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Japanese Art Society of America’s Asia Week Lecture


Yamaoka Tesshu (1836–1888), Talismanic Dragon, Edo Period (1615-1867 A.D.), hanging scroll(s), ink on paper, 44.5 x 60.3 cm

When Zen Becomes Political: Zen and Soft/Hard Power
Lecture: Wednesday, March 20 from 5-6:30pm
Japan Society Auditorium

As part of Asia Week 2024, JASA is presenting a special lecture, When Zen Becomes Political: Zen and Soft/Hard Power, by Frank Feltens, curator of Japanese Art at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art.  Zen has been used to foster political agendas, as inspiration for activism, and as a way to go against common norms. This talk highlights distinctive moments and individuals that made Zen and its arts a part of the political discourse of their times. They showcase how Zen has been part of Japan’s hard and soft power for centuries and continued to be in the twentieth century.

The lecture will also will be webcast live via Zoom. Registration in advance is required.

Click here to attend the lecture in person. Click here to attend the lecture via Zoom.

Following the lecture, JASA will hold its annual meeting of members in the Japan Society auditorium. New and re-elected board members will be announced at the meeting along with other business matters.