Five College Consortium

Five College Center for East Asian Studies (FCCEAS)

Upcoming Webinars

Green Island, with author Shawna Yang Ryan

Jan. 22, 2019, 7:00 PM EST

Shawna Yang Ryan is a former Fulbright scholar in Taiwan who teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. "As the novel sweeps across six decades and two continents, the life of the narrator shadows the course of Taiwan's history from the end of Japanese colonial rule to the decades under martial law and, finally, to Taiwan's transformation into a democracy."

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A Girls’ Guide to the Islands, with author Suzanne Kamata.

Jan. 30, 2019, 7:00 PM EST

“The American writer Suzanne Kamata had lived in Japan for more than half of her life, yet she had never explored the small nearby islands of the Inland Sea. The islands, first made famous by Donald Richie’s The Inland Sea 50 years ago, are noted for displaying artwork created by prominent, and sometimes curious, international artists and sculptors: Naoshima’s wealth of museums, including one devoted to 007, Yayoi Kusama’s polka dot pumpkins, Kazuo Katase’s blue teacup, and a monster rising out of a well on the hour in Sakate, called “Anger at the Bottom of the Sea”―to name a few. Spurred by her teen-aged daughter Lilia's burgeoning interest in art and adventure, Kamata sets out to show her the islands’ treasures. Mother and daughter must confront several barriers on their adventure. Lilia is deaf and uses a wheelchair. It is not always easy to get onto -- or off of -- the islands, not to mention the challenges of language, culture, and a generation gap. A Girls’ Guide to the Islands takes the reader on a rare visit by a unique mother and daughter team.” (P O'Hare Gemma Open door for Literacy)

This book will be of interest to anyone who wants to read about young people in Japan today, and it will appeal to a broad spectrum of students, including English Language Learners and reluctant readers.

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*This book is currently available for free to Kindle Unlimited members.*

From Beirut to Hiroshima? The Middle East, Peace Building and Japan's "City of Peace"

Feb. 13, 2019, 7:00 PM EST

Ray Matsumiya has worked in public diplomacy and peacebuilding in the Middle East region since 1997. During this time, his organization, UME ( has implemented 45 programs in the United States, Spain, Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt for over 2500 educators and civil society leaders. However, during UME’s 20-year history, no program has been more effective than one implemented in a most surprising location – Japan.

In 2016, UME implemented the Oleander Initiative - a program that gathers high school teachers from throughout the Middle East and the US to Hiroshima, Japan to co-design peace education projects for their students. Over the past three years, the "lessons of Hiroshima" have resonated deeply in the Middle East and Oleander educators have gone on to impact tens of thousands of students in their home countries. 

This webinar will explore why the Oleander Initiative has been so successful including: the political/ cultural perceptions of Japan in the Middle East region, the intercultural dynamics of American and Middle Eastern participants interacting in the third culture of Japan, and the unique qualities of the “City of Peace” that make it a particularly effective location for peacebuilding programs. 

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Taiwan and the World

Mar. 5, 2019, 7:00 PM Eastern Time

Join Professor James Lin, University of Washington Taiwan Studies Program, as he discusses Taiwan's place in the world today. 

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