Seminar Series, Semester 1 2014

Japanese Studies Centre Postgraduate Seminar

21 May, 2014 Wednesday 12- 2 pm

Japanese Studies Centre (Building 54)

Lunch will be provided – RSVPs appreciated but not required!

 Seminar Chair: Thomas Baudinette

1. Jenny Hall (Anthropology)

‘How to make kimono ride a bicycle: cultural and sensory approaches to contemporary Japanese textile design’

Kimono are not considered suitable for contemporary life in Japan—it is difficult to even ride a bicycle while wearing a kimono. Because of this there is a pervading view that the Japanese traditional textile industry is in decline. However, Japanese designers and consumers are redefining Japanese clothing while retaining its ‘traditional’ image. This project investigates how the reinvention of Japanese clothing embodies the process by which tradition and modernity interact with each other and helps us understand how these new designs represent a vehicle for designers’ and consumers’ expressions of Japanese culture.

2. Adam Zulawnik (Translation Studies)

‘Translating controversial documents- Manga Kenkanryū (Hate the Korean Wave)

Using the controversial manga Kenkanryū (Hate the Korean Wave) by Sharin Yamano, this project proposes a new approach to understanding and managing the complicated aspect of translation of controversy, a discourse that is bound to gain raised attention with growing interaction between cultures. In particular, this project seeks to address what is meant by controversy and to discuss the importance of translating controversial texts.

3. Gwyn McClelland (History)

‘Dangerous memories in Nagasaki: On the boundary between theology and history’

This oral history project tests the theological motif of “dangerous memory” in the Christian community of Nagasaki and their remembrance of the atomic bombing at the “end of the war.” The project seeks to decentre discussions from Hiroshima and engages with the writings of Takashi Nagai on the bombing of Nagasaki.


The first regular seminar was a joint presentation with the Monash Asia Institute:

“Trans-Asia as method” joint seminar with Japanese Studies Centre 

Securing Global Talent?: Highly Skilled Migration in Japan and Asia

Nana Oishi

 9 April, 1-2:30pm

JSC Auditorium, Monash University Clayton Campus


The competition for global talent has been becoming fierce in Asia as the region continues to experience strong economic growth. Many countries have been adopting special schemes to promote the immigration of professionals. However, some countries have been successful, and others have not. This presentation will focus on Japan which has been adopting one of the most open policies on highly skilled migration, and yet has not been successful in attracting global talent. Why is it that its open policy has not been effective? Is the new “point system” going to improve the current situation? It will provide the overview of recent policy development on and the future challenges of highly skilled migration in Japan.

The second part of the presentation will shed light on the real voices of highly skilled migrants in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore, particularly those who have been going through multiple moves. Which factors are crucial for them when they choose their destinations? This part of the presentation will examine the underlying motivations of global talent, the institutional structures that facilitated their multiple migrations, and their rights issues. It will also pose some policy questions about the increasing “temporariness” of permanent residency and citizenship.

About the Speaker

Nana Oishi is Associate Professor in Japanese Studies and the Deputy Director of Asia Institute at the University of Melbourne. Prior to joining the University of Melbourne in 2013, she was Professor of Sociology at Sophia University in Tokyo. Dr. Oishi has been working on international migration and integration issues, and have served on various national advisory boards on Japan’s immigration policies. Her work includes Women in Motion: Globalization, State Policies, and Labor Migration in Asia (Stanford University Press 2005) and “The Limits of Immigration Policies: The Challenges of Highly-Skilled Migration in Japan” (American Behavioral Scientist, 2012). Her current research examines the multiple migrations of highly skilled professionals in Asia and the Pacific. She holds a Ph.D. degree in Sociology from Harvard University.  

The JSC seminar series kicked off in March with a salute to Associate Professor Helen Marriott, details here.
Please mark in your diaries the dates and topics for the May and June sessions, with more information to follow.
4 June 12 – 2 pm (seminar and lunch)
Sonic Japan:  Launch of the ARC Discovery Project funded Digital Sound Repository, Carolyn Stevens (Monash), Tamara Kohn (Melbourne), Richard Chenhall (Melbourne) and Thomas Baudinette (Monash)