Thursday, June 10, 2010

Across The Divide, 150 Years of Cross-Culture Lotion Provides An Ocean Of Motion

Hip-hoppers in Japan. Image via UCLA Asia Institute.

Whether it's food, pop music or the landscape of our lives, a curious cultural hybrid of Japanese and American culture exists in all walks--a fact particularly astounding because the U.S. and Japan have only been open to each other since 1860.

In Fusion in Motion: 150 Years of Japan-America Integration, Japan Society’s Lectures Program brings together a dynamically disparate posse of specialists to explore cultural cross-pollination. The panel features Theodore C. Bestor, one of Havard's top anthropology professors (his Tsukiji: The Fish Market at the Center of the World, has been called "one the best books recently published on Japan"); Ian Condry, who jives on media and cultural studies at MIT, and quite literally wrote the book on Japanese hip-hop; and Marc Peter Keane, a master landscape architect and author of many books on Japanese garden design.

The panel celebrates the 150th anniversary of the first Japanese delegation to the United States, marking the beginning of modern bilateral U.S.-Japan diplomatic relations. At this time business and diplomatic engagement took root and cultural exchange flourished. Fusion in Motion examines the fruits of these exchanges from three areas that have been particularly influenced by the cross-flow of ideas and techniques: music, food and landscape architecture.

The program is co-presented with the Museum of the City of New York, which, in late June, presents a mélange of historical artifacts from samurai visiting New York during the period! 

N.O., S.J.

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