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Postwar Tokyo: Reality and Imagination Through Camera

Friday, April 06, 2018
4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Shunya Yoshimi, Professor of Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies, Tokyo University
APSI Speaker Series

Emerging from the ruins of war, Tokyo became a metropolis of 10 million people within a quarter of a century. During the period that followed, this capital of what was once a military empire experienced occupation by the United States, hosted the Olympic Games, and transformed into a booming consumer culture. Captured through a host of visual media--photography, documentary film, televisual programming--this period of time became known through a series of gazes: gazes between Americans and the Showa Emperor, gazes looking up toward the tops of skyscrapers, and gazes twining and wriggling among classes, genders, and ethnic groups. Examining the geo-politics of this gazing regime, the talk will ponder such issues as: who and what got overlooked, how did marginal groups and American occupiers figure in the urban center, and what kinds of moods and sentiments -such as loneliness or exuberance as with the 1964 Olympics (and anticipating here the upcoming 2020 Olympics)- do we see in visual artifacts of Tokyo gazing?

Professor Shunya Yoshimi is Edwin O. Reishauer Visiting Professor at Harvard University and Professor of Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies at University of Tokyo where he has also served as Vice President and Dean of the Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies. Japan's leading figure in cultural studies, Professor Yoshimi studies contemporary Japanese cultural history, everyday life, and cultural politics.