The Fourth Tohoku Conference on Global Japanese Studies

A Disconnected Northeast Asia: COVID-19 and its Impact on the Borderlands in the Russian Far East
The movement of people across national borders has been severely restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and a fresh supply of migrant workers crossing into Russia from neighboring countries was cut off for one year starting April 2020. The entry of foreigners was consolidated at airports and halted at land borders. The supply of foreign workers who newly entered in Russia was limited in 2020. Chinese migrant workers and managers of the agrobusiness operating on the borderlands of the Russian Far East usually come across the land border. In the soybean-producing regions of the Russian Far East, the inability of Chinese agricultural workers and managers to migrate had a negative impact on production, surpassing the effect of natural disasters like the floods of the Amur River in 2019. Restrictions on the movement of people across national borders caused by the COVID-19 crisis revealed precarious agriculture on the borderlands, whose human resources and capital strongly depend on China. This paper explores a case of precarity in a disconnected Northeast Asia brought about by the COVID19 in the borderlands.
The Release and Decay of the Japanese Radiation Mascot Tritium Chan
Debra Jane OCCHI
This presentation traces the emergence of a short-lived official mascot, Tritium Chan, developed to represent the Japanese government’s promotion supporting the release of tritium-laden waste water from the Fukushima nuclear reactor into the sea. Developed by Dentsu, Tritium Chan had only a brief half-life in popular media during April 2021 until intense public criticism led to its withdrawal. Its design was apparently intended to help conceptualize the tritium atom itself as well as represent it in explanatory materials. Tritium Chan was officially available for a brief time and is traceable through netnography. The news cycle for the term toritiumu representing both the mascot and the tritium release announcement itself was also short-lived, detectable on Google Trends between April 4 and 24, 2021.
Public reactions to Tritium Chan on social media were severe. Beyond criticism of the waste water plan itself, and the use of tax money to create Tritium Chan, analysis of the character’s design and comparison to other existing characters and mascots became a focus of interest on Twitter. Among these was the historical plutonium character Puruto Kun, the focus of a previously criticized PR campaign.
Mascot characters such as these exist in the context of a realm of characters used to represent existing nuclear plants, such as the Ikata reactor mascot Fukki Chan, and in the continuum of aesthetic design choices between good and evil characters.
Globalization and Entrepreneurial Activities: a Case Study of Japanese Born Global Companies (BGCs)
These days entrepreneurs engage in international business activities. Although there is extensive research on immigrants as entrepreneurs, limited research exists on entrepreneurs who found their businesses and relocate them to other countries during the early development stages. Such companies are called Born Global Companies (BGCs) and they are now receiving attention from entrepreneurial researchers.
BGCs used to be seen in the small countries because their market size inhibited company growth. These days, however, regardless of the country’s size, BGCs emerge everywhere, even if founded in large markets.
Japan is no exception. According to Nikkei research on ‘Next Unicorns’ conducted in 2017, 40 % of startups in Japan eyed the possibility of going global. It is true that they consider that the Japanese population and market continues to shrink. Thus, the potential of developing countries, especially in Asia, has been more attractive for them when considering market growth and resource availability. Additionally, Japanese BGCs see opportunities to make innovation happen in unique local contexts. The local contexts, which are different from the Japanese one, give them new insights and ideas regarding their products and services. BGCs can also find and utilize local resources that will be an advantage to their businesses.
This presentation introduces some Japanese BGCs. They show how BGCs have established their businesses in local contexts while getting over difficulties.
De/population and Migration in a Precarious Region: the Case of the Russian Far East
Are peripheral regions doomed to depopulation and degrowth? The Priamur governor-generalship was one of the last administrative units added to the Russian Empire in mid-nineteenth century. The debate on its economic development was tightly connected with the encouragement of domestic and international migration into the region by the local and central governments. These policies only party succeeded during the imperial period and were enhanced by the Soviet government, which encouraged domestic population movement, banned immigration from East Asia and expelled ethnic-minority-group members in the 1930s. The debate on the ways of development through migration and settlement was resumed after the democratization of Russian society, which began the late 1980s. Some special projects were launched in order to restore ethnic Korean villages in the next decade, but also proved to be short-lived. Instead, the depopulation of the Russian Far East progressed fast and seems irreversible. Basing on the analysis of archival documents, government papers, press materials and other sources and drawing some parallels between this and other areas in Northeast Asia, the present paper will examine, how efficient were the policies for immigration and settlement in that frontier region, and if physical distance between Periphery and Center is a key-factor in preventing remote regions from socio-economic development.
Mandarin View on Cherry Blossom:
Japan and the Japanese seen by Russian Diplomats with “Chinese Experience”
The ignorance shown by Imperial Russia towards the growing power of Japan at the dawn of the twentieth century could hardly be explained without making an assumption that for a long time Russians viewed almost all Far Eastern countries through the main, if not only, source of knowledge – the Qing Empire. The history of Russian contacts with China date back to the Middle Ages. For a long time, Russia was the only Western state that knew “how to climb over the Great Wall”: the first treaty between these two countries was concluded about 150 years earlier than any treaty with other Western powers (the Treaty of Nerchinsk, 1689).
Russian relations with Japan also have a long history. However, commercial dealings or diplomatic intercourse did not occur for a long time as was the case with China. The real exchange of diplomatic and other representatives began only in the second half of the nineteenth century. At that time China, not Japan, was regarded as the most likely rival - if not future enemy - for Russia in the Far East. Even the lessons from the Chinese Campaign (also known as “Boxers’ Rebellion”) were not properly studied in Russia, and she continued in her blindness towards the real, rising dangerous new power near her borders – Japan. Nothing could change the general Russian attitude towards Japan – “Oriental country pretending to be European”. Partly it was so because for too long Russia used to see Japan and the Japanese through the “Chinese glasses”. Many Russian diplomats, who later served in Japan, had prior experience of living and working in China, as it happened with the first Russian Consul in Hakodate, Iosif A. Goshkevich, and the last Ambassador in Tokyo, Vassily N. Krupenskii. Their so-called “Chinese experience” led them to the certain perceptions that could easily be found in their memoirs which are still valuable today, yet only recently were they fully published.
In general, this report aims to contribute to research on the history of Russian diplomacy in the Far East.
Immigrants, Refugees & Minorities ―The Origin of Populism- How to learn lessons for Japan?
HABA Kumiko
Due to the declining birthrate and aging population, Japan's population will be halved in 40 years later, 2060. 40% of population will be over 65 years old(Cabinet Office Data). Accepting immigrants is essential to stop the decline in the labor force. From the perspective of SDGs "no one is left behind", urgent measures are required for the acceptance of refugees.
In Europe, one million refugees flowed in 2015. It brought a big problem. Even under covid-19 in 2021, Immigrants increased 280 million, and Refugees are 80 million. What facilitated the movement of people? The end of the Cold War, the opening of boundaries-liberalization brought the movement of people. Developed countries and companies invited immigrants by low wages from the surrounding poor countries, and attacked and bombed hotbeds of terrorism, and refugees increased.  Most of refugees stay in their home countries and neighboring countries, and the neighboring countries accept and coexist with refugees, even if they are poor.
However, since 2010, the economic stagnation of developed countries and the downfall of the middle class have caused dissatisfaction with the influx of immigrants. Nationalism and Xenophobia had grown in developed countries in an attempt to protect unskilled workers life.
In globalization, fear of open boundaries creates "psychological boundaries" (walls of the mind). Xenophobia occurs not by the influx of people, but by attacking and eliminating lower minorities when the people were under financial pressure.
    What should we do?  Coexistence with immigrants, coexistence with diversity will be very important. Plural and diverse societies are inevitable under globalization. Accept the difference, social inclusion, SDGs: The idea that no one is left behind is important. If you eliminate immigrants, you can't win the competition. By including immigrants, to society and nation will be enriched. (Macron, French President)  Tolerance of culture and values ​​is required. Accept the difference and coexistence. Only by accepting immigrants and refugees can Japanese society cultivate human rights awareness, and regenerate rather than head for decline.
Thailand Migrant Labour Management Policy: Challenges and Opportunities in the Post-Covid-19 Era
Thailand is a regional migration hub within Southeast Asia. Thailand is one of the largest destinations for migrant workers in the region mainly from Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Myanmar. Thailand government attempted to regularize the migrant labour since 1990; nonetheless, it is evident that the number of unregistered migrant workers is much larger than that of registered migrant workers. The number of unregistered migrant workers from these three neighbouring countries were reported to be as high as 1 million people making them at risks for human and civil rights violation. Thailand ranked at Tier 3 – the lowest level – on Trafficking in Persons (TIP) index but later on promoted out of Tiers 3 in 2016. In this presentation, we will look at the history of Thailand migrant labour management policy from 1992, the first-time migrant labour regulations were announced, to present time. Special focus will be giving to the change of policies in an attempt to control the spreading of Covid-19 among migrant labour. The outbreak of Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) has posted challenges as migrant labour camps have become one of the spreading clusters and a disease-prone area forcing the government to release new emergency measures to control the spreading of the virus. With these changes, it shaped the new landscape of migrant control in Thailand.
“People with Foreign Roots” and “Japanese” Living Together in Multicultural Japan - Who is Tolerating Whom?
In this presentation, I want to recount the life stories of two individuals with “foreign roots.” The intent is to bring focus on how “people with foreign roots” in their everyday life, confront their own perceived differences and to tread carefully when asserting attributes of “Japanese-ness” and “foreignness,” taking care to avoid flaunting on “foreign” attributes in order to build a better relationship with Japanese people.
              In the age of globalization, people move across borders on a massive scale, thus ethnicity and culture have become fluid, and the diversity of people has come to be recognized and tolerated. And Japan is also a land of strangers such as: “Hafu” an individual born to Japanese and non-Japanese parents, Returnees who have received Japanese curricular or foreign curricular education overseas, and children with foreign parents who migrated to Japan. Overall, these strangers are recognized by the rhetoric of “Gaikoku ni Ru-tsu wo motsu Kodomo(Children with foreign roots). On the grounds that their  lives are transnational and transcultural, and sometimes inter-ethnical, the diversity that the concept of “Japanese(which had long been understood to be mono-ethnic)” includes has also been questioned. And in recent years, Naomi Osaka, and Rui Hachimura, and other countless “foreign rooted” Japanese athletes competing in the Olympics and other international stages, has played the role to disseminate the diversity of “Japanese-ness” to the international community. Though the presence of “people with foreign roots” in Japanese society is not limited to the stages of entertainment such as sports and performing arts, it also expands to the field of education and welfare projects in many districts and cities. These show a glimpse of recognition and tolerance for people with diverse backgrounds.
              However, there is a precarity over acceptance and tolerance between “Japanese” and “people with foreign roots.” The rhetoric of “people with foreign roots,” for example, suggest the presence of contrasting “pure Japanese without foreign roots.” The contrast between the two are overemphasized on the differences of physical characteristics, parents’ nationality, experience of living overseas, and the fluency of Japanese language. These attributes often determine the degree of their “Japanese-ness,” and the flaunting of these attributes associates people to “non-Japanese” and often becomes an obstacle to their tolerance. In other words, an anxiety is fueled between “Japanese” and “non-Japanese” over their definition of “Japanese-ness.” The question here is who has anxiety over whose difference, who is tolerating who, and how are they overcoming these anxieties?
Cultural Transfer into the Future: Time Measurement with Incense in East Asia
In today’s modern age of technology, few people think about the path humanity has travelled in terms of the process of understanding the concept of time and ways of measuring it. In fact, this topic unites two seemingly distant ideas such as incense and time measurement. Today, not many can even begin to guess how something like the burning of incense in antiquity and the early Middle Ages was adapted to aid and make astronomical calculations and technical inventions possible.
Spanning across thousands of years of aromatic culture development in the countries of East Asia, incense application has accumulated vast experience in various fields, including calendrical calculations and time measurement. Since ancient times, time measurement in China was carried out in several ways - with the help of sundials, clepsydras, and later hourglasses. These methods of measuring time had some disadvantages. Clepsydras lost all functionality at air temperatures below zero, sundials - in cloudy weather, and hourglasses - in high humidity. They were therefore subsequently supplemented (and in some cases replaced) with one more way of keeping time: with the help of incense (sticks, aromatic powder, incense seal).
Analysis of artifacts, objects of religious worship and everyday life indicates fragrant substances’ great versatility in terms of their use: in addition to sticks, spirals and cones, devices such as the Hundred Graduations Incense seals, alarm clocks, as well as clocks that measured night time, strictly dependent on the calendar season, were invented. Various types of aromatic clocks could be distinguished by their great functionality, finding application in many areas ‒ navigation, engineering, in court and religious ceremonies, scientists’ work, in monastic and private schools, tea houses, and were the subject of admiration for poets, artists and calligraphers.
The study of the ways of using incense in East Asian countries (including for measuring time) is based on the analysis of a variety of sources ‒ written, artistic and ethnographic. Compared to the large number of Chinese and Japanese sources, the cultural heritage of the Korean Peninsula contains significant gaps, which significantly complicates the interpretation of the material. The use of incense burners, aromatic raw materials and various instruments for measuring time is a remarkable phenomenon in the fragrance culture of China, Korea and Japan, testifying to the high adaptability of symbols and images of traditional culture not only to everyday household needs, but also to various achievements of science and technology. This is confirmed at the present time, given the production of new models of aromatic clocks.
TheFluctuating Boundariesof Edibility:
Focusing on the Wild Foods in Post-Fukushima
In this presentation, I will focus on the edibility of radioactively contaminated wild foods in contemporary Fukushima and discuss the fluctuating boundaries of that.
In Fukushima Prefecture, various wild foods such as wild plants and mushrooms have been gathered and consumed in Hamadori, Nakadori, and Aizu regions, and the unique food cultures and local diversity have been formed.
However, such situation completely changed from before the accident as a result of serious contamination with radioactive materials over a wide area, mainly in Fukushima Prefecture due to the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in March 2011
Edible plants and fungi have absorbed pollutants from the soil, and some species have a concentrative pollution of hundreds of thousands of becquerels (Bq) per kg. In addition, decontamination work to strip the contaminated topsoil has not progressed in the forests that produce a lot of such wild foods because of the costs and mountain restoration. Still now, even after 10 years from the accident, there are high concentrations of contaminated wild foods in some areas.
Under such circumstances, the edibility of contaminated wild foods has fluctuated, and some incidents where wild foods with shipping restrictions are put on the market symbolically show that. In this presentation, I will especially focus on some cultivated wild foods and discuss its vague boundary of edibility.
According to my field research in 2021, behind the above local accidents, there is a problem of unclear criteria and its ambiguous boundaries in some levels. For example, it has become apparent in the radioactive substance itself that cannot be perceived by the human senses, the classification systems that determine whether to ingest and ship, and the domestication of wild foods that originally grow in the mountainside.
“The Mew Sakoku Period”: the Coronavirus Restrictions Policy Regarding Foreign Residents in Japan
The new coronavirus pandemic has inflicted colossal damage on the global economy and put humanity to the test. Japan as other countries was under attack of the virus. The Cabinet of Ministers is pursuing quite a liberal policy in the country, focusing on the self-awareness of the population and taking actions to prevent an economic crisis.
Throughout the epidemic, the country's borders remained closed to the entry of most foreigners. There was a short period of exception from October to December 2020 - while those who entered had to strictly observe quarantine restrictions (a 2-week quarantine, restrictions on movement, etc.). At the end of December 2020, the emergence of the British strain of the virus forced the government to suspend the issuance of visas and entry to the country.
Since then, the situation has remained unchanged, and in May 2021 a group of international students held an online press conference where they asked the Japanese government to ease the restrictions. According to various estimates, about 27 thousand students from different countries are still waiting for their opportunity to enter.
It is most likely that such a policy is primarily aimed at protecting Japanese citizens, however, if these strict measures continue to persist, Japan may lose the trust and interest of foreign students and workers, which will devalue the successes of recent years.
Kuruma Samezō’s View on the Hegelian Marx: A Re assessment of 20th Century Understandings of Marx in Japan
Post-war Japan’s intellectual circles were preoccupied with Hegelian readings of Karl Marx, based on the a priori scheme developed by the former in the 19th century. The 20th-century Japanese economist Kuruma Samezō (1893-1982) put an end to this preoccupation, by proposing a novel understanding of Marx’ major work, Capital, instead. His ideas were developed at the Ohara Institute for Social Research, founded by Japanese businessman and philanthropist Ōhara Magosaburō, to address the problems of poverty and social inequality in the aftermath of the 1918 rice riots, economic hardship, and subsequent political crisis. Kuruma’s approach to understanding Marx by putting aside the prevailing Hegelian interpretations of his work, relied on attentively reading Capital, and focusing on the concrete problems which Marx addresses in it. Despite his opposition to the post-war tendency, Kuruma still recognises a Hegelian influence in Marx, and as such also addresses it in his own work. This already testifies to Kuruma’s intellectual honesty. I argue that his interpretation of Marx has remained vital to a broader understanding of Marx’s work until the present day. In my paper, I will show how Kuruma’s understanding may be relevant to the debate concerning the Hegel-Marx relation today.
Unveiling the Voices and Images of Japanese War Widows: a Content Analysis of Three Articles from the Late 1930s Fujin Kōron Magazine
This paper aims to reveal the personal experiences and voices of Japanese war widows through a content analysis of three wartime articles published in the Fujin Kōron magazine.
Within Japanese women’s history of the 1930-40s scholars have tended to focus on the political writings of women activists like Ichikawa Fusae or Hiratsuka Raichō. Therefore, there is an overemphasis on female intellectual figures whilst less prominent groups of women, such as war widows, remain unexamined.
Despite Japanese wartime media reporting on war widows, there are only a few Japanese scholars who discuss the content of wartime magazines covering these bereaved women. Additionally, there is no existing English written literature dedicated to this topic.
This paper focuses on articles featuring war widows in the Fujin Kōron. The Fujin Kōron was a popular intellectual women’s magazine that claimed to champion women’s rights. To date, most scholarly literature focuses less on the Fujin Kōron compared to more commercial magazines such as shufu no tomo or fujin kurabu. One logical explanation for the lack of focus on the Fujin Kōron could be its highly censored political voice, which makes it challenging to discern the true opinion of ordinary women. Yet this assumption does not justify the lack of attention on a content analysis of the magazine’s articles.
What becomes apparent in the content analysis of these three articles on war widows is that sexual mores had a huge influence on wartime Japan and on the lifestyle of war widows. Driven by this morality, society made a clear distinction between childless widows and widows with children. Furthermore, the findings suggest that war widows could not easily be placed within ‘the good wife, wise mother’ ideological framework. This becomes clear due to the fear of family quarrels once a woman becomes a widow. Finally, the findings suggest that there were some cases where critical statements passed the censorship.
The Break with Nature: the Train as a Symbol of Monstrous Westernization in Natsume Sōseki’s Kusamakura.
Martina SORGE
The Westernization process started after the Meiji Restoration (1868-) took place through a fast industrialization whose aim was that of competing with the world's superpowers from an economic and political point of view. Part of this process involved the massive construction of railways and tram tracks which gave the population the possibility to leave small villages and move to bigger cities where they could study or find employment. On the other hand, this also led to a brutal disfigurement of landscapes and rural areas that became the unnatural setting of the resounding puffing of the train. This change was supported by those who viewed trains and railways as the material symbol of civilization – a civilization which could guarantee Japan a place among great nations – but also created an atmosphere of discontent among those who interpreted these changes as the merciless alteration of authentic Japanese culture with regards to the relationship between man and nature.
In this scenario, Natsume Sōseki’s Kusamakura (Grass Pillow, 1906) positions itself as a fruitless attempt at cultural reappropriation: as the evanescent plot proceeds, the main character moves in search of a renewed relationship with nature while walking away from the bustling city, symbolized by the annoying and fearful image of the train. But this desire of detachment from reality ends up being unfulfilled, since the train is not only the allegorical embodiment of the recent Westernization, but also the physical example of a new, inevitable truth.
This paper, therefore, aims at illustrating the depiction of railway, trains, and landscape alteration in Natsume Sōseki’s Kusamakura, intended as the ultimate symptom of the Westernization process which involved Japan after the Meiji Restoration. This process, warmly welcomed by some, was instead rejected by others, who viewed in the thunderous whistle of trains the symbol of cultural aberration: in this setting, Kusamakura’s protagonist well embodies the failed attempt to reconquer control over Japanese culture and to avoid the frenzied reality that railways had brought to Meiji Japan.
Convert to Catholicism: in the Case of Early Twentieth Century Japan
In early twentieth century Japan, the phenomenon of Christians converting from Protestantism to Catholicism was observed as a reversal of movement. By 1920’s, there was nearly double the number of Catholics than Protestants, even though most Christians were Protestant in the mid-19th century since the prohibition of Christianity was abolished. It is an aim of this presentation to answer a question why a number of Christians in Japan tried to convert their religious faith in this period.  In particular, analyzing the causes of conversion by focusing on the ideas of those in the intellectual class who secede Mukyōkai(無教会) Protestantism by Uchimura Kanzō(内村鑑三), such as Tanaka Kōtarō(田中耕太郎) and Yoshimitsu Yoshihiko(吉満義彦). Through these approach for answering the question, I will point out the reasons of conversion for intellectuals who became to believe Catholicism. Moreover, this presentation will discuss that the basic attitudes of the Catholic Church and the attitudes of the converts toward society were compatible are critical of modernism and progressivism. On this point, these ideological attitudes of the Catholic Church, that was against modernity, were resembled to the
Japanese intellectuals who live in urban area during the era.
Identities and Agency of Religious Immigrant Women in Japan: a Study of Muslim Women's Experiences in the Tohoku Region
This report focuses on the experience and individuality of first-generation immigrant Muslim women in Tohoku region, Japan, to examine how highly educated Muslim women who have migrated as international students or expatriates to Japan exert their agency in accordance with different situations. While one of the most influential narratives across Europe today is said to be the presumed "clash" between Western and Islamic civilizations, this is quite different from the situation in in Japan.
The findings of this research suggest that, in addition to Japanese people’s indifferent attitude towards Islam, insufficient Muslim-friendly facilities in Tohoku region also create difficulties to Muslim women’s daily lives in terms of clothing, food, and public religious activities. In addition, on a personal level, these Muslim women tend to find it difficult to integrate into the Japanese community due to ineffective communication and different perceptions of interpersonal relationships between them and locals. However, despite these inconveniences and difficulties, Muslim women tend to perceive their situation positively and benefit themselves from this less Islamophobic environment.
Facing the new situation in Japan, Muslim women receive the chance to re-examine their Muslim identity. By adopting a "cooperative" strategy, these Muslim women do not strive to be recognized as part of Japanese society but see this as a chance to live free of discrimination, and a good opportunity to promote the image of Islam in Japan. I argue that Muslim women’s agency is demonstrated in a moderate way while they seek to find a way to balance religion and daily life in Japan, rather than in acts of resistance, as is claimed to be most often observed in Europe. This shows the potential impact of the social environment on the ways in which religious women's agency is exercised.
 The Influence of Western Astronomy on Kokugaku-sya's Theologies About the Creation of the World
My presentation will examine the influence of Western scientific knowledge on Kokugakusya's views of the creation of the world in the mid-nineteenth century. Traditionally, Kokugakusya(国学者) have been thought of as those who rely on anachronistic ancient myths. However, in the 19th century, Kokugakusya actively tried to incorporate theories and knowledge of Western science into their theology. They understood the Western-derived scientific knowledge of the celestial sphere theory and the solar system. In Japan at that time, Kokugakusya were the ones who understood Western science next to those who specialized in Western science who were called Yōgakusya(洋学者). In this presentation, I will examine how Western science supported the theories of Kokugakusya such as Hirata Atsutane(平田篤胤), Satō Nobuhiro(佐藤信淵), and Mutobe Yoshika(六人部是香) when they tried to understand the creation of the world from myths. There was a strange fusion of Western knowledge and the theology of the Kokugakusya that can only be found in the gap between the modern and early modern periods. From this, I will clarify the state of scholarship in early modern Japan, where science and theology were undifferentiated.
Rethinking ukiyoe through the Eyes of Others
During the Meiji period, Japan’s opening to the world saw Japanese arts gain widespread popularity in Europe and in the United States. Ukiyo-e, images of the floating world, attracted particular attention among many collectors and emerging artists for its perceived exoticism and stylistic characteristics. Notably, Impressionists, searching for means to renovate academic art, found their new sources of inspiration in the ukiyoe prints and their elements that looked new to their eyes. Western writers and collectors compiled collections, produced catalogues, and carried out research about ukiyo-e, but similar scholarly work was not yet being done in Japan. Aware of both this lack of research and the importance Westerners attributed to ukiyo-e, Meiji writer Nagai Kafū (1879 1959) was among the first to write in Japan about Western researches on ukiyo-e and this had permitted him to rethink ukiyo-e as peculiar Japanese cultural heritage. Kafū produced numerous translations from French and English, including the works by Edmond de Goncourt (1822-1896) and Ernest Fenollosa (1853-1908) in order to direct attention towards ukiyo-e as a uniquely Japanese form of art. Despite its origins in the nearly isolated Japan of the Edo period, however, ukiyo-e was not free from the Western art influence, which could be seen in the use of linear perspective in the depictions of landscapes. In fact, this was an aspect of ukiyo-e that Western artists had unconsciously recognized and that had allowed them to assimilate more easily elements of the works in the development of their personal artistic expressions. In this presentation, I analyze how Kafū introduced Western researches about ukiyo-e and I consider how the eyes of the others enabled him to express his own interpretation regarding ukiyo-e masters and prints. In this way, I draw attention to what Nihon rashii (unique to Japan) meant to him.
Influence of Korean Potters on the Development of Japanese Porcelain
SMOLKINA Elizaveta
As a result of intensive trade between Japanese islands and countries of East Asia in the XIV-XVII centuries, many pieces of art from Korea and China had been copied or imitated in Japan. While porcelain dishes had great value, it was not until the XVII century when Japanese craftsmen learned to produce porcelain on their own. It was stimulated by the invasions of Korea (1592-1598) launched by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, during which a lot of Korean potters were captured and brought to Japan in order to gain new technologies of making ceramics and porcelain.
The most of credits for starting the production of porcelain is given to Korean potter Yi Sam-pyeong (Ri Sampei) who is said to have discovered a kaolin deposit on the Izumi mountain near Arita in 1616. Among other captured potters we should mention Fukaumi Sōden (real name is unknown) and his wife Hyakubasen who had contributed to the development of Japanese blue-white porcelain.
With the help of Korean experience many new technologies were applied in Japanese ceramic industry. The construction of noborigama kilns (climbing kilns) was one of them, and this made it possible to fire large quantities of ceramics under high temperatures simultaneously. A technology of covering the clay body with white slip was adopted from the Korean Buncheond ware and was called “Mishima ware” in Japan. The connection with Korean pottery can sometimes be seen in decorative design of dishes produced during that period: for example, in the pictures of a tiger, a hare or plant motifs.
The Meaning of Zen-Buddhist Concepts Lying behind the Ceremonies of the “Seven Rituals” Tea Complex
The «Seven rituals» is a tea complex created in the beginning of XVIII century by the 7th head of Omotesenke tea school and the 8th head of Urasenke tea school, Joshinsai and Yugensai respectively, along with their fellow disciples.
The complex includes the following ceremonies: 花月 kagetsu («flowers and moon»), 且座shaza/saza («sitting for a while»), 廻り花 mawari-bana («flowers in a circle»), 廻り炭 mawari-zumi («coal in a circle»), 一二三 ichi-ni-san («one-two-three»), 茶カブキ cha-kabuki («Kabuki» tea game») and 数茶 kazu-cha («tea for many people»).
Outwardly, the complex of «seven rituals» looks like one of tea drinking involving games, but the meaning of the ceremonies is not limited to the entertainment purpose only but the complex also serves as a certain training in order to achieve skills necessary for successful participation in the tea ceremony. Moreover, these skills not only include tea drinking or tea making, but also include manipulating with a hearth, incense, coal and flowers [2, pp. 182-186].
The amount of rituals correlates with the important Zen-Buddhist concepts. Among the main ones we might highlight such concepts as 内の七事 uchi-no-shichiji and 外の七事 soto-no-shichiji related to the «seven external and internal deeds of a noble man», as well as the Confucian principles of 七 事 shichi-ji ("seven deeds") which might be presented as «secrets of control over the state» [1, pp. 3-9]. Moreover, there is a specific concept behind each ceremony.
Therefore, according to its internal meaning it is legitimate to consider the complex as a part of Zen-Buddhist practices. Moreover, even talking about the formal side of the complex, including its conduction, it might be concluded that the conduction of every ceremony was created in accordance with a certain Buddhist concept. If the conduction did not correspond to the concept chosen for a particular ceremony, then the conduction of the ritual was changed until the correspondence of the inner content and the formal side came to a state of harmony. This fact allows us to speak about the invariability of the Zen meaning of rituals in the historical perspective. [1, pp. 123-126]. 
  1. Sen Sōshitsu. Shichi-ji-shiki-ue [七事式上]. The «Seven rituals». Part 1. Tankosha Publishing: Tokyo, 1977.
  2. Voytishek E. E. Game traditions in the spiritual culture of East Asia (China, Japan, Korea). Novosibirsk state university press: Novosibirsk, 2011.
A Way to Visualize “Invisible Child-Poverty” in Japan: An Analysis of Low Income and Other Factors
WATANABE Yota (Graduate School of Arts and Letters)
This report examines a way to visualize “Invisible Child-Poverty” in Japan and reveals the situation of children excluded from the frameworks of institutions by qualitative data. In previous studies, “the effect of poverty from parent to children” was revealed by in studies of the “Poverty Cycle Path” (Abe 2014) and “Generational Reproduction of Poverty” (Michinaka 2016). In addition, it was also revealed that children who faced difficulties are surrounded by not only low-income but also various other negative factors such as child abuse, social isolation, disabilities, domestic violence, truancy, bullying at school, and others (Gan 2016). However, these quantitative surveys do not reveal the specific situations of individuals. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct qualitative research to document every child’s situation. That is, how poverty affects children and what is the relationship is between poverty and other difficulties.
 This study is conducted using anthropological participant observation in the city of Sendai in Miyagi Prefecture based on the research framework of the anthropology of poverty, which documents the children’s situations from their perspectives (Watanabe 2021). To analyze these data, this study employs the new concept “the n-th effect of poverty”. In this concept, “poverty” includes financial difficulty and other difficulties that are unable to be determined by quantitative methods. Based on this approach, this study analyzes each factor from three dimensions: financial, social, and mental. The result of the analysis shows that it is necessary focus not only on financial difficulties but also on other factors and the relationship between the effects of these difficulties to visualize the circumstances of children’s difficulties. In addition, it also reveals that children who face difficulties are excluded from the frameworks of institutions. To focus on such children thus excluded from institutional support, we should understand the various difficulties they face from their own perspectives.
Modernization of Egypt and Japan under the British Free Trade Regime in the 19th Century -From the Beginning of Free Trade to the Foreign Payment Crises-
CHEN Zibo(Graduate School of Economics and Management)
This study is a comparative study of how Egypt and Japan dealt with their account imbalances in the process of modernization under the British-led free trade regime in the 19th century. Many developing countries are facing similar dilemmas today and this study will help them to deal with their current account problems.
With low levels of technology and low tariffs, many countries experienced account imbalances in the 19th century. In addressing this problem, Japan and Egypt made different choices and ended up with diametrically opposed outcomes. Japan chose as its solution deflationary policy, optimizing government balances and trade balances and improving the domestic financial system. Egypt, on the other hand, chose to borrow foreign debt in the absence of a domestic financial market, collect taxes arbitrarily, and use these funds to build large public facilities. The high cost of public facilities and interest costs led to a default on sovereign debt in 1876. After the creation of “Dual Control”, Egypt lost its political sovereignty and was eventually occupied by British forces in 1882.
While most studies of Egypt have focused on the analysis of sovereign debt defaults, the current study will combine this with an analysis of the time before its debt defaults. Meanwhile, there are few studies that compare the Japanese and Egyptian approaches to settling their account imbalances, something which will also be analyzed in this research.
With regard to the sources, this study mainly uses relevant prior research and British Parliamentary records to recreate the historical pictures of Egypt and Japan from the perspective of both countries and undertake a comparative study. At present, this study considers that the main difference between the different decisions of Egypt and Japan in terms of borrowing external debt was the relative availability of domestic financial markets.
The effects of orthography and individual differences in the processing of native Japanese words by Chinese learners of Japanese
ZHAO Xuehan(Graduate School of Arts and Letters)
Among Japanese vocabulary, native Japanese words (Wago) are the most essential type in daily life of native speakers. Second language (L2) learners of Japanese are thus required to establish a knowledge of Wago. In particular, Chinese learners of Japanese are believed to experience difficulty understanding Wago, since they tend to rely more on another common type of Japanese words, those of Chinese origin (Kango) that share similar orthographic forms and meanings with Chinese speakers’ first language (L1). Therefore, it is all the more necessary to enable Chinese learners to develop the ability to process Wago.
There are three types of Wago in terms of the general orthographic forms: (1) words written in Chinese characters (Kanji, e.g., 花嫁 hanayome ‘bride’), (2) words written in original Japanese phonetic scripts (Hiragana, e.g., きの kinoko ‘mushroom’), and (3) words written in combination of Kanji and Hiragana (e.g., 赤ちゃんakachan ‘baby’). It remains unclear how Chinese learners of Japanese utilize their L1 knowledge when reading these three types of Wago, and to what extent individual cognitive abilities affect the efficient processing of Wago. The present study conducts a cross-language lexical memory task, to investigate how Chinese learners’ processing of the three types of Wago is facilitated by their previous use of L1 Chinese and L2 Japanese, with particular focus on proficient learners of Japanese. We also examine the effects of individual verbal intelligence on cross-language interference in the processing of Wago. In this presentation, I will report the interim summary of the current study.
A Study of Zao Gongen statue owned by Nyoirin-ji temple, made in 1226 by Genkei
MATSUI Miki (Graduate School of Arts and Letters)
The aim of this research is to reveal the transition of Japanese thought toward the natural environment, particularly mountains. As an approach from art history, the reporter is studying the transition of the worship and artistic representations of a mountain deity, Zao Gongen. Zao Gongen has been enshrined in Mt. Kimpusen(金峯山) in Nara Prefecture since the 10th century, and was adopted by mountains nationwide later, therefore it can be said to be a representation of the people's beliefs concerning mountains. This deity has not been fully studied, but it can be considered as a promising subject through which to understand Japanese thought surrounding mountains.
Of particular note is a statue of Zao Gongen, made by the sculptor Genkei (源慶) in 1226, that contains a reliquary. Among the many representations of Zao Gongen, its outstanding style shows that the belief in Zao Gongen, and by extension in mountains, had reached an epoch around 1226.
The reporter believes Shinnen(信円), who was a chief priest at Kofuku-ji Temple and an administrator of Mt. Kimpusen, was the person who ordered Genkei to make the statue. The methods of subsequent research are below:
1. Recreation of the art works of Shogan-in (正願院), which was built by Shinnen
2. Elucidation of the ideological foundations around Shinnen through a reading of related writings
3. Analysis of the reliquary and theorization of the purpose of the statue in it
Following each result, as a conclusion, it can be said that, with the consciousness, strengthened by the burning of Nanto (南都), of carrying on the Buddhist tradition, training in steep mountains became popular and Zao Gongen in those mountains was newly valued as a guardian of practitioners, marking the epoch of Zao Gongen worship. This deity, which has been treated marginally in historical research, was deeply linked to the thought and reconstruction of the central society at that time.
The Power Structure of Provincial Level Judicial Systems in the Qing Dynasty
GUAN Jian関健 (Graduate School of Arts and Letters)
In the judicial system of the Qing dynasty, penal servitude (tu, penalty labor) was the third-highest penalty after exile and execution. It was a kind of penalty labor, which had to be performed during a certain amount of time, ranging from one to three years and had an added punishment of 60 to 100 strokes with the heavy bamboo stick. This punishment was considered so severe that the right of sentencing criminals to penal servitude, unlike other punishments, was the responsibility of the provincial governors and viceroys. For this reason, the process of judicial enforcement of penal servitude can give us clues to understand the characteristics of the judicial initiatives of provincial governors and viceroys.
In order to explore these characteristics, my research focuses on the actual judicial process of the trials and investigates the factors which influenced the judicial activities for determining the appropriate punishments by analyzing the actual cases and precedents recorded in the governors’ official documents compiled in the Zhao Gong-yi-gong Zi-zhi Guan-shu Lei-ji 趙恭毅公自治官書類集.
As the result of study, the following conclusions have been reached. First: provincial governors and viceroys had the right to exercise their own initiative in sentencing criminals to penal servitude and to decide which administrative organ should hold the review about the cases. Second, judgements and convictions on the provincial level were not always based only on Qing law, but also on the principles of qing (human sense) and li (reason) as the supplementary criteria for securing the appropriateness of the judgements.
The Reception and Development of “Occult” Discourses in Postwar Japan: On Hirai Tatsumi’s Theory of Esoteric Buddhism
HAN Sang-yun (Graduate School of International Cultural Studies)
This presentation aims to explore some aspects of the negotiation process between the Western notion of “the Occult” and Japanese Esoteric Buddhism, or Mikkyō. Since the new Meiji concept of shūkyō privileged religion in its more rational aspect, Mikkyō was, due to its perceived “magical characteristics,” criticized as a “superstitious” form of Buddhism and therefore not as worthy of attention as other more philosophically-inclined currents such as Zen. My work aims at reevaluating Mikkyō’s role in the development of modern Japanese culture by focusing on the case of Hirai Tatsumi (1903-1989), a lay Buddhist who produced a number of texts directed at adapting Esoteric Buddhism to the culture of postwar times.
  The 1960s brought to the Japanese public a whole series of new interests, including, for instance, the 1961 publication of Chōnōryoku ējento, a translation of Wilson Tucker’s sci-fi novel Wild Talent (orig. 1954). Besides presenting one of the earliest occurrences of the term chōnōryoku in Japanese, this novel also introduced parapsychological ideas popular at the time in North-America. This interest was furthered by another phenomenon of the 1970s, namely the translation in 1973 of Colin Wilson’s The Occult (orig. 1971). In this best-selling non-fiction work, which introduced the very term okaruto into the Japanese language, Wilson insisted that people could only escape the narrowness of the material world by tapping into the subconscious and cultivating psychic powers.
In this “reenchanted” context of the 1970s, where the “magical characteristics” of Mikkyō were no longer seen in a negative light, Hirai attempted to reconceive the religion vis-à-vis new “esoteric” ideas from the West. By focusing on this negotiation process between contemporary occult-related discourses and traditional Japanese esoteric Buddhism, I intend to elucidate a heretofore unknown, yet important, episode in postwar Japanese religious history.
Developmental processes and institutional change in the petrochemical industry during the Japanese high growth era: A comparative institutional analysis of public-private cooperation
HOSOI Takuma (Graduate School of Economics and Management)
In Japan, high economic growth was achieved through huge capital investment between 1955 and 73 and created one of the most significant economic successes in the world. Japan’s petrochemical industry developed rapidly after its start in the 1950s and became the second largest producer in the world by the mid-1960s. The petrochemical industry, therefore, can be taken as a representative industry of the high growth period.
This development was supported by a variety of distinctive Japanese institutions whose effectiveness was supported by endogenous Japanese systems adapted to the external environment. One of these was public-private cooperation. This linkage is more difficult to implement than other forms of government-company relations, but unlike most countries Japan has often been able to make it a success. This was important to the Japanese petrochemical industry because both the government and companies needed each other’s support to achieve their goals. However, the form of public-private cooperation differed throughout the high economic growth era and took on different forms depending on the condition of the corporate form. Nevertheless, most previous studies have not assigned much importance to these differences. In my research, I focus on these facts by tracing institutional changes using comparative institutional analysis. Comparative institutional analysis is a method of analysis that reveals situations that are composed of actors with different objectives. I conclude that the government-company relationship transformed according to changes in the actors’ expectations concerning capital liberalization and to problems with raw material in the 1960s. In spite of these institutional changes, the Japanese petrochemical industry maintained high growth. Therefore, the institutional changes in the petrochemical industry in the 1960s supported the development of the industry through the establishment of a cooperative relationship between the public and private sectors. These experiences of Japan’s economic success with such an effective institutional foundation could be used as a model for the growth of developing countries.