UEA conference examines Okinawan art and culture

External event - UEA

Thursday 10 October, 2019 - Friday 11 October, 2019

The art and culture of the Okinawan chain of islands will be the focus of a two-day conference at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in October, to be followed by a reception and musical performance.

The conference, ‘Okinawan art in its regional context’, will be held Oct 10-11 on the UEA campus in Norwich, as part of the Japan-UK Season of Culture 2019-2020. It will explore the socio-cultural complexities of Okinawan identity over the course of history, examining the intersection between art, politics and identity.

The conference is convened by Dr Eriko Tomizawa-Kay, a lecturer in Japanese language in UEA’s School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies. Dr Tomizawa-Kay, who specialises in modern Japanese art history, has been awarded fellowships at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures, where she is now an academic associate.

Dr Tomizawa-Kay said: “This conference will shed light on how Okinawan arts and cultures have been shaped by internal political situations and by a triple subjugation to the United States, Japan and China.

“We will bring together a unique selection of scholars in art history, history, politics, sociology and performing arts, looking at Okinawans’ changing identities and regional struggles.”

The international panel includes talks by artists and scholars, with a performance from the London Okinawan Sanshinkai and a reception following the final presentations.

The ‘Okinawan art in its regional context’ conference is sponsored by the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures, The Japan Foundation London, and The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation. This event is part of the Embassy of Japan’s Japan-UK Season of Culture 2019-2020.

The conference, including the keynote sessions, is open to the public and free to attend. To reserve a place, please RSVP by October 1 to Eriko Tomizawa-Kay on

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