The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus Newsletter
Newsletter No. 2. 2015        

January 12, 2015

New Articles

Thank you for your support in keeping the Journal a vibrant voice exploring the Asia-Pacific and the world. We have secured the funds allowing us to operate in 2015 and to redesign and upgrade the site. APJ is a 501 (c) tax exempt organization; your contribution is tax deductible. This ends our fund drive. But, o, it's not too late to donate here!
Since publishing two articles in the Asahi Shinbun in 1991 about the first "comfort woman" to tell her story, and particularly in recent years, Uemura Takashi has been denounced by conservatives as a traitor. Triggered by an article in Shukan Bunshun, the controversy over Asahi's retraction of its reports on sexual slavery this past year led to a vicious new wave of attacks on both Uemura and Asahi. Uemura documents his claim and rebuts charges that he fabricated the issue of military comfort women. 
As a result of the difficulties brought onto him, his family and friends, and his university, Uemura Takahi has brought a libel suit against Bungei Shunju over the articles it published condemning his reporting on comfort women over two decades earlier. Uemura announced this on December 9 in a speech at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan.

With the votes in the elections last November and December for governor of Okinawa and the prefecture's seats in the Lower House going to candidates opposing a new US base in Henoko, it is unclear what will become of the plans. However, as citizens of Okinawa know all too well, the gap between campaign promises and post-election reality may be vast. Gavan McCormack assesses the post-election actions of the new governor Onaga Takeshi and reflects on the new phase of conflict.

On September 9, 2014, the Imperial Household Agency released to the public its carefully vetted Authentic Account of the Showa Emperor's Life and Reign. While the trove of 3,152 primary materials is a valuable resource, through omissions this official history fails to present a clear picture of the emperor at key historical moments, particularly his wartime leadership. Herbert P. Bix examines the biases discernible in this volume, arguing that the current political climate in Japan has greatly influenced its compilation.

Announcing the Kyoko Selden Memorial Translation Prize in Japanese Literature, Thought, and Society, 2015

The Department of Asian Studies at Cornell University is pleased to announce the 2015 prize honoring the life and work of our colleague, Kyoko Selden. The prize will pay homage to the finest achievements in Japanese literature, thought, and society through the medium of translation. Kyoko Selden's translations and writings ranged widely across such realms as Japanese women writers, Japanese art and aesthetics, the atomic bomb experience, Ainu and Okinawan life and culture, historical and contemporary literature, poetry and prose, and early education (the Suzuki method). In the same spirit, the prize will recognize the breadth of Japanese writings, classical and contemporary. Collaborative translations are welcomed. In order to encourage classroom use and wide dissemination of the winning entries, prize-winning translations will be made freely available on the web. The winning translations will be published online at The Asia-Pacific Journal .  

Submit three copies of a translation and one copy of the original printed text of an unpublished work (or a new translation of a previously published work) to the Kyoko Selden Memorial Translation Prize, Department of Asian Studies, 350 Rockefeller Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853. Please also send the submissions as e-mail attachments to Repeat submissions are welcomed. The maximum length of a submission is 20,000 words. The translation should be accompanied by an introduction of up to 1,000 words. The closing date for the prize competition is May 30, 2015. Awards will be announced on August 31, 2015. For the 2015 competition, one prize of $1,250 will be awarded in two different categories: 1) to an already published translator; 2) to an unpublished translator. 

For further information, please visit the Asian Studies website:



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