Fun Link Friday: Letter from Sakamoto Ryoma Discovered in Tokyo Home

I think the quote says it all here. Wow!

Totsugeki Atto Home (突撃!アッとホーム) airs every Saturday at 8:00pm. Each week the family-themed show revolves around several households across Japan and the small, intimate inner workings that make them function. One of the segments is called “Family Treasure Hunting,” a sort-of-reverse Antiques Roadshow in which hosts randomly go up to strangers and ask them what their household’s most prized possession is….“I have a letter from Sakamoto Ryoma,” offered Yuko Hata, a middle-aged Japanese woman.

Via Spoon & Tamago.

Via Spoon & Tamago.

Read the whole story at Spoon & Tamago.

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Job Opening: Executive Assistant to the Consul General and the Deputy Consul General, Consulate-General of Japan in San Francisco

Via JETWit Jobs mailing list

job opening - 5
Institution: Consulate-General of Japan in San Francisco
Location: San Francisco, CA
Deadline: April 25, 2014
Education: n/a

We are seeking a mature, experienced, well organized, detail oriented individual with the ability to provide executive assistance to the Consul General and the Deputy Consul General of Japan.


  • Native English speaker with a professional demeanor, discretionary and diplomatic skills
  • Experience in working with high level executives required
  • Knowledge of Japanese language and culture helpful but not required
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong computer skills including MS Word, excel and outlook


  • Maintain and coordinate complex schedule
  • Take and screen incoming calls
  • Greet visitors
  • Handle mail
  • Maintain excellent filing system
  • Assist to write letters
  • Other task upon the request of Consul General and other officers

Full application details on the Consul-General’s website.

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Job Opening: Program Assistant, Asian Studies Program and Partnerships for International Strategies in Asia, George Washington University

job opening - 5
Institution: George Washington University
Location: Washington, DC
Posted: 04/12/2014
Type: Full Time
Campus Location: Foggy Bottom
Education: Associate or higher

Ad Statement:
Founded in 1821, GW is the largest institution of higher education in the District of Columbia, to include ten academic units, with a full-time equivalent enrollment of a little over 20,000 students and approximately 11,000 full-time and part-time employees (faculty and staff). The George Washington University is a community dedicated to learning, communication,respect, service and teamwork. As one of the largest private employers in the District of Columbia, the university seeks employees who support the teaching, research, and public service mission of the university.

Job Description Summary:
This position provides administrative and programmatic support to the BA and MA Asian Studies academic programs; Partnerships for International Strategies in Asia (PISA); and the Sigur Center for Asian Studies at George Washington University. In particular, this position involves academic scheduling, event and seminar planning, budgeting, student advising, making travel arrangements, and managing social media and communications tools.

Minimum Qualifications:
Associates degree, or higher, plus 0-2 years of relevant experience. Degree requirements may be substituted for a combination of education, training and experience.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of a modern Asian language
  • Demonstrated experience and interest in Asia and international affairs
  • Excellent writing, editing, and public presentation skills
  • Experience using social media tools (Twitter, Facebook, and blogs) for outreach, targeted campaigns, and fund-raising
  • Prior professional experience in either project or program management
  • Experience with marketing, outreach, and academic recruiting
  • Experience with website design and management
  • Cross-cultural experience and/or working in an international environment
  • Excellent communication, customer service, and organizational skills
  • Excellent organizational skills and ability to juggle multiple tasks while meeting multiple deadlines
  • Familiarity with word processing, database management, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • Ability to work with little supervision, but also teamwork skills


  • Provides day-to-day administrative and operational activities, as well as managing budget and expenditures/reimbursements.
  • Serves as a liaison between students, faculty, staff, other departments, and/or the general public on various issues.
  • Tracks and collects various records/data; prepares reports; and maintains records.
  • Assists faculty, students, and staff engaged in the implementation and administration of activities.
  • Updates outreach and communications resources and tools.
  • Performs other work related duties as assigned. The omission of specific duties does not preclude the supervisor from assigning duties that are logically related to the position.
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Job Opening: Japanese Studies, Lecturer/Senior Lecturer, Monash University

job opening - 5Institution:   Monash University
Location:   Australia
Position:   Tenure Track Faculty; Lecturer/Senior Lecturer, Japanese Studies

Monash University is seeking an enthusiastic individual to join the Japanese Studies Program, School of Languages, Literature, Cultures and Linguistics. Your area of specialisation may include one or more of: contemporary or 20th Century Japanese studies, cultural, literary, or film studies, applied linguistics, language pedagogy, social sciences, or other relevant fields related to the study of Japan.

You will be required to teach units in Japanese and English, undertake supervision of research students, engage in original and innovative research, be prepared to collaborate in research, team teaching, and curriculum development as well as undertake a share of administrative tasks within the program and/or school.

You will have a dynamic research and teaching profile and a strong track record in Japanese studies and language teaching experience. At Senior Lecturer level you will have a demonstrated track record in teaching, research supervision, success in grant applications and a national and/or international publication profile.

Appointment will be made at a level appropriate to the successful candidate’s qualifications and experience.

As the successful candidate, you will ideally be able to commence in January 2015 or sooner.

This role is a full-time position; however, flexible working arrangements may be negotiated.

Your application must address the selection criteria. Please refer to “How to apply for Monash Jobs”

NOTE: Monash University uses Australian / British academic titles: Lecturer and Senior Lecturer correspond to the US or Japanese titles Assistant and Associate Professor.

Contact: Professor Carolyn Stevens
Phone: +61 3 9902 0456




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Job Opening: Japanese Studies, Okinaga Junior Research Fellowship

job opening - 5Institution:   University of Oxford, Wadham College
Location:   United Kingdom
Position:   Post-Doctoral Fellow, Research Professional; Okinaga Junior Research Fellowship in Japanese Studies

Applications are invited for a Junior Research Fellowship in Japanese Studies, to be held from 1 October 2014 for two years in the first instance, and renewable for a further year. The successful candidate will be expected to undertake a programme of research at post-doctoral level and will be required to make an annual report. Candidates are expected to be proficient in using Japanese sources, but there is no restriction as to the field of research within Japanese Studies. The holding of a doctorate is not a prerequisite, although the committee anticipates that plausible candidates will at least be close to finishing their PhD studies. Preference will be given to those who have not previously held a JRF at an Oxford or Cambridge College, and to those who have not been appointed to a tenured post in a university.

The Fellow will be a member of the Governing Body and charity trustee of the College and will hold the Fellowship under the terms of the Statutes and Bye-Laws in force for the time being. The stipend will be on the University’s Grade 6 scale, starting at GBP 26,527 pa.. The Fellow will have the right to lunch and dinner free of charge when kitchens are open, and will be offered the use of a work-room, though this may possibly be shared. A research allowance of up to 1,000 per annum will also be offered. Single accommodation in College would be available with a reduction in stipend of (currently) GBP 3,065.

Further particulars about the post and information on how to make an application can be found on the College website:

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Book Announcement: Ancient Ryukyu: An Archaeological Study of Island Communities

pearsonancientryukuVia University of Hawai’i Press.

Ancient Ryukyu: An Archaeological Study of Island Communities

Author: Richard Pearson
36 illus., 20 maps
432pp. November 2013
Cloth – Price: $55.00
ISBN: 978-0-8248-3712-9

Who are the people of the Ryukyu Islands? How could they survive and prosper on small, isolated islands? How did the independent Ryukyu Kingdom become a major player in East Asian medieval trade?

Ancient Ryukyu explores 30,000 years of human occupation in the Ryukyu Islands, from the earliest human presence in the region up to A.D. 1609 and the emergence of the Ryukyu Kingdom. It focuses on the unique geopolitical position of the islands, their environment, and the many human communities whose historical activities can be discerned. Drawing on the impressive work of dozens of local archaeologists who have brought the islands’ early history to life, Richard Pearson describes explorers and sojourners and colonists who arrived thousands of years ago, and their ancient trade links to Japan, Korea, and China. Through a case study focused on the medieval castles and palaces of the Ryukyu Kingdom, he demonstrates the vigorous trade taking place in East Asia before the arrival of the Europeans in the sixteenth century A.D. He also shows how archaeologists have sought to reconstruct monuments on Okinawa Island that were obliterated in the Battle of Okinawa in 1945.

Through analysis of work completed at about 120 sites described in dozens of rare Japanese government reports with limited circulation, Pearson is able to show that many modern features of the culture, politics, and economy of the Ryukyu Islands have very deep roots. The book concludes with a discussion of aspects of Ryukyu archaeology that are significant for world archaeology and the archaeology of islands. Ancient Ryukyu offers an up-to-date treatment of an unusually long span of human history in the Ryukyu Islands and will become the definitive work in English on the pre-modern era.

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Call for Papers: The World’s Fair Since 1964

call for papers [150-2]October 24-25, 2014

Location: Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation of the
Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

This workshop proposes to examine world’s fairs since (and including) 1964, a period marked by tremendous variability in the location and impact of the genre.  Participants may wish to cover any of the fairs from 1964 to the present, as well as fairs planned for future dates.  The themes below are of interest.  Asian themes, and comparative Asian/western themes are particularly encouraged.

+Formal International Expositions since 1964

+National-level world’s fairs since 1964

+World’s fairs proposed but never realized

+Urban planning/development and the world’s fair

+Cold War and Post-Cold War international relations and the world’s fair

+New technologies and science, new design aesthetics and the world’s fair

+Comparative analysis of fairs pre and post-1964

+World’s fairs and historical memory

+World’s fairs and identity (race, class, gender, ethnicity and nationality)

+The emergence of Asian world’s fairs

+Key historical figures in recent world’s fairs

+Comparative analysis of world’s fairs and Olympics, (and other international events)

+Other themes welcome!

Though the core analytical focus will be historical, scholars from across the humanities, social sciences, and art/design fields are welcome to participate.  Participants will prepare an essay (2500-5000 words) to
circulate one month in advance of the workshop.  The workshop will consist of brief presentations, followed by in-depth discussion of each paper, as well as thematic sessions looking at cross-cutting aspects of the works presented.

Accepted participants may receive a subsidy to defray expenses.

This workshop is supported by the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation of the Smithsonian Institution, the College of Arts and Sciences of Drexel University, and the Department of the History of Science and Technology, Johns Hopkins University. Please send abstracts of 250 words to Scott Gabriel Knowles ( and Robert H. Kargon ( by April 21, 2014.

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