The 40th Anniversary Conference takes the year 1973 as a touchstone for the examination of the development over the last forty years of key developments in Japan and Japanese Studies.
That year saw a number of events that have proved to be highly consequential for Japan’s subsequent history. The First Oil Shock occurred, raising the price of crude oil by thirty percent. Korean dissident and future President of Korea and Nobel Peace Prize winner (2000) Kim Dae-Jung was kidnapped from a Tokyo hotel by the KCIA. The Japanese Red Army hijacked a plane to Libya. Universal free health care was established for the elderly over seventy years of age. While these events had immediate effects on Japan’s economy, foreign relations, and society, a number of cultural events were arguably equally significant. The sixtieth Vicennial Renewal of the Ise Grand Shrines (Shikinen sengū), a monumental rebuilding of the Inner and Outer Shrines at Ise, a practice which began in the late seventh century, was completed in 1973, and the sixty-second will take place in 2013. The District Court of Sapporo ruled that the existence of the Self-Defense Force violated the constitution, a significant judgment in the evolution of debate on the organization’s proper role that is still ongoing. The proportion of Japanese attending universities exceeded 30 percent for the first time in 1973, nearly doubling since that time. The apocalyptic novel Japan Sinks by Komatsu Sakyō became a best-seller, beginning a lineage of best-selling works in manga, anime, and live-action film formats portraying the end of the world. In these various ways, 1973 has proved to be a milestone worthy of reflection.
The conference is divided into two main sessions and a number of panels.
All discussions will take place in English. Click here for a detailed schedule.
The Reischauer Institute 40th Anniversary Conference is organized by the Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies with the generous support of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (日本学術振興会).
** 9/25/2013 1:30 p.m. - Registration is now closed, but you are still welcome to attend the conference. **