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Seminars & Symposiums

Osaka & Kyoto Culture Classes for the second half of 2011 -- the Climate and Scenes of Osaka and Kyoto

2011-10-17 (Mon) - 2011-12-5 (Mon)

Osaka and Kyoto, two cities in an area that developed very early in East Asia, even now remain as sources of rich new culture. In Kyoto Culture Classes for the second half of 2011, we will take a look at the natural countryside, climate, topography, and urban space found in Osaka and Kyoto as well as at future challenges and problems they will face.


  • Class 1: Monday, October 17 -- 2:00 - 3:40 p.m. "Regional Characteristics of Osaka and their Challenges," TSUTSUMI Kenji, Professor, Graduate School of Letters, Osaka University
  • In this first class of 4 classes about Osaka, the outline of regional characteristics of Osaka will be explained. Citing the example of Senri New Town, participants will ponder the problems of a declining population, aging society, and suggested solutions. Less-populated areas will also be introduced.
  • Class 2: Monday, October 24 -- 2:00 - 3:40 p.m. "Snow fell in Heian Kyo, [the old capital of Japan] -- Making Mountains of Snow during the Dynasty Period," KATAHIRA Hirofumi, Professor, College of Letters, Ritsumeikan University
  • In Heian Kyo, Kyoto, from the 8th to 12th centuries, even 30 cm of snow was considered a heavy snow. People often made and enjoyed making mountains of snow in the dynasty era. We will examine such elegant pastimes from the viewpoint of the climate and weather during that time.
  • Class 3: Monday, October 31 -- 2:00 - 3:40 p.m. "Castle Town Osaka -- Thinking about Osaka in the Edo Period," KOBAYASHI Shigeru, Professor, Graduate School of Letters, Osaka University
  • Osaka in the Edo Period was called the 'Nation's Kitchen' and few people considered Osaka a castle town. In fact, Osaka, different from other castle towns, was clearly the town where Osaka Castle was located. We will think about types of samurai warriors stationed in Osaka, their roles, and the meaning of Osaka Castle. Also, in the Edo Period, Kyoto was considered a castle town and, in that sense, was similar to Osaka. Putting this fact in perspective, we will take an unconventional approach regarding castle towns in the Edo Period.
  • Class 4: Monday, November 7 -- 2:00 - 3:40 p.m. "Virtual Kyoto -- Digital Topography of Historical City of Kyoto," YANO Keiji, Professor, College of Letters, Ritsumeikan University
  • As a new academic field combining information science and cultural science, Digital Humanities is attracting a lot of attention these days. In this class, through the eye of digital humanities, we will view changes in the historical city of Kyoto via a virtual Kyoto tour on a computer. Using digital maps, we'll take a look at digitally generated topography.
  • Class 5: Monday, November 14 -- 2:00 - 3:40 p.m. "Osaka's Inner City and the Challenges of City Rebirth," TAKAYAMA Masaki, Professor, Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University
  • Inner city problems will be explained in relation to London Docklands. We will also discuss the urban renewal of Osaka by examining the situation and problems of Osaka's inner city.
  • Class 6: Monday, November 21 -- 2:00 - 3:40 p.m. "Disasters and the Entertainment Districts in Kyoto," TAKAHASHI Manabu, Professor, College of Letters, Ritsumeikan University
  • Kyoto has a lot of interesting areas for sightseeing such as Gion and Ponto-cho. These areas are crowded with tourists, but are easily stricken by earthquakes and floods. We will study how these entertainment districts were created and their problems.
  • Class 7: Monday, November 28 -- 3:40 p.m. "Garbage Issues in Modern Osaka," NAMIE Akihiko, Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Letters, Osaka University
  • The garbage issue in Osaka has changed greatly together with social changes brought about by modernization, WW II, postwar reconstruction and globalization. We will review these big changes and consider future garbage problems facing Osaka.
  • Class 8: Monday, December 5 -- 2:00 - 3:40 p.m. "Famous Spots in Kyoraku and Scenes with Enseki," KATO Masahiro, Associate Professor, College of Letters, Ritsumeikan University
  • We will focus on Enseki [banquet] in Kyoraku in this class. At the banquet persons enjoy not only eating and drinking, but also viewing dances accompanied by a shamisen. Enseki, that resulted from a close relationship between its popularity and the climate of Kyoto, has given birth to unique scenery.

Please note that in circumstances beyond our control, the above schedule may be modified.

Sponsored by: 21st Century of Osaka University, College of Letters, Ritsumeikan University, Ritsumeikan Osaka Campus, Ritsumeikan Tokyo Campus

Venue: Ritsumeikan Osaka Campus -- 5th floor, Osaka Fukoku Seimei Building, 2-4, Komatsubara-cho, Kita-ku, Osaka

For more information, contact: osaka-of[at] (When using this address, please replace [at] with @.)

Date: 2011-10-17 (Mon) - 2011-12-5 (Mon)
Registration: Registration by email is necessary.

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