April 30

Book review on Japanese television

Micky Lee has published a book review entitled “Television as a site, place, and space”.  It has been published in the International Journal of Communication (the pdf file can be downloaded here).  One of the books reviewed is Scripted Affects, Branded Selves: Television, Subjectivity, and Capitalism in 1990s Japan, written by Gabriella Lukacs, an anthropologist at the University of Pittsburgh.  Here is an excerpt on how the book fills in a void in media studies on Japanese culture:

Japanese popular media and culture is an understudied area. When it is studied, scholars (comprised of academics and journalists) focus on some quintessential Japanese genres, such as anime, manga, and samurai film, rather than media, such as television and magazines. An illustrative case is the “100 books for understanding contemporary Japan” program sponsored by the Nippon Foundation. The 100 books include those on anime (Napier, 2005), manga (Gravett, 2004; Schodt, 1996), and film (Mes & Sharp, 2004; Schilling, 1999); none of them is on television or magazines. Given the proliferation of Japanese popular media, its influence on youth culture in other Asian countries, and its cult following in Western countries, it is puzzling why scholars do not pay much attention to Japanese television and magazines.

October 6

Opportunity for students and professors to volunteer in Tohoku

United Planet Japan, a Boston based non-profit organization with offices in Nagoya and Sendai, has received a grant from the Center for Global Partnership at the Japan Foundation to set up an ongoing volunteer program between Japan and the United States. United Planet recently opened volunteer programs in the devastated Tohoku region (supporting survivors of the tsunami) as well as in Nagoya (in social projects).
Professors and students are needed to volunteer in Japan both as individuals and in groups for periods ranging from 1 to 12 weeks. Volunteers work directly with survivors and immerse in Japanese culture through homestays with families in Tohoku. There is a cost to participate, but fees are covered for professors who organize groups of 10 or more to volunteer in Japan.

United Planet Japan is located at 11 Arlington Street, Boston, and its phone number is 617-267-7763.
Complete information on this program is available online, at http://www.unitedplanet.org/volunteer-in-japan-short-term .
United Planet’s Japan Country Manager, Chie Goto, a nonprofit organizer and journalist who has covered the Tohoku crisis and reported on it extensively (see her blog at http://gotochie.wordpress.com) is visiting the United States until October 20 and would be happy to talk by phone (in Japanese or English) to any professor who is interested in learning more about this program. Japan Society Flyer