La Scuola organizza a scadenza regolare incontri pubblici, in proprio o in collaborazione con la Ecole Française d’Extrême-Orient Intersezioni Convegni e workshops Others e altri enti universitari: le Kyoto Lectures, da più di quindici anni rivolte a un pubblico internazionale di studiosi; Manabu, giornate di studio dei ricercatori, borsisti e dottorandi italiani in Giappone; Intersezioni, uno spazio dedicato ai rapporti tra Italia e Giappone nel passato e nel presente, con incontri, dibattiti, seminari e presentazioni di libri. Convegni e workshop fanno ugualmente parte dell'attività scientifica annuale della Scuola.

Kyoto Lectures

Bringing the Vernacular into Modernism

Architect Antonin Raymond in Interwar Japan

Yola Gloaguen

This lecture will be available only on Zoom

December 11th, 2020 18:00

Antonin Raymond’s career allows us to explore the dynamics and implications of the development of European and American architectural modernism in a non-Western context. The Czech-born American architect arrived in Japan on the eve of 1920 to assist Frank Lloyd Wright with building the new Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. However, Raymond soon opened his own office in the capital and became one of the pioneers of modern architecture in Japan. The human and technical challenges taken on by  his office included responding to an increasing demand for the design of villas suited to the Western and Japanese lifestyles of Tokyo’s international elites. This was reflected in the spatial design and construction of these new types of houses. The talk will highlight various examples of prewar and postwar residential works, with a focus on how Raymond and his team developed an approach to design based on the appropriation and adaptation of selected elements of the Japanese vernacular into the Western modernist idiom, which itself had to be reevaluated in the particular context of Japan. This approach to Raymond’s work provides a means to reassess the usual binaries of Western influence and Japanese adaptation through the medium of architecture.

Yola Gloaguen is a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre de recherche sur les civilisations de l’Asie orientale–CRCAO, Paris. After receiving her degree in architecture from Paris La Villette School of Architecture, she became a doctoral student at Kyoto University and studied modern architectural history in Japan. During her studies, she took a particular interest in the work of Antonin Raymond. She wrote her PhD dissertation on his work during the interwar period, with a focus on his designs for private villas. She is currently working on a book project entitled Modernisme occidental et habitat japonais. Les villas réalisées par Antonin Raymond dans le Japon des années 1920 et 1930.

Kyoto Lectures

The Annexation of the Ryūkyū Kingdom to Japan from a Global Perspective

Marco Tinello

This lecture will be available only on Zoom

November 20th, 2020 18:00

From 1872 onward Tokyo’s leaders resorted to a number of political and diplomatic maneuvers to formally incorporate the Ryūkyū Kingdom into the newly established Meiji state, culminating in the establishment of Okinawa Prefecture in 1879. Generally referred to by Japanese historians by the term used at the time, Ryūkyū shobun (“Ryūkyū disposition”), the crucial issue in this process was to eliminate the Ryūkyū’s traditional dual subordination to both China and Japan, and earlier studies have considered the annexation an event that mainly concerned these two states. However, the United States, France, and Holland had stipulated Treaties of Amity with the Ryūkyū Kingdom in 1854, 1855, and 1859, without any reference to its subordination to Japan. This talk will attempt to address a question not yet duly considered: how was it possible for the Meiji government to prevent these treaties from becoming a major diplomatic obstacle during the annexation process? In fact, as will be argued, the annexation marked a significant passage not only in Ryūkyūan, Japanese, and Chinese history, but also in Western foreign diplomacy in East Asia, as the Western powers played a role that has yet to be taken into consideration.

Marco Tinello is an assistant professor in East Asian and Japanese history in the Faculty of Cross-Cultural and Japanese Studies at Kanagawa University. His research focuses on early modern and modern East Asian diplomacy. He is the author of Sekai-shi kara mita “Ryūkyū  shobun” (Yōju Shorin, 2017), which was awarded the 16th Tokugawa Award/Special Award in 2018, and several peer-reviewed articles in Japanese on Ryūkyū diplomatic history. In 2015, he also received the first Professor Josef Kreiner Hosei University Award for International Studies, and in 2016 the 38th Okinawa Bunka Kyōkai Prize (Higa Shunchō Award).

Convegni e workshops

日本における信仰と「知」のはざま - 中世・近世・近代を中心に - 北白川 EFEO Salon 2019-2020



2020年11月27日 18:00 - 19:30






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Convegni e workshops


Ageing Society in Italy and Japan: A Multidisciplinary Workshop

13 - 14 novembre 2020

ONLINE EVENT November 13-14 2020

To join on Zoom

13 November (18:00-20:00 JST) – click here

14 November (17:00-19:00 JST) – click here

Flyer download

Full program download

Workshop website



In the past decade, the crucial issue of the dynamic social and economic impact of an aging society (namely, the increase in longevity versus the fall in fertility in a population) has been the so-called digital divide, or the uneven distribution in the access to, use of, or impact of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) . Most research on this topic has addressed reducing the intergenerational gap, influencing the growth of educational programs for the elderly and the production of dedicated user interfaces. However, the recent global Covid-19 pandemic has shown an acceleration in the reduction of the digital divide, allowing for the mitigation of imposed physical distances through an increase in the use of ICT. Within this scenario, the dynamic interplay between physical and virtual distances has assumed new forms, forcing innovative cross-disciplinary attitudes to develop as well as the design of new perspectives for the future of research. This workshop, which focuses on Japan and Italy, the two countries that top the list of aging populations, combines multidisciplinary research to discuss the notion of distance due to the recent experience of the pandemic. The workshop gathers scholars and experts from different disciplines and aims to converge their knowledge on the common discussion platform of how the perception of distance is addressing new research trends in scientific and humanistic studies.

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Kyoto Lectures

Locating Shugendō through Institution, Ritual, and Narrative

The Case of Mount Togakushi

Caleb Carter

This lecture will be available only on Zoom

October 28th, 2020 18:00

Japan’s mountain religion of Shugendō has long been a source of fascination among scholars and the public, but its historical contours continue to be largely obscured from view. The term itself refers to “the cultivation of special powers,” which were believed to have been acquired through austere rituals undertaken in the mountains. Yet beyond this scope, the parameters become murky. Modern research biases and a folk studies approach have often led to vague assertions about when and where Shugendō existed and who practiced it.

This talk lays out a path forward by navigating three interlocking components in its historical development: institution, ritual, and narrative. Taking the case of Togakushisan (in present-day Nagano-ken), it will highlight several key moments when practitioners (shugenja/yamabushi) incorporated Shugendō into their community and shaped it into a self-conscious religious system they could call their own. This process included the ritual transmission of Shugendō to Togakushi (from Hikosan, Kyushu) in the early sixteenth century, seventeenth-century narratives, and the formal establishment of a lineage in 1707. These instances illustrate how Shugendō found a home at one regional site and exemplify a way forward in clarifying the history of Shugendō and related religious systems.

Caleb Carter is an assistant professor of Japanese religions in the Faculty of Humanities at Kyushu University. He received his MA and PhD from UCLA (Buddhist Studies) and was awarded a Japan Foundation postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins before taking his current position. His main research centers on the history of Shugendō and more recently on contemporary trends in areas such as power spots (pawāsupotto) and regional restorations of Shugendō. He has published articles in the History of Religions and the Japanese Journal of Religious Studies and is author of A Path into the Mountains: Shugendō at Mount Togakushi (University of Hawai’i, forthcoming).