The Japan Foundation recently invited the sociologist and rising star of Japanese academia Hiroshi Kainuma (University of Tokyo/Fukushima University) to the UK to give a mini lecture series on his latest research.
Lecture 1: ‘Voices from Fukushima - sketching a future beyond the pro/anti-nuclear debate’ (Held at the Japan Foundation, London, and the University of Sheffield on 20th and 22nd January respectively)
In his first lecture, Fukushima-native Kainuma explored the historical background and development of the nuclear power industry in Fukushima, before moving on to discuss the experiences and opinions of those whose lives have been directly affected by the ongoing nuclear crisis. He ended his talk by offering new directions for future debates that move beyond a simple pro/anti-nuclear dichotomy. Following Kainuma’s presentation, Dr Peter Wynn Kirby (University of Oxford) introduced his research into radioactive citizenship in Fukushima and Japan more broadly, before joining Kainuma in discussion.
Lecture 2: ‘On the Margins in Japan - Voices from the Underclass, Sex Industry, Far-right and New Left’ (Held at The University of Edinburgh, and the Japan Foundation, London on 21st and 23rd January respectively)
In his second lecture, Kainuma revealed another side to modern Japan through a series of case studies examining those people/groups living on the fringes of Japanese society. Kainuma’s talk was followed by an incisive commentary from discussant Dr Tuukka Toivonen (Goldsmiths, University of London/Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies, University of Oxford) and a lively Q&A session with questions directed at both speakers.
We would like to thank Mr Kainuma for making the long trip to the UK to give such a fascinating and thought-provoking series of lectures, and we very much hope to see him in the UK again soon. We would also like to express our gratitude to the University of Edinburgh and University of Sheffield for kindly agreeing to co-host the regional seminars.
**If you would like to receive Mr Kainuma’s PowerPoint presentations, please contact Hal Parker at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org