I really wish I was in NY and could attend these events. Any NY-based readers out there?
*“Thinking on the way to the Yoshiwara: Poetry and Pictures about the trip to Edo’s Courtesan District”
Professor Timon Screech, SOAS, University of London
The Yoshiwara was Edo’s premier courtesan (or ‘pleasure’) district. It existed for some 200 years, so that thousands of men would have gone. Pictures of the Yoshiwara were very commonly made, and form one of the major themes in art of the Floating World. Yet it is never asked how people actually got to the district, nor have representations of the journey to the Yoshiwara ever been properly investigated. This talk will engage with such material, and will offer the theory the pictures and poetry worked to create a sense of difference and transformation in the traveller incrementally, as the journey unfolded.
The lecture will take place at 6:15-7:15 p.m., April 8, 2010 and will be held in Room 934 Schermerhorn Hall. Given the spatial constraints, attendees are encouraged to arrive by 6 p.m.
I was fortunate to take a course with, and otherwise get to know, Prof. Screech during my time in London. This topic, the poetic or metaphorical symbolism or allegory of elements of the trip to the Yoshiwara, played a prominent role in the course, and while I must admit I do love to hear Tim speak about just about anything, I really do have a particular interest in this topic.
*And the following week:
Soshitsu Sen XV Distinguished Lecture on Japanese Culture
The Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture at Columbia University will host a rare public lecture by the Japanese artist Yasumasa Morimura. Mr. Morimura will deliver the annual Soshitsu Sen XV Distinguished Lecture on Japanese Culture at 6:00 p.m., on Wednesday, April 14, 2010, at Columbia’s Miller Theatre. The title of Mr. Morimura’s lecture is “Why I Posed as Yukio Mishima.”
The title of Morimura’s lecture, “Why I Posed as Yukio Mishima,” alludes to a controversial 2006 video work in which the artist took on the persona of Yukio Mishima (1925–1970), the internationally celebrated Japanese novelist. Four decades ago this year, Mishima staged a highly public suicide at the headquarters of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces, an unforgettable scene that Morimura imaginatively recreated in his 2006 video.
Morimura is the twenty-second eminent figure to deliver the Soshitsu Sen XV Distinguished Lecture on Japanese Culture. The annual lecture series at Columbia University was established with an endowment from the Urasenke Foundation of Kyoto, Japan. Named in honor of Soshitsu Sen XV, former Grand Master (Iemoto) of the Urasenke School of Tea, the Sen Lectures aim to expand American awareness and understanding of Japanese culture. The series began in 1988 with a lecture by Soshitu Sen XV entitled “The Heart of Tea.” Subsequent lecturers have included the novelists Natsuo Kirino, Taeko Kono, and Ryotaro Shiba, the poets Gary Snyder and Makoto Ooka, the composer Toru Takemitsu, the stage director Tadashi Suzuki, the photographer Fosco Maraini, and the graphic designer Tadanori Yokoo.
Donald Keene Center Prize
Directly prior to Morimura’s lecture on April 14, the Keene Center will award the Fourth Donald Keene Prize for the Promotion of Japanese Culture to Impressions, the journal of the Japanese Art Society of America (www.japaneseartsoc.org). Julia Meech, editor of Impressions, and. Joan D. Baekeland, president of the Japanese Art Society of America, will accept the award at a brief ceremony in Miller Theatre.
For further information, please contact Ms. Kia Cheleen, Assistant Director, Donald Keene Center: firstname.lastname@example.org