2007 I-House Public Programs

[Photo Exhibition] The International House and Asian Intellectual Exchange: From Mutual Understanding to Network-building

Modeled after intellectual interchange programs with Western countries, the Asian intellectual cooperation program was launched in 1967 for the purpose of nurturing friendly relations with Asian countries through the promotion of intellectual dialogue at the initiative of the non-governmental and private sector. Looking back on the House’s history of cultural exchange and intellectual cooperation with Asia after its establishment in 1952, this photo exhibition aims at exploring the future of Asian intellectual exchange with the focus on a slight shift in direction from the enhancement of mutual understanding within a bilateral framework during the Cold War era to network-building in dealing with a global agenda within a multilateral framework after the collapse of the Cold War system.

  • Venue: Lobby of the International House of Japan
  • Period: October 1, 2007-January 31, 2008

Photo left to Right: I-House Managing Director Shigeharu Matsumoto and Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru; former Indonesian Ambassador to the U.S., Dr. Soedjatmoko and I-House managing Director Yoichi Maeda; Mr. Goenawan Mohamad, Editor-in-Chief, Tempo Magazine, who resided at the House as a fellow of the Asia Leadership Fellow Program 1997

[Talk & Screening]
Identifying the Roots of Japanese Animation:
Focusing on Silent Black and White Films of the Early Showa Period

It is no exaggeration to say that Japan leads the world’s anime industry, both in quality and quantity. The word “anime” has been exported and is now recognized worldwide, like sushi and origami, and animation is an integral part of Japan’s soft power.

Japan’s first anime film was created in 1917. At that time most animated films derived their themes and contents from old folktales or ancient myths, and their techniques were based on comics, or
manga. The first production company solely engaged in animation was set up as early as 1921.

This program will feature short anime films produced mainly around 1930. In such animation rich in life and humor, one can glimpse the essence of the sense of aesthetics that still flows through
contemporary animation in Japan. We will also examine how the social conditions of the time, such as wars and fads, influenced animation production.

  • Date & Time : Fri, August 31, 2007, 7:00-9:00 pm
  • Venue : Iwasaki Koyata Memorial Hall, International House of Japan
  • Admission Fee : 800 yen for IHJ members & Meme Salon members, 1,500 yen for non-members
  • Language : Japanese/English (with interpretation); all the featured films are subtitled in English
  • This program is co-hosted by Digital Meme.


  • Junjiro Takahashi (Emeritus Professor, Keio University; Adviser, Academyhills)


Nobuyuki Tsugata (Animation historian; Lecturer, Osaka University of Arts)
Larry Greenberg
Larry Greenberg (CEO, Digital Meme)
  • “Kobutori” “Norakuro” (1929) “Taro-san no kisha” (1930)
    Reservations & Inquiries

Lecture Series 2007 Viewing Japan-U.S. Exchange Now

More than 50 years after the war, Japan-U.S. exchange is still invaluable in various areas such as politics, economics, and culture. Recently the worlds attention tends to be drawn to China and India, with their rapid economic growth, but as expressed by former U.S. ambassador to Japan, Mike Mansfield, “The U.S.-Japan relationship is the most important bilateral relationship in the world, bar none.” Japan is still one of the most influential countries for the United States and vice versa. While not forgetting the history of this relationship, it is important to review its current situation, agenda and future.
In this program, we will focus on current Japan-U.S. relations and hear from specialists in various fields.

  • Dates: Wednesday, July 4; Tuesday, July 10; Tuesday, July 17; Monday, July 23, Tuesday ,July 31
  • Time: For all lectures, doors open at 1:30 p.m. and seminar starts at 2 p.m.
  • Language: Japanese
  • Venue: Lecture Hall, International House of Japan
  • Admission Fee: I-House Members, 9,000 yen per series (2,000 yen for one lecture)
    Non-members, 12,500 yen per series (3,000 yen for one lecture)
    Students, 1,500 yen for one lecture (student ID necessary)

Wednesday, July 4
150 years of U.S.-Japan Relations
Makoto Iokibe (President, National Defense Academy of Japan)

U.S. -Japan relations, paramount in the history of modern Japan, have gone through three phases both in the prewar and postwar periods. In the early phase, there was a friendly relationship similar to that of a teacher-student relationship, which gave way to the second phase, a partner-but-rival relationship. The conclusive difference between prewar and postwar periods is in the third phase that followed: prewar, the relationship ended in catastrophe but postwar, we can see an era of closeness and maturity. How will U.S.-Japan relations evolve after 9.11 and the Iraq War?

Tuesday, July 10
How Globalization Has Transformed U.S.-Japan Economic Relations
Glen S. Fukushima (President & CEO, Airbus Japan)

The economies of Japan and the United States together comprise 40 percent of the world’s economy, and the economic relations and close ties between the two countries still greatly influence the world economy and markets. But changes in both economies are inevitable given the dramatic changes in this era of globalization with the rapid rise in the economies of China and India, changes in the EU economy, and the proliferation of FTAs. This seminar will focus on the competitiveness and cooperation of American and Japanese companies and on such topics as the prospects for the revival in competitiveness of Japanese companies, which are said to have been slow in responding to globalization.

Tuesday, July 17
How Media Review Japan-U.S. Relations-|Light and Shadow
Keiko Chino (Director; Chief Editorial Writer, Sankei Shimbun)

In the past there was a time when Japan-U.S. relations equaled Japan-U.S. frictions and coverage of friction dominated, but now it seems that this friction has disappeared from the media coverage. But, though the cooperative ties of leaders are closer, new factors, such as the troubled situation in Iraq and the rise of China, have complicated the relationship. Is the media effectively covering Japan-U.S. relation in transition? What is the influence of media on the formation of views toward the other nations? We will review Japan-U.S. relations from the media point of view, including changes in process.

Monday, July 23
Japan as Seen in American Movies
Kyoko Hirano (Film Historian)

Recently Hollywood has produced several films portraying Japan including The Last Samurai, Memoirs of a Geisha and Letters From Iwo Jima. We will examine how the image of the Japanese in American films has changed over the decades reflecting the US-Japan relations of each period. We will compare the above-mentioned recent films with a World War II propaganda film (Know Your Enemy: Japan), and popular theatrical films of the 1950s, the 1980s and the 1990s.

Tuesday, July 31
The 2008 U.S. Presidential Election and U.S.-Japan Relations
Toshihiro Nakayama (Associate Professor, Tsuda College)

The major candidates have already started their campaigning for the 2008 U.S. presidential election. Focusing on the possibility of the first female president, the background on why Sen. Obama is seen as such a strong candidate, and the possibility of a shift in government from the Republicans to the Democrats, we will learn about the dynamics of U.S. politics facing a very stormy political season. Implications for future U.S.-Japan relations will be discussed as well.

Ms. Suad Al-Mudhaffar Lecture Tour
Japanese Education Seen from the Arabian Peninsula

  • Suad Al-Mudhaffar (School Principal, Azzan Bin Qais Private School)
  • Moderator: Kazuo Kuroda (Professor, Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies, Waseda University)
  • Date & Time: Fri., February 2nd, 2007, 7:00 pm
  • Venue: Iwasaki Koyata Memorial Hall, International House of Japan
  • Admission: Free
  • Language: Japanese (English/Japanese simultaneous interpretation to be provided)

Ms. Suad Al-Mudhaffar was the first Japanese to become a national of Oman, a small country in the Arabian Peninsula. She was also the first non-native born citizen to start a private school in that country. Since 1990, when she began her school, she has faced and overcome various difficulties, and presently her school is considered one of the best in the country. She was recently featured in the Japanese edition of Newsweek.

Ms. Suad, with the vision and awareness of a successful educator, will discuss problems in the current Japanese education system from a fresh perspective. She will also explain why her school has been so highly evaluated in an Arabic country that has a significantly different culture and social system from that of Japan. An important point of her lecture will concern how one can facilitate mutual understanding between cultures, especially in regards to the recent international affairs and the situation in the Islamic world.

Other Lectures by Ms. Suad Al-Mudhaffar

Sun. February 4th Osaka (Osaka International House Foundation)
Mon. February 5th Yamaguchi (High School Students Project from Yamaguchi on the Middle East and Islam)
Tue. February 6th Saga (Non Profit Organization Dream School Academia Terra)
Wed. February 7th Tokyo (Non Profit Organization GEWEL)
Thu. February 8th Aichi (Aichi International Association)

This tour was sponsored by the All Japan Organization of Social Contribution