Our Spring 2013 seminars explore important transformations in postwar Japan. Our first seminar will concern women and children in American Occupied Japan. Naoko Shibusawa examines the way the idea of 'Japan' as feminine and childlike facilitated and at the same time problematized the relationship between the Americans who came to reform Japan and those who were subjected to it. Sarah Kovner addresses the body even more directly by exploring its marketing--that is, the dynamics of sex work during foreign military occupation. Both scholars also study bodies in captivity, centering on the fraught history of POWs and their post-release lives.
Our second seminar examines dramatic postwar transformations in the realm of architecture and urbanism. Architects in postwar Japan, in an effort to meet the demands of a growing population and burgeoning economy, looked to human and superhuman-scaled designs that would extend the city into adjacent bodies of water. Building upon the Tange Kenzô and Kikutake Kiyonori exibitions curated by our presenters, this seminar will investigate the planned and unplanned outcomes that shape the Japanese built environment up to the present day.