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Upcoming CJR Events (Fall 2014)





Room #604, Asian Centre (1871 West Mall)


October-November 2014 schedule available ONLINE



More Great Fall Talks & Events!

October 30

(12:30 - 2:30 pm, CK Choi #120)

Sébastien Lechevalier (EHESS)

“Neoliberalism as Panacea or Problem? A History of Japan and Capitalism from 1980 to 2014”


October 31-November 1

(Time and Location TBD)

International Workshop

“Reforming Financial and Employment Systems in Japan, East Asia, and Europe: Institutional Change, Corporate Diversity, and Economic Instability”


November 6


Charlotte von Verschuer (EPHE)

“Rice in Japanese Culture: Myth and Reality from a Premodern Perspective”

*Lecture will be followed by a rice and sake tasting while quantities last.


Thursday, November 6 (noon-1:30 pm), CK Choi 120
Considered the traditional staple of the Japanese diet (an assumption Dr. von Verschuer has recently challenged), rice has been used as a form of currency and a method of land division in Japan. The history of rice reveals demographic changes, economic transformations, and even artistic developments.
This lecture will present a historical outline of Japanese agricultural traditions from the 8th to the 18th centuries. We will examine the rice growing process in Japan from medieval to modern times, drawing from 18th-century illustrations and mid-20th century photographs. How do historical sources compare with the mythology of rice in Japanese culture? How is rice grown in a country that is dominated by mountainous forests? For over two millennia, the bio-diversity of Japan has enabled multi-crop cultivation, including rice, as well as practices of gathering and collecting. Dr. von Verschuer will illustrate the diversity of medieval agricultural traditions through paintings, ethnographic photographs, and her own fieldwork. A central activity for many premodern societies, agriculture still employs 40% of the world’s population. As demand for increased crop production increases, traditional techniques for sustainable agriculture are being re-examined, included crop rotation and catch cropping, approaches that were widely practiced in premodern Japan.
Made possible by the Consulate General of France and the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies through the French Scholar Series. Co-sponsored by the Institute of Asian Research, the Centre for Japanese Research, and the Department of Asian Studies.


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