Tag Archives: Japan

3.11 – Disaster and Change in Japan

DickSamuelsA lecture by Richard J. Samuels, Ford International Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for International Studies, and Founding Director of MIT Japan Program.

Date: Thursday, February 12 (Today)
Time: 4:30 PM
Place: Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies, Seminar Room
Cost: Free

“A Body in Fukushima”


Straight from Andrew Chatfield:

“A Body in Fukushima” is a haunting series of color photographs and videos presented in a groundbreaking exhibition across all three of Wesleyan’s galleries. Last year, dancer-choreographer Eiko Otake and photographer-historian William Johnston followed abandoned train tracks through desolate stations into eerily vacant towns and fields in Fukushima, Japan. Following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, the explosions of the Daiichi nuclear plant made the area uninhabitable. Sometimes in vulnerable gestures and at other times in a fierce dance, Ms. Otake embodies grief, anger, and remorse. Mr. Johnston’s crystalline images capture her with the cries of the Fukushima landscapes. “By placing my body in these places,” she says, “I thought of the generations of people who used to live there. I danced so as not to forget.” A project of witness, remembrance, and empathy, “A Body in Fukushima” grapples with the reality of human failure. As Mr. Johnston writes, “By witnessing events and places, we actually change them and ourselves in ways that may not always be apparent but are important.”

William Johnston is Professor of History and East Asian Studies at Wesleyan, and Eiko Otake is Visiting Artist in the Dance Department and the College of East Asian Studies.


South Gallery, Erza and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, 283 Washington Terrace, Middletown, Connecticut
Tuesday, February 3 through Sunday, March 1, 2015
Tuesday-Sunday, Noon-5pm

Davison Art Center, 301 High Street, Middletown, Connecticut
Tuesday, February 3 through Thursday, March 5, 2015
Tuesday-Sunday Noon-4pm

College of East Asian Studies Gallery at Mansfield Freeman Center, 343
Washington Terrace, Middletown, Connecticut
Tuesday, February 3 through Sunday, May 24, 2015
Tuesday-Sunday, Noon-4pm
Closed Friday, March 6 through Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Date: February 3rd through May 24th
Place: Across all three of Wesleyan’s Galleries!
Cost: Free!

WesTaiko Concert


Hannah Vogel ’13 is spreading the word about the semester’s most anticipated Japanese Taiko drumming event:

We’re sensei-tional.

“Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Taiko students under the direction of Kaoru Watanabe perform the thunderous and exhilarating rhythms of Japanese Taiko drumming. Several dynamic styles will be showcased, demonstrating both traditional and contemporary Taiko repertoire.”


Date: Friday, May 3
Time: 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Place: Crowell
Cost: $2
Facebook Event

Photos: Oorutaichi and Groundislava, or: Big In Japan—and WestCo

While you were getting crunk at Senior Cocks on Friday, WestCo Cafe was alight with the flame of two experimental beatmaker wizards: Oorutaichi and Groundislava. The former, Oorutaichi, was totally unfamiliar to me previously, but managed to throw together one of the most engaging and utterly fun electronic sets I’ve seen in a while. Backed by goofy visuals, the DJ lurched around the cafe manically, shouting into his microphone like an overjoyed Dam Suzuki, without straying too far from his mixing boards and distinctly Asian-tinged backing beats. Above is a photo of occasional Wesleying blogger John expressing his appreciation. I didn’t manage to grab video, but this is a pretty accurate indication; though little known in the states, Ka Ya Lee ’13 tells me Oorutaichi’s a pretty big deal in Japan:

I was so glad that everything went great and that a lot of people there were truly enjoying Oorutaichi’s music:) Oorutaichi also LOVED Wesleyan students’ reaction to his music. He was also very impressed by this school in general. Oorutaichi was a very humble, nice person. We hung out and talked about music a lot after the show in my house! I still can’t believe he was there!

Wedidit Collective character Jasper Patterson, otherwise known as Groundislava, rounded off the night with a set of chilled-out, beat-heavy post-dubstep. Groundislava has collaborated with our old friend Baths a bunch, and it showsD. Nassty ’13 would probably call it ‘post-tubstep.’ Photo gallery past the jump.

TONIGHT: Japan Society Dessert Party

Hibi-Chan ’15 is kawaiiiiii~~~~*~*~*~*~***:

When: TONIGHT 8:00-10:00 PM
Where: 136 High Street
What: FREE vanilla ice cream and sweet red bean sauce + POCKY STICKS!
Why: Because you love Japanese food and J-POP.

Everyone come, mingle and munch away to kick off your Friday night!



Japanese Culture Show

Yushi Ohmori ’11 sends in this and Katsushika Hokusai’s Lynchiest work:

Come enjoy an evening of Japanese entertainment and food provided by Japan Society!!

Proceeds will be donated to the Red Cross to help with the Japan earthquake and tsunami relief.

Tickets will be sold at Usdan during lunch, dinner, and at the door on the day of the event.

The tickets are $5 each.

  • Where: Beckham Hall
  • When: 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm, Saturday, April 2
  • Cost: $5
  • Facebook event: here

1000 Crane Project

From Yuki Ohmori ’13:

Come to Usdan to fold origami cranes, learn about the current natural disaster situation in Japan, and donate to the Japan Earthquake/Tsunami Relief.

In Japan, there is a story that whoever folds 1000 origami cranes will have their wish granted.  It is a tradition for Japanese people to fold cranes when they have a big goal they want to accomplish, or to make them for someone who may be sick.

In light of the recent earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan, there will be an ongoing project to fold 1000 cranes throughout the end of March and the month of April during lunch and dinner time at Usdan.

In exchange of $1, you will be given one piece of beautiful washi origami paper to fold a paper crane. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to fold one, because people at the table can teach you :) You are also welcome to write your name, a message, etc. on your crane.

All proceeds will be donated to the Japanese Red Cross, which has already started taking action in Japan to aid those who have been impacted by the earthquakes and tsunamis.

After we complete the project, we will be sending the cranes to Students Rebuild, an initiative of the Bezos Family Foundation. The organization will be matching $2 for every crane they receive to support Architecture for Humanity’s plan to support the rebuilding efforts of Japanese architects.

Date:   March 24 – April 29
Place:  Usdan Cafe Area


Responding to Japan Earthquake (UPDATE 3/14: more donation links)

An 8.9-magnitude earthquake—the strongest in recorded Japanese history—has hit the country’s eastern coast, leaving in its wake a devastating tsunami with reverberations (thankfully mostly harmless) as far as Hawaii and the California coast.

Thoughts go out to any Wesleyan students in Japan or with friends, family, or loved ones in Japan. Wesleyan presently has four approved study abroad programs in Japan; according to a recent study abroad spreadsheet, two juniors are currently at Kansai Gaidai University—located in Osaka, thankfully far from the center of current earthquake devastation. One of these students, SL ’12, has already updated her Facebook to assure friends that she is safe.

Following are some helpful links in the immediate response to the crisis. Comment with any updates, clarifications, links, or assurances.

UPDATE: Yushi Ohmori ’11 sends in this extremely helpful aggregation of links to donation and aid agencies involved in providing assistance to Japan.

Japanese Culture Show at Beckham

From Yuki Ohmori ’13:

Do you like Japanese martial arts? How about some traditional Japanese music or dance performances? Or perhaps J-Pop? Are you up for some delicious Japanese food? Do you enjoy watching those ridiculous (but funny)  Japanese variety shows?

Then you should definitely come to the Japanese Culture Show this Saturday on April 3rd to watch your fellow Wesleyan students give you a night of entertainment immersed in Japanese Culture!

Tickets will be sold at the Box Office for $4, or $5 at the door.


Date: Saturday, April 3
Time: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Place: Fayerweather Beckham Hall
Cost: $4