John Howes Lectures in Japanese Studies

 Department of Asian Studies

University of British Columbia

 FREE and open to the public!

For the 2020/21 Academic Year, in line with current UBC protocols, all Asian Studies events will be offered virtually.

About the John Howes Lectures in Japanese Studies: 

John Howes was a founding member of UBC’s Department of Asian Studies, which he joined in 1961 after earning his doctorate from Columbia University. During his 30 years of active teaching and research, Professor Howes was at the forefront of Canada-Japan cultural, educational and people-to-people relations and inspired countless young Canadians to dedicate their careers and lives to the Canada-Japan relationship in one way or another. In 2012, a number of UBC faculty, staff, and Professor Howes’ devoted former students came together to launch an endowment in his honour. The fund supports the John Howes Lectures in Japanese Studies, an annual public lecture for prominent scholars from around the world to speak to the university community and alumni on topics in Japanese Studies with a focus on Humanities. Dr. Howes passed away peacefully on February 4th, 2017, at the age of 92.


Past Lecture List


Monday 1 February, 2021 (5:00 PM [PT]; Online via Zoom)

Nouvelle Japonisme: Le Samouraï (1967) and Jean-Pierre Melville’s Cinematic Japan

Professor Daisuke Miyao (Professor and Hajime Mori Chair in Japanese Language and Literature at the University of California, San Diego)



Monday 10 February, 2020 (6:30 – 8:30 PM; Asian Centre Auditorium, 1871 West Mall, Vancouver, BC)

What Aborigines Sang: Aynu, Yukar and Some Problems in Japan Studies

Professor James E. Ketelaar (Professor in the Departments of History and East Asian Languages & Civilizations, and Divinity School, University of Chicago)



Thursday 22 November, 2018 (6:30 – 8:30 PM; Asian Centre Auditorium, 1871 West Mall, Vancouver, BC)

The Social and Political Lives of Japanese Cherry Blossoms

Dr. Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney (William F. Vilas Research Professor at the University of Wisconsin)



Tuesday 13 March, 2018  (6:00 – 8:30 PM; Asian Centre Auditorium, 1871 West Mall, Vancouver, BC)

Stolen Secrets: Intercepting Dispatches between Wartime Berlin and Japan

Dr. Peter Kornicki (Emeritus Professor of Japanese at Cambridge University)