Japan – A Nation in Search of a New Path
Where: The Explorers Club
46 E. 70th St.
212-628-8383 Price: $25
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During the last ice age, the sea level was low enough to expose Japan, Korea and China as a part of the single landmass. The story of these East Asian countries has been interlinked ever since. China of course is the largest and had the most influence on Japan and Korea. The Chinese-influenced cultures have evolved differently based on their unique geography, history and culture. However, they are many similarities, thus appropriately the three great economies of Japan, Korea and China are often referred to as a trilogy of nations.
Throughout the history of Japan, Korea and China, a cultural legacy of Confucianism was infused into each country’s respective societies and had a profound effect on all aspects of life. Buddhism spread from China to Korea and Japan that helped shape spiritual codes of the societies. Contacts with European traders and missionaries shaped developments in the later centuries leading to a dramatic period of WWII. Since then the three great nations have chosen to shed feudal or imperial systems of government and experimented with communism or capitalism. Japan, Korea and China represent three good examples of modern economic miracles that have lifted millions of people out of poverty. However, they all have unique challenges as the 21st century unfolds and are pursuing different course for continued prosperity.
Sam Mehta’s presentation will take a deeper view of Japan. Japan’s influence from the Mainland China shaped foundations of the Japanese culture. However, because of Japan’s relative isolation of the archipelago gave rise a very distinct character found nowhere else in the region. Japan’s history is marked by an alternating period isolation from and connection with the neighbors with dramatic transformation of nation after WWII. Sam Mehta aims to show through his lens and narration, the character of this cultural Galapagos full of contracts between modern and traditional. Sam hopes to present the diversity of Japanese landscapes, sites, architecture, arts and crafts, costumes, tea ceremony, exotic foods, pop culture, festivals and lingering legacy of Shintoism, Buddhism and Confucianism that continue to shape the Japanese way of life.
Through his images and words Sam will attempt to share fascinating people and places of Japan and highlight cultural elements that bind the trilogy together and self-interests and contractions that pull them apart. Sam will paint the state of current affairs. Japan is facing an aging and a declining population over the next few decades. Sam will share his views on Japan’s other key challenges ahead as the 21st century unfolds. Japan is a nation in search of a new path since its progress is at standstill for the last two decades.
There are lessons to be learned from the West and West too has lessons to learn from Japan’s experiences. The story of Japan has implications of all with accelerating forces of globalization and mind-blowing technological changes and that is why this presentation is relevant for all.
6pm Reception, 7pm LectureBuy tickets/get more info now