Fun Link Friday: Kuniyoshi Project’s cat prints

The Kuniyoshi Project is a website dedicated to the prints of early modern ukiyo-artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi (歌川 国芳). Although the website maintains a simple design, there must be hundreds of fantastic prints available to view, along with descriptions of their content and some times the process of production. For those of you who may want to track down the pieces on museum websites and learn more, both English translations of the titles and the Japanese are included. The prints are divided up by categories, but one that caught my eye and I’ll direct you to here is the fan prints of humorous and miscellaneous subjects. Why?

CATS! That’s why.

Here’s a parody scene of the Yoshiwara district, complete with cat courtesans:

Image from the Kuniyoshi Project.

Image from the Kuniyoshi Project.

Much like our modern day need to relentlessly take cat photos and make memes, Japanese artists were right there with us hundreds of years ago. Here’s a bunch of mock-portraits, with famous kabuki actors as pudgy cats:

Image from the Kuniyoshi Project.

Image from the Kuniyoshi Project.

Check out these and more at the Kuniyoshi Project’s page! Happy Friday! :)

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Job Opening: Programmes Assistant, Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation [UK}

job opening - 5Location: London, UK
Deadline: 12 July 2015
Education: not listed

Programmes Assistant
Salary 22k + excellent benefits package; to start in late September.


The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation is the leading UK charity supporting links between Britain and Japan. Our headquarters in London is on the south side of Regent’s Park near Baker Street station, and we also have an office in Tokyo. Core programmes include the Daiwa Scholarships, Daiwa Scholarships in Japanese Studies, grants, events and exhibitions at Daiwa Foundation Japan House.

The Programmes Assistant provides administrative and other support for the grants, scholarships and events programmes at Daiwa Foundation Japan House (London), giving general assistance to the Grants & Scholarships Officer and to the Programmes Director. This post also leads on the Foundation’s website and social media activity.

High-quality native-level English is required. Candidates should have knowledge and experience of Japan, good organisational abilities and full computer skills. Japanese language ability is not required, though it would be helpful. Having some experience with video production and livestreaming would also be helpful.

The Programmes Assistant is expected to work flexibly and to deadlines as part of a small team. He/she will report to the Director General.

Duties and Responsibilities:
• Assisting with the sifting process for grants and scholarships programmes
• Assisting with day-to-day administration of grants and scholarships programmes, including use of the Benefactor system for managing contacts and application forms
• Assisting with preparation for Foundation events and exhibitions, including research, proofreading and marketing
• Assisting with daytime and evening events – evening work required
• Leading on the Foundation’s web and social media activity, such as Facebook, Twitter and Youtube
• Updating the Foundation website as necessary

Application details on Daiwa website.

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Call For Papers: Japan Studies Association Journal, Volume 13

call for papers [150-2]Call For PapersJapan Studies Association Journal, Volume 13 (2015)

JSAJ, a juried professional journal published annually, accepts essays on a wide variety of topics related to Japanese Studies across the disciplines, Pedagogical Notes and Essays which reflect on aspects of teaching Japanese material, and book reviews and review essays of relevant research for our membership and for all those engaged in infusing Japanese and Asian material into their curricula.

For our next volume, a general number, we invite submissions, inquiries, and proposals, both disciplinary and interdisciplinary, on any topic related to Japan.

General guidelines

  • up to 5,000 words, formatted in a style consistent with your discipline(s)
  • use roman script as much as possible and severely limit graphic images, especially color images;
  • submit in 12-point Times New Roman;
  • use no headers;
  • appropriate use of the macron (e.g., ō) is appreciated, as is following the Japanese custom of last name first name;
  • try to include in your bibliography helpful sources for anyone teaching the material you discuss;
  • include at the beginning of your paper an abstract of 250 or so words, single-spaced;
  • minimize use of footnotes and endnotes;
  • send your paper as a Word document attached to an email to:;
  • send in a second attachment a brief Contributor’s Note in narrative form including your name, academic affiliation, relevant publications, areas of research, etc.;
  • make sure you include in your email message a current and reliable email address, as well as your postal address;
  • please use currentMLA style, or the current style manual adopted by your discipline.

Everyone is encouraged to have a colleague read/edit a final copy before submitting. If a contributor is concerned about her/his use of English, and/or is unaccustomed to appropriate academic style for North American journals, it is her/his responsibility to seek the assistance of a qualified editor in preparing her/his manuscript for submission. JSAJ receives submissions from around the world, and appreciates the understanding of authors of its need for some uniformity in editorial policy.

Deadline for all submissions in completed form has been extended to July 31, 2015. However, late submissions will be considered. Early submissions are very much encouraged! We also accept submissions on a rolling basis. Volume 13 will be presented at the JSA Conference in January 2016.

John H. E. Paine, Editor, Japan Studies Association Journal
Department of English, Department of Foreign Languages
Belmont University, 1900 Belmont Blvd., Nashville, TN 37212
Tel. 615-794-2341 (home), 615-460-6244 (office)

Visit the website at

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Call For Papers: Korean and Japanese History

call for papers [150-2]The European Forum on Korean-Japanese History

 “Circuits of Knowledge, Goods, and People”

International Workshop

19 December 2015, University of Cambridge

Established in March 2012, the European Forum on Korean-Japanese History aims to promote dialogue between historians of Korea and Japan in Europe,. The Forum is an independent body supported by the National Institute for Korean History. Its initial objective is to organize biennial workshops bringing together historians of Japan and Korea to exchange views on subjects of mutual relevance and interest.

The Forum functions as a platform where the tangled histories of Korea and Japan are critically debated, common framing concepts are questioned, source materials are reread and untapped archival materials mobilized. As the professional field is still largely defined by national labels, the Forum probes how these labels as ordering principles that reproduce contemporary antagonisms in both research and teaching. For too long a historiography based on the nation-state has often made it difficult to engage in relevant dialogues. Now, theoretical and methodological developments in historiography allow the writing of history beyond the nation-state and open up new fields of research.

For this year’s workshop, we seek papers that interrogate the circuits of knowledge, goods, and people between the two countries.  We welcome submissions in English on topics ranging from religion, identity, and textual production to migration, trade, and war.  The goal is to gather research on concrete encounters within such circuits in order to reflect upon accepted categories and political boundaries and to discuss how forms of praxis not only reaffirm and replicate existing categories and boundaries but also, under specific conditions, open up spaces for different contextual readings and understandings.  We welcome contributions irrespective of period, hoping to strike a balance between “modernists” and “premodernists.”

Abstracts (max. 600 words and a short bio) can be sent to the workshop organizer, Michael Shin ( before 20 July 2015. Presenters will be notified of acceptance in the course of the summer. Papers are due 1 Nov 2015. Pending funding, all costs will be covered. Although “hosted” by Cambridge, the workshop will most likely be held in Brussels.

The European Forum on Korean-Japanese History:

   Koen De Ceuster (Leiden University)

   Kwang Jae Kim (NIKH), ex officio. 

   Barak Kushner (Cambridge University)

   You Jae Lee (Tuebingen University)

   Kiri Paramore (Leiden University)

   Monika Schrimpf (Tuebingen University)

   Michael Shin (Cambridge University)


Wednesday, July 20, 2015

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Workshop: Intensive summer program in Japanese music


This INTENSIVE THREE-DAY COURSE ON JAPANESE MUSIC will be offered at the Kyoto City University of Arts fromAUGUST 18-20, 2015.

It will introduce many of the genres of traditional Japanese music that have been transmitted to the present and are still actively performed. The course will also discuss the varied ways of experiencing musical modernity in the context of the overwhelming dominance of western music in Japan. It will provide an accessible overview of Japanese music culture for non-Japanese participants, including performers, composers and musicologists.

The major genres to be covered include gagaku, shōmyō, and shakuhachi and koto music. The narrative genres of heike and jōruri and their place in the nō, bunraku and kabuki theatres will be introduced. Practical experience with koto and shakuhachi forms part of learning sessions, and a concert is scheduled for the evening of August 20.

Cost: 5,000 yen

Lecturer: Alison Tokita (Director, Research Centre for Japanese Traditional Music)

Practical component: Okada Michiaki (shakuhachi) and Miyama McQueen-Tokita (koto)

Recommended reading: Bonnie C. Wade, Music in Japan: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture. Oxford University Press, 2004 (Paperback)

Registrations must be received by Friday July 31 by email.

Registration form can be found on the website:

Enquiries should be made to the lecturer, Alison Tokita:

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Book Announcement: The White Plum: A Biography of Ume Tsuda, Pioneer of Women’s Higher Education in Japan

Via University of Hawai’i Press.

9780824853396The White Plum: A Biography of Ume Tsuda, Pioneer of Women’s Higher Education in Japan

Author: Furuki, Yoshiko
196 pp.
January 2015
Cloth – Price: $31.00
ISBN: 978-0-8248-5339-6

Categories: Asia, history, biography


At the age of six, Ume Tsuda (1864-1929), the daughter of a progressive samurai, was sent on a mission by the Japanese government with four other girls to the United States. Their noble task was to first educate themselves in modern ways and Western learning, and then return to bring that gift to their sisters in Japan. Ume was cared for in the United States by Charles and Adeline Lanman, and she grew up in Washington, D.C., studying at private schools and becoming a Christian.

At seventeen she finally returned to her country of birth, determined to carry out her mission. Back in Japan she found a new government quite unprepared to make use of her skills, but even more troubling was her startling self-discovery: unable to speak, read or write her native language fluently, she was faced with a homeland in which she was a foreigner, customs she did not understand, and a family she did not know and with whom she could not fully communicate. With the brave resilience of her namesake, the white plum that blooms in the last harsh days of winter, Ume was undaunted. Thriving on challenge, she devoted the rest of her life to seeking a way to achieve the goal of making modern higher education available to Japanese women for the first time. After several attempts, and two periods of advanced study abroad at Bryn Mawr College and Oxford, she eventually founded her own English School for Women. Later named Tsuda College, it has remained one of the bastions of women’s higher education in Japan to this day. In her later years, Tsuda was not only an honored and influential educator in her own land and a founder of the Japanese YWCA but a cultural ambassador who met and exchanged correspondence with leading figures of her day.

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Call for Papers: The 2nd East Asian Translation Studies Conference (EATS 2)

call for papers [150-2]The 2nd East Asian Translation Studies Conference (EATS 2)
9 and 10 July 2016
Tokyo, Japan

Keynote Speakers:

Prof Mona Baker (The University of Manchester, UK)

Prof Keijiro Suga (Meiji University, Japan)

Call for Papers

Conference Theme: “Constructing/Deconstructing East Asia”

This Conference on East Asian Translation Studies (EATS) aims to provide a platform for translators and researchers working in the East Asian context (China, Korea and Japan in particular) to exchange ideas on issues related to translation.

The first East Asian Translation Studies Conference was held at the University of East Anglia, UK, on 19-20 June 2014, which was successfully concluded with fruitful discussions on history, practice, and theory of translation, as well as new trends in the field. The second conference is a continuation of those dialogues, bringing the focus on the concept and role of “East Asia” and its influence on translation studies (TS).

East Asia is generally defined as the region covering the geographically proximal countries: China, Korea and Japan. As the concept of East Asia can differ depending on the time and place from where it is seen, what then forms “East Asia”? More precisely, what insights can the concept of “East Asia” provide to TS? East Asia itself is changing dynamically. Developing TS in this fluid East Asian environment will bring new challenges and inspire vivid discussion.

The conference theme “Constructing/Deconstructing East Asia” aims for reviewing characteristics of East Asian translation and its scholarship from a wide range of perspectives. Translation practices in East Asia have flourished in different forms in different fields from the past to the present. By examining the dynamics and complexities of East Asian translation, the discussion will shed light on the conceptualization of “East Asia” and even give a critical examination of the underlying traditional assumptions.

The conference intends to provide participants an opportunity to share their views on East Asian translation and its scholarship and to seek the possibility to extend the concept and role of East Asia to further develop TS.

We invite papers on the following topics and beyond:

  • Translation and interpreting in East Asia;
  • East Asian traditions of literary translation;
  • Circulation and consumption of translation in East Asia;
  • Networks and collaborations among interpreters and translators;
  • Translation and interpreting for immigrant communities in East Asia;
  • Community interpreting in East Asia
  • Post-colonial approaches to translation;
  • Gender identities in the East Asian context;
  • Pedagogical approach to translation in East Asia;
  • Translation in popular culture, such as animation, comics, music, TV dramas, films;
  • Translation by amateurs, such as fansubs, scanlations and volunteer translation;
  • Machine translation, computer-aided translation and East Asian languages.

We also welcome proposals for cross-language panels on inspiring topics (either 3 or 6 speakers in one panel).

The conference language is English, but we welcome presentations of translated papers and can arrange interpreters for Q&A by request. Please note this in your abstract submission.

We plan to publish selected papers.


Local organizer

Dr Mariko Naito (School of Information and Communication, Meiji University, Japan)

Steering Committee

Dr Gloria Lee (Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong)

Dr Nana Sato-Rossberg (SOAS, University of London, UK)

[in alphabetical order]

9 and 10 July 2016

Surugadai Campus, Meiji University, Tokyo, Japan

Registration Fee:
General: 15,000 JPY, Students (with ID): 5,000 JPY

Please submit your abstract of no more than 300 words by 15 July 2015 to the following email address:

Successful applicants will be informed before 30 September 2015.

Email address for enquiry:


Scientific Committee:

Prof Sungeun Cho (Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Korea)
Prof Theo Hermans (University College London, UK)
Prof Sharon Tzu-Yun Lai (National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan)
Dr Marcella Mariotti (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy)
Prof Robert Neather (Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong)
Dr Akiko Uchiyama (The University of Queensland, Australia)
Prof Judy Wakabayashi (Kent State University, USA)
Prof Kozo Watanabe (Ritsumeikan University, Japan)

[in alphabetical order]

With the kind support of
Kansai Translation Studies Kenkyu-kai.


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