On Friday, October 21-Sunday, October 23, 2022, NipCA project fellow supervisor Associate Professor Leslie Tkach Kawasaki attended the 34th Annual Conference of the Japan Studies Association of Canada (JSAC) in Toronto Metropolitan University, Toronto, Canada
As one of the foremost academic societies in Canada devoted to multidisciplinary research involving Japan, the JSAC’s annual conference is highly regarded for its vibrant academic exchange and congenial atmosphere. With the theme of “Translation,” this year’s conference welcomed over 50 researchers, including many graduate students and early career researchers. Dr. Tkach-Kawasaki has been a JSAC member for many years and is one of the editors for the 2021 and 2022 conference proceedings.
This year’s conference started on Friday, October 21 with the first session directly addressing the conference theme of “Translation,” followed by the first of three keynote lectures by noted translator Ted Goossen of York University, Canada. After lunch, Noriko Yamamoto of the Japan Foundation, Toronto, and Ozgur Turetken, Associate Dean of Research in the Ted Rogers School of Management, Toronto Metropolitan University gave their welcome remarks to conference attendees. The second keynote speech by Eleanor Westney of York University, Toronto, was given in the late afternoon.
On Saturday, October 22, the second full day of the conference, Dr. Tkach-Kawasaki gave her presentation entitled “Translating Views into Votes: Trends in Engaging Young Japanese Voters.” Her research showed how political parties and candidates are using innovative online media means to appeal to the electorate, especially young people. Through video, gamification, and various online channels, their transformative political marketing techniques are heralding a new “online” era in Japanese political marketing that seeks to transform “views” into “votes.” Her presentation was followed by a lively discussion about political communication trends among political parties in Japan.
The third keynote lecture by Naoki Sakai of Cornell University was a fascinating account of the “individuality of language and the modern international world,” which also engendered much discussion among conference participants. The conference concluded on Sunday, October 23, with the final panel entitled “In Japan” and a closing lunch session, also at Toronto Metropolitan University.
Associate Professor Tkach-Kawasaki is very appreciative of the encouragement of and financial support from the NipCA Project to attend this event. Being able to meet with other researchers and participate in meaningful academic exchange is a wonderful opportunity.