Upcoming UN University Talk

On Tuesday, March 26th—from 18:30 to 19:30—at the United Nations University—there will be a lecture on “Counter-terrorism at the UN: Coordinating Cooperation and Reconciling Human Rights and Security,” a Conversation with Mike Smith. In 2006, the UN General Assembly initiated a Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy to address the causes of terrorism while promoting respect for human rights. However, the UN has been questioned about the effectiveness of its involvement in the fight against terrorism. What has the UN’s work on counter-terrorism achieved in the past twenty years? Come to this talk to find out!

Register for the talk at: https://connections.unu.edu/civicrm/event/register?id=428&reset=1 .

EVENT: Lecture on “Counter-terrorism at the UN: Coordinating Cooperation and Reconciling Human Rights and Security”
WHEN: Tuesday, March 26, 2019
SCHEDULE: From 18:30 to 19:30 — A buffet will follow
WHERE: United Nations University (Across street from Aoyama campus of AGU Click here.
LANGUAGE: This event will be in English only; Japanese interpretation will not be provided. Advance registration (by 25 March 2019) is required.
TARGET AUDIENCE: Anyone who cares about peace, the world, and how to maintain a peaceful world.

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Documentary on Okinawan Dugong

We would like to announce a free screening of “Zan,” a documentary about the last of the Okinawan Dugong and the people who strive to protect them. Located in the outstandingly beautiful and bio diverse Henoko, Oura bay, the Dugong is facing its last stand. Its feeding grounds are threatened by the construction of a US Marine base. This film follows Yu Kisami as he brings us on a journey of discovery. Aided by the NGO NACJS, in this event we will meet the people who are working tirelessly to protect this beautiful part of the world, a natural heritage for Japan. Although it’s free, please indicate you will be coming by clicking on “going” at this FB event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/246117192982676/.

EVENT: Documentary on Okinawan Dugong & Accompanying Talk Show
WHEN: Saturday, January 26, 2019
SCHEDULE: Doors open:13:45
Talk show:15:30-16:30

WHERE: Aoyama Gakuin University Honda Auditorium Building 17, 6th Floor Click here.
LANGUAGE: Film will be in Japanese (with English subtitles); Talk show will be in Japanese.
TARGET AUDIENCE: Anyone who cares about the wildlife and people of Okinawa.


場所:青山学院大学 本多記念国際会議場 Building 17, 6th floor



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Job and Internship Possibilities

Occasionally we post job or internship opportunities that we hear about. Here are a few:

This is the link of job vacancy information at the British Embassy Tokyo. [They have not advertised internship information yet, but it’s worth checking feedback from past participants.]

Delegation of the EU to Japan:

Jobs and internships at the US Embassy in Japan:

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Lecture on Martin Luther King and Gospel Performance

Makoto Fujimura, the artist and the author of the books Silence and Beauty and Culture Care, brings Fujimura Fellow and Gospel Singer/Producer September Penn, and New York Times writer Ivan Penn to Tokyo. There will be lectures and a Q&A by Makoto Fujimura and Ivan Penn, along with a performance by September Penn with an accompanist.

Fujimura will lecture on “Dr. King and Culture Care.” Tracing the history of Dr. Martin Luther King, he will connect Dr. King’s work with his thesis of Culture Care using his own work. Ivan Penn will lecture on “Journalism, Theater and Martin Luther King’s Papers.”

EVENT: Lecture and concert focusing on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
WHEN: Tuesday, December 11, 2018; 16:50 ~ 20:00
WHERE: 青山キャンパス ガウチャー記念礼拝堂 Goucher Chapel

September Penn

RSVP: This is a free event and prior registration is not necessary here.
LANGUAGE: Both Japanese and English
TARGET AUDIENCE: Anyone interested in the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and fans of gospel music.

Martin Luther King Jr. was a Baptist minister and social activist, who led the Civil Rights Movement in the United States from the mid-1950s until his death by assassination in 1968.

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Performance of ‘A Hound of the Baskervilles’

Members of Black Stripe Theater will perform an adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic masterpiece ‘A Hound of the Baskervilles’, a story of mystery, murder, and the supernatural. Based on one of the best-loved novels of all-time and featuring the investigatory quick-witted duo of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson, this humorous version has been adapted by actor and writer Brandon Francis and reworked for four actors.

EVENT: Dramatization of the story “Hound of the Baskervilles”
WHEN: December 6th (Thursday); 3rd period 13:20~14:50 AND an additional performance at 4th period 15:05~16:35
WHERE: Room 1123 — Building 11 on the 2nd Floor at 3rd period and Honda Auditorium (17-610) at 4th period
TARGET AUDIENCE: IE students and any other interested parties who love live theater

Download a comic version of ‘A Hound of the Baskervilles’ and try reading it before the performance. [Click on the image below.]

You might also prepare your students for the performance by having them perform this dramatization of the story.

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Special Lecture on Animal Protection

The speaker, Airi Yamawaki, will show movie clips and photo images from her organization’s activities in both Kenya and Japan. She will talk about how complex it is to protect wildlife, especially a species like the African Elephant, where some countries justify traditional use whilst ivory is being traded for easy cash by criminal syndicates and terrorist groups. One of the documentary films she initiated shows that some of the ivory from Kenya was being smuggled by Islamic extremists. She will also talk about the ongoing efforts by her organization in Kenya to work with local communities and tribes, such as the Maasai, to protect wildlife.

Airi Yamawaki is a producer who is adamant about wildlife conservation because of her unique background. She grew up in South Africa. After graduating university, she spent the next decade filming African stories, covering such personalities and topics as Nelson Mandela and lions that hunt elephants. 2011 was the turning point for her. 10% of the world’s African Elephant population was lost in that year to poaching and habitat loss. She was inspired to start the NGO “Tears of the African Elephant” and, ever since, she has been involved in various efforts to resolve Japan’s ivory issue and to protect the elephants from poaching and illegal trade.

EVENT: Talk on impact of global consumption of wildlife products on African people/wildlife
WHEN: Thursday, November 22, 2018; 13:20~14:50–3rd Period
WHERE: Room 940–Fourth Floor of Bulding 9 on the Aoyama Campus of Aoyama Gakuin University Click here.
LANGUAGE: English (without Japanese interpretation)
TARGET AUDIENCE: Anyone who cares about animals and about their future on this planet.
WHAT TO PREPARE: Prepare by accessing the home pages of WildAid and Tears of the African Elephant

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Talk by Filmmaker Linda Ohama

Speaker: Ms. Linda Ohama

Topic: “Obachan’s Garden” and Wartime Internment of Japanese Residents of Canada and America

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

Date: Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Time: 1:10 PM to 2:40 PM (3rd period)

Ms. Linda Ohama is an award-winning Japanese Canadian filmmaker who produced and directed the film Obachan’s Garden ( http://culturevulture.net/film/obachans-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 show scenes from her film Obachan’s Garden and talk about one of the historical events depicted in the film, the internment of Japanese Canadians in internment camps. After she toured comparable internment camps in the United States recently, she came to reflect on the similarities and differences between the Japanese Canadian and Japanese American experiences during this deeply troubled time in history. Those reflections will also be featured in Ms. Ohama’s lecture and film screening.

To be even better prepared for the lecture, you may wish to download and read an article reviewing “Obachan’s Garden” that Gregory Strong contributed to the Daily Yomiuri. The article appeared on November 14, 2002, as the film was being screened throughout Japan for the first time. The article is followed by some skimming and scanning, and comprehension questions.

Finally, it would 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. You can check out Wikipedia’s page on Japanese internment and an entry in the Canadian Encyclopedia about the history of the Japanese in Canada.

Here is a photograph of the Murakami Visitor center in Steveston, a small community near Vancouver, the former home of Asayo Murakami (Linda Ohama’s Obachan).

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Veggie Food Festival in Yoyogi Park

The annual Tokyo Veggie Food Festa at Yoyogi Park—in the area in front of NHK Hall—will be held on the 21st and 22nd of October 2018. The festival features approximately 100 food booths, talk shows, and entertainment.


The event is a great way to learn what vegetarians and vegans eat. Although the name of the festival has “veggie” in it, the food at the event is entirely vegan (without any animal products whatsoever). Among the diverse range of stalls participating, you will find macrobiotic cafes, organic vegetable sellers, and fair trade products. There are opportunities to communicate with people from a variety of countries in a convivial atmosphere.


EVENT: Tokyo Vegefood Festa 2018/ 東京ベジフードフェスタ2018
WHEN: October 21 & 22 (Saturday & Sunday — from 10 AM)
WHERE: Yoyogi Park, Keyaki Namiki St. (in front of NHK Hall)
SCHEDULE: From 10 AM – 5 PM (until 8 PM on Saturday)

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Meiji Jingu’s “AKI NO SAI” — Autumn Festival

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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Seminar on the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Just across the street from Aoyama Gakuin University is another university that serves as a global think tank and postgraduate teaching organization, the United Nations University. This unique university is meant to serve as a bridge between the international academic community and the United Nations system. They frequently hold open lectures and seminars. The evening lectures are usually only an hour in length and feature a moderator interviewing a distinguished guest for 30 minutes, followed by Q & A for another 30 minutes. After the talk, there is a buffet and drinks are served. It’s all free of charge!


Recent guest speakers have included Helen Clark, the former Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1999 to 2008, and Alex de Waal, an expert on the mechanisms for the how famines come about and how to fight them. Find out about future events, which are held on an almost weekly basis, at: http://unu.edu/events.

On Thursday, September 20th—from 18:00 at the United Nations University—there will be a a seminar on “Implementing Solutions for the SDGs: The Role of Sustainability Research.” At this event you can learn what SDGs are and how they are being implemented. “SDGs” stands for “sustainable development goals.”

EVENT: Seminar on “Implementing Solutions for the SDGs”
WHEN: Thursday, September 20, 2018; 18:00~20:05
WHERE: United Nations University CLICK HERE for directions
RSVP: This is a free event but register here.
LANGUAGE: There will be simultaneous interpretation
TARGET AUDIENCE: Anyone interested in the world and how it works; at least intermediate English listening ability is recommended.

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