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Between Philosemitism and Antisemitism in Modern Japan

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Mortara Center for International Studies

36th Street Northwest

Washington, DC 20007

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The CJC invites you to Dr. Rotem Kowner's lecture, "Attitudes Towards Jews in Contemporary Japan and Their Implications."

About this Event

Dr. Rotem Kowner's lecture will specifically focus on, "Japan’s Only Righteous Among the Nations: Consul Sugihara’s 1940 Visa issuing and Its Transnational Commemoration."

The Japanese Consul Sugihara Chiune issued visas to thousands of Jewish refugees stranded in Lithuania in the summer of 1940. Kowner will discuss the myth and reality behind Chiune's legacy and the way it is used and abused today in several countries, involving nationalism and antisemitism.

This examination of Consul Sugihara’s role in the wartime escape of Jews from Lithuania and its postwar commemoration is part of Kowner's on-going study of Japan’s policies towards Jews in modern times and during World War II in particular.

About the speaker:

Dr. Rotem Kowner is professor of modern Japanese history at the University of Haifa, Israel. A founder of the Department of Asian Studies at his institution, he served as its first chair from 2002 to 2008. He is the immediate past chair of the Israeli Association of Japanese Studies, which he co-founded in 2012, and currently he is the head of the Liberal Arts program at the University of Haifa and the inter-university graduate program The Asian Sphere. Kowner's research has focused on Japan’s wars and imperial expansion, alongside questions of race and identity in modern Japan. His recent works in these domains include the monograph From White to Yellow (vol. I): The Japanese in European Racial Thought, 1300-1735 (McGill-Queens University Press, 2014), the two co-edited volumes Race and Racism in Modern East Asia (Brill, 2013-2015); the second edition of his Historical Dictionary of the Russo–Japanese War (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017), as well as numerous articles. Two more books are forthcoming: From Yellow to Inferior: The Japanese and the Dawn of Modern Racial Thought, 1735-1854 (McGill-Queen's University Press; and The Battle of Tsushima (Oxford University Press).

Light refreshments will be served prior to the event. RSVP is encouraged.

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Any person with an accommodation request is welcome to email us at cjcinfo@georgetown.edu. We will try to meet these accommodation requests to the best of our ability.

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Mortara Center for International Studies

36th Street Northwest

Washington, DC 20007

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