In March 2021, I had the pleasure of hosting Professor ISHIHARA Mai from the Centre for Ainu and Indigenous Studies at Hokkaido University to talk about “Invisible Indigenous Descendants in Hokkaido, Japan.” She also introduced her new book Autoethnography of Silence: The Story of the Pain of Silent Ainu and Their Care (Sapporo: Hokkaido University Press, Dec. 2020 [in Japanese]). Check out her talk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2gq0e3Cqog
Thank you to these three organizations for making this event possible: the David Lam Centre at Simon Fraser University, the Centre for Ainu and Indigenous Studies at Hokkaido University, and the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada.
Facing numerous social and economic challenges, Japan in the twenty-first century faces uncertainty similar to that of the Meiji Era. Scott Harrison finds significant similarities between the two periods, and argues that Meiji style diplomacy, characterized by engagement with the external world and the development of alliances — particularly with the dominant or hegemonic powers of the time, are vital parts of protecting national interests. Without such outreach and global integration, he suggests, Japan’s domestic issues and international priorities will be much harder to address. Not only should countries and businesses around the world pay attention to how Japan addresses its contemporary challenges, but also, as the Meiji Era has shown, Japan may find many of the solutions to its issues from lessons learned around the world.
Click here for this chapter: “Meiji Inspired Diplomacy and Politics for Japan’s Future.” In Japan’s Future and a New Meiji Transformation: International Reflections. Ken S. Coates, et al., eds. London: Routledge, 2019.