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1918-2018: 100 Years of Theater Research in Iași

International Conference of Doctoral School for Theater and Performing Arts and the Research Center of The Faculty of Theater at the George Enescu National University of Arts

Open access

Stefan Kolar

Abstract

The People’s Republic of China and Japan have been at odds with each other for over a century. Their modern relationship was shaped by imperialism, territorial disputes, and two wars. With the end of the bipolar power structure of the Cold War, both nations are vying for regional leadership. The unresolved territorial dispute over the Senkaku/Diàoyú Islands (Senkaku shotō 尖閣諸島/ Diàoyúdǎo jí qí fùshǔ dǎoyǔ 钓岛及其附属岛屿) in the East China Sea serves as a constant catalyst for clashes between both powers and seems to be pushing towards a violent eruption. Thus, this paper assesses the risk of an interstate war between China and Japan in the twenty-first century. By employing the Steps to War theory, each step nations usually take before engaging in war, it will be analysed in order to see how far the brewing Sino-Japanese conflict has developed. This paper aims at answering the questions of the current risk of war, whether there is a palpable shift towards conflict escalation during the twenty-first century, and if so, identifying the main drivers for this development and ascertaining whether threats to stability are currently increasing or decreasing.

Open access

Gerd Kaminski and Fangfang Xu

Abstract

Compared to other ethnic groups, oversea Chinese constitute a smaller portion of the Austrian population. However, they still share many common values, while leading a diverse social and cultural life. This paper focuses on Chinese associations as a significant part of the Austrian Chinese community. First, we introduce the history of overseas Chinese associations in Austria, especially the first two founded in Austria in the early 1990s. Then, we discuss the general characteristics and main functions of overseas Chinese associations, followed by an overview of other Chinese associations in Austria. Lastly, we propose a classification system of overseas Chinese associations based on selected characters, including shared provenance, profession, ideology, natural characteristics, and hobbies.

Open access

Eva Ignatuschtschenko

Abstract

This paper comparatively analyses the e-waste sector in China, Japan, and Vietnam by examining progress towards the international best practice model of Integrated Sustainable Waste Management (ISWM) within each country. Through three distinct, yet interdependent dimensions of ISWM (stakeholders, waste system elements, and sustainability aspects), similarities and differences between the three East Asian countries are identified. The analysis shows that the e-waste management approaches differ substantially. The Vietnamese e-waste management approach is least consistent with the ISWM framework, while Japan complies the most with the ideals of the model and Chinese progress towards ISWM is mostly located between the two countries. However, a substantial proportion of Japanese e-waste is exported to developing countries in an uncontrolled manner. The analysis further suggests that the state of development and national characteristics have a significant impact on how the three countries approach e-waste management. In particular, the central role of the informal e-waste sectors in China and Vietnam poses a challenge to the establishment of an effective integrated sustainable e-waste management system. In light of the transnational flow of e-waste in the region, only joint actions will lead to long-term solutions to the increasing threat of e-waste to the environment and human health.

Open access

Martin Mandl

Abstract

“Food can be studied from the viewpoint of many disciplines” (Mennell, Murcott, and Otterloo 1992: 35), however it is rarely used to identify regionality above nation states. Talking about East Asian food or an East Asian culinary sphere however does imply this regionality. By means of ingredients used, this paper is therefore testing four Asian nations for membership in this potential culinary region. While distinctive local taste preferences are not denied, this paper draws on diverse evidence to argue for common patterns pointing towards an East Asian culinary region. In doing so, it does not define the region exclusively but rather limits its scope for feasibility, inviting future research to expand on its findings.

Open access

Rudiger Frank

Abstract

Starting with the public introduction of Kim Jong-un to the public in autumn of 2010 and ending with observations of consumerism in February 2017, this collection of 16 short research notes that were originally published at 38North discusses some of the most crucial issues, aside from the nuclear problem, that dominated the field of North Korean Studies in the past decade. Left in their original form, these short articles show the consistency of major North Korean policies as much as the development of our understanding of the new leader and his approach. Topics covered include the question of succession, economic statistics, new ideological trends such as pyŏngjin, technological developments including a review of the North Korean tablet computer Samjiyŏn, the Korean unification issue, special economic zones, foreign trade, parliamentary elections and the first ever Party congress since 1980.

Open access

Christina Gmeinbauer

Abstract

As a relatively young medium, videogames have become an important part of global popular culture that cannot be underestimated. Due to rapid technological advances, the contents of today’s videogames are becoming increasingly complex. While games are publicly often denounced for causing aggression, violence, or even mental illness, game studies oppose such stereotypical views and seek possibilities to conduct research on digital games in a systematic and thorough manner. This paper draws on approaches from game studies to examine videogames from the perspective of Japanese studies. Assuming that videogames, like other mass media, take part in and shape socially relevant discourses, it will be analysed how the relation between ‘self’ and ‘other’ is constructed in Fire Emblem: Sōen no kiseki and Akatsuki no megami, Tales of Symphonia, and Zeruda no densetsu: Mujura no kamen. For this purpose, the games’ content and character design will be taken into account. Special emphasis will be placed on the question how the relationship between ‘self’ and ‘other’ becomes manifest in the relation between the player and the characters that is constructed during gameplay.

Open access

Brigitte Pickl-Kolaczia

Abstract

This paper aims to analyse a possible connection between the renovation of imperial tombs in the Bunkyū era (1861-1864) and the restoration of imperial power in 1868. While there is no direct continuity between these two events, a connection certainly exists. In a time when Japan faced foreign threats and domestic turmoil, certain groups and persons felt it was time to elevate the institution of the emperor to the-supposed-former glory. One way of doing this was the restoration of the imperial tombs that had fallen into disrepair and the renewal of imperial ancestor worship. The Bunkyū Restoration can be seen as one of the many puzzle pieces that together formed the process that led to the Meiji Restoration.

Open access

Sarah Anna Juen

Abstract

In this day and age a continuous flow of ideas and culture takes place, which is part of the globalisation process. These exchanges influence the development of a transcultural literature. Murakami Haruki is not only a transcultural writer, but one of the most popular and internationally acclaimed authors of contemporary Japanese literature who has changed the literary scene in Japan since the publication of his debut novel Kaze no uta o kike (Hear the Wind Sing). Murakami has experimented with postmodern expressions and eventually developed his own writing style, which integrates elements of Western cultures into his works. This paper focuses on the author’s transcultural strategy, which is often reflected in his choice of the setting and time frame, the frequent mentioning of cultural consumer goods and linguistic features such as the utilisation of loanwords. In particular, references to music and literature play a major role in Murakami’s publications. This paper analyses how and to what extent transculturality influences the characters, their actions, and the storyline on the basis of the short story “Nemuri” (Sleep) published in 1989. In the process it is concluded that, above all, these references underpin aspects such as the search for identity, the escape into ‘another world’, and the rejection of societal norms and values.

Open access

Monika Kocot

Abstract

The article will attempt a reading of Alan Spence’s play No Nothing (2015). Special attention will be given to the issue of literal and metaphorical space(s), a peculiar, liminal setting of the play, and the ways it determines the flyting between the two characters, two iconic Glaswegians: Edwin Morgan and Jimmy Reid. It seems that in this theatrical space history, politics and poetry inter-are. We may notice how two completely different masters of speech (a poet and a trade union leader) exchange their views on life, how they reflect upon the meaning of their achievements, and how they find a space of convergence in their affirmation of life. As their flyting is “about life, the Universe and everything—from Glasgow to Infinity and beyond,” the article will also address the space of dialogue between Spence’s and Morgan’s poetry. The metaphor of Indra’s net will serve as a useful tool in exploring spatial dimensions of the play and the issue of interconnectedness.