field and the talks are intended to be accessible to those with no prior knowledge of Japanese history.

Admission is free and all are welcome. Booking essential. To book your seat, please go to the booking form or email the Sainsbury Institute

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The lecture will be held at the Weston Room, Cathedral Hostry, Norwich NR1 4DH.


Future Third Thursday Lectures

18 January 2018 – Dr Simon Kaner, Sainsbury Institute and University of East Anglia.
Perceptions of the arrival of Buddhism in Japan

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15 February 2018 – Dr Jun Shioya, Tokyo Research Institute for Cultural Properties
A Gaze of Reverence, Curiosity and Taboo: visual representations of the Meiji Emperor

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The Third Thursday Lecture series is funded by the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, Yakult and the Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Charitable Trust.

Third Thursday Lectures is a monthly lecture series supported by

TTL logo GBSF Yakult