Kyoto, by Moyan Brenn
Natori, Miyagi, by ChiefHira, via Wikimedia Commons
The 3/11 (March 2011) earthquake, tsunami, and reactor meltdown in northeast Japan reverberated through the nation, and continues to impact life today, including in politics and energy policy, community revitalization efforts, activism, and cultural works.
Mt. Fuji, by non-euclidean photography
Japan is rich with culture and history that becomes amplified with captivation when personally adventuring through the nation. Offering visitors the best of all ends of the spectrum, Japan allows travelers to relax during a serene walk through many of their colorful gardens and ancient paths, challenge Mt. Fuji on an unparalleled hike, and enjoy their proclaimed "geek life," within the district exemplifying the country's video-game and anime culture. In addition, visitors can explore history in real-time with the exploration of Hiroshima, and immersing oneself in past and present Japanese culture and customs.
Selected and Annotated By:
Molly Des Jardin
Japanese Studies Librarian
mollydes @ upenn.edu
For more information, visit the Penn Alumni Travel Website.
Akihabara District at Night, by IQRemix
tokyo from the mori art museum, by non-euclidean photography
Lafcadio Hearn, by Frederick Gutekunst, via Wikimedia Commons
These books offer accounts of travelers to Japan as it was modernizing in the late 1800s, providing valuable evidence of the ways in which early modern Japan was existing alongside Western influences. They give an interesting picture of Japanese daily life and customs in a time period vastly different from present day Japan.
These films cover the election campaigns of underdog candidate Kazuhiko Yamauchi, aka 'Yama-san.' First, he ran for Kawasaki city council (outside Tokyo) in 2005 as former PM Jun'ichirō Koizumi's handpicked choice, and then again with an anti-nuclear message several years later in response to the Fukushima disaster.
Nippon Kaigi, aka Japan Council, is a rising rightwing organization with close ties to the Abe administration, and has considerable influence on Japanese politics. These articles provide an introduction to the issue of rightwing politics in contemporary Japan through the case of Nippon Kaigi, and historical context for understanding Japan's political conflicts in East Asia.
Japan's Largest Rightwing Organization: An Introduction to Nippon Kaigi (article, Japan Focus)
Nippon Kaigi: Empire, Contradiction, and Japan's Future (article, Japan Focus)