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Friday, February 5, 2016
The Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission is pleased to be a sponsor of Tabaimo: Her Room at the San Jose Museum of Art, which opens tomorrow, February 6, 2016. This is the first major museum exhibition in the United States showing works by world-renowned Japanese artist, Tabaimo.
The exhibit features three video animations, two of which have never before been seen in the United States, as well as 18 scroll-like ink drawings. Tabaimo further explores her interest in transforming space in new, site-specific wall drawings made exclusively for this exhibition. Tabaimo’s imagery – based on thousands of drawings made with an automatic brush pen – specifically recalls well-known Edo-period (1603–1868) ukiyo-e prints. Using Photoshop, she samples her colors directly from reproductions of these prints. Yet Tabaimo’s style is very much a 21st-century hybrid: she blends tradition with oblique references to popular visual culture, including Japanese comics (manga) and animation (anime).
The exhibit is open through August 21, 2016.
Thursday, February 4, 2016
In the forty years since it was established in 1975, the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission (JUSFC) has supported research on timely issues to inform the public about current developments in U.S.-Japan relations. In 2015, JUSFC commissioned a study by Professor Robert Pekkanen at the University of Washington on the role of civil society in Japan in light of the triple disasters on March 11, 2011.
Prof. Pekkanen’s report looks at the effect of the triple disasters on Japan’s civil society over time. It addresses the devastation caused; the consequent outpouring of generosity and support; the role of Japan’s civil society organizations during the crisis; the impact that this had on philanthropy in Japan; and the challenges faced by the organizations in the aftermath of the disasters.
“Civil society is a natural area to examine for change after the triple disasters,” Prof. Pekkanen writes. “…civil society organizations were on the front lines in disaster relief, and also integral in channeling the massive outpouring of support for the Tohoku region in particular and Japan more generally. We have reason to believe that natural disasters can produce change in civil society… a massive disaster brings an unprecedented civil society response, leading to a short term influx of resources (volunteers, funding)…and prodding new regulations by the government intended to spur the further development of civil society.” The entire report may be found here.
Tuesday, February 2, 2016
JUSFC40: Creative Artist Program Alumnae Sawako Nakayasu and Marie Mockett are 2016 PEN Award Finalists
The Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission is delighted to announce that U.S.-Japan Creative Artists Program Alumnae Sawako Nakayasu and Marie Mutsuki Mockett have been shortlisted for the 2016 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation and the 2016 PEN Open Book Award , respectively. Since 1978, the Commission has worked with the National Endowment for the Arts to implement the U.S.-Japan Creative Artists’ Program. This important bilateral program allows artists to research and experience both the traditional and contemporary artistic milieu of Japan.
The Poetry in Translation award recognizes book-length translations of poetry from any language into English published in 2015. Ms. Nakayasu is shortlisted for The Collected Poems of Chika Sagawa, translated from the Japanese. The Open Book Award recognizes exceptional book-length work of literature by an author of color, published in 2015. Ms. Mockett is shortlisted for her work Where the Dead Pause, and the Japanese Say Goodbye: A Journey.
Sawako Nakayasu is an award-winning poet who was born in Japan and raised in the United States. Her most recent books are The Ants (Les Figues Press, 2014), and Texture Notes (Letter Machine, 2010), and recent translations include The Collected Poems of Sagawa Chika (Canarium Books, 2015), and Tatsumi Hijikata’s Costume en Face (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2015).
Marie Mutsuki Mockett is an award-winning author who was born and raised in California to a Japanese mother and American father. Her first novel, Picking Bones from Ash, was shortlisted for the Saroyan International Prize for Writing, and a finalist for the… » READ MORE
Site updated on February 4, 2016