Women’s liberation movement in Japan focus of film & discussion

30 Years of Sisterhood, a documentary film on the 1970s genesis of the Japanese women’s liberation movement, will be in the spotlight Feb. 28 when the University hosts a group of Japanese activists, filmmakers and scholars touring the nation to promote the project.

A screening of the film will be at 3 p.m. Feb. 28 in Crow Hall, Room 201, followed by a panel discussion and reception.

The documentary is the work of directors Yamagami Chieko and Seyama Noriko, who will be on campus to discuss the film and to visit several Women and Gender Studies in Arts & Sciences classes.

The film explores the Japanese women’s liberation movement, which began in the 1970s and continues today. It features recent interviews with women who were involved in the movement and includes rare video footage and photos of 1970s activism.

It has been called a highly significant attempt to record this important but neglected history.

The film is presented in Japanese with English subtitles.

The panel discussion will focus on the Japanese feminist movement and the making of the film. Audience participation is encouraged.

Panelists include the directors, activists, visiting scholars and four Arts & Sciences faculty members:

• Rebecca Copeland, Ph.D., associate professor of Japanese language and literature;

Linda J. Nicholson, Ph.D., the Susan E. and William P. Stiritz Distinguished Professor of Women’s Studies and History;

• Barbara Baumgartner, Ph.D., lecturer in Women and Gender Studies; and

Lori Watt, Ph.D., assistant professor of history and of International and Area Studies and a Harbison Faculty Fellow.

Visiting scholars include Soko Miki, professor of English and of women’s studies at Kyoto Seika University in Japan; Tomomi Yamaguchi, a postdoctoral scholar from the University of Chicago; Yumi Doi, a writer and filmmaker; and Satoko Urara, a filmmaker.

For more information on the group’s national tour, go online to sisterhoodjapan.blogspot.com.

Sponsored by the Visiting East Asian Professionals Program and the Women and Gender Studies program, both in Arts & Sciences, the events are free and open to the public.

For more information, call 935-8772.