Four Roof Tiles from Hiroshima

In a largely symbolic gesture, UNC sent two scholarly books to the University of Hiroshima in 1951 to help the educational institution recover from the loss and destruction of August 9, 1945. This exchange was recently marked by the University  of Hiroshima with a reciprocal gift of four roof tiles that survived the bombing and were recently recovered from rivers around the city.

According to a press release from UNC Global, the tiles “have bubbly, scorched surfaces due to the 5,000°C (9,032°F) heat rays from the atomic bomb. Meant to be symbols that represent the devastation and lost souls, the tiles will be placed at four locations throughout campus, including the FedEx Global Education Center, the University Library, South Building, and the Department of Asian Studies located in New West. Each shard will be accompanied by a plaque detailing its significance and symbolism as an artifact of ‘an unforgettable tragedy’ that speaks of ‘the resilience of Japanese people and their commitment to a world free of nuclear weapons,’ as noted by Toshimasa Asahara, president of Hiroshima University, and Rebun Kayo, chair of the Association of Hiroshima University Students for Sending an Atomic Bombed Roof Tile.”

The exchange and its commemoration also prompted UNC to send symbolic gifts to Fukushima University this summer, including some scholarly books and a poplar tree, a gift that was recently acknowledged by the President of the university, Osamu Nittono.

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Film Showing: “Nobody Knows,” Introduced by Professor Anne Allison

This fall’s East Asian cinema series at Duke begins September 14th, 8pm in Richard White Lecture Hall (East Campus):

Nobody Knows

(Hirokazu Koreeda, 2004, 114 min, Japan, in Japanese with English subtitles, Color, DVD)

Introduced by Professor Anne Allison, Cultural Anthropology

Four abandoned children try their best to survive in their own little world, devising and following their own set of rules. This winsome, documentary-like detailed study of their lives and struggle to survive has the gut-shot anxiety of the best thrillers.

— Winner for Best Actor at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival
— Winner for Best Film at the 2005 Kinema Junpo Awards

Sponsored by the Asian Pacific Studies Institute (APSI), the Program in the Arts of the Moving Image (AMI), and the Department of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies (AMES)






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Calls for Proposals

Please submit proposals for the following opportunities:

  1. Travel Grants for Japanese Studies Visitors to the Triangle (to conduct research). These grants are not to bring speakers, but to encourage faculty at schools with less resources, particularly in the southeastern U.S., to visit the Triangle to use Duke’s Japanese studies library materials or the Japanese materials in our university museums.
  2. Research Travel Grants open to faculty and graduate students from Duke, NCSU, and UNC; they provide funding for travel to and accommodation in Japan.
  3. Cross-Institutional Study Groups. Proposals are invited from Duke, NCSU, and/or UNC faculty or graduate students on Japan-related topics. Study groups should include members from at least two participating institutions. The maximum number of proposals on which a faculty member may co-sign is two. UPDATED DEADLINE: September 26th!
Please click on the appropriate link below to download the application instructions (pdf):
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Workshop with UNC and Japanese Historians

The UNC History Department will hold a “Workshop with UNC and Japanese Historians” from Thursday, Sept. 8, to Saturday, Sept. 10, in Hamilton Hall 569, UNC.  Six Japanese historians from six different universities will each present a paper on the theme of “Making Modern Citizens,” and a UNC historian will serve as a discussant for each paper.

All sessions of the Workshop are open to the public.  The presentations will examine topics in American, German, and Japanese history.  More complete information about the Workshop—including the schedule of sessions and brief biographies of the participants—Is available at the following website:

As part of this project, in June, 2012, three UNC historians will present papers at a symposium in Japan.  Please contact Professor Miles Fletcher ( with enquiries.

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Triangle East Asia Colloquium: Science and Technology in East Asia

The Triangle East Asia Colloquium (TEAC) will be held Saturday, April 30, in Withers 331 on the NC State campus. This year’s theme is: Recent Trends in the Study of Science and Technology in East Asia. Please RSVP to if you plan to stay for lunch and please do so no later than noon on Wed. April 27. Thanks.

A campus map is available at Once the map open, move the scroll bar to the right. Withers Hall is Building #43. On a Saturday, you may park on campus by entering off Hillsborough St at campus drive. Or to avoid searching for parking, continue east along Hillsborough St and park in the lot adjacent to the North Campus Residence Hall (Bldg # 21 on the map).


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Professor Helen Hardacre to speak at Duke

Helen Hardacre, Reischauer Institute Professor of Japanese Religions and Society at Harvard University, willpresent a lecture titled “State Shinto in Manchukuo” at 4:30 pm in the York Room, 229 Gray, Duke West Campus.
From the Reischauer Institute website:
Professor Helen Hardacre began the study of Japanese religions as an undergraduate at Vanderbilt University, and she earned her doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1980, studying with Professor Joseph Kitagawa. Her research on religion focuses on the manner in which traditional doctrines and rituals are transformed and adapted in contemporary life. Concentrating on Japanese religious history of the modern period, she has done extended field study of contemporary Shinto, Buddhist religious organizations and the religious life of Japan’s Korean minority.
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Book Announcement by UNC Professor, Jan Bardsley

Laura Miller and Jan Bardsley (Professor of Japanese Humanities and Chair, Asian Studies Department, UNC) are pleased to announce the debut of our  co-edited volume Manners and Mischief: Gender, Power, and Etiquette in Japan (UC Press, 2011). The book examines etiquette guides, advice literature, and other such instruction for behavior from the early modern period to the present day and discovers how manners do in fact make the nation. Eleven accessibly written essays consider a spectrum of cases, from the geisha party to gay bar cool, executive grooming, and good manners for subway travel. Together, they show that etiquette is much more than fussy rules for behavior. In fact the idiom of manners, packaged in conduct literature, reveals much about gender and class difference, notions of national identity, the dynamics of subversion and conformity, and more. This richly detailed work reveals how manners give meaning to everyday life and extraordinary occasions, and how they can illuminate larger social and cultural transformations.

For more about Manners & Mischief and order information, please visit the UC Press website:

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