Family, japanese, Japanese Culture, Women

A Rose by any Other Name: Japanese Conservatives and the Question of Retaining One’s Family Name

woman wearing white long sleeved dress beside man
Photo by Trung Nguyen on Pexels.com

Submission by Assoc. Prof. David Chapman

In many countries around the world, including Australia, it is commonplace for a woman to take on her husband’s surname after marriage. As the ABC reported last year, recent estimates suggest that approximately 80% of women choose to change their name after marriage. However, many are turning to away from traditional expectations, with some brides keeping their own name, choosing hyphenated names, and some husbands/spouses choosing to take on their wife’s name.

In Australia, expectations around a woman’s choice to change her name after marriage are usually limited to her family and immediate social circle. It may be more acceptable to do so in certain social contexts than in others. As name changes are a “matter of custom, not law“, there is no government intervention to keep track of, nor enforce this practice in any way. Continue reading “A Rose by any Other Name: Japanese Conservatives and the Question of Retaining One’s Family Name”

cultural history, heritage, History, Humanities, Intellectual history, japanese, Japanese Culture, literature, memory, Uncategorized

The Importance and Intangibility of Heritage

 

640px-Dainichi-dō_bugaku_godai_sonmai_01
Dainichi-dō bugaku godai sonmai by Wc018 via Wikimedia Commons

Post Submission by: Dr Natsuko Akagawa

We often talk about heritage in relation to our familial and linguistic connections to countries, with these connections passed down from generation to generation. However, as the ABC recently reported it only takes three generations for many migrant families to lose their native tongue, leading some to suggest that Australia is a “graveyard of languages”. In order to understand how these cultural and linguistic linkages become muddied or even lost, it is important to look at the bigger picture, how the memories and objects in the world around us become elements of heritage to which people relate and hold dear.

Dr Akagawa, considers these questions and more in a number of publications that investigates the nature of heritage as it applies to people, nations and global interactions, and more specifically, the important links between heritage conservation and national identity. Continue reading “The Importance and Intangibility of Heritage”

Art, heritage, History, Humanities, Immigration, japanese, Japanese Culture, literature

Japan in Australia: Culture, Context and Connection – A New Edited Collection

adult back view backpack beautiful
Photo by Tim Gouw on Pexels.com

Submission by: Assoc. Prof. David Chapman

In 2007, Assoc. Prof. David Chapman led a project  highly successful symposium held at the University of Queensland entitled “Japan in Australia“. The symposium sought to investigate a curious gap in the literature on Japan-Australia relations. While previous discourse on the two countries had focused primarily on the relationship between Japan and Australia, there had been little focus “on Japan’s place within Australia and within the nation’s social, cultural and historical landscape”. Furthermore, “with the changing dynamic of Australia’s relationship with Asia [particularly with Australia’s increasing focus on Chinese and South Korean relations] there is a need for a fresh look at Japan within Australia and how Japan has been understood and conceptualised”.

From the research presented at the symposium, Assoc. Prof. David Chapman and Assoc. Prof. Carol Hayes (ANU) edited the newly published collection: Japan in Australia: Culture, Context and ConnectionThis collection is “a work of cultural history that focuses on context and connection between two nations. It examines how Japan has been imagined, represented and experienced in the Australian context through a variety of settings, historical periods and circumstances”. Continue reading “Japan in Australia: Culture, Context and Connection – A New Edited Collection”

Animals, japanese, Japanese Culture, literature, Novels, Translation, Women

Revisiting Mieko Kanai’s “Oh Tama!” in translation

cat paws in shallow focus photography
Photo by Monica Silvestre on Pexels.com

Submission by: Assoc. Prof. Tomoko Aoyama

Kanai, Mieko. Oh Tama: A Mejiro Novel. Translated by Tomoko Aoyama and Paul McCarthy. Stone Bridge Press, 2018.

Originally published by Kurodahan Press, Oh Tama! A Mejiro Novel has been revised and re-published by Stone Bridge Press. Translators Tomoko Aoyama and Paul McCarthy have noted that this novel is not just for those who are interested in Japanese studies or translated works but would appeal to cat lovers, literary comedy and satire fans, and those who love to revel in nostalgia for the 1980’s (which is enjoying a boom in pop-culture at the moment evident through the popularity of series such as Netflix’s Stranger Things).  Continue reading “Revisiting Mieko Kanai’s “Oh Tama!” in translation”

History, japanese, Japanese Culture, literature, memory, Novels, Transculture, Translanguage, trauma

Exploring Australia’s infamous ‘Cowra Breakout’ through fiction

Burial AWM 073487
Cowra, NSW. August 1944. The burial of Japanese Prisoners of War who lost their lives in the mass outbreak from B camp – Australian War Memorial 073487

Submission by Rebecca Hausler PhD (Cand.).

Hausler, Rebecca. “The Cowra Breakout: Remembering and Reflecting on Australia’s Biggest Prison Escape 75 Years On”. The Conversation. 5 Aug. 2019.
https://theconversation.com/the-cowra-breakout-remembering-and-reflecting-on-australias-biggest-prison-escape-75-years-on-120410

In this piece for the academic news analysis website The Conversation, Rebecca writes about the way that the infamous “Cowra Breakout” has been remembered and reflected upon in the 75 years since the event. Writing on the anniversary of the breakout, Rebecca’s piece coincides with events held in the town of Cowra, with these commemoration events running from August 2nd-5th. Continue reading “Exploring Australia’s infamous ‘Cowra Breakout’ through fiction”

japanese, Japanese Culture, literature, Research, Transculture, Translanguage

Public Lecture – Poetics on the Street: Crossing Genres, Languages and Geo-Cultural Borders

auditorium chairs comfortable concert
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The University of Queensland is excited to announce that Professor Tsuboi will be joining them as part of their Distinguished Visitors Program in June 2019.

Professor Hideto Tsuboi (1959-) is a scholar of Japanese literature and culture at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Nichibunken), Kyoto. Professor Tsuboi received B.A. and M.A. degrees in Japanese Literature from Nagoya University, where he later completed his Ph.D. in Japanese Literature. He has written extensively on the issue of the “Other” in modern Japanese literature.

Beginning with an overview of major examples from various cultures, the lecture will focus on the case of Terayama Shūji (1935 –1983), the internationally acclaimed avant-garde dramatist. This lecture re-evaluates the significance of Terayama’s “poetics on the street” as new forms of translanguage and cultural hybridity in contemporary society. While energetic street activities have to some extent waned, renewed international interest in Terayama suggests that these activities may soon return with new forms of translanguage and cultural hybridity. In terms of impact, Terayama has been compared to Orson Welles. Continue reading “Public Lecture – Poetics on the Street: Crossing Genres, Languages and Geo-Cultural Borders”

cultural history, film and visual cultures, japanese, Japanese Culture, literature, Transculture

Public film screening of “Star Sand”

curve industry photography vintage
Photo by Pietro Jeng on Pexels.com

Roger Pulvers has had a various and illustrious career an acclaimed author, academic, playwright, theatre and film director, translator and journalist. He has also worked extensively in film and television.

Over the past fifty years, he has translated prose, drama, and poetry from Japanese, Russian and Polish. He has published more than fifty books in Japanese and English, including novels such as The Death of Urashima Taro, General Yamashita’s Treasure, Star Sand, Liv and The Dream of Lafcadio Hearn. Roger Pulvers also holds a position as an Honorary Professor at the University of Queensland.

His 2017 film ‘Star Sand’ is set in Okinawa in 1945, and centers on two wartime deserters, one from Japan and one from the US. They are joined by a 16-year-old bilingual girl who spent her early childhood years in Los Angeles. All goes well until the Japanese soldier’s brother appears… Some days later there is a violent scene, and three of the four are dead … but we do not know which one has survived. Continue reading “Public film screening of “Star Sand””