Book talk by Naoko Kato on Kaleidoscope: The Uchiyama Bookstore and its Sino-Japanese Visionaries

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Please join us for a hybrid book talk/launch by Dr. Naoko Kato on her recently published monograph, Kaleidoscope: The Uchiyama Bookstore and its Sino-Japanese Visionaries (2022). The talk will consist of an introduction by Dr. Kato in conversation with Dr. Christina Yi, followed by Q&A.

Date: Wednesday, April 12 from 12pm – 1:30pm Pacific Time
Location: In-person in room 604 at the UBC Asian Centre (1871 West Mall, Vancouver) and online
*Reservation required. For in-person registration:
For Zoom participation:

Abstract: In the 1920s, a Japanese businessman set up a bookshop in the city of Shanghai which changed the course of history by providing a forum for Chinese and Japanese intellectuals to meet and discuss the great issues of the day. Now, Naoko Kato’s powerful book Kaleidoscope looks at the story of Uchiyama Kanzo and his bookstore from a fresh perspective, breaking it down into a series of reflections that shift as the years turn. Uchiyama’s bookstore was a fulcrum of Sino-Japanese contacts; many of the members of Uchiyama’s salon were intellectuals behind the Chinese Communist Party, then an illegal organization in Shanghai. The ability of Uchiyama and his bookstore to transcend intellectual divisions and borders makes his story of unique inter-cultural interest. And the context of Uchiyama’s efforts to bring peace between his home country of Japan and his chosen home of China is one of the most intellectually uplifting stories of the 20th century.

Speaker profile: Naoko Kato is an independent scholar. She is scholar-in-residence at the University of Victoria for Past Wrongs and Future Choices (Spring, 2023). She teaches East Asian history at St. Mark’s College and is an information resources specialist for the North American Coordinating Council for Japanese Library Resources. Formerly she was the Japanese-language librarian at UBC Library, where she developed Meiji-related digital teaching resources. Her publications include a chapter in Translating the Occupation: The Japanese Invasion of China, 1937-1945 (UBC Press, 2021).

This event is hosted by the Department of Asian Studies at UBC, in conjunction with the Japan Lecture Series.