Fun Link Friday: Rice cooker baked cinnamon apples!

Tis the season! Decorations for Halloween are coming out and it’s finally getting cooler. For those of you in Japan, it’s just about the time you start craving the kind of treats we love about fall. Luckily for us, Rocket News 24 just posted an article on how to bake cinnamon honey apples in your rice cooker! I haven’t tried it myself, but it’s pretty high on my priorities this week.

Source: Naver Matome

Source: Naver Matome

Step by step instructions can be found in English on the article linked above, but the original article in Japanese can be found here:

Also, you may want to check out Rocket News 24’s other recent article on how to make pancakes in your rice cooker. Bon Appétit!

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Exhibition: Yayoi Kusama: Pumpkins [London]

16 September – 19 December 2014
Victoria Miro · Gallery I & Garden, 16 Wharf Road London N1 7RW

Copyright Kusama Yayoi

Copyright Kusama Yayoi

Victoria Miro is delighted to present a new body of sculptures and paintings by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama dedicated to her iconic depiction of pumpkins.

The exhibition, which opens on 16 September 2014 comprises two elements: the main gallery will house a new body of paintings and large scale mosaic pumpkins which will be on show until 4 October; whilst a major new series of bronze sculptures will be on display in the gallery’s unique water garden until 20 December. The bronze pumpkins have been two years in the making and mark the first time the artist has worked with bronze on such a large scale.

Since her earliest formative years, in a family who made their living cultivating plant seeds, Kusama has been fascinated by the natural world. She has always had an affinity with nature, particularly vegetal and floral life, but the pumpkin continues to occupy a special place in her iconography and is a motif she has returned to repeatedly throughout her career.

The plant appears in some of her paintings and works on paper as early as 1948. After her return from New York to Japan in the 1970s she rediscovered the theme, and began making serial works depicting the pumpkin in various media: paintings; prints; sculpture; installation; and environmental works. She has made tiny pumpkins no bigger than a key ring, and monumental pumpkins that dwarf the viewer with their scale. She has placed pumpkins in box structures and in mirror rooms, and used the distinctive knobbly patterning of their skins as inspiration for her unique dot-patterned paintings and textiles. In 1993 pumpkins formed part of her presentation in the Japanese Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. In 1994 her iconic exterior sculpture of a large yellow and black pumpkin was sited at the Benesse Art Site Naoshima, an island in Japan’s inland sea dedicated to displaying art within nature.

The artist has a strong personal identification with the pumpkin, and has described her images of them as a form of selfportraiture. She admires pumpkins for their hardiness and everyday quality, as well as for their unique and pleasing physical qualities. She has written:

“‘Pumpkin head’ was an epithet used to disparage ugly, ignorant men, and the phrase ‘Put eyes and a nose on a pumpkin’ evoked a pudgy and unattractive woman. It seems that pumpkins do not inspire much respect. But I was enchanted by their charming and winsome form. What appealed to me most was the pumpkin’s generous unpretentiousness. That and its solid spiritual base” (Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Net: The Autobiography of Yayoi Kusama, trans. Ralph McCarthy, London 2011, p.76).

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Job Opening: Modern Japanese History, Columbia University

job opening - 5Institution:       Columbia University, East Asian Languages and Cultures
Location:          New York, United States
Position:          Assistant Professor, Tenure Track Faculty, Modern Japanese History

The Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Columbia University invites applications for a full-time, tenure-track assistant professorship in modern Japanese history, with specialization in the 20th century preferred.  A promising record of teaching and scholarship is necessary.  The appointee will teach at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. PhD. degree must be completed by July 1, 2015.  Applications will include CV, cover letter with a description of teaching and research interests, abstract of dissertation or first book, a brief description of courses the applicant has taught or would be prepared to develop, two sample syllabi, a sample of written work, and three letters of recommendation. Review of applications will begin on October 15, 2014 and continue until the position is filled.

For more information and to apply for the position, please use the following

Columbia University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.


For questions regarding the application process, please contact Joshua Gottesman: .


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Resources: Japanese Literature in Translation

In college, when I had a lot more time to read modern and premodern Japanese literature, I often found myself wondering whether certain authors had more works in translation that I could get my hands on, but didn’t know where to turn beyond a simple search. Or, in many cases, a friend was reading someone obscure in Japanese that a simple search wouldn’t turn up. Did you know that there are some great resources out there online for finding out if something has been produced in translation? Here’s a couple sites that literature buffs might find useful.

 The Japan Foundation Japanese Literature in Translation Database


The Japan Foundation maintains a really great Japanese Literature in Translation Database ( that’s hidden away in their Arts and Cultural Exchange section, under the Audio-Visual and Publication Exchange sidebar in the Sharing Information on Films and Publications subsection. People might not think to go to the Japan Foundation website of all places to find publication information, but it really is a great little resource. 

JF database1The best thing about the database is the extensive options for searching for materials. If you know what author you want to look for or what the name of the text is, or if you just want to browse around, you can go directly to a List Search of author by name or name of the text (circled in red to the right).

Otherwise, there is a whole slew of other options in the Data Entry Search section, where you can enter a query by keywords, year of publication, or even the language in which the work was published, with the ability to organize results by author, title, translation title, or publication year.

Especially useful is that every entry is included both in English AND in Japanese, so you can use whichever you’re most comfortable with, whether you only know a title or an author in either one. The search will bring up the basic details of each search result, with more specifics available via a small icon to the left.

JF database2One drawback is that you can’t search with a keyword based on content. So if you’re looking for a work based themes or ideas not in the title (say, for example, you thought to yourself you just really want to read a book about spiders), you’ll only be able to get a result based on something with that keyword in the title. So this database is for finding specific translations, not browsing for some new readings based on what you like (unless it’s a particular author). You also can’t search based on the date of original publication, only translation publication.

Regardless, overall this database is immensely useful for finding out what exists in translation. I’m not sure how periodically they update their lists, but it’s a really great starting point for literature buffs and researchers.

Japanese Literature in English

Japanese Literature in English

A relatively newer site, Japanese Literature in English ( seems to have been launched in early 2013 by Allison Markin Powell, a literary translator of fiction, nonfiction, biography, essays, and manga. As opposed to the Japan Foundation database, this site appears to cater more towards popular fiction, and to be in the initial stages of development.

The site design is quite clean, with a basic search function that allows you to query  based on title, author, translator, subject, publication date, and publisher. There’s also a “most popular searches” section at the bottom of the page, which lends itself to interest in recent releases and trends.

One downside to this setup is that there’s no way to casually browse the entirety of what’s in the database, as with the Japan Foundation’s alphabetical listings. There are tags and subject listings, but they seem to only be accessible on the site after an initial search, and some of them appear to be linked as opposed to individual keywords, such as “nature, fiction” as one subject. It’s difficult to tell if the subjects listed on the right are exhaustive for the site, since it is only just getting on its feet.

JLTHowever, the search by subject function seems quite useful, as a basic search will also turn up results based on the information page, which includes notes on each entry (particularly helpful if the work is a collection of short stories). The information page has a great deal of technical information about each entry, including the ISBN and OCLC numbers, making it easy to look the works up on research databases or vendor sites (Japan Foundation has a place for ISBN numbers, but the information is typically not included). There is also a button for purchasing the book directly from the publisher.

 Japanese Literature in English has a lot of potential, and it will be interesting to see how it changes and grows as more content goes up!

JLPPJLPP (Japanese Literature Publishing Project)

 Finally, today we have the Japanese Literature Publishing Project (, a site launched in 2002 by the Agency for Cultural Affairs to promote the awareness and popularization of overseas publishing of modern Japanese literature. This site is not simply a database to provide information on or recognition of Japanese literature, but part of a broader effort to produce translations abroad. As stated on the information page, “under this program, works of Japanese literature published in the past 150 years are selected by a committee of professional members, translated into various languages, and published overseas.”

Although unclear at first from the English-language page, the JLPP produces translations on the basis of competitions, five of which have been seen to completion. The resulting translations that are selected as the winners are listed on the site and promoted for professional publication in their respective language. On the Translation Works page you can see the various titles translated for each of the five competitions that have been held, including the names of translators and whether the work is published now or not.



Clicking on each individual work listed brings you to an information page with title, author, translator, and publication information, as well as synopses of the work and any distinguishing prizes or awards for its translation. Also, it’s neat that if you click on the authors themselves from the translated works page you get an author mini-bio and some information about their publication history. Additionally, clicking on the little “Published” button for a particular work next to its translation language will take you to a summary PDF of what works have been translated from Japanese into that language. 

The only internal search option is a google-powered search bar at the top right, but this site is not meant to be primarily a database. The NEWS/TOPICS section hasn’t been updated since February of 2013, which leads me to wonder if this project is still ongoing or if they simply don’t keep the site up to date until a new round of publications emerges (if they’ve only had five competitions since 2002, maybe they’re on a two year cycle?). Regardless, the Japanese Literature Publication Project looks like an interesting place to check out if you want to get an idea of how Japanese literature has been circulating internationally!


 Any other sites or resources you use to check out Japanese literature in translation? Let us know at or leave us a comment!

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Job Opening: Museum Preparator II, Stanford University

job opening - 5Institution: Stanford University
Location: Stanford, CA
Posted: 09/09/2014
Education: BA preferred
100% FTE, fixed term through December 2015

The Cantor Arts Center is a vital and dynamic institution with a venerable history. Founded in 1891 with the university, the historic museum was expanded and renamed in 1999 for lead donors Iris and B. Gerald Cantor. The Cantor’s encyclopedic collection spans 5,000 years, includes over 40,000 works of art and beckons visitors to travel around the world and through time: from Africa to the Americas to Asia, from classical to contemporary. With 24 galleries presenting selections from the collection and more than 20 special exhibitions each year, the Cantor serves Stanford’s academic community, draws art lovers from the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond, and attracts campus visitors from around the world. Free admission, free tours, lectures, family activities, plus changing exhibitions make the Cantor one of the most well-attended university art museums in the country and an invaluable resource for teaching and research on campus.

Under the supervision of the Acting Manager of Collections, Exhibitions and Conservation, the Museum Preparator II works with the team of Preparators at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University (CAC) in the preparation, installation, storage, packing, and general handling of art objects in the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions. Preparators perform a wide variety of duties in support of museum operations and in collaboration with Registrars, Curators, Head of Exhibitions, and Conservators. This position is covered by a collective bargaining unit. The Preparator’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following: Serves as Lead Preparator on assigned exhibitions including active participation in the design, coordination, and implementation of exhibitions using a high level of organization, communication and time management skills. Designs and fabricates custom mounts and exhibition furniture. Works in galleries as part of the installation team for exhibitions and rotations. Assists with installation of digital media and multimedia and electronics (film, computer, audio video) and gallery lighting. Packs and transports art objects to and from lenders and donors. Assists with receiving exhibition shipments and with the unpacking and repacking. Helps maintain tools, equipment, shop spaces and art storage.


Minimum of 5 years of progressively responsible experience or equivalent combination of training and experience preferably in a museum setting. B.A. Degree preferred. Demonstrated proficiency of handling valuable works of art in a wide variety of media including but not limited to paintings, bronze, ceramic, glass, metals, mixed media, textiles, works on paper, contemporary art and new media. Demonstrated proficiency in installation of exhibitions and layout and lighting design. Ability to move or assist in moving heavy objects (must be able to lift 50 lbs) and ability to operate genie lifts, forklifts, pallet jacks, etc. Demonstrated proficiency of practices and methods in mount making including earthquake mitigation and demonstrated ability to apply this knowledge with initiative and judgment, concern for detail, accuracy, and neat execution of work. Demonstrated skills and knowledge of shop equipment and ability to effectively perform various skilled and semi-skilled tasks, including woodworking, brazing, use of adhesives and fasteners, construction methods, and use of stationary and portable power tools. Demonstrated skills and knowledge of archival materials and storage techniques for loaned and museum collection objects. Ability to work collaboratively with a team and work collegially with fellow preparators, staff, designers, guest curators, vendors, and the general public. Proficiency with design programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, Google Sketch-up highly desirable and familiarity with computer applications in a multi-platform environment including Microsoft Word and Excel. Effective oral and written communication skills.

Full application details on

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LGBT Exhibition: Rainbow Messages from the Hirado Dutch Trading Post [Nagasaki]

September 14, 2014 – October 31, 2014
Opening times: 8:30-17:30
Place: Hirado Dutch Trading Post (Okubo 2477, Hirado, Nagasaki Prefecture)
Entry fee: 300 yen


At the Hirado Dutch Trading Post, Japan’s first western style building, exchanges between Japan and the Netherlands flourished and is now once again a place where cultures and new ideas meet.

Hirado flourished as an international trading port and through the trade with the Netherlands it took in some of the latest European cultural trends and values at the time. In modern times the Netherlands has been at the forefront of LGBT rights by being the first country in the world to legalise same-sex marriages. After 400 years the Hirado Dutch Trading Post is building new bridges between the Netherlands, Hirado, and other parts of the world on the theme of LGBT.

The Hirado Dutch Trading Post aims to increase awareness and understanding of sexual minorities in order to contribute to a society in which LGBT`s can be themselves and live with pride.

Leaflet front

Leaflet back

(LGBT is the abbreviation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender.)

LGBT Photo exhibition:
– The Netherlands: Pride Photo Award (
Winning contributions of the annual international photo contest on sexual and gender diversity organized by this Dutch NPO
– Japan: Koji Kinoshita Photo exhibition. Born in Kumamoto in 1972. He has been organising a yearly photo exhibition since 2006. We show his latest photography project about people from the LGBT community `So Many Colors Photo Session`.

There will also be other panels and short video fragments about the history and the current situation of the LGBT community in the Netherlands, USA, Taiwan and Japan.

More information at The Kingdom of the Netherlands Embassy page.

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Funding Opportunity: Council on Foreign Relations 2015-2016 Fellowship Programs

CFR 2015-2016 Fellowship Programs


The Council on Foreign Relations’ (CFR) Fellowship Program offers unique opportunities for mid-career professionals focusing on international relations. The program affords fellows the opportunity to broaden their perspective of foreign affairs and to pursue proposed research in the United States and abroad. The program awards a stipend, which varies with each fellowship. CFR is seeking applicants for four 2015-2016 fellowship programs listed below.


The International Affairs Fellowship (IAF) assists mid-career scholars and professionals in advancing their analytic capabilities and broadening their foreign policy experience. Selected fellows from academia and the private sector spend fellowship tenures in public service and policy-oriented settings, while government officials spend their tenures in a scholarly atmosphere free from operational pressure. The IAF program is only open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents between the ages of twenty-seven and thirty-five who are eligible to work in the United States. CFR does not sponsor for visas. The duration of the fellowship is twelve months. The program awards a stipend of $85,000. CFR awards approximately ten fellowships annually. The application deadline is October 31, 2014.


The International Affairs Fellowship in Japan (IAF-J), sponsored by Hitachi, Ltd., provides a selected group of mid-career U.S. citizens the opportunity to expand their professional horizons by spending a period of research or other professional activity in Japan.The IAF-J is only open to U.S. citizens between the ages of twenty-seven and forty-five. The program is intended primarily for those without substantial prior experience in Japan. Knowledge of the Japanese language is not a requirement. The duration of the fellowship is between three and twelve months. The program awards a stipend in yen, which covers travel and living expenses in Japan. CFR awards approximately three to five fellowships annually. The application deadline is October 31, 2014.


The Stanton Nuclear Security Fellowship (SNSF) Program, made possible by a generous grant from the Stanton Foundation, offers younger scholars studying nuclear security issues the opportunity to spend a period of twelve months at CFR offices in New York or Washington, DC, conducting policy-relevant research. Qualified candidates must be junior (non-tenured) faculty, postdoctoral fellows, or predoctoral candidates from any discipline who are working on a nuclear security related issue. The program is only open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are eligible to work in the United States. CFR does not sponsor for visas. The program awards a stipend of $100,000 for junior (non-tenured) faculty; $75,000 for postdoctoral; and $50,000 for predoctoral fellows. CFR awards up to three fellowships annually. The application deadline is December 15, 2014.


The International Affairs Fellowship in Nuclear Security (IAF-NS), sponsored by the Stanton Foundation, offers university-based scholars valuable hands-on experience in the nuclear security policymaking field and places selected fellows in U.S. government positions or international organizations for a period of twelve months to work with practitioners. The IAF-NS is only open to faculty members with tenure or on tenure-track lines at accredited universities and who propose to spend a year working in government or at an international organization. Qualified candidates must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are eligible to work in the United States and be between the ages of twenty-nine and fifty. CFR does not sponsor for visas. Former Stanton nuclear security fellows who meet the eligibility requirements can apply. The program awards a stipend of $125,000. CFR awards approximately two fellowships annually. The application deadline is January 16, 2015.

For more information, visit or contact Via

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