July 6, 2007
TUJ’s Institute of Contemporary Japanese Studies (ICJS) will host a two-day conference on “Youth and Imaginative Labor: East Asia and Beyond,” on July 21 and 22. Part of ICJS’s Wakai Project, which provides a forum for addressing issues facing Japanese youth, the conference will discuss the role of young people in the rise and growing international recognition of “cool Japan”, and how “freeter” culture is responding to the country’s changing labor market. A feature of the conference will be panel discussions with academics, NGO activists, and producers, on the globalization of Japanese popular culture. There will also be a screening of Avalon (2001), introduced by Donald Richie, followed by a hip-hop party organized by Zulu Nation Japan.
Established in September 2004, ICJS is an organization dedicated to fostering study and research on topics related to contemporary Japan and Asia. It hosts a wide range of lectures, symposia and events focusing on contemporary Japanese social, cultural, political, economic, security, and other issues. Since his appointment in March 2007, new director Robert Dujarric has been actively expanding the Institute’s activities.