September 2021 Message from the Executive Director

“Couple” by mrhayata is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Despite our cool summer this year in East Anglia, the cosmos are in full bloom. In Japan these cheerful flowers are sometimes known as the ‘autumn cherry blossom’ and though they are not officially one of the seven flowers of autumn (aki no nanakusa 秋の七草), they are widely regarded as a harbinger of the changing seasons.

We are thrilled to be returning to in-person Third Thursday Lectures this month, and on 16th September welcome one of our Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Fellows, Dr Charlotte Linton, to the Cathedral Hostry. To ensure our audience is as safe and comfortable as possible, we have a number of special measures in place, including limiting the size of the audience for the time being to allow for some social distancing. We have been delighted to welcome friends old and new from around the world to our online Third Thursdays, and we plan to continue live streaming them so that everyone can continue to join us. We are all too aware of the potential for further disruption though, so please continue to pay close attention to our website and other communications.

We welcome two new Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Fellows to Norwich this month. Dr Koto Sadamura is a specialist on the influential 19th century Japanese artist Kawanabe Kyosai, and is closely involved in an exhibition about Kawanabe at the Royal Academy from March to June 2022. Dr Maumita Banerjee works on fashion and its role in the sociopolitics of modern Japan and India. We look forward to introducing them to you over the coming year.

 For this month’s e-bulletin we have articles from two of our colleagues who have made a tremendous contribution to keeping the Institute afloat during the pandemic. Dr Chris Hayes writes of the challenges and rewards of organising a research workshop online. Such workshops are one of the central activities of the Institute, and are normally an opportunity to bring leading specialists to Norwich to explore themes of shared interest and set new agendas for research. Oliver Moxham has hosted over forty Beyond Japan podcasts over the last year, and we will be continuing with this most impactful of initiatives as we move beyond the pandemic.

I hope you enjoy the articles and look forward to seeing you, either online or in person, at our new season of events and activities.

Professor Simon Kaner
Executive Director, Sainsbury Institute

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