A symposium on Japanese war art will be held on 21 and 22 July 2022 at Flinders Victoria Square, Flinders University Adelaide. The event is an in-person event (available online for research team only). On 21 July, the launch of Four Years in a Red Coat, Translation of Miyakatsu Koike’s Loveday diary, (Wakefield, 2022) edited by Prof Peter Monteath (Flinders University) and Nikkei Australia’s Dr Yuriko Nagata (University of Queensland) will be held. Registrations are essential and close on 17 July 2022.

‘Thousands of Japanese people, and people of Japanese descent, were imprisoned in Australasia during World War II, but existing public knowledge of their internment is dominated by major incidents such as Cowra breakout and Featherston shooting. An extraordinary record of war camp life, to date overlooked by scholars, is the arts and crafts produced by the Japanese prisoners. This symposium, funded by the Toshiba International Foundation, examines the material culture made at prisoner of war and civilian camps across Australasia and the wider Pacific, and provides entirely new insights into Japanese-Australasian relations during the war, as well as the entanglements of art, identity, agency and human rights.’

Thursday 21 July 2022, Flinders Victoria Square, Adelaide, SA

3:30 pm – 4.00 pm : Registration

4:00 pm – 4:15 pm

Opening of the Symposium: Emeritus Prof Purnendra Jain (University of Adelaide)

4:15 pm – 5:00 pm

Keynote speech : Australian internment and POW camp histories , Prof Peter Monteath (Flinders University)

5:00 pm Drinks

5:15 pm – 6:00 pm

Book launch: Four Years in a Red Coat (Translation of Miyakatsu Koike’s Loveday diary, Wakefield, 2022). Edited by Prof Peter Monteath (Flinders University) and Dr Yuriko Nagata (University of Queensland)

Launched by Mr Junji Shimada (Consul-General of Japan, Melbourne)

Introduced by Mr Sebastian Raneskold (Vice-President and Pro Vice-Chancellor (International), Flinders University)

Friday 22 July 2022, Flinders Victoria Square Adelaide, SA

9:30 am – 10.00 am Registration

10:00am – 10:10am


10:10 am – 11:10 am

Section on ways to understand Japanese war art (online presentations)

  • Anthropology, Memory and Australian WWII Internment Camps tangible Heritages, Prof Pedram Khosronejad (Powerhouse Museum & Western Sydney University)
  • General Baba and Art in the Japanese POW camp in Borneo, Emeritus Prof Greg O’Brien (La Trobe University)

11:10 am – 12:10 pm

Section on Japanese history in Australia (in-person presentations)

  • Untold history of the Japanese civilians before, during and after WWII, Dr Tets Kimura (Flinders University)
  • Woolenook Japanese Internment Camp, Dr Judy Bailey and Geoff Bull (Renmark Irrigation Trust)

12:10pm – 1:15pm Break

1:15pm – 2:45pm

Section on Australia-Japan relations (in-person presentation)

  • Art and creativity in the Riverina: The Hay Internment Camps, 1940-46, Dr Seumas Spark (Monash University)
  • Japanese Prisoner of War Involvement in Allied Leaflet Propaganda, Sophie Constable (Australian National University)
  • Cowra’s ways of storytelling, Lawrance Ryan (Cowra Shire Council)

2:45pm – 3:15pm Break

3:15pm – 4:00pm Round table discussion

Japanese war art from Asia and the Pacific discovered in SA homes, Rosalind Jamieson and Jenny Preston, in conversation with Tets Kimura

4:00pm – 4:15pm concluding remarks

‘This symposium, funded by the Toshiba International Foundation (Japan), is open to academics, students, curators, art critics, and the public who are interested in Japanese/Australasian history and art history. The first phrase of the symposium took place on 11 February 2022 at the University of Canterbury where six presenters, mostly from New Zealand, already presented their papers. The second phase of the symposium will take place in Adelaide, South Australia, in July 2022. There will be no registration fee for attendees, but registration is mandatory for those who would like to join us over the internet (February) as well as those who would like to attend the event in-person in Adelaide. For further inquiry, please contact the symposium chairs, Dr Tets Kimura, tets.kimura@flinders.edu.au

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