Talk by Japanese Canadian Filmmaker Linda Ohama

Speaker: Ms. Linda Ohama

Topic: A new play “From the Inland Sea”

Location: Aoyama Campus, Room 17-610 (Honda Auditorium)

Date: Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Time: 1:20 PM to 2:50 PM (3rd period)

Ms. Linda Ohama is an award-winning Japanese Canadian filmmaker who produced and directed the film Obachan’s Garden ( and the documentary film “Tohoku no Shingetsu” (“New Moon Over Tohoku”), which concerns the experiences of people in Tohoku who were affected by the earthquake/ tsunami/ nuclear disaster of March 11, 2011 and its aftermath.

The speaker will talk about her recently performed play “From the Inland Sea,” and students will be asked to perform scenes from it that they practiced in class. She will put the play–which involved experiences of her Japanese Canadian grandfather during WWII–into context by giving some background history of the internment of North Americans of Japanese descent during the war.

To be even better prepared for the lecture, read the attached interview and review the script (Act 4 of the play) that teachers will use in class to prepare students for the lecture. Read up on the background of the play here, as well.

It would also be useful for students and teachers who plan to attend the lecture to do some background reading on the internment of Japanese by the Canadian government during the war. Read this concise and well-written entry “Japanese Canadian Internment: Prisoners in their own Country” at .

August Bulletin 2019 Ohama

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Autumn Festival at Meiji Jingu

On three consecutive days, at the beginning of November each year, Meiji Jingu holds its “Autumn Grand Festival”–AKI NO SAI.” This event is held in celebration of Emperor Meiji’s birthday and in honor of various deities. You can see traditional dances given as offerings for gods, Noh performances, and an amazing variety of martial art demonstrations. You can even see Yabusame (archery on horseback).

EVENT: Meiji Jingu Autumn Grand Festival/ AKI NO SAI
WHERE: Near JR Harajuku Station

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Youth Climate Activist Symposium: IE Plenary Lecture Series

Unlike our usual plenary talks for IE Program students and outside guests, this one will feature three speakers who represent organizations and causes connected with climate change. The main speaker is a 22-year-old climate change activist from the Philippines, Marinel Ubaldo, who is a survivor of Super-typhoon Haiyan. This typhoon struck the Visayas group of islands, home to 17 million people, in 2013 (when Marinel was still a teenager). It was the most powerful storm in 2013 and one of the most devastating typhoons of all time.

As we all know, climate change (particularly global warming) plays a huge role in the frequency and potency of extreme weather events such as Category 5 typhoons and hurricanes. This fact led Marinel Ubaldo to take action and become a climate change warrior. She will speak about what motivated her activism, what actions she has taken, and what you can do to help save the world.

The other speakers will represent “350 Japan,” an international grassroots movement working to end the age of fossil fuels and build a world of community-led renewable energy, and “Vegan Tokyo,” a group whose mission it is to support the Japan vegan community to grow and, connect to the worldwide vegan movement, and help make people aware of the connection between dietary choices and the environment.

EVENT: Climate Action Now: Symposium about what we can do to save the world
WHEN: October 10, 2019 (Thursday), 13:20 PM ~ 14:50 (3rd period)
WHERE: Aoyama Gakuin University; Aoyama Campus; Room 940 (4th floor of Building 9) Click here.
TARGET AUDIENCE: Anyone interested in climate justice and wishing to make a positive impact on the world.

Planned Itinerary of symposium:

Biography of Marinel Ubaldo:

Marinel Ubaldo, from the Philippines, was one of five young activists who attended COP21, the UN climate change conference in Paris, when she was just 18 years old. She campaigns on the issue of climate change and has been raising awareness across her community and around the world since she was a teenager, like Greta Thunberg. She testified at an investigation in New York about corporate responsibility for climate change and human rights abuses, and she conducts seminars for communities and students on environmental issues, climate change and climate justice.

Marinel is currently in Tokyo for the Climate Reality Leadership Corps training offered by former Vice President Al Gore, who is now in Japan as well conducting this training event. It equips people of all ages and livelihoods with the knowledge and ability to become more effective climate change activists. She helped to organize the Global Climate Strike on 20 September 2019.

Biography of Hinako Arao:

Hinako Arao is a field organizer for an environmental NGO, Japan. She was born and raised in Japan, did her undergraduate studies and also spent her 20s working as an actress and a director in the United States and England. After returning to Japan, she has worked as a freelance film and TV producer. She enjoys working together with great groups of people to tackle the climate crisis.

Climate Change is the biggest threat that humanity has ever faced. And those who are leading the movements to solve the crisis are the young people from all over the world. Why? Because they are smart and strong, but also, they are the ones who will experience the consequences of this crisis the most. In her talk, Hinako will use Greta’s speech to learn about what is happening in the environment and the politics surrounding this issue.

Biography of Alex Derycz:

Alex Derycz is a 23-year-old model and talent who hosts youth events for the Tokyo Vegan Meetup. He has also spoken as an ambassador for “Vegan Tokyo” ( at Earth Day Tokyo.
Website –
Instagram –
Twitter –
Ameba Blog –

If climate change was not on your radar before this year, the 16-year old Swedish activist, Greta Thunberg, may have put it there. She has galvanized the young and old alike to wake up and smell the oil (and the forest) burning. She spearheaded weekly climate strikes and started using the hashtag #FridaysForFuture, which have inspired many young people to strike in cities and towns around the world. On September 20, three days before the UN Climate Summit in New York, people—including thousands in Tokyo—marched, demanding that action be taken by governments, corporations, and citizens to drastically reduce the amount of green house gases being spewed into the atmosphere.

Access an excellent article written by Marinel Ubaldo which was published in the December issue of TeenVogue at

Read the transcript of Greta Thunberg’s moving speech at the UN COP24 climate conference in Poland last year and see the video of it below:

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Global Festa 2019 — Learning about the World

Something called “Global Festa Japan 2019” will be held on September 28th and 29th at the Odaiba Center Promenade in Tokyo. There will be films from the UNHCR WILL2LIVE 2019 / 映画祭2019, a charity run, “talk shows” concerning various environmental issues, photo exhibits, musical performances, among many interesting and enjoyable events. NGOs representing numerous causes and issues will gather there, so it is an excellent chance for students who wish to take part in internships with domestic or international NGOs to see what’s available. Who knows…you might become inspired to change the world!

EVENT: Global Festa 2019/ グローバルフェスタJAPAN2019
WHEN: September 28th & 29th 2019 CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL SCHEDULE
WHERE: At Odaiba Center Promenade in Tokyo.

This YouTube video will give you an idea of what a previous year’s Global Festa looked like:

Here are just a few of the NGOs that will have participated in the event in the past:

Oxfam Japan
特定非営利活動法人 オックスファム・ジャパン

Action against Child Exploitation

Amnesty International Japan

TABLE FOR TWO International
テーブル フォー ツー インターナショナル

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WHEN & WHERE: Sept. 21 ~ 23 2019 イタリア文化会館 / Italian Culture Center;
Sept 28, 2019 グローバルフェスタ / Global Festa JAPAN2019 at Odaiba;
Oct. 4 & 5 2019文京シビックホール 小ホール / Bunkyo Civic Hall

COST: FREE (donations gratefully accepted)

* 参加無料
* 事前申し込みなし
* 各回上映45分前より整理券を会場にて、先着順で配布します(お一人につき1枚の配布、グローバルフェスタ2019の上映は入退場自由)
* 各回20分前の開場となり、整理券番号順にご案内します(自由席)
* 各回完全入替制

The UNHCR Refugee Film Festival has been rebranded this year as UNHCR WILL2LIVE Cinema 2019. Presently, 70.8 million people worldwide have been forced from their homes. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) provides necessary assistance to these displaced people and tries to insure that no one is left without a safe haven.

The films shown this year will focus on the will of refugees to survive and overcome obstacles. It is important to realize that anyone may be faced with such difficulties without warning due to climate change disruptions, war, natural disasters, or civil unrest. Films featuring the unbroken spirit of refugees have been intentionally chosen for this year’s lineup. The festival will take place this year from September 21 to October 14, 2019 at venues in both Tokyo and Nagoya.

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Ocean Day Event at AGU

Three speakers–a professional surfer (Wako Dai); an organizer of the Yokonori Nippon Film Festival (Kenmochi Ryosuke), a festival featuring films that celebrate surfing, skateboarding, snowboarding; and a marine researcher (Kyo Masanori) will speak about their love of surfing, the oceans, and the importance of environmental awareness and activism. These talks will be in Japanese.

EVENT: The Beach is Open, at Aoyama
WHEN: July 15, 2019 (Monday–Ocean Day), 19:00 ~ 20:30
WHERE: Aoyama Gakuin University; Aoyama Campus; 青山学院大学 本多記念国際会議場 Building 17 6th floor Click here.
LANGUAGE: Japanese (without interpretation)
TARGET AUDIENCE: Anyone interested in the ocean, nature, environmental issues, and surfing

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Lecture on Improving Japan’s Economy

Professor Takatoshi Ito, will try to answer such important questions as “What is Japan’s place today amongst the leading global economies?” and “Will the Tokyo Olympics next year stimulate the economy?” and “What have we learned from Abenomics?” Through a conversation with Dr Sabine Becker-Thierry, the UNU Chief of Staff, the recent reforms that Japan’s economy has been undergoing will be evaluated and explored.

EVENT: “Reviving Japan’s Economy: The Role of Policy”
WHEN: June 25, 2019 (Tuesday), 18:30 PM ~ 19:30 PM
WHERE: 2F Reception Hall at United Nations University Headquarters; Across street from AGU. Click here.
TARGET AUDIENCE: Anyone interested in economics and the future of Japan’s economy.


Takatoshi Ito is a Professor at the School of International and Public Affairs of Columbia University and Senior Professor at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies. He has taught in the United States and Japan since finishing his PhD in economics at Harvard University.

See a more detailed bio of Prof. Takatoshi Ito at:

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Talk on Sexual Justice and Citizenship

This lecture will trace black women’s resistance to sexual violence during the transition from slavery to freedom and reveals how their claims for sexual justice informed national debates about the meanings of freedom and citizenship. Black women’s relentless defense of themselves under impossible circumstances informed not only the anti-slavery discourse espoused by abolitionists, but also influenced the Republican party’s vision of racial equality from the 1850s until the end of Reconstruction.

Taken together, black women’s radical and often violent campaigns for sexual justice and Republican ideas about legal equality for free blacks (and fugitive slaves), reveals the emergence of a new sexual citizenship that culminated during the Civil War, when black women gained the right to withhold consent and to legally testify as victims of sexual assault under military law.

During Reconstruction, however, as Republican governments lost political power in the South, black women lost hard won rights of legal protection as “nightriders” and klansmen raped and sexually brutalized black women all over the south. Once again denied their right to testify and legal protection against white men’s sexual assaults, black women, such as Ida B. Wells, turned to the press and organized for sexual justice as a right of citizenship.

EVENT: Talk–“What if I am A Woman”: Black Women’s Campaigns for Sexual Justice
WHEN: June 25, 2019 (Tuesday), 16:50 PM ~ 18:10 PM (5th period)
WHERE: Aoyama Gakuin University; Aoyama Campus; Building 17, Room 411 (On 4th Floor) Click here.
TARGET AUDIENCE: Anyone interested in social justice, gender issues, and how history collides with present-day problems.


Crystal N. Feimster, a native of North Carolina, is an associate professor in the departments of African American Studies and History and the programs of American Studies and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Yale University, where she teaches a range of courses in 19th and 20th century African American history, women’s history, and southern history. She is the author of Southern Horrors: Women and the Politics of Rape and Lynching, a history of how black and white women in the US South were affected by, and responded to, the problems of rape and lynching in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Feimster has received numerous teaching and mentor awards at Yale and is an OAH Distinguished Lecturer.

Learn something more about Prof. Feimster’s work by checking out some of her publications:

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Talk on Japanese American History and Identity

Dr. Curtiss Takada Rooks’s lecture will incorporate Japanese American history and experience through the personal lens of his wife’s family (She is a Sansei; third generation Japanese American), his family (an interracial “War Bride” family) and his family intersecting multiple communities within and outside of the Japanese American community. Ample time will be provided to interact with Dr. Rooks, so bring plenty of questions.

EVENT: Talk on “A Japanese America Story: Resilience, Retention and Revitalization”
WHEN: May 23, 2019 (Thursday), 1:20 PM ~ 14:50 PM (3rd period)
WHERE: Aoyama Gakuin University; Aoyama Campus; Building 9, Room 940 (On 4th Floor) Click here.
TARGET AUDIENCE: All English Department IE students and any other interested students and faculty. individuals from outside of the university are also welcome.


Dr. Rooks earned his B.A. in 1979 with a double major in Economics and Asian Studies (honors) from Dartmouth College. He received his M.A. in Public Policy from Trinity College in 1982 and his Ph.D. in Comparative Culture from the University of California, Irvine. In 1996, he was a University of California Regents Fellow. Prior to his appointment at LMU, Dr. Rooks was a tenured assistant professor in Asian American Studies at San Jose State University.

His research interests include applied community-based research focusing on cultural competency in community health and ethnic community development. Current projects include a cultural assessment of Japanese and African American senior care-giving needs and community partnerships in chronic disease needs assessment in the Samoan community. A second research trajectory focuses on Asian American multiracial identity and diversity.

To be better prepared for the event and to learn something about Japanese American cultural history, check out this informative website:

NOTE: Toward the end of the lecture a feedback sheet was distributed. On that sheet, students could write questions that they may not have had time to ask Dr. Rooks during the lecture. All of those questions were subsequently compiled and sent to Dr. Rooks. He painstakingly answered all of the questions and sent his responses back to us. Here are the answers in their entirety: Responses to Student Questions

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Film Screening and Panel Discussion on Sexual Violence

A panel discussion and film screening on the topic of sexual violence will be open to all IE Program students, English Department students, Aogaku students in general, and the general public on May 30th from 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM in Room 921 on the Aoyama Campus. First, the documentary film, “Japan’s Secret Shame,” will be shown. That will be followed by a panel discussion that will explore themes outlined in the film, including the challenges of reporting and seeking justice around sexual violence in Japan.

EVENT: Film screening of “Japan’s Secret Shame” and panel discussion
WHEN: May 30, 2019 (Thursday), 7:00 PM ~ 9:30 PM
SCHEDULE: Doors open:7:00 PM
Screening:7:30 PM ~ 8:30 PM
Panel Discussion:8:30 PM ~ 9:30 PM

WHERE: Aoyama Gakuin University; Aoyama Campus; Building 9, Room 940 (On 4th Floor) Click here. [Notice that the room changed from 921 to 940!]
LANGUAGE: Film will be in English (with some Japanese dialog); Panel discussion will be in English.
TARGET AUDIENCE: Anyone who cares about the important issues brought up in the film and subsequent discussion. [article and film clips in Japanese] [article in English] [Brief description of the 1-hour film]

Disclaimer: Neither Aoyama Gakuin University (its English Department) nor TELL are responsible for the views expressed in the BBC documentary that will be shown at this event.

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