Webcast “Global governance, a ‘trove of Gs’ and Japan”




Dr. Hugo Dobson (Sheffield University).

Since the 2008 global financial crisis, the study of global governance has focused on the “Group of 20,” the so-called “G20,” as the main forum for international economic cooperation, to the extent that for some it has replaced the “Group of 7” (G7), which is no longer seen as relevant or capable of responding to the crisis-induced changes in the global order. While it is true that the G20 has come to occupy an important place in the web of global governance mechanisms, its own legitimacy and effectiveness have been questioned, while the G7 has continued to meet. The result of this has been called “messy multilateralism” or “Gaggle of Gs”.

In this lecture in the Global East Asia Studies series, Dr. Hugo Dobson will explore these developments and the challenge they pose for Japan, which is considered a power in recession at least until the advent of the Abe administration. Also, in his lecture, Dr. Dobson will specifically outline Japan’s specific responses to this reconfiguration of the global governance architecture, and more broadly the recent shift in the global order, highlighting the coherence and change in the various responses and strategies employed by Japanese policymakers within the “G.” summits.


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Webcast “Remaking Kurosawa: scaling up ‘Kakushi-toride no san-akunin’ (The hidden fortress)”



Prof. Dolores P. Martínez (SOAS & University of Oxford).

Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa’s filmography has been the subject of multiple remakes and the creativity of his output remains a touchstone for today’s filmmakers. His work, though often ignored by the Japanese themselves, has given rise to a cross-cultural cinematic lexicon frequently cited by directors ranging from George Lucas to Christopher Nolan. In Japan, his co-authored screenplays are the best known and have recently inspired new films, television shows and even video games. For example, in 2008, Japanese director Shinji Higuchi released an adaptation of Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress (Kakushi-toride no san-akunin), a 1958 comic jidai geki (period drama) that, despite its success in Japan, had not achieved the international acclaim garnered by The Seven Samurai (Shichinin no samurai, 1954). Higuchi told the press that his remake, entitled The Hidden Fortress: The Last Princess (Kakushi-toride no san akunin: the last princess), was an attempt to achieve international success for a film whose original had not achieved the recognition it deserved as a cinematic classic.

In this lecture of the Global East Asian Studies Series, Dr. Martinez will try to understand the reasons for the poor box office and critical failure of her film, both in Japan and abroad, which ultimately makes it clear that making a cross-culturally successful film requires as much luck as skill.



Lecture “The International K-Pop Fandom and Fandom Lexicon: A Fieldwork in Barcelona”



Brittany Khedun-Burgoine (University of Oxford).


Webcast “Culture in an Evolving World: The International Popularity of K-pop and its Core Message”



Prof. Jimmyn Parc (Sciences Po Paris & Seoul National University).

Korean pop songs or K-pop are extremely popular around the world. However, its global success has been largely unexpected after so many years of hardships. Understanding the key to its success can thus produce meaningful lessons which can be applied to the music industries of other countries for their own take-off.

In an era of rapid technological advancement during the 1990s and early 2000s, Korean entertainment companies understood well about the evolution that was taking place in the music industry. This included transformations from analogue to digital, from albums to songs, from ‘possess’ to ‘access’, from audio to visual, and from end products to promotional products. Rather than resist such changes, Korean entertainment companies actively embraced them, and, with the evolution of digitization, they have been innovative in the way that have adapted to the new trends of the market. This has significantly enhanced the viability of the Korean music industry and K-pop in the global market.


Conference video

Webcast: “Climate Change, Energy and East Asia”



Prof. Christopher M. Dent is Professor in Economics and International Business at Edge Hill University, UK

Energy is central to understanding the causes of climate change, and therefore also how to tackle it. He will explore how East Asia has become the world’s most energy-intensive region, and the implications of that for both climate change and climate action. Prof. Dent will also discuss how East Asia became the world’s largest producer and user of renewable energy, and what role the region and its countries have thus far played in global climate governance and diplomacy. He will assess East Asia’s prospects for tackling climate change and playing a leading international role on humanity’s transition to a clean energy future. Prof. Dent’s talk will cover the likely longer-term impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, the roles of China, Japan and South Korea, as well as the contributions made by East Asia’s business community in tackling climate change.


Conference vídeo

Doctorate Seminar “Epistemological and methodological challenges in research in intercultural contexts: China and Japan from the margins”

10/03/2021, 17/03/2021


Dr. Eduardo González de la Fuente (GREGAL Research Group, UAB) and Dr. Aran Romero Moreno (MIRAS Research Group, UAB), Doctorate Seminar Epistemological and methodological challenges in research in intercultural contexts: China and Japan from the margins. Permanent Research and Doctoral Seminar, PhD Program in Translation and Intercultural Studies. Wednesday, March 10, 10:00-12:00; and Wednesday, March 17, 16:00-18:00. (coordinated by Dr. Blai Guarné, GREGAL).


Symposium “Writers, Actresses and Muses: Women in Japan’s Literature and Theatre”



The symposium offers a cross-cutting look at the key contributions of Japanese authors, playwrights and actresses from antiquity to contemporary times. The session will feature Yumi, An actress from Takarazuka specializing in male roles who will share her training and professional experience of more than fifteen years in this successful musical theatre whose distinctive feature is that it is performed only by women who specialize in representing male or female roles. The actress, who has acted in plays such as ElisabethBlack Jack  (the protagonist role),  Rose of Versailles  (representing the popular character André Grandier) or Romeo and Juliet  (Benvolio Montesco), will complete her presentation with a show of singing and theatrical techniques characteristic of Takarazuka.
In addition, Professor Montserrat Crespín, Professor in East Asian Studies, will analyze the cultural history of Japanese theater with special emphasis on its key concepts and in the play of personifications of the roles and roles of actors to stage the behavior of men and women, while Professor Albert Nolla, professor of Japanese literature and translator from Japanese to Catalan authors such as Haruki Murakami or Yasunari Kawabata, will offer a historical review women’s literary literature in Japan. The activity, aimed mainly at experts, researchers and students, will be free of charge.

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Conference “National narratives of Japan: literature, discourse and hegemony”


Dr. Jordi Serrano-Muñoz (Universitat Pompeu Fabra; Centro de Estudios de Asia y África del Colegio de México)


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Conference “History of Korea: from the beginning to the present””

11-12/ 2019

PhD. Sang Woo Han

Through these sessions we will learn how the Korean peninsula was, from its beginnings to its division; We will go through the different eras and historical periods; not only territorial and political changes but also of religious ideologies that were implemented after each invasion. Scheduled sessions;

November 28 (Thursday): The beginning of Korean history. The origins of Korean civilization from prehistory to the first reins.

December 3 (Tuesday): The periods of Goryeo and Chosun. The second session will focus on the first feudal systems and kingdoms of Korea, wars and conflicts of the Middle Ages.

December 10 (Tuesday): the different invasions in the territory of Korea and the origin of tradition and Confucianism.

December 17 (Tuesday): the contact between Korea and the rest of world powers and the opening of Korea in new frontiers; and the influence that foreign countries have had on the country’s development.

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Conference “Brexit and Asia: back to a future of the late nineteenth century?”


Prof. Christopher Dent (Edge Hill University)

Three years ago, in June 2016, a referendum on British membership in the European Union indicated at that specific moment that the British, by a very small margin of voters, wanted to leave the EU. Since then many things have changed and many things have not changed anything. If Britain will leave the European Union on October 31, it remains uncertain. What we do know for sure is that Brexit has become an emblem of growing populist nationalism in Europe and throughout the world. It has also fueled geopolitical tensions in an increasingly turbulent world.

Even so, how will Brexit directly and indirectly affect Asia? The UK government has already launched the “Global Britain” foreign policy, based largely on the idea of ​​rediscovering the country’s position as an independent global trading nation. Probably, Britain has the strongest economic and diplomatic ties with Asia than any other European country. Professor Christopher Dent will explore how the links between Asia and Great Britain might evolve if Brexit finally occurs and defend the thesis that the geopolitical background of this relationship will be a world that will closely resemble the turbulent international order of the end of the 19th century, characterized by growing populism, commercial protectionism and a great rivalry of power. All this will have a significant impact on the future links of Asia with Great Britain.

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Conference “Asia and Climate Action: Putting the dragon back in the box?”


Prof. Christopher Dent (Edge Hill University)

Climate change is already happening, and it poses the most significant existential threat that humanity has faced. Asia is both part of the problem and the solution. Its burgeoning energy-intensive industries and urbanisation have heavily carbonised the global economy and caused other major environmental disruptions. Many Asian societies are, though, highly susceptible to climate change risks, and the region’s governments have come under increasing pressure to more seriously address climate change. In his presentation, Prof Christopher Dent will explore what climate actions Asia needs to prioritise, what actions are being broadly done, and the implications for Asia’s fast-rising ‘dragon economies’. Amongst other issues, he will discuss how climate action pressures will lead to different forms of economic and social development arising in Asia as the 21st century unfolds. This will entail more focus on qualitative development rather than quantitative economic ‘growth’.

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Presentation of the book: “Anthropology of Japan. Identity, discourse and representation”


Presentation by:
Yasmín Paricio, Coordinator of Politics, Society and Educational Programs, Casa Asia

Dr. Blai Guarné (Autonomous University of Barcelona)
Dr. Carles Prado-Fonts (Open University of Catalonia)

In recent years, anthropological research has strongly questioned the interpretation of Japan as a culturally homogeneous and socially uniform reality. This questioning has led to the problem of the very notion of “Japanese identity” and its essential characterization in the monolithic and exclusionary terms of the nihonjinron ideology (theories about the Japanese), until recently hegemonic in the description of Japanese society and culture .

Blai Guarné addresses in “Anthropology of Japan. Identity, discourse and representation” (CERAO-UAB, Bellaterra Editions) this paradigm shift and its academic and social consequences for the modern definition of “Japaneseness” formulated by Japanese cultural nationalism. Through theoretical and methodological orientations that reach from anthropology, sociology and cultural and intellectual history to representation theory and cultural and literary studies, the authors gathered in the volume reflect on these issues exploring their political conformation from the second half of the 19th century and its massive rearticulation in the postwar period of the last century. His works, the work of the main specialists in this field at international level, provide us with the necessary keys to understand the question of Japanese cultural esbcialism to the present and its possible future implications, in which it constitutes an exceptional journey through the last two decades of the anthropology of Japan.

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Research conference: “Women and social progress in Japan”


Ms. Mariko Kagoshima, UNICEF Representative Jamaica (Japan)

Prof. Amelia Sáiz (Universitat Utònoma de Barcelona)

Prof. Montserrat Crespín (Autonomous University of Barcelona)

The research day proposes an approach to the current situation of women in Japan and in the world from a multidisciplinary approach. The session will be attended by Mariko Kagoshima, representative of UNICEF Jamaica and an extensive career within the same body in the areas of development, education and humanitarian aid in countries such as Uganda, Angola, Afghanistan, Mexico or Guatemala. His presentation will focus on his professional experience in the Japanese education system as well as in the programs that UNICEF implements in different countries with the aim of promoting gender equality and education.

Likewise, Dr. Amelia Sáiz López, professor of East Asian Studies and coordinator of the Doctoral Program in Translation and Intercultural Studies of the UAB, will provide a historical perspective focused on female work activity beyond the ideology of the “good wife and wise mother, ”popularized motto at the beginning of the Meiji era (19th century). For her part, Dr. Montserrat Crespín, a professor of East Asian Studies at the UAB and a member of the social project for gender equity and co-responsibility COPERSONA, will analyze feminisms and frictions between the ethics of productivity and that of productivity. shared responsibility in current Japan. The activity, aimed primarily at experts, researchers and students, will be free of charge.

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Conference “The Tennô: past, present and future of the Japanese monarchy”


Prof. Salvador Rodríguez Artacho (UNED)

Japan is one of the oldest hereditary monarchies in the world. The Tennô embodies the millenary institution that has managed to maintain and adapt, masterfully, not only in its historical environment, but also in the political, sociological and legal. From the Meiji restoration of 1868 to the present, the conference offers a journey through the evolution of the Imperial Japanese Institution in which the symbolic Tennô was passed to the Emperor symbol and the Constitutional Monarchy to the Symbolic Monarchy. Thus, from the new constitutional framework, democratic principles and pacifism, the constitutional role of the Tennô and the monarchy have been carried out with rectitude and full submission to its legal framework. The Monarchy embodies the millenary tradition but is no stranger to new challenges. Issues such as the exclusion of women and the conditions of belonging to the inheritance line, or the recent decision to abdicate Emperor Akihito place the Japanese monarchical system before the mirror, again, of those great historical moments. Japan faces a new era and not only figuratively: the change from the Heisei era to a new one whose name the whole country is eager to meet will soon be realized.

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Permanent Seminar on Research and Doctorate, Screening of the film “UNITED RED ARMY”, by Wakamatsu Kôji (2008)


Presents and moderates the debate: Ferran de Vargas GREGAL Research Group

The United Red Army was one of the most active and feared terrorist groups of the 70s. Veteran filmmaker Kôji Wakamatsu faced, at 72 years of age, the task of telling the story of an armed group that also arrived to know. Archive footage and reconstructions with actors make up the chronicle of this episode in the history of Japan. Country: Japan 190min Gender: Based on real events. Japanese with subtitles.

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Introducing Talento J project


Talento J: talk about career opportunities, at the Faculty of Translation and Interpretation, Department of Translation and Interpretation and Studies of East Asia, Center for Studies and Research on East Asia (CERAO), Spain-Japan Council Foundation.

Spain-Japan Council Foundation celebrates 150 years of friendship between these countries with the Talento J project. Talento J is a community that brings together the stories of more than 80 Spaniards who have lived, studied and worked in Japan and want to share their experiences with others passionate for this country. On Wednesday, November 7, the Foundation will present Talento J at the UAB accompanied by three participating talents, who will explain their stories in an open talk with the public answering questions about Japan, the opportunities it offers and how to take advantage of them.

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Conference “The Way of the Carpenter: Tools and Japanese Architecture”


Prof. William H. Coaldrake (University of Tokyo)

In this lecture, Prof. Coaldrake will consider the Japan’s “Way of the Carpenter,” the tradition of the master builder, his materials, his methods & his tools. He will describe the venerable guild system through which, until very recently, the art & craft of Japanese architecture were cultivated, and he will discuss the interaction between tools, materials, & innovations in Japanese traditional architecture through the ages.

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Documentary screening Us & Them: Korean Indie Rock in a K-Pop World


Stephen Epstein (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand) & Timothy Tangherlini

The spread of South Korean popular music, or K-pop, has been a striking global phenomenon. In 2012 PSY’s viral sensation “Gangnam Style” became the most viewed video on YouTube ever, generating over a billion hits and scores of imitations. But Korean music is not only idol groups and viral videos. There is also a vibrant indie and punk scene that has been active for the past two decades. A lot of the energy driving the scene has come in opposition to mainstream Korean music. Yet, just as K-pop is becoming more well-known internationally, bands from the Korean underground are now touring overseas and have become more professional in their own pursuit of global connections. The documentary follows several of Korea’s most well-known indie bands as they embark on their first US tours. The spotlight lands in particular on Crying Nut, the endearing godfathers of Korean underground rock; the stylish RockTigers, Korea’s most successful rockabilly band; and Whatever That Means…, a melodic punk band led by a married couple–bass player Trash and her American guitarist husband. The documentary’s compelling portrait of the Korean indie scene offers sharp insights into a society that is in the midst of frequently dizzying change.