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2005 I-House Public Programs

Machiavelli’s Children:
Leadership in Japanese and Italian History

  • Speaker: Richard J. Samuels, Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Moderator & Commentator: Takashi Inoguchi, Professor, Chuo University
  • Date & Time: Wednesday, October 12, 2005 7:00 pm
  • Venue: Gakushi Kaikan Room 320
    (3-28, Kanda Nishiki-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo Tel: 03-3292-5940)
  • Admission: Free of charge for IHJ members, 1,000 yen for non-members.

Professor Samuels will trace the parallel historical paths of Japan and Italy from 19th-century nation-building through the failure of early liberalism, the emergence of fascism, imperial expansionism, and reconstruction as American allies. He will focus on the role of leadership in political change by using the paired biographies of political leaders from Japan and Italy and touch on their historical choices at critical junctures, leading to the formation of different national identities. His analysis will present new accounts of the making of the modern nation-state in Japan and Italy from a comparative perspective. After his presentation, Professor Takashi Inoguchi, a distinguished political scientist, will provide commentary.

This lecture is based on Professor Samuels’ publication, Machiavelli’s Children: Leaders and Their Legacies in Italy and Japan (Cornell University Press, 2003), a culmination of his longtime research and winner of two book prizes: the 2003 Marraro Prize of the Society of Italian Historical Studies and the 2004 Jervis-Schroeder Prize of the American Political Science Association. It will be published in Japanese by Toyo Keizai.

Richard J. Samuels

Professor Richard J. Samuels is Ford International Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for International Studies, MIT. He is also the founding director of the MIT Japan Program. On the one hand, as an internationally acclaimed scholar of Japanese studies, he has given lectures and authored numerous books and writings, contributing to the advancement of Japanese studies abroad. On the other, as chairman of the Japan-United States Friendship Commission, an independent federal grant-making agency, he is engaged in a variety of cultural and educational activities furthering friendly and cooperative relations between the United States and Japan. His other publications include Rich Nation, Strong Army: National Security and the Technological Transformation of Japan (Cornell University Press, 1996).

Panel Discussion
Asian Women: Beyond Myths and Stereotypes

  • Speakers:
    Sheridan Prasso, Journalist; Author of The Asian Mystique
    Urvashi Butalia, Co-founder, Kali for Women; Director, Zubaan Books
  • Moderator:Chiharu Takenaka, Professor, Meiji Gakuin University
  • Date & Time: Monday, September 26, 2005 7:00 pm
  • Venue: Gakushi Kaikan Room 202
    (3-28, Kanda Nishiki-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo Tel: 03-3292-5940)
  • Language: with Japanese/ English simultaneous translation
  • Admission: Free of charge for IHJ members, 1,000 yen for non-members.
  • This program is co-organized by the Japan Society and is partially supported by the Japan Foundation.

In our rapidly globalized world, the media is increasingly playing a significant role in shaping human perceptions. On the one hand, it contributes to facilitating effective communication of information in society; on the other, it dangerously functions as a power in its own right towards the disadvantaged and vulnerable, resulting in stamping determined and problematic one-dimensional images. With a focus on introducing misperceptions of Asian women perpetrated in the Western media’s representation, in this panel discussion two female intellectuals will challenge the assumptions of constructed Asia based on deep-rooted stereotypes and unravel their mythologies, thereby reshaping our perception —beyond dichotomous thinking and Orientalism— of what Asia really is.

Sheridan Prasso

Ms. Prasso has been writing about Asia for more than fifteen years: formerly as Asia Editor and a Senior News Editor for Business Week, and as a Hong Kong-based Asia Correspondent and Cambodia Bureau Chief for Agence France-Presse. Her articles have appeared in the New Yorker, New Republic, the New York Times, Fortune, the International Herald Tribune, the Far Eastern Economic Review and other publications. She started her career as a reporter for the Associated Press. She is the recipient of a Human Rights Press Award for coverage of Cambodian land-mine victims. She was in Tokyo as a fellow of the US-Japan Media Fellows Program 2003 organized by the Japan Society in cooperation with the International House of Japan. Combining the results of this fellowship with her longtime research in Asian countries, Ms. Prasso recently published the book The Asian Mystique: Dragon Ladies, Geisha Girls, & Our Fantasies of the Exotic Orient (Public Affairs, 2005).

Urvashi Butalia

Ms. Butalia is a well-known figure in gender studies not only in India but also in Europe and the United States. She co-founded Kali for Women, the first feminist publisher in India, which has published various books on gender issues in India. She has been instrumental in women’s empowerment in India. She has been active in researching the modern history of India, and her book The Other Side of Silence: Voices from the Partition of India (Duke University Press, 2000), an oral history of the tragic separation of India and Pakistan, has been a bestseller in India. She is also an active participant in international citizen’s exchange conferences, where she speaks on behalf of Indian women. She spent two months in residency in Tokyo as a fellow of the Asia Leadership Fellow Program 2000 co-organized by the International House of Japan and the Japan Foundation. Ms. Butalia is a recipient of the Nikkei Asia Prize 2003.

Religious Change and Innovation in the Modern World:
A Social Anthropological Perspective

  • Lecturer: Peter B. Clarke, Professor, University of Oxford
  • Date & Time: Monday, March 28, 7 pm
  • Venue: Lecture Hall, International House of Japan
  • Language: with Japanese/ English simultaneous translation
  • Those who wish to attend are requested to call the International House Program Department for reservations. Admission Free
    Tel: 03-3470-3211, Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm Fax: 03-3470-3170 E-mail: program@i-house.or.jp

In this lecture, Prof. Clarke will talk on the impact of modernization and globalization on world religions, drawing on case studies from Asia (changes in Buddhism and Hinduism), Africa (the rise of new forms of Christianity), Latin America (new Christian conservative movements), the Middle East (the upsurge of modern forms of Islamic radicalism), and the West (the growing influence of Asian religions and of Islam). His major publications include New Trends and Movements within the World of Islam (London: Luzac Oriental, 1998) and Japanese New Religions: In Global Perspective (London: Curzon Press, 2000). He is also author (with Peter Byrne) of Religion Defined and Explained (Macmillan, 1993) and New Religions in Global Perspective: A Study of Religious Change in the Modern World (London: Routledge, forthcoming in 2005). He is founding editor and current co-editor of Journal of Contemporary Religion.

Peter Clarke

Professor Peter Clarke received his Ph.D. in the sociology of religion with special reference to modern Islam from the University of London at King’s College, and previously studied history at the University of Oxford. He is Professor Emeritus of the history and sociology of religion of the University of London at King’s College, where he taught for 25 years, and is currently a member of the Faculty of Theology in the University of Oxford and a member of Wolfson College. He is also honorary professor at the University of Birmingham, UK. He has carried out extensive research on the development of contemporary religions, especially focusing on the dynamics of the interaction between religions in various cultural contexts, including Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America. The leitmotifs running throughout his research have been identity, syncretism, healing, and millenarianism.

Presentations by Nitobe / Kikawada Fellows on their Research Overseas

  • Date & Time: Wednesday, March 23, 2:30 pm
  • Venue: Kabayama Room, International House of Japan
  • Language: Language: Japanese only

The International House of Japan initiated the Nitobe Fellowships for Japanese Social Scientists in 1976 for the purpose of providing Japanese social science scholars with an opportunity to engage in advanced studies at overseas institutions (Total number of fellows: 159). Named in honor of the late Dr. Inazo Nitobe (1862-1933), this program aims at fostering a new generation of potential leaders in the broad area of the social sciences. The program is currently supported by the Japan Foundation and the Kikawada Foundation. The following eight fellows, who returned to Japan in the past year, will present their research and talk about their experiences overseas as Nitobe/Kikawada Fellows. Outlines of their presentations will be available on this website. The presentations will be in Japanese with no English translation.

  • Economics: Policy
  • Masako WAKUI, Assoc. Prof., Osaka City Univ. (Econ. Law); London School of Economics and Political Science (U.K.)
  • Kozo KIYOTA, Assoc. Prof., Yokohama Nat’l Univ. (Int’l Econ.); Univ. of Michigan (U.S.A.)
  • Economics: Corporations
  • Wakana SHUTO, Lecturer, Yamagata Univ. (Women’s Work) ; London School of Economics and Political Science (U.K.)
  • Hiromi WAKABAYASHI, Assoc. Prof., Tokyo Int’l Univ. (Financial Accounting); Tilburg Univ. (The Netherlands)
  • Politics: International Comparison of Decentralization
  • Mikine YAMAZAKI, Assoc. Prof., Hokkaido Univ. (Public Administration); Aberdeen Univ. (U.K.)
  • Fumio NAGAI, Assoc. Prof., Osaka City Univ. (Public Administration in Thailand); Oxford Univ. (U.K.)
  • International History of the Early 20th Century
  • Harumi GOTO-SHIBATA, Assoc. Prof., Chiba Univ. (Int’l History); Oxford Univ. (U.K.)
  • Makoto ONAKA, Full-Time Lecturer, Obirin Univ. (Int’l History); Oxford Univ. (U.K.)
  • Moderator:
    Koichiro FUJIKURA, Prof., Doshisha Univ.; Councilor, International House of Japan

ALFP Outreach Program
Migration and Media-Myths and Reality

  • Wednesday, March 16, 7 pm Lecture Hall, International House of Japan
  • Co-organized by the International House of Japan and the Japan Foundation
    with Japanese/ English simultaneous translation
  • Mahendra P. Lama (Professor of South Asian Economies, Jawaharlal Nehru University; Chief Economic Adviser to the Chief Minister of Sikkim, India)
    Ann Lee (Project Director, “Linking Media and Research: A Migration Case Study”; Trustee, Asia Pacific Council of AIDS Service Organisations; and Artistic Director, Kuali Works, Malaysia)
  • Moderator: Isami Takeda, Professor, Dokkyo University; Member, ALFP Steering Committee
  • Discussants: Takamichi Kajita, Professor, Hitotsubashi University / Aya Kimura, Staff Writer, Asahi Shimbun

“Linking Media and Research: A Migration Case Study” is a recently completed project on cross-border migration, including comparative media surveys of news coverage on foreign migrants in seven countries – China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand.

Begun in 2001, it represents the first major group project by public intellectuals associated with the Asia Leadership Fellow Program (ALFP), co-organized by the International House of Japan and the Japan Foundation.

The 2001ALFP Fellows, together with three additional researchers, tackled an issue that they, and many others, believe is critical to the future of the region: migration – more specifically, looking at the relationship between public attitudes, government policies and media coverage on foreign migrants. It was their belief then, as it is even more so now after concluding the research – with results produced in the form of a media information kit – that media, public opinion, government policy-making and the treatment of foreign migrants are all spokes of a single wheel that can be positively influenced through a more informed, sensitive and responsible media environment.

This transnational study included individual country reports on migration and media surveys of coverage by mainstream news organizations (newspapers and TV), summarizing the trends of the major theatres of migratory movements in South, Southeast and East Asian countries into five critical aspects of migration – historico-cultural, socio-political, economic, security-strategic and media responses.

While ‘the media’ is often criticized for sensationalism, the 2001ALFP Fellows regarded it important to look more closely at the constraints that media journalists and executives face, as well as at their sources of information.

Two of the study group members will be making a presentation on the process and the findings of the overall research, joined by two discussants who will comment on the significance of this transnational endeavor.