CJS Celebrates 50 years

CJS 50th anniversary image

To celebrate its 50th anniversary at UC Berkeley, the Center for Japanese Studies planned a year of special events to honor the occasion.

Past events

Cal Japan Day

To celebrate our 50th anniversary, we are inviting Cal alumni and others with an interest in Japan back to campus for Cal Japan Day. This will officially launch a year of 50th anniversary celebrations with exciting events such as a reading by the novelist, Murakami Haruki, coming up in the Fall.

Anime Masters and Masterpieces: Grave of the Fireflies (火垂るの墓)

Film screening and roundtable discussion
Saturday, September 27, 2008 — 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Pacific Film Archive Theatre
Free and open to the public

Taking place toward the end of World War II in Japan, Grave of the Fireflies is the poignant tale of two orphaned children, Seita and his younger sister Setsuko, who try to survive amidst widespread famine and the callous indifference of their countrymen. Some critics consider it one of the most powerful anti-war movies ever made.

A roundtable discussion featuring Susan Napier, Frederick Schodt, Ian Condry, and Roland Kelts will follow the film screening.

Haruki Murakami in Conversation

Reading and Lecture followed by a Conversation with Roland Kelts
Saturday, October 11, 2008 — 8:00 PM
Zellerbach Hall

Claiming a global readership and internationally recognized as Japan's leading novelist, writer, and translator, Haruki Murakami is winner of the Yomiuri Prize for his critically acclaimed The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. The author's numerous works, which have been translated into 36 languages, lead the reader along the interstices between the mundane and the sublime. His work has been described as easily accessible, yet profoundly complex. Murakami's reading and lecture in Japanese and English will be followed by a conversation with Roland Kelts (Tokyo University lecturer and author of Japanamerica) and a question and answer period with the audience. Presented in association with Cal Performances.

Click here to read more about Haruki Murakami's visit to Berkeley.

Japanese Literature on the Global Stage: The Murakami Symposium

Sunday, October 12, 2008 — 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Alumni House
Free and open to the public

Panelists Jay Rubin, Rebecca Suter, Matthew Strecher, and Stephen Snyder will participate in a symposium to discuss the work of Harumi Murakami. Moderated by Alan Tansman and cosponsored by the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures and the Townsend Center for the Humanities.

Berkeley in Japan — The Inaugural Berkeley-Todai Forum

Tuesday, November 11, 2008 — 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM
This event will be held in Japan

UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau and University of Tokyo President Hiroshi Komiyama will be joined by a panel of professors from UC Berkeley and Todai to discuss the future of the public univeristy in the 21st century. Panelists include Daniel Kammen and Kazuhiko Takeuchi discussing Energy and Enviroment, John Lie and Kiichi Fujiwara discussing Globalization and Multiculturalism, Steve Vogel and Nobuhiro Hiwatari discussing Politics and Democracy: US-Japan, and Duncan Williams and Susumu Shimazono discussing Religion in a Global Age. The event is supported by the Shorenstein Fund at the Institute of East Asian Studies of UC Berkeley and cosponsored by the University of Tokyo, Japan.

Sadako Ogata and Japan's International Relations

Friday, November 14, 2008 — 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Lipman Room, Barrows Hall
This event is free and open to the public

Sadako Ogata — former United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and currently president of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency — will present the keynote speech on "US-Japan: Global Responsibility and Development Assistance" at the Symposium on Japan's International Relations. Panelists for the symposium on "Japan's International Relations: Diplomacy and Foreign Ai" include T.J. Pempel of UC Berkeley, and Shinichi Kitaoka, and Takatoshi Ito of the University of Tokyo. Moderated by Steve Vogel. The event is supported by the Shorenstein Fund at the Institute of East Asian Studies of UC Berkeley and cosponsored by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

US-Japan Baseball: History and Prospects

Symposium and Film Screening
Saturday December 6, 2008 - Sunday, December 7, 2008
This event is free and open to the public


Saturday, December 6
9:00 AM to 12:15 PM
Lipman Room, Barrows Hall

9:00 AM to 10:30 AM

Screening of the film The Zen of Bobby V (ESPN documentary, 2008, 86 min.)

10:30 AM to 11:30 AM



  • Jack Sakazaki (President of Japan Sports Marketing and Cal Class of 1971)


  • William Kelly (Yale University), author of The Hanshin Tigers and Professional Baseball in Modern Japan (forthcoming)
  • Warren Cromartie, former Yomiuri Giants player and MVP of Japan's Central League, also a Major Leaguer with the Montreal Expos and Kansas City Royals, and author of Slugging It Out in Japan
  • Andrew Gordon (Harvard University), author of The Unknown Story of Matsuzaka's Major League Revolution (in Japanese)
  • Masanori Murakami, Japan's first Major League Baseball Player and pioneer San Francisco Giant's pitcher, currently Director of the All Japan Baseball Foundation

A light reception will follow the panel discussion

Sunday, December 7
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Berkeley Art Museum Theatre

2:00 PM

Screening of the film American Pastime (Warner Brothers, 2007, 106 min.)

A screening of American Pastime — a film on baseball in the WWII Japanese American internment camps — will be followed by a discussion with the associate producer of the film, Kerry Nakagawa (also author of Through a Diamond: 100 Years of Japanese American Baseball).

This event is cosponsored by Yomiuri Shimbun and the Department of Athletics.

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