Beginning in the 1990s, Japan’s policy of “leprosy prevention” was transformed into a human rights issue, a process that culminated in 2001 with the Kumamoto District Court’s order that the government pay reparations to some of those confined in Japan’s extensive system of national leprosy sanitaria. No issue has received more attention than the use of reproductive controls, such as sterilization and abortion, which has been portrayed as evidence of the Japanese state’s concern for eugenics and racial purity.
Historians studying the production and dissemination of knowledge in East Asia face two challenges: one, how to overcome the influence of the epistemic categories and values imposed by their position as modern actors; and two, how to best understand the creation and validation of knowledge in its historical context.
Drummer: OKURA Genjiro
Actors: SHIMIZU Yoshinari and KIZUKI Nobuyuki
This presentation addresses the debate on constitutional monarchy that has arisen as a consequence of the emperor of Japan announcing his wish to retire. Although over half of all past emperors have abdicated, two hundred years have elapsed since the last abdication. While public opinion is overwhelmingly positive, the postwar Imperial Household Code governing the monarchy contains no provision on abdication. Thus, a legal determination on the permissibility of abdication was required.
Co-sponsored by the Buddhist Studies Workshop.
In the popular imagination, China’s Yellow River has always been sediment-choked and flood-prone. In fact, the historical and ecological record reveals that the highly unstable and intensively managed river existed for only a few hundred years. This talk describes how the ecological record and historical data analysis can enrich our understanding of the long history of human-environment interaction along the Yellow River.