Archive for February 2016

JUSFC40: New York International Children’s Film Festival To Open with Mamoro Hosoda’s “The Boy and the Beast” バケモノの子

February 25, 2016 – 

The Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission is delighted to support the screening of Japanese films at the New York International Children’s Film Festival (NYICFF) that opens February 26th with The Boy and the Beast directed by Mamoru Hosoda.

The Film Festival will take place over four weekends February 26 – March 20th at venues throughout New York City. It will present 100 animated, live action, and experimental shorts and features from around the world to an audience of 25,000 children, families, artists, and educators.

The Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission is marking its 40th anniversary through 2016. The Commission has spent the last four decades supporting the U.S.-Japan relationship through public policy, arts, culture, and educational exchanges. 

JUSFC40: Exhibit – “International Pop” Currently at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

February 24, 2016 – 

The Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission is pleased to be a sponsor of International Pop at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which opened February 24, and runs through May 15, 2016. The exhibition chronicles Pop art’s emergence as an international movement, migrating from the United Kingdom and the United States to western and eastern Europe, Latin America, and Japan.

International Pop navigates a fast-paced world packed with bold and thought-provoking imagery, revealing a vibrant period shaped by social, political, and cultural changes. The exhibition chronicles Pop art’s emergence as an international movement, migrating from the UK and the US to western and eastern Europe, Latin America, and Japan. Although Pop arose in distinct forms within each region, artists expressed a shared interest in mass media, consumerism, and figuration.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is the exhibition’s only East Coast venue.

The Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission is marking its 40th anniversary through 2016. The Commission has spent the last four decades supporting the U.S.-Japan relationship through public policy, arts, culture, and educational exchanges. 

 

JUSFC40 Meet our Grantees Series: Paul Kikuchi: Composer, Percussionist, Sound Artist

February 17, 2016 – 

In celebration of its 40th anniversary, the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission is having conversations with a number of grantees.

Paul Kikuchi, a composer, percussionist and sound artist from Indianola, Washington, was a recipient of the U.S.-Japan Creative Artists Exchange Fellowship. He traveled to Japan for several months in 2015 to conduct in-depth research into Japanese history, music (gagaku and enka), and papermaking (washi) to inform a new musical composition as well as “re-imaginations.”

The Fellowship is funded by the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission and administered in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. Here, Kikuchi reflects on his experiences as a Fellow living in Japan.

As a U.S.-Japan Creative Artist Fellow in Japan, Paul Kikuchi was welcomed as a guest researcher at the Research Center for Japanese Traditional Music at 京都芸大 (Kyoto City University of the Arts). “Having access to KCUA resources such as musical scores, recordings, the traditional instrument collection, and the ability to consult experts in the field is truly amazing,” Kikuchi says.  His project in Japan was a song-cycle based on the written memoir and 78 rpm record collection of his great-grandfather Zenkichi Kikuchi, and he focused on composing a new work for traditional Japanese instrumentation and electronics. While in Japan, Kikuchi wrote an extensive travel journal that is a treasure trove of photos, sound recordings, compositions, and reflections.

The opportunity to pursue an artistic residency in Japan exposed Kikuchi to the soundscape of the country, and he spent significant time in Kyoto. “”Kyoto is a city of bells,” he… » READ MORE

JUSFC40: Exhibit – “Tabaimo: Her Room” Currently at the San Jose Museum of Art

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 opened February 6, 2016 and runs through August 21, 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 Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission is marking its 40th anniversary through 2016. The Commission has spent the last four decades supporting the U.S.-Japan relationship through public policy, arts, culture, and educational exchanges. 

JUSFC40: Report – Robert Pekkanen Analyzes Effect of 3.11 Disasters on Japan’s Civil Society

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.

 

JUSFC40: Creative Artist Program Alumnae Sawako Nakayasu and Marie Mockett are 2016 PEN Award Finalists

February 2, 2016 – 

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 Commission is marking its 40th anniversary through 2016.

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. Her most recent books are The Ants, and Texture Notes, and recent translations include The Collected Poems of Sagawa Chika, and Tatsumi Hijikata’s Costume en Face.

Marie Mutsuki Mockett is an award-winning author. Her first novel, Picking Bones from Ash, was shortlisted for the Saroyan International Prize for Writing, and a finalist for the Paterson Prize. She has written for The New York Times, Salon, National Geographic, Glamour, and has been a guest on Talk of the Nation and All Things Considered on NPR.