Zatoichi / Stephen Robertson

There are no people in Zatoichi’s collective.

Huffduffed (27)

  1. Social Capital in Post-Disaster Recovery


    Daniel Aldrich, Professor, Purdue University

    This lecture puts the Great East Japan Earthquake into perspective by analysing it in the context of other major disasters. Using micro- and neighborhood-level data from four disasters in three nations over the 20th and 21st centuries, this talk will investigate standard theories of recovery and resilience. Bivariate, time series cross sectional, and matching analyses show that more than factors such as individual or personal wealth, aid from the government, or damage from the disaster, the depth of social capital best predicts recovery. Social capital works through three main mechanisms: elevating voice and suppressing exit, overcoming collective action barriers, and providing informal insurance. Should social networks prove the critical engines before, during, and after disaster, this suggests a new approach to disaster mitigation for NGOs, individuals, and governments.

    Daniel P. Aldrich is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Purdue University on leave for the academic year 2012 ̶ 2013 as a Fulbright research professor at Tokyo University. He received his Ph.D. and M.A. in political science from Harvard University, an M.A. from the University of California at Berkeley, and his B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has published two books (Site fights and Building Resilience) and more than 80 peer reviewed articles, book chapters, reviews, and OpEds in locations such as the New York Times, CNN, and the Asahi Shinbun.

    —Huffduffed by Zatoichi

  2. The Cost of NIMBY: Policy Images, Foreign Blueprints and Civil Society’s Assault on Japan’s Post-Fukushima Energy Policy

    The political uncertainty of Japan’s post-Fukushima energy policy should not be surprising given the country’s energy constraints. Japan, an economic powerhouse operating within a geographically constrained landmass with virtually no independent energy sources to fuel and stabilize its economic needs, is trapped between two conflicting political problems: a growing segment of the Japanese electorate who reject essential facilities such as electric power plants and transmission wires being built in their backyards versus an equally large segment of the electorate who naturally expect a stable, environmentally safe and inexpensive flow of electric power to support their high standard of living and industrial production. That both expectations are technically and financially incompatible has led to the current political challenge.

    This lecture places Japan’s post-Fukushima energy challenges and its public policy decisions into perspective by analyzing it in cross-national context. Using heretofore-unexamined archival documents, microeconomic data, and qualitative interviews with key actors in a time-series, this talk explores how and why governments in three developed democracies—Japan, Germany, and UK—pursue the reform of their electric power markets over a long period. The talk emphasizes how periods of stasis (controlled by positive feedback or self-reinforcement) in terms of “policy image” are occasionally offset by bouts of frenetic institutional change. Variations in deliberation timetables, shifting voting patterns in committees, sporadic law promulgation, increasingly negative public opinion polls, and fluctuating media attention cycles (the dependent variables) are analyzed by using the ubiquity, consistency, and strength of foreign economic ideas and events (the independent variables) to explain the transformation of both formal and informal institutions in Japan. Should a media-transmitted image shift be the principal factor behind crisis-induced agenda-setting and decision-making behavior, this talk explores the "real-world" financial, environmental and technological trade-offs of policy objectives prioritizing renewable energy over nuclear power and fossil fuels.

    Paul J. Scalise is JSPS Research Fellow at the Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo, and Non-resident Fellow at the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies, Temple University, Japan Campus. He received his Ph.D. in comparative political economy from the University of Oxford, an M.A. in international economics and Japan studies from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and his B.A. in political science from Marist College. A former Tokyo-based financial analyst of Japanese energy companies and contributing energy analyst to several global consulting firms, Dr. Scalise was voted by institutional investors the number-one ranked Japanese utilities analyst in 2001 among all UK financial institutions. He has published more than 100 research reports, consulting briefs, reviews, journal articles, book chapters, encyclopedia entries, and OpEds in locations such as Foreign Policy, Newsweek, and Asahi Shimbun.

    —Huffduffed by Zatoichi

  3. Interview with HAYAMI Akira 速水啓

    An interview on the life and work of the distinguished Japanese demographer and economic historian of Keio University, Akira Hayami. Filmed and interviewed by Alan Macfarlane on 22 October 2009 and edited by Sarah Harrison. Generously supported by the Leverhulme Trust.

    Publisher: University of Cambridge Copyright: Professor Alan Macfarlane Language: eng (English) Keywords: Japan; economic; demography; Credits:
    Actor: Akira Hayami Director: Alan Macfarlane Reporter: Sarah Harrison

    Other formats and transcript:

    —Huffduffed by Zatoichi


    The shadow of the past continues to haunt contemporary Japan, through the complex and often conflicting interplay of history, politics and national identity.

    The enduring legacies of Japan's imperial history lay at the heart of simmering tensions with its Asian neighbours, South Korea and China, and the debate over the recent 70th anniversary of the 1937 invasion of Nanjing demonstrated how the wounds of the past are still palpably borne out in the present day.

    And the bitter memory of the Second World War still casts a shadow over contemporary Japan. Those demanding retrospective justice for war crimes perpetrated by the Japanese military refuse to disappear.

    Adding to the noisy jostle of conflicting positions over history in Japan are a powerful group of neo-nationalists, who claim that the country's post-war incarnation, including its pacifist constitution, has led to a sense of national self-loathing and a crisis in identity. The struggle over interpretation of the country's 20th century history has become the battleground for these differing ideologies of nationhood.

    Visit the History Under Siege feature site and find program transcriptions, audio, image galleries, bibliographies and further information links. (

    —Huffduffed by Zatoichi


    From 9 April 2010

    How do we honour our ancestors? In Japan, the act of memorialising the dead is known as kuyo, a ceremony whose origins are Buddhist in which prayers and offerings are made to honour and calm the spirits of the departed. But what happens when the dead lie far way, in Australia for example? Who will perform the rites of kuyo then? This question was one of the starting points for an original exhibition and performance titled In Repose now touring Australia. Blending dance, visual projection, sound-scapes, installation and the music of the Japanese koto, In Repose is a requiem for the Japanese migrants buried far from their homeland, and a celebration of the Australian communities who continue to tend those graves.

    In Repose has already been performed at grave-sites in Townsville, Broome and Thursday Island and is now being brought to a wider audience at Sydney's Japan Foundation. It brings together some of Australia's finest artists including photographer Mayu Kanamori, dancer Wakako Asano, sound designer Vic McEwan, and Satsuki Odamura, a master performer of the Japanese stringed instrument, the koto. For this program Mayu, Wakako and Satsuki gathered to discuss the meaning of kuyo, it's relevance for Japanese gravesites in Australia, and to play some of the music composed for the project.

    —Huffduffed by Zatoichi


    From 23 October 2010:

    In 2007, the Japanese central government pledged $26 billion over ten years to develop a robot dependent society and lifestyle that is safe, comfortable and convenient. One person who is helping to make this vision a reality is Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute in Kyoto. He calls himself an Android Scientist and along with his multi disciplinary team of scientists he is creating very human-like robots or androids called Geminoids.

    Why is the Japanese government pursuing such a vision? Why is it that the Japanese are able to welcome such machines into their society? Post Human explores these questions as well as providing a unique opportunity to hear scientists at the cutting edge of robotics express their hopes and fears about a future in which the lives of humans and robots are inextricably entwined.

    A moving story of love, robot style.


    Hiroshi Ishiguro Professor of Osaka University Dept of Systems Innovation Visiting Group Leader of Intelligent Robotics & Communications Laboratories at (ATR) Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International

    Michael Berthin PhD candidate in Anthropology at London School of Economics

    Kohei Ogawa Android Scientist

    Christian Becker-Asano Android Scientist

    —Huffduffed by Zatoichi


    From 5 July 2008:

    T-shirts featuring cartoon characters with huge sparkling eyes, pastel coloured plush animals adorning mobile phones and even cars with a Hello Kitty motif—'cute' is no longer confined to products for children; it's an aesthetic popular with all ages.

    The home of this cute style is Japan, although design that is 'kawaii', as it is called in Japanese, is increasingly embraced in the west as cool.

    What's behind this growing fascination with 'cute'? And why is cute design considered quintessentially Japanese?

    Masako Fukui attempts to solve the puzzle for By Design.


    Rebecca Suter Lecturer in Japanese Studies, The University of Sydney

    Roland Kelts Author of Japanamerica, How Japanese Pop Culture has Invaded the US

    Sonja Barry Department manager, English Books, at Kinokuniya Bookstore, Sydney

    Masako Fukui Freelance radio documentary maker

    —Huffduffed by Zatoichi

  8. Tokyo’s Burning

    Tokyo's Burning was made to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the mass firebombing of Tokyo in March 1945 in which 100000 people died and several million were 'de-housed'.The feature includes eyewitness accounts from Japanese on the ground, and the French war correspondent Robert Guillain and a B 29 bomber pilot who describes in vivid detail the firestorm created by napalm. May 24 is the anniversary of the second big attack on Tokyo. The feature explores the history of the bombardment of civilian populations since the beginning of aerial warfare and also challenges the conventional wisdom that the atomic bombs were 'necessary' to end the war.

    Tokyo's Burning won a Prix Italia for radio documentary.

    Producers: Tony Barrell Sound Engineer: Russell Stapleton First Broadcast: 1995 Duration: 51:22 Network: ABC Radio National

    —Huffduffed by Zatoichi

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