University of Melbourne (Australia) GJO Activity Report / 活動日誌

University of Melbourne (Australia) Global Japan Office June 2020 Activity Report

Global Japan Office Coordinator
Lu Lin
30/June/2020

Semester ends but the tide continues… 

Semester has ended at the university with exams taking place over a two-week period from mid-June until early July. We congratulate our hardworking students – not just here at the University of Melbourne – but other TUFS students studying in other parts of Australia for making it to the end of a very bizarre (mostly online) semester! While many are taking a much needed mid-semester break, the state of Victoria is heading into another lockdown as spikes in COVID19 arise yet again, and a lot of work is still being done behind closed doors to keep the university going, even amid enormous changes in the tertiary education sector in Australia.

Here at the Japanese Studies department, we have two upcoming book launches: one is for the recently published New Frontiers in Japanese Studies book co-edited by Akihiro Ogawa, Professor of Japanese Studies here at UoM, and Phillip Seaton (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies). The launch (which will happen over Zoom – as many things are for the time being…) will feature appearances by other contributors to the new anthology. We will also have another upcoming book launch with Claire Maree for her new book, queerqueen, which will happen in October.

Take care, stay safe, and until next month (and next semester)!


University of Melbourne (Australia) Global Japan Office May 2020 Activity Report

Global Japan Office Coordinator
Lu Lin
31/May/2020

End of a strange but adaptive semester!

The university’s campuses remain shut as we are still in a Stage 3 State of Emergency; however, we are seeing some gradual changes as restrictions began to ease around mid-May. People have been allowed to have a small number of visitors over to their home, and restaurants and cafes were allowed to open earlier this week (still, with restrictions in numbers). The University of Melbourne has begun a roadmap to re-opening their campuses. However, people are still encouraged to work from home if they can, socially distance, and remain cautious as the virus remains out in the world. In spite of all this, it remains a busy time at the university not only with the rapid transition everyone has had to make to deliver online teaching and learning, but also with the end of the semester looming as students enter the SWOTVAC period. SWOTVAC, if you don’t know, in an Australian university context, stands for “Study Without Teaching Vacation” and is basically a week prior to final exams for revision and studying. We wish our students the best of luck in completing what has been a completely bizarre semester. Well done to everyone — not just in Melbourne — but universities worldwide, for being so adaptive!

Take care, and catch up next month, when we may or may not be back on campus… 


University of Melbourne (Australia) Global Japan Office April 2020 Activity Report

Global Japan Office Coordinator
Lu Lin
5/May/2020

New forms (and frontiers) of transmission

The University of Melbourne’s campuses remain shut down as we are still in Stage 3 State of Emergency in Victoria until mid-May. It’s not difficult to know what I’m referring to! However, thanks to everyone’s collective efforts in remaining isolated and apart since the imposed lockdown in March — Australia’s been lucky in ‘flattening the curve’ (slowing down the growth of new COVID-19 cases) and easing pressure on our healthcare system. My sincerest thanks to everybody (especially essential workers putting themselves on the frontline) who are working to take care of each other.

In saying that, this also goes for educators (of all kinds) — ensuring the transmission of knowledge continues to flow (good communication is more important than ever) — even while we are attempting to slow the transmission of illness.

The University of Melbourne has been very adaptive in this regard; students, academics, and professional staff coordinating together in the delivery (and intake!) of high quality teaching material. Here at the Japanese studies program, Professor Akihiro Ogawa and Philip Season (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies) have co-edited a brilliant new anthology titled, New Frontiers in Japanese Studies, which was released 5 April, 2020.

Melbourne2004

open access paper
https://tandfbis.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/rt-files/docs/Open+Access+Chapters/9780367406806_oaintroduction.pdf

As the title already suggests, the anthology aims to both trace the lineage of Japanese Studies over the last few decades but also speculate on the direction of such scholarship in contemporary, interdisciplinary, and transnational contexts, enacting Yoshio Sugimoto’s notion of ‘cosmopolitan methodology’. How exciting! The introduction is open access; so please feel free to have a flick through. Along with the Japan Foundation (Sydney), we are also in the midst of planning book launch events for August — and at this stage, it’s looking as though the launch will occur online! All our other Inagaki seminars have been put on hold for the year, but we’re looking forward to sharing them as soon as it’s possible to.

Take care, and catch up next month.


University of Melbourne (Australia) Global Japan Office March 2020 Activity Report

Global Japan Office Coordinator
Lu Lin
31/March/2020

Post-disaster imaginaries…

It’s been a difficult and uncertain time for many people around the world as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads globally; people are staying inside and at home to step back from the process of illness transmission. However, universities have been working hard and fast to switch to online modes of delivery so that knowledge transmission can continue in various other social, technological and creative forms! We wish everybody the utmost strength, luck, and well wishes during this very difficult and strange time.

Before the university closed down, we held a wonderful film screening of the documentary Little Voices from Fukushima (2014) which looked at the lives of mothers and children in the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster.

Underpinning the film’s sentiments, it looked at how communities came together and envisioned new ways forward in the afterlife of crises; a particularly pertinent and timely sentiment for the entire world at the moment.

Until next month… 


University of Melbourne (Australia) Global Japan Office February 2020 Activity Report

Global Japan Office Coordinator
Lu Lin
29/February/2020

On love, on new frontiers in Japanese studies, and post-Fukushima…
Even though February is the shortest month of the year (and still, with the extra day this year), it was still a busy time in the Japanese Studies department at the university; especially in preparation for the new university semester beginning in early March. However, even with the absence of students on campus – the production and dissemination of knowledge has been busily carrying on in its various forms…

In early February we had a seminar by Professor Yamada Masahiro (from Chuo University), one of the most prominent scholars in Family Sociology in Japan, who presented his latest study on love, marriage, and relationship in contemporary Japan. His seminar, titled, “The decline of romantic love marriage in Japan: are relationships virtualised or diversified?” discussed why romantic love marriage has been declining, why increasing numbers of young people are not interested in ‘love and sex’, and why ‘virtual romantic relationship’ is getting popular in contemporary Japan. A fascinating and insightful seminar… delivered just one week before Valentine’s Day!

Melbourne2002
Professor Yamada Masahiro giving his seminar

Professor Akihiro Ogawa and Professor Philip Seaton have edited an exciting anthology titled, New Frontiers in Japanese Studies, to be released 5 April, 2020. As the title already suggests, the anthology aims to both trace the lineage of Japanese Studies over the last few decades but also speculate on the direction of such scholarship in contemporary, interdisciplinary, and transnational contexts, enacting Yoshio Sugimoto’s notion of ‘cosmopolitan methodology’. How exciting!

Preparation was also underway for the next instalment of the Inagaki Seminar Series, with an upcoming screening of the documentary, Little Voices from Fukushima (2014) looking at the lives of people in post-nuclear Fukushima. The screening will be held on Monday 9 March, 5:30-7:30pm at the Yasuko Hiraoka Myer Room. If you happen to be in Melbourne, please come!

Until next month…


University of Melbourne (Australia) Global Japan Office January 2020 Activity Report

Global Japan Office Coordinator
Lu Lin
31/January/2020

New year and new decade!

We’re so excited to be starting the new year (and decade) here at the University of Melbourne; with the ball already rolling with activities and events for the year ahead.

Even though Semester 1 starts in March, we haven’t held back in getting right back into teaching and learning. In January, we had another overseas subject as part of the New Colombo plan (the New Colombo Plan is an initiative of the Australian Government which aims to strengthen knowledge and relations of the Indo Pacific in Australia by supporting Australian undergraduates to study and undertake internships in the region). Seven students from the University of Melbourne partook in the subject, titled ‘Variation in Japanese Language’ which began in mid-January at Osaka University. At the beginning of the week, they were welcomed with a buffet lunch at a restaurant overlooking the township of Suita, where they studied for two weeks at a 100-year-old shopping district.

Students studied on location, learning new expressions in classes in the morning and using their newly acquired expressions in the afternoon at local shops – a wonderful real-time application! To support their learning, the management of the shopping district offered each student 2,000 yen ($30) worth of shopping voucher to encourage them to explore the district and visit the shops. Students also had the opportunity to work at a local shop for a day, learning language and interaction skills necessary for business – what a marvellous, interactive, and practical application of their new language learning skills. Here are some of the students in action:

Melbourne2001

Back here in Melbourne, preparation is underway over the month of February for our next Inagaki 12 seminar – stay tuned for what’s to come!

Until next month 🙂


University of Melbourne (Australia) Global Japan Office December 2019 Activity Report

Global Japan Office Coordinator
Lu Lin
5/January/2020

Happy end-of-year and new year!

December is a quiet month at the university; while students, academic and professional staff close up the year for the holiday break between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, this is usually reserved for other equally important operations at the university outside of the semester – a lot’s been going on behind the scenes as the university gets ready for a new year, and a new decade 🙂

This ‘interim’ period is also a month where Year 12 students from across the state of Victoria receive their “ATAR” score – the culmination of years of hard work and studying – whereby the score from the end of high school exams determines their admission into a tertiary education institution. The university congratulates these hardworking students and welcomes this new cohort into a new educational space; full of learning, growth, and possibility.

Here at the GJO and Japanese Studies program at Asia Institute, we are ready to head into another strong 2020 and continue to ensure that we maintain excellence in our program and in the diversity of our activities – from reading groups, to high quality teaching, to public seminars, and much more.

Stay tuned for the January report…


University of Melbourne (Australia) Global Japan Office November 2019 Activity Report

Global Japan Office Coordinator
Lu Lin
5/12/2019

2019 roundup

Wow, what a year it’s been! So much has been going on at the Global Japan Office and the Japanese Studies program at the University of Melbourne. As we round up 2019 with end-of-year activities such as completing a full year of academic study (or degrees for some), the marking of assignments exams, graduations, and more – let’s reflect on what’s been happening at GJO Melbourne this year:

This year, we had wonderful Inagaki seminars from Carol Hayes (Australian National University), Akiko Shimizu (Tokyo University), Miranda Schreurs (Technical University of Munich), Emma Dalton (RMIT University), Tomoko Ichitani (Seinan Gakuin University), and Miki Hawkinson – delivering insightful and stimulating seminars spanning a wide array of topics such as institutional-specific language education, post-Fukushima art, public space and queer Tokyo, gender equality in Japan, and more.

With knowledge-sharing being a key function of the university; we’re delighted to have engaged throughout the year with so many well-considered and thoughtful events and projects in research, workshops, and publications to facilitate such a cross-cultural and cross-institutional endeavour of widening the reach of work occurring at the frontiers of Japanese Studies.

There was also an intensive overseas subject in Hokkaido called ‘Contemporary Japan’ which saw a total of 38 students from Melbourne and Hokkaido converge for two and a half weeks in the mid-year.

In August, we were delighted to welcome Professor Aaron Gerow (Yale University) to Melbourne. Professor Gerow, a renowned historian of Japanese cinema and film theory, partook in several events as part of his Walter Mangold Visiting Fellowship which included a masterclass, a public lecture, and a couple of fantastic film screenings. His visit was a great wrap-up to the Japan Centenary celebration over the past three years. During this time, we’ve had a record high enrollment in Japan-related subjects; and we’re envisioning a strong future ahead for Japanese Studies here at the university.

Professor Akihiro Ogawa and Philip Seaton from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies have also been co-editing an anthology together on New Frontiers in Japanese Studies.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to everyone – we hope you enjoy your New Year break and get some time to savor the holiday season, new years, and new decades… until 2020!


University of Melbourne (Australia) Global Japan Office October 2019 Activity Report

Global Japan Office Coordinator
Lu Lin
31/10/2019

End of semester updates

This is our second last report for the year as it comes to a close – ”time flies” as is (often) the turn of phrase.

This month for our last Inagaki 11 seminar for the year, we were very lucky to have Professor Akiko Shimizu – a leading expert on queer theory – from the University of Tokyo come all the way to Melbourne despite the typhoons and hold-ups in international air traffic, luckily! She gave an insightful seminar on sexual/spatial politics and the “(ab)use” of public space by the LGBT community in pre-Olympic Tokyo. With greater visibility of queer, gender, and feminist politics in the post-Internet age, we’re fortunate to host these very important discussions in a cross-cultural and institutional context!

mel19120901

Thank you to Dr Claire Maree, one of our senior lecturers in the Japanese Studies program at Asia Institute for coordinating.

And, in the same vein of cross-institutional knowledge-sharing; Professor Akihiro Ogawa (also based here at the University of Melbourne) and Professor Philip Seaton (from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies) have been working hard in co-editing a book together called New Frontiers in Japanese Studies; featuring an array of papers examining cultural, historical, political and social contexts and implications surrounding the study of ‘Japan’. It’s on its way to the publishers soon so look out for what will no doubt be a very important contribution to Japanese Studies.

As the year comes to a close and Christmas party invitations are being distributed across the faculty; students, academics, and professional staff are working hard to close the year with planning meetings for 2020 already taking place.

Good luck to all our hard-working students entering SWOTVAC period (what’s known as Study Without Teaching Vacation here in Australia) in preparation for end of year exams. We’ve had record high enrollments in Japanese studies this year, and students are working hard to share what they’ve learnt during a busy but productive year!
Until next (and the last) month for 2019!


University of Melbourne (Australia) Global Japan Office September 2019 Activity Report

Global Japan Office Coordinator
Lu Lin
30/09/2019

Rolling into the latter parts of the year…

We’re well over halfway through the semester! We had a non-teaching week (or known colloquially across Australian universities as a “mid-semester break”) in the first week of October (already?), as students knuckle down and work towards their end of year assignments.

While September was less busy on the events front than last month, we had our Inagaki 10 seminar with Professor Carol Hayes from Australian National University who gave an incisive lecture on teaching Japanese language education, drawing from her experiences and teaching practice at ANU. She gave insights on navigating changes in approaches to language teaching (e.g. how changes in technology also shift the terms for student-teacher engagement), and expanded on how her approach in response to such shifts also creates new spaces for rich classroom engagement – which can be applied to all levels of education in all languages. We’re grateful for Professor Hayes’ travelling south to Melbourne from the capital city to engage in cross-institutional knowledge and teaching sharing!

mel19110101

It’s still a busy time as students, teachers, and academic administration staff work hard to keep the flow of knowledge going!

While the semester rolls on, we’re also in the midst of preparing for our Inagaki 11 seminar (last one for the year) by Professor Akiko Shimizu from the University of Tokyo, who will present a seminar on sexual/spatial politics and the “(ab)use” of public space by the LGBT community in Tokyo. If you happen to be in Melbourne on October 15, please come!

Until next month… 🙂


University of Melbourne (Australia) Global Japan Office August 2019 Activity Report

Global Japan Office Coordinator
Lu Lin
31/08/2019

Busy and exciting August of visitors, events, film screenings, collaborations, and more!

It’s been a busy and exciting start to the semester and a lot’s been happening here at the Japanese Studies department this month – with a number of great events!

In August, we were delighted to welcome Professor Aaron Gerow (Yale University) to Melbourne. Professor Gerow, a renowned historian of Japanese cinema and film theory, partook in several events as part of his Walter Mangold Visiting Fellowship. Of these, an excellent Japanese Film Theory Masterclass, held at the Interactive Cinema Space, which focused on how Japanese film theory lends itself to thinking through Eurocentric histories of cultural theory.

mel19100401

In addition, there were also a couple of excellent film screenings of some Japanese classics held at the Southbank campus’ Federation Hall:

Professor Gerow’s fully booked-out 2019 Walter Mangold Lecture was a more fleshed out version of his masterclass, with a focus on translating Japanese film theory and the rich genealogy of approaches to cinema from Japan that can be incorporated into – but also to decentre – the Eurocentrism in Western film theory.

mel19100402
Professor Gerow delivering a seminar to our Japanese Studies program staff.

We’re thankful for Professor Gerow’s visit, his rich scholarship, and his generosity in sharing such insights! His visit was a great wrap-up to the Japan Centenary celebration over the past three years. During this time, we’ve had a record high enrollment in Japan-related subjects; and we’re envisioning a strong future ahead for Japanese Studies here at the university.

More recently, the Japanese Studies Program also hosted its annual Postgraduate Conference in Japanese Studies with Kwansei Gakuin (Kangaku) University over two days (28 – 29 August). This is the third year of our teaching and mentoring collaboration between the University of Melbourne and Kangauku, which began in 2017. This year we had eight very high-quality and thoughtful papers, four of which came from us (2 PhD and 2 Honours students), covering a diverse range of topics from: gender and sexuality in Japan, intercultural communication, historical perspectives on law and politics, the concept of “otaku” (“uncool” people in contemporary Japanese culture), and more!

mel19100403

Our program staff members were actively engaged in advising and supporting these emerging scholars – giving their time in chairing the panels, eliciting ideas through Q&A, transferring academic techniques (such as presentation skills), and a post-conference follow-up included providing support and mentoring for publishing some of these papers in graduate journals – a great and important effort to foster the work of early career researchers.

mel19100404
The third annual Postgraduate Conference in Japanese Studies with students from the University of Melbourne and Kwansei Gakuin (Kangaku) University.
mel19100405
A delicious dinner afterwards at the Japanese restaurant Shakuhari!

Wow, it seems like we’ve really launched into the semester! Well over a month in, there’s still a lot that’s coming up – stay tuned… 🙂


University of Melbourne (Australia) Global Japan Office July 2019 Activity Report

Global Japan Office Coordinator
Lu Lin
31/07/2019

Beginnings and endings for the middle of the year!

This month has been full of new beginnings at the GJO in Melbourne: the beginning of semester began in wintery late July, and the GJO office in Melbourne farewelled Daniel Pham and welcomed an interim office coordinator: Lu Lin.

During the university’s official mid-year break, an intensive overseas subject, ‘Contemporary Japan’, ran from 1-17 July 2019 at Hokkaido University. In its third year running, the program saw the participation of a total of 38 students from Melbourne and Hokkaido. In the final weekend, students had the opportunity to engage with the indigenous culture and peoples of Hokkaido – the Ainu – and Ainu aunties were invited to class for intercultural dialogue and exchange with students; what a privilege to learn about and share culture in such an immediate, live, face-to-face way! Students also had the opportunity to visit a field museum, Kawamura Kaneto Aynu Memorial Hall, which is located in Asahikawa and is one of the oldest Ainu culture museums in Japan! The subject is coordinated by Professor Akihiro Ogawa in collaboration with colleagues from Hokkaido University and Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. This year, fifteen students from Melbourne were funded by the New Colombo scheme (an Australian government initiative to deepen two-way engagement between Australia and the Indo-Pacific).

mel19090201
Students from the University of Melbourne, Hokkaido University and Tokyo University of Foreign Studies who partook in the Contemporary Japan intensive subject

And, at the GJO office in Melbourne; organisation was underway for a number of upcoming events and visitors:

We have Professor Aaron Gerow (Yale University) – a renowned American historian of Japanese cinema – who will be here for a number of events this month including: a couple of cinema screenings at the Southbank campus’ beautiful Federation Hall, a media/film masterclass on reading Japanese film theory [link: https://events.unimelb.edu.au/events/13068-masterclass-reading-japanese-film-theory], a Japanese Studies program seminar, and a public lecture as part of the Walter Mangold Visiting Fellow program.

Next month, we’ll also be welcoming Dr Carol Hayes (Australian National University, Canberra) who will present a seminar on “Trends in Japanese Language Education through an ANU Lens” [link: https://events.unimelb.edu.au/events/13188-trends-in-japanese-language-education-through-an-anu-lens] for the Inagaki Seminar 10 next month – if you are, somehow, in Melbourne on September 10 – please come!

We would also like to welcome all new – and welcome back – Japanese studies students to the university, and to Asia Institute! As you can see, it’s been a busy and exciting time here. As winter solstice is now over and the days get longer, we look forward to a fruitful and stimulating semester ahead!

Until next month… 🙂


University of Melbourne (Australia) Global Japan Office June 2019 Activity Report

Global Japan Office Coordinator
Daniel Phan
05/06/2019

G’day fellow GJO’ers!

While this month was a markedly joy-filled one for some (very) lucky students who undertook Japan-based learning through the University of Melbourne and its partner institutions, it is with great sadness that June was my last at the Global Japan Office.

I am however thrilled to report that this cosy operation we have maintained here will be in safe hands. Having shared a co-working space with my successor, Ms Lu Lin, over the past 6 months, I can attest to her diligence and keen advocacy for improved classroom outcomes. It is such infectious enthusiasm and perspective that I hope will shine through her presence! So please join me in warmly welcoming Lu to the GJO family – I promise you will enjoy her reports and expectedly flawless RMIT School of Media and Communication turn of phrase!

So, now to the (kind of) serious stuff! The Tandem (Academic) Learning Project program, held in Hokkaido this year, ran for three days in late June. Twelve students – three each from Melbourne and the University of Helsinki in Finland and six from the host institution, Hokkaido University – participated in the program.

The stated aims in the language and research exchanges yielded all-round positive results, with our representatives from Australia – Natalie McKay, Saffron Lai and Christian Demetriou – receiving positive feedback from their Japanese counterparts and academic staff. In between the sessions, students were active in networking with staff and peers in the evening. The participants also spent a day sightseeing in Sapporo to conclude the program, which is expected to be next held in Melbourne in 2021.
mel19072301
Finally, it would be remiss of me to finish my last submission for the GJO without extending my utmost gratitude to Professor Akihiro Ogawa for according me this wonderful opportunity to engage with my lifelong curiosities about Japan, its history, peoples and wonderfully complex culture. Aki-san, as he is known around the traps here at the Asia Institute, become more than just a boss but rather a keen mentor and friend. Thank you, boss!


University of Melbourne (Australia) Global Japan Office May 2019 Activity Report

Global Japan Office Coordinator
Daniel Phan
31/05/2019

Winter is here!

This month was a rather exciting one for Japan and Japanese Studies enthusiasts. While the ninth installment of the Asia Institute’s Inagaki Seminar 9, titled ‘Transpacific Imagination: Nuclear Representation in Australia and Japan’, was the only major public event – May is typically the time when students across the state of Victoria (and much of Australia) begin to taste the Jekyll-and-Hyde pandemonium of SWOTVAC (Study Without Teaching Vacation) which precedes exams and final assessments. SWOTVAC has long been an institution and is the stuff of cramming legend among many a snowed-under university student in the land Down Under – not that we at GJO Melbourne endorse or condone such an approach to study, especially vis-à-vis anything Japan-related! Now I did mention that the month is an exciting one…because a handful of lucky undergraduate students will be embarking on an Overseas Intensive Subject in Hokkaido, Japan in around a months’ time! Upon successful completion, the subject, Contemporary Japan, should accord students new perspectives on Japanese society that will equip them to navigate the diverse complexes and dichotomies that touch upon modern Japan. Additionally, three students – two undergraduate honours and one PhD – will also be headed to Hokkaido for the Tandem (Academic) Language Learning Project (TLLP), a bilingual research program between the University of Melbourne, the Graduate School of International Media Communication and Tourism Studies of Hokkaido University, and Department of World Cultures of Helsinki University. The program aims to foster improved language outcomes through critical and engaging exchanges and activities between students in their non-native tongues. It is indeed an exciting time for those selected to participate.

mel19062801
Entry-level Japanese with Ms. Masako Nagayama. This class comprises students from a diverse range of disciplines.
mel19062802
Professor Akihiro Ogawa working tireless on his upcoming title with Professor Philip Seaton of TUFS.
mel19062803
Inagaki Seminar 9 presenter Professor Tomoko Ichitani (Visiting Senior Fellow at the Australian Centre and Professor of Literature and Cultural Studies at Seinan Gakuin University)
mel19062804
In typical Melbourne fashion the evening weather at its unforgiving best which was perfect for an indoors seminar at confines of the Asia Institute.

University of Melbourne (Australia) Global Japan Office April 2019 Activity Report

Global Japan Office Coordinator
Daniel Phan
30/04/2019

Winter is nearing…!

April is typically a busy month on campus at the University of Melbourne – students still easing into the new semester are suddenly confronting the onslaught of assessments and all the while much of the rest of the population enjoys the public holidays and ensuing long-weekends. April also heralds a seasonal change from summer to autumn (fall, for those better acquainted with North American English) which sees the local weather take on a Jekyll and Hyde act: one moment shorts and t-shirts, the next windcheaters and pullovers are absolutely mandatory. In short, it is cold and windy but the month is punctuated by sporadic warm and sunny days when memories are made and wintry pain is temporarily an afterthought. Welcome to Melbourne!

Amid all this, members of the Japanese studies and language team were brought together on a rather frosty evening for the 8th instalment of the Inagaki Seminar series (see photos), named after Moshi Inagaki who pioneered Japanese language study at the University a century ago. A mainstay of the Japanese program at UoM, the Inagaki series has become an institution for all Japan-interested minds owing to the support and time from the Program Head. With the #MeToo movement making headlines globally, it was a rally opportune moment for an informative session on the gender inequalities persisting in Japanese political and economic life in spite of the narrow gender gap in health and education. It was a delight for Dr Emma Dalton to explore and unpack the issues of inequality of the sexes in the workplace issues through the context of Japanese society.

In May the Inagaki Seminar series will be welcoming Professor Tomoko Ichitani of Seinan Gakuin University to Australia as a Visiting Senior Fellow.

melbourne190528_1
melbourne190528_2

University of Melbourne (Australia) Global Japan Office March 2019 Activity Report

Global Japan Office Coordinator
Daniel Phan
31/03/2019

Seminar season is upon us

In the month of March, members of the University of Melbourne’s Japanese studies and language fraternity – students, academics, staff and those simply interested in the goings-on in Japan – came together for a day-long celebration of all-things Japanese. This was preceded by a PhD workshop featuring special guest Professor Miranda Schreurs of the Technical University of Munich who was on hand to provide comments to three postgraduate students whose dissertations cover: (1) civil society’s role in driving alternative energy dialogues; (2) perceptions of media credibility in the context of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster; and (3) the risk perception and reduction of migrant mothers in its ensuing aftermath.

melbourne190425_1
[Prof. Miranda Schreurs, Prof. Akihiro Ogawa and the Japan Foundation’s Elicia O’Reilly ahead of the PhD workshop]
melbourne190425_2
[Ms Akina Mikami presenting her PhD progress report]

Prof. Schreurs headlined Part 1 of the 7th Inagaki Seminar, named after Moshi Inagaki who pioneered Japanese language study at the University a century ago, with her speech ‘Reinventing Fukushima: Post-Disaster Recovery and the Japanese Energy Transition’ in which she explored the energy transition following on from the March 11 catastrophe in 2011.

melbourne190425_3
[Prof. Schreurs’ keynote speech to open the Inagaki seminar]

Her presentation, on the recovery efforts after the nuclear catastrophe and subsequent designs to establish Fukushima as a pioneer for low-carbon, nuclear-free energy transition, also highlighted the disaster’s facilitation and galvanising of an increasingly assertive civil society vis-à-vis nuclear power that had previously been earmarked and hailed as a key post-Kyoto Protocol carbon reduction energy source. And with sentiments shifting away from nuclear technology for domestic energy provision, renewables were becoming the preferred energy source by community members owing to their relative affordability (and not to mention the potentially exportable knowledge and insights).

Between the Inagaki seminar sessions was Unimelb’s official Welcome Event for the Japanese studies and language program, organised by Dr. Claire Maree. Following the welcoming remarks from Professor Akihiro Ogawa was the announcement of the 2018 Japan Foundation Video Matsuri awards winners and cordial greetings from staff, the Melbourne University Japanese Club and Asia Institute Director, Professor Vedi Hadiz.

melbourne190425_4
[Video Matsuri awards winners Nicole Shen, Thomas Martinello and Emma Cui]
melbourne190425_5
[Pak Vedi Hadiz workimg the crowd with his effortless charm and wisdom]

Part 2 of the seminar featured a film screening of ‘I want to go home’. Translated by Miki Hawkinson, a teaching associate with the University, the film follows a man’s search for his missing wife after the tsunami. And on this occasion, it certainly did not fail in tugging at the heart strings!

melbourne190425_6
[Opening remarks by translator Miki Hawkinson at the film screening]

As of last week, as part of the Asian Civil Society Research Cluster at the Asia Institute, an international workshop titled ‘Embedding the Apology in the Media: How Civil Society Contributes to Reconciliation’, was organised by Cluster leader Professor Ogawa. The speakers/delegates hailed from both the University and abroad and came together to discuss the role of civil society in post-war reconciliation, namely in the context of World War II antagonists, Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Imperial Japan. It was a most engaging and illuminating experience as the discourses ranged from the effectiveness of institutionalised memory of war crimes to how media portrayed history in the respective societies.

melbourne190425_7
[Associate Professor Allan Patience, knower of all-things Japan, being his exceptional self!]

Also on the agenda this month was the updating of the respective study areas for the Asia Institute website that, of course, includes Japanese Studies among others (Asian, Arabic, Islamic, Chinese and Indonesian with Korean to be added soon). With a marked emphasis on Asian capabilities (languages, cultural awareness and skills et al), a free trade agreement in place between Canberra and Tokyo and the increased diversifying of Japanese foreign investment in Australia, there is no better time for Unimelb students to consider taking up Japanese language and studies! With enrolments for Japanese ahead of all other Asian and non-Asian languages in the LOTE category across all proficiency levels, the dedicated teaching staff certainly deserve their hard-earned kudos!

melbourne190425_8
[Group photo from the Welcome to Japanese studies event]
melbourne190425_9
[The real heroes of the Japanese language program – the tutors!]

In the month of April we will be looking forward to the eighth installment of the Inagaki Seminar series. Titled ‘Women’s challenges at work in Japan’, it will feature a speech from Dr Emma Dalton of RMIT University who most recently published Womenomics, ‘Equality’ and Abe’s Neo-liberal Strategy to Make Japanese Women Shine in the Social Science Japan Journal (Vol. 20). Can’t wait!


University of Melbourne (Australia) Global Japan Office February 2019 Activity Report

Global Japan Office Coordinator
Daniel Phan
28/02/2019

Great to be on board

G’day fellow GJOers! This month’s is the first submission of many from the Global Japan Office at the University of Melbourne in (usually) sunny Australia! And yes, our campus is only a few tram stops from the central business district – not far from where global tennis superstar and Japan’s very own Naomi Osaka claimed the Australian Open Grand Slam title to shoot right atop the world rankings and be crowned the world’s best female tennis player!

melbourne201902_1.jpeg
Tram line from campus into Melbourne’s central business district
melbourne201902_2
Sidney Myer Asia Centre, home to GJO’s Unimelb office

GJO on-campus room

Our working space is underway and almost completed, with a room located in the Sidney Myer Asia Centre (which houses the Asia Institute under which the Japanese and Japan Studies academic and administrative staff operate) currently being used for administrative duties.

melbourne201902_3
Room 305 from where GJO’s Melbourne-based support and admin duties are carried out

A name plate has been procured and awaiting framing before it officially goes up on the door of the shared room which is also the administrative centre of the Centre of Contemporary Chinese Studies and the National Centre of Excellence for Islamic Studies. So we cannot wait to see the GJO brand sitting aside our friendly neighbours up on level 3 of this beautiful building – from where we are treated to skyline views (weather permitting, of course!).

melbourne201902_4
View from level three of the Sidney Myer Asia Centre

Welcome to Semester one

As the semester has only commenced this week, much of our focus has been on preparing for an upcoming medley of events – a PhD workshop, seminar and film screening – that we are excited to report about in next month’s installment of the GJO Activity Report. Given the University’ reputation, we are hopeful that the engaged student population, many of whom taking a keen interest in in the Asia-Pacific region (including students majoring/minoring in Japanese or Japan studies), will be drawn to the public event that will be featuring a keynote address from Professor Miranda Schreurs of the Technical University of Munich.

melbourne201902_5
Poster advertising an upcoming Japan and Japanese Studies PhD workshop

Until then, please feel welcome to marvel at the beautiful architecture and campus grounds that hosts a most vibrant and multicultural student population!

melbourne201902_6
melbourne201902_7
melbourne201902_8