News and Events

02.22.22 to 03.1.22 - Publication Announcement: New Co-edited Volume by Dr. Elizabeth Oyler - Cultural Imprints: War and Memory in the Samurai Age

Announcing Dr. Elizabeth Oyler's forthcoming co-edited volume, Cultural Imprints: War and Memory in the Samurai Age, that will be published by Cornell University's East Asia Series on February 22, 2022.

Cultural Imprints draws on literary works, artifacts, performing arts, and documents that were created by or about the samurai to examine individual "imprints," traces holding specifically grounded historical meanings that persist through time. The contributors to this interdisciplinary volume assess those imprints for what they can suggest about how thinkers, writers, artists, performers, and samurai themselves viewed warfare and its lingering impact at various points during the "samurai age," the long period from the establishment of the first shogunate in the twelfth century through the fall of the Tokugawa in 1868.

The range of methodologies and materials discussed in Cultural Imprints challenges a uniform notion of warrior activity and sensibilities, breaking down an ahistorical, monolithic image of the samurai that developed late in the samurai age and that persists today. Highlighting the memory of warfare and its centrality in the cultural realm, Cultural Imprints demonstrates the warrior's far-reaching, enduring, and varied cultural influence across centuries of Japanese history.

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02.23.22 - Innovations in Japanese Architecture: Transforming Traditions Lecture Series - Reuse, Revive: Making Old Things New Again

Reuse, Revive: Making Old Things New Again

Professor Dana Buntrock

Wednesday, February 23, 2022.

7:00 PM to 8:00 PM (Eastern Time)

Online via Zoom 

Register for this program at:

Contemporary Japan seems, so often, to also make us aware of earlier history and traditions. Grandma's furoshiki, once used to wrap andcarry gifts, become chic handbags. Traditional teahouses are rendered in unusual materials like synthetic skin. Pavilions foregroundancient carpentry practices. Abandoned elementary schools become community centers. In the spirit of mottainai (never letting anythinggo to waste) and monotsukuri (making and handicraft), ludic designers sometimes hold on to obsolete objects from the past, stylishlyrepurposing them. This lecture will offer a few delightful examples of how reuse results in nostalgic reminiscence and natty revival.

Dana Buntrock is a Professor in the University of California, Berkeley’s Department of Architecture and was the Chair of the Center for Japanese Studieson campus from 2015-2020. She held the first Tomoye Takahashi endowed chair from 2017-2020 and was selected as a Distinguished Professor of the(North American) Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture in 2018.
Her work focuses on interdisciplinary collaborations within Japanese architecture and construction practices, starting with her first book, Japanese Architecture as a Collaborative Process: Opportunities in a Flexible Construction Culture (London: Spon, 2000). Her second book, Materials and Meaning in ContemporaryJapanese Architecture: Tradition and Today (London: Routledge, 2010) looked at how contemporary architects like Kengo Kuma draw on Japanese traditions intheir work.

This program is brought to you by the Asian Studies Center at the University of Pittsburgh and made possible with the generous support of the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership

04.15.22 - CALL FOR DOCUMENTARY FILM SUBMISSIONS: Japan Documentary Film Award


The Japanese Council of the University of Pittsburgh and SCREENSHOT: Asia are excited to announce the third 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 filmmaker of the winning documentary will receive a cash award of $5000 plus roundtrip airfare and hotel for the event, scheduled for September 2022. The selected film will be screened as part of the SCREENSHOT: Asia 2022 Film Festival.

Minimum Length: 45 minutes

Deadline for entries: April 15, 2022, online applications only.

Please see submission site for rules and terms.