The Japan Foundation Awards 2015 Commemorative Lectures

Lecture by Wang Yong, Professor/Director, Institute of East Asian Studies, Zhejiang Gongshang University
“Now, He Who is Silent Wins Over He Who Speaks: The Style of East Asian Cultural Exchange”

Lecture Overview

Wang Yong (Professor/Director, Institute of East Asian Studies, Zhejiang Gongshang University) has suggested the name of “Book Road” in following with the term Silk Road due to the intellectual exchange via written materials between Japan and China, which was perhaps more notable than the exchange of materials such as silk.
For this award commemoration lecture, he will discuss the unique style of Japan China cultural exchange while reflecting on the academic journey he has taken, from the “Book Road” to East Asian written communications. Comparing the Silk Road that primarily enabled the exchange of materials, with the “Book Road” of primarily intellectual exchange, and the western style of auditory communications with the Eastern approach of visual communications, he will describe the characteristics of East Asian written communication while introducing diplomatic documents exchanged with Japan by such historical figures as Sun Yat-sen and Zhou Enlai, using a verse from the poem “Pipa Song” by Bai Juyi as an example.
This is a great opportunity to gain a new understanding of the history of intellectual exchange between Japan and China. We look forward to your participation.

Lecture by Isao Tomita, Composer
“TOMITA Sound Goes Around the World, from Synthesizers to Miku Hatsune”

Lecture Overview

In the 1970s, Isao Tomita traveled alone to the U.S. carrying the compositions he created with the Moog synthesizer he had imported with personal funds, to promote his album Snowflakes are Dancing, which reached number one on the Billboard charts and brought Tomita his first Grammy nomination, quickly giving him global reach and recognition. Isao Tomita is a pioneer who has stood on the shoulders of Japanese tradition to open a new world of music, represented by such works as “Sound Cloud” and “Tale of Genji, Symphonic Fantasy” which he has performed throughout the world. His latest composition, the the “Symphony Ihatov” which uses the virtual singer Miku Hatsune as a soloist was also performed in Beijing to great acclaim. In the first part of the two-part event, he will present a video of his three dimensional sound composition entitled “Tomita Sound Cloud,” which was received to great acclaim overseas, and the sound & visual writer Hidekuni Maejima will interview him about his career. In the second part, he will present video of the Beijing performance of the “Symphony Ihatov,” and engage in a discussion with Hiroyuki Ito of Crypton Future Media, the creator of Miku Hatsune, about the possibilities for virtual singer soloists and the concepts for his coming work.

Lecture on Sibiu International Theatre Festival (Lecturer: Constantin Chiriac, Director of Sibiu International Theatre Festival)
“Cultural Diplomacy”

Lecture Overview

Begun in the historical city of Sibiu in Romania in 1994, the Sibiu International Theatre Festival is considered as one of Europe’s most important theatre festivals alongside Avignon and Edinburgh. Japanese theatre groups have been invited continuously since the second year in 1995, and past participants include Nakamura Kanzaburo XVIII, Hideki Noda, and Mansai Nomura. Director Constantin Chiriac, founder of the festival, will discuss the background to its founding, its history, exchanges and collaborations with Japanese theatre groups and universities, and related volunteer projects. Chiriac has taken valuable time from his busy schedule during this visit to Japan to give the lecture. As an actor, he will be performing in the Radu Stanca National Theatre production of Oedipus at the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre in the afternoon before giving the lecture. Please take advantage of this valuable opportunity.

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