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National Forum Series II


From Black Ships to a Black President
Images and Reality in US-Japan Relations

Series II Sponsor

Program Dates: November 9 - 12, 2009    
  Locations: West Michigan (Battle Creek and Grand Rapids), Minneapolis, MN & Toronto, Canada
  Collaboration: The Japan Society (Toronto, Canada), The Japan America Society of West Michigan, The Japan America Society of Minnesota and Astellas USA Foundation
  Speaker: William R. Farrell, PhD, Chairman of the National Association of Japan America Societies
  Theme: From the arrival of Commodore Matthew Perry and the Black Ships in 1853 to the historical election of America's first African-American president, Japan and the US have looked at each other through stereotypical lenses. This practice has led to serious problems across the spectrum of the relationship: social, political and economic. If misperceptions were commodities, each nation would have run a surplus.

Through the examination of woodblock prints, postcards (the internet of the 1890's), and contemporary political cartoons, the speaker takes the audience on a lively tour through history. Events such as Perry's arrival, the Road to Pearl Harbor, World War II, The Occupation, trade wars, and the current international situation are examined. The key premise being: historical observations that influenced domestic and international policy in the past remain with us today.

With the dawn of a new US administration and examination of US-Japan relationship, now might be a good time to travel retrospectively in order to place today's actions in perspective.
November 9, 2009 Toronto, Canada -Program Brochure
November 11, 2009 Grand Rapids & Battle Creek, MI -Program Brochure
November 12, 2009 Minneapolis, MN -Program Brochure
    -Program Flyer

NAJAS would like to recognize the direct support for this series from the Astellas USA Foundation. Without its support this speaker series would not have been possible.

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