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Public Lecture: Four Waves of Russian Migration to Japan through Cultural Lenses, 1917-2017

Join us for the Public Lecture with Dr. Petr E. Podalko, Professor of the School of International Politics, Economics & Communication, Aoyama Gakuin University (Tokyo, Japan) on Friday, 15 September 2023.

The Socialist Revolution in Russia (1917) resulted in mass migration on an unprecedented scale, first of all, of the Russian bourgeoisie and intelligentsia to Europe, America, and Asia, mainly to China and Japan. Some of these migrants later returned to their homeland, but the majority settled in the new countries. The Russian diaspora in Japan, despite its small number, played an important role in the economic and cultural life of this country. The important fact about Russian migrants in Japan is that they predominantly belonged to the so-called “lower classes” of Imperial Russia, had no real support from international and local organizations, and thus had to rely solely on themselves. Hence, many Russian migrants, who had different artistic talents in addition to strong personalities, made a significant contribution to the cultural landscape of Japan, which makes the Russian diaspora in Japan an interesting topic for research.

In this presentation the author will discuss the contribution of Russian migrants towards the development of Japanese culture in the 20th century, paying particular attention to the pre-war period (1920-1940). The author will discuss the complexity of the specific historical environment faced by Russian migrants and how they managed to rebuild their lives and construct new careers in their new home country. He argues that their life achievements deserve further attention considering their contribution to Japanese society and culture.

About the Speaker
Dr. Petr Podalko spent most of his academic career in Japan researching the Russian diaspora in the country. After graduating from Novosibirsk State University, Russia with an Integrated MA in History and Japanese Language, he completed another MA and later a Ph.D. at Osaka State University with a thesis focusing on the cultural history of Russian immigrants in the Orient. Since 2004, he has worked as a Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo, where he teaches courses on the Cultural History of East European Countries, Eurasian Studies, Comparative Studies, and Screen History for undergraduate and postgraduate students. He collaborates with researchers in Japan and Russia and is a member of the European Association of Japanese Studies and The Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (USA). He has published extensively in English, Japanese, and Russian languages on topics related to the Russian diaspora in Japan, a comparative study of migration in Asia and Europe, the history of diplomacy, and education reform in the 21st century.

Date: 15 September 2023 

  • 15:00 in Bishkek/Naryn/Tekeli
  • 14:00 in Dushanbe/Khorog
  • 09:00 UTC

Language: English
Venue: University of Central Asia
3rd floor Board Room, 125/1 Toktogul Street BC "Avangard"
Tower B, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

For online participation: 

Ideas presented in this lecture reflect the personal opinion of the speaker and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Central Asia and/or its employees.

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