News and Events

03.29.18 - MEPPI JAPAN LECTURE SERIES: A City of Consumption: the woodblock print industry in Edo, Japan

The city of Edo (Tokyo) was the largest city in the world by 1800, and a city of commercial and artistic life. In this talk, Dr. Brenda G. Jordan will highlight one of the defining arts of this period in Japan—the industry of the colored woodblock print. Designed and produced by a collaborative process, and sold to people from all walks of life, nineteenth century Japanese prints provide a window into Edo urban culture—what people thought was important, what they liked to do, and where their interests lay. This lecture will serve as a kickoff event for the Hiroshige exhibit, which will be open from March 24 to July 8, 2018.  

Join the JASP for this free evening at the Carnegie Museum of Art Theater on March 29, 2018. Light hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be provided.  

The JASP thanks the Carnegie Museum of Art for their partnership on this lecture. Lecture Series Sponsored by Mitsubishi Electric Power Products, Inc.

Date: Thursday, March 29, 2018  

Time: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Location: Carnegie Museum of Art Theater


Ambassador Reiichiro Takahashi, Consul General of the Japanese Consulate in New York, will share his insights in this talk about collaboration between Japan and the United States.  

Ambassador Takahashi served as Counselor at the Japanese Embassy in Washington, D.C. from 1997 to 1999. In his thirty-five years of service in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he was also Ambassador to Afghanistan from 2011 to 2012. Most recently, he was Director General of the International Peace Cooperation Headquarters of the Cabinet Office which oversees Japan's participation in United Nations peacekeeping operations.  

Join the JASP for this free evening at the Duquesne Club on February 22, 2018. Light hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be provided.

RSVP is required. Click here to reserve your spot.

Date: Thursday, February 22

Time: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Location: Carnegie Room, Duquesne Club

Sponsored by Mitsubishi Electric Power Products, Inc.

03.2.18 - Annual High School Japanese Speech Contest

The annual High School Japanese Speech Contest is fast approaching. Every year at the beginning of March, the High School Japanese Speech Contest takes place at the William Pitt Union on the University of Pittsburgh's Oakland Campus. Japanese language learners of all levels compete against other area students. Each year over 100 students participate. There are four speech levels and a poster session. Students are required to write a speech on the chosen topic for the speech contest or make a trifold poster for the poster session.


Date: March 2

Time: 8:30 AM - 3:00 PM

Location: William Pitt Union

03.11.18 - Conference: Intersections of Colonialism

Date: March 10-11

Organizer: Jim Cook

03.17.18 - Conference: China's Nuclear Energy Expansion: Scale, Prospects, Global Impact

Date: March 16-17

Organizer: Kay Shimizu

03.26.18 - Association for Asian Studies Conference

The Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference is the largest Asian Studies conference held in North America. The 2018 Conference will feature 443 sessions, a book exhibition, 3,300 plus attendees and much more. The AAS Annual Conference is the must-attend event for anyone interested in the study of Asia.

Date: March 22-26

04.3.18 - The Slow Way Home documentary screening

Movie Screening Slow Way Home and Discussion with producer Professor Len Schoppa

Tuesday, April 3, 5:30-6:45 p.m.

WW Posvar Hall 4500.  Trailer available

Professor Len Schoppa, Department of Politics, University of Virginia, the film’s producer, will be on hand to lead the discussion of this 2016 documentary, which was aired on a number of PBS stations in 2016.

Synopsis: “The way children travel to school structures daily life for families around the world—but differs dramatically.  In Japan, 98 percent of children walk to school every day, unaccompanied by a parent.  In the United States, just 13 percent of children walk or bike to school, and most are driven to school by a parent.

The Slow Way Home explores this divergence, examining how American families have largely given up on keeping our streets and public spaces safe enough for children, while Japanese communities have mobilized to keep their streets safe and walkable, not only for children but for everyone in society.

Seen through both a historical and contemporary framing, The Slow Way Home is an uplifting examination of differences in culture that provides both insight into a distressing trend in American society and simultaneously offers hope for change.”

05.16.18 - Announcing the University of Pittsburgh Japan Documentary Film Award!

The Japanese Council of the University of Pittsburgh is excited to announce the first biannual University of Pittsburgh Japan Documentary Film Award. Inspired by the work of Soda Kazuhiro, the award celebrates contemporary films that explore Japanese culture in Japan and around the world. Films should focus on the geographic region of Japan, although topics could include contemporary or historical cultural or social phenomena, practices, or events. The award is available to films of all lengths, from all countries, and in all languages. One film will be selected as the winning entry and screened as part of a larger event.

The deadline this year is May 16, 2018. For more information and to sign up, please click here.

02.28.18 - Congratulations to Our AATJ Nenganjo Contest Winner!

Azize Altay Harvey, currently a 2nd Year in Japanese, recently won the 3rd Place Prize for Most Artistic in the American Association of Teachers of Japanese (AATJ) Nengajo contest at the University/College level. Congratulations to Harvey-san! Below is a picture of her nengajo.

02.23.18 - Tsunami Punx Film Screening with Filmmaker

Join us for a film screening of the documentary Tsunami Punx, with an introduction and Q&A with the filmmaker Matt Ketchum.

Tsunami Punx is a scrappy documentary telling the story of how the Japanese Punk community helped create positive artistic spaces called "Live Houses" after the 3/11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

A native of Pittsburgh, Matt Ketchum went to Japan in the fall of 2009. He was living in Miyako, Iwate Prefecture, enjoying the Slow Life and playing Fast Metal, but then the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami changed his life forever. After assisting in frontline relief efforts he was transferred to Tokyo where he became involved in various projects concerned with Tohoku and the arts.

Date: Friday, February 23

Time: 5:00 PM

Location: 584 William Pitt Union