Fun Link Friday: Japanese Life in Lego

Last week we featured a Fun Link Friday of Suntory Whisky’s advertising through manufacturing high-tech 3-D ice cubes of fantastic things like the Golden Pavilion or Godzilla, but sometimes you need to appreciate the low-tech options, too. :)

At the end of last year, Tokyo Desu featured a neat post on building images of life in Japan using Legos. They gathered these images from a lot of different sources, but it’s fabulous to see them all gathered together. The images range from your classic sakura trees to sushi and giant oni (ogres). Be sure to check out the original article and see them all, along with links to the original sources where you can see more!


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Job Opening: History of East Asia

job opening - 5The Department of History at Knox College invites applications for a one-year replacement appointment at the rank of visiting assistant professor / instructor effective September 1, 2015, with specialization in the field of East Asian history, with a preference for Japan.  PhD expected, but ABDs will be considered.  Candidates should have experience in or commitment to working with diverse populations of students.  Review of applications will begin on April 15, 2015 and continue until the position is filled.

The successful candidate will teach introductory courses in East Asian civilizations, intermediate courses in Japanese and Chinese history, and possibly a 300-level research course based upon the candidate’s area of expertise.  Other teaching responsibilities will depend upon the candidate’s sub-specialties.

This position is part of the global approach to history that is a core principle of the department.  It also makes a vital contribution to our commitment to interdisciplinary cooperation, allowing the department to maintain connections with other campus programs and departments, particularly the programs in Asian Studies and International Studies.

Knox College, established in 1837, is an independent, highly selective liberal arts institution with a diverse student body and a strong commitment to undergraduate teaching.  In keeping with the college’s 178-year commitment to equal rights, Knox actively encourages women and members of other underrepresented groups to apply.  Interested applicants should apply electronically by submitting a PDF of their letter of application, C.V., evidence of teaching effectiveness, such as course evaluations, and two examples of syllabi to Applicants should also have three letters of recommendation (or corresponding placement dossier) sent to the same address.  Those unable to send electronic versions may send printed copies to:

East Asian History Search
Attn. Emre Sencer
Knox College
2 East South St, K-108
Galesburg, IL 61401


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Call for Papers: Mid-Atlantic Region of the Association of Asian Studies Conference

call for papers [150-2]Call for Papers
“Asia:  Conflict and Cooperation”
44th Annual Mid-Atlantic Region Association for Asian Studies Conference
October 9-11, 2015 University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Asian Studies Center of the University of Pittsburgh and the Mid-Atlantic Region of the Association of Asian Studies announce the call for papers for the 44th annual regional conference.  The conference theme “Asia: Conflict and Cooperation” explores the tensions and collaborations found throughout Asia with regards to energy, environment, public health, territorial issues, migration, popular culture, gender, sexuality, religious practices, and many other issues.

We encourage proposals from any discipline.  We welcome participation from faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, independent scholars, and professionals, and especially encourage panels with innovative combinations of individuals and fields.

Timothy Brook, AAS President and Professor, Department of History, University of British Columbia will deliver a keynote address.

To propose a panel or an individual paper, please send a completed proposal form along with a one-page abstract for each proposed paper by May 1, 2015 to Tina Phillips Johnson, the MAR/AAS 2015 Program Chair, as indicated below.  Inquiries are also welcome. Proposals may be submitted online, by mail, fax, or e-mail (as an attachment). Acceptance notices will be sent to you by June 1, 2015. Further details and online applications are available on the conference website, (click on “Conferences”). Some travel assistance is available on a competitive basis for graduate students and international scholars.  Include your request for travel funding with your paper proposal.

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Resource: Memories of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Messages from Hibakusha


A few years ago we did a resource post on the Hiroshima archive, which includes extensive digital resources for studying the bombing of Hiroshima. This week, we would also like to introduce the site “Memories of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Messages from Hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors)” that was made available by the Asahi Shimbun. Previously, this resource was only available in Japanese, but Asahi Shimbun took steps several years ago to ensure an English-language version was available as well. Their press release stated:

The Asahi Shimbun has launched the English version of its website “Memories of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Messages from Hibakusha.” This website currently contains first-hand accounts and messages from 200 A-bomb survivors as collected by the Asahi Shimbun. It will eventually contain a total of 370 testimonies. Over 350 volunteers worldwide have helped translate the testimonies into English.

We launched the Japanese version of this website in November 2010 in order to let the world know the reality of A-bomb radiation exposure and the survivors’ earnest hope for peace. The Japanese-language website contains accounts and messages from 1,651 A-bomb survivors. The contents are drawn from a survey of hibakusha conducted by the Asahi Shimbun in 2005 in cooperation with the Japan Confederation of A- and H-bomb Sufferers Organizations and Hiroshima and Nagasaki Universities.

Launched officially in 2010, the site contains testimonies collected from 2008 to 2014 thus far, and includes interviews, personal statements, and photographs of the survivors telling their stories. There are two columns in the Asahi Shimbun that run these stories. From the website:

The column “So tell me . . . about Hiroshima” started with the April 2008 issue of the Hiroshima Edition of The Asahi Shimbun. The reporters followed the lives of the victims and asked them their thoughts. …. Articles appear in the newspaper basically once a week and continue to be posted.

“Notes from Nagasaki” started with the August 2008 issue of the Nagasaki Edition of The Asahi Shimbun. The articles are short, about a page each, and run from a few to more than ten days successively while painting a picture of the lives of each person featured. There hasn’t been a day without an article being published and the series continues to this day.


There are also sections called “Messages from Hiroshima” and “Messages from Nagasaki” that recall first-hand accounts along with the distance the individuals were from the detonation hypocenter. This is an incredible and heart-wrenching resource for personal accounts of the bombings, and definitely worth your time as a casual reader or researcher. Be sure to check it out.

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

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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Book Announcement: Labour market deregulation in Japan and Italy

Labour MarketLabour market deregulation in Japan and Italy: Worker protection under neoliberal globalisation

By Hiroaki Richard Watanabe


Japan and Italy encountered severe economic problems in the early 1990s, and the governments had to deal with those issues effectively under the increasing neoliberal pressures of globalisation. In this context, labour market deregulation was considered an effective tool to cope with those economic problems. However, the forms and degrees of labour market deregulation in the two countries were quite different.

This book seeks to explain the differences in labour market deregulation policies between Japan and Italy, despite the fact that the two countries shared a number of similar political, social and labour market (if not cultural) characteristics. Uniquely, it takes a political, rather than economic or sociological perspective to provide a theoretical and empirical analysis of the processes of labour market deregulation in the two countries. The precarious working conditions of an increasing number of non-regular workers has become a prominent social issue in many industrialised countries including Japan and Italy, but the level of the protection for these workers depends on a country’s labour market policies, which are affected by the power resources of labour unions and labour policy-making structures. This book provides a useful perspective for understanding the root causes of this phenomenon, such as the diffusion of ‘neoliberal’ ideas aimed at promoting labour-market flexibility under globalisation, and demonstrates that there is still room for politics to decide the extent of deregulation and maintain worker protection from management offensives even in an era of globalisation.

Labour Market Deregulation in Japan and Italy: Worker Protection under Neoliberal Globalisation will appeal to students and scholars of Japanese politics, Italian politics, political economy and comparative politics.

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Fun Link Friday: Suntory’s 3-D printed ice cubes

As we start printing food, internal organs, and other serious items with great technological promise and implications for the future, let’s not forget that it’s the little things that count, like having a frozen ice cube shaped like Godzilla in your whiskey.

TBWA\Hakuhodo recently launched advertising for Japan’s Suntory Whisky using 3-D printing technology to make some really incredible ice cubes. They include some amazingly complex designs, ranging from Godzilla and a high-heeled shoe to the Golden Pavilion and a leaping horse.


Using a device called a CNC router to do inverse 3-D print designs, the router was brought down to -7 degrees Celsius (19 degrees F) to keep the ice from melting. You can see some of the Golden Pavilion’s creation in the video below, and see a ton of high-quality pictures at the original article, too.

Happy Friday!

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