Sophia Open Research Weeks 2020 (Nov. 6 - Nov. 23)

ICC hosts 4 events for the Sophia Open Research Weeks (SORW) this year.


November 7th (Sat)

Book talk: Women and Networks in Nineteenth Century Japan
Bettina Gramlich-Oka
Professor, FLA, Sophia University
November 7th, 2020 11:00 am – 12:30 pm (Tokyo time)
Book talk followed by Q & A session
On Zoom
Please register from here:


November 12th (Thu)

Branding Japanese Food
Katarzyna Cwiertka
November 12th, 2020 18:00 am – 19:30 pm (Tokyo time)
Book talk followed by Q & A session
On Zoom
Please register from here:


November 15th (Sun)

Film and Translation in Literature in Japanese, 1989-2019
November 15th, 2020 09:00 am to 11:30 am (JST)
On Zoom
Register from here

Part 1 - 09:00 am-10:00 am
・Lecture One: Dr. Barbara Thornbury (Temple University, USA)
Family and Society in Kore-eda Hirokazu's Kiki Kirin Films
・Lecture Two: Dr. Stephen Snyder (Middlebury College)
Translating Ogawa Yoko: Aesthetics meet the Market.”
Both lectures are accessible during the duration of the SORW and played on Nov 15. Click the title of the talk to watch the recording.
Part 2 - 10:00 am-11:30am
・Dr. Thornbury and Dr. Snyder will join us live via Zoom for a Q&A session with members of the LIJ 89-19 project.


November 18th (Wed): CANCELLED

The Whole Block Goes Down: Refugees in Japan’s detention centers during the pandemic
David H. Slater (Sophia University) and Rose Barbaran (Filmmaker of refugee life and politics in Tokyo)
November 18, 2020 7pm-8pm (canccelled)
Presentation will be followed by Q and A
On Zoom. Open to all
Language English

In the context of the global increase in displaced people, spiking to nearly 80 million in these corona times, Japan has also seen a dramatic increase in the number of applications for refugee asylum since 2010. Despite increasing numbers of applications, Japan has not increased its refugee recognition rate. Unable to return home to sure persecution when rejected, many refugees end up in Japanese detention centers once their visa expires. Like jails, hospitals and detention centers everywhere, detention centers in Japan are crowded and dangerous and unable to protect the detainees inside. Japan has been slower than many other countries to take precautions, including temporary release. This paper outlines some of the policy shifts that have led to this dangerous situation, the conditions of anxiety inside the detention centers themselves in Tokyo and Ibaraki and the problematic situation of “provisional release” of some detainees into a corona-infested Japan without any safety net or protection. We hope to not only point out the immediate danger of infection under COVID-19, but also the larger dynamic of using detention to manage a refugee asylum system that has proven to be ineffective and unjust.

This talk is #7 of Series: Vulnerable Populations in Japan under Covid-19