• 26 Jan 2016 by Doug Bruhnke

    Global Chamber Phoenix was pleased to host Professor Andrew Gordon from the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Harvard University last week, discussing Labor and Business in Japan. Andrew Gordon is a leading expert on contemporary Japan. He addressed labor issues in Japan over the last 20-30 years, and future implications.

    This was a joint Global Chamber Phoenix and Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations (PCFR) event, and members of both organizations received a discount on the lunch ticket. We were also pleased to collaborate with MPEXA, JBAA, AZ Matsuri, AZ Association of Teachers of Japanese and the Japanese Culture Club.

    The key area of the presentation was understanding Japan’s “Lost Decades”, exploring work and labor since the 1980s.

    Andrew Gordon is the Lee and Juliet Folger Fund Professor of History at Harvard University. His teaching and research focuses primarily on modern Japan.  He has also taught Japan’s premodern history, and courses on comparative history of labor.  He has written, edited, or translated numerous books and has published articles in journals in the United States, Japan, Great Britain, France, and Germany. His most recent publication is Fabricating Consumers: The Sewing Machine in Modern Japan (University of California Press, 2011; Japanese translation Misuzu Shobo, 2013), on the emergence of the modern consumer in Japan, using the sewing machine as window on that story. He is currently working on a contemporary history of Japan's so-called "lost decades" of the 1990s and 2000s.

    Gordon’s first book was The Evolution of Labor Relations in Japan: Heavy Industry, 1853-1955 (Harvard University Council on East Asian Studies Monographs, 1985).  A Japanese translation and expanded edition was published by Iwanami Shoten in 2011. His second book, Labor and Imperial Democracy in Prewar Japan (University of California Press, 1991) won the John King Fairbank  Prize in 1992 for the best book on modern East Asian history, and was a finalist for the 1992 Arisawa Hiromi Prize for the best book on Japan.  He wrote The Wages of Affluence: Labor and Management in Postwar Japan, published in October 1998 by Harvard University Press, and A Modern History of Japan, published in fall 2002 by Oxford University Press, and in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean translations. A second edition was published in English in 2008, and a third edition will be published in 2013.  Combining the perspectives of a fan and an academic, in 2007 he published (in Japanese only) The Unknown Story of Matsuzaka’s Major League Revolution (Asahi shinsho, 2007), a book tracking Daisuke Matsuzaka’s first season with the Boston Red Sox and placing it in a cross-cultural and historical context.

    Thank you to Kelly Moeur, Honorary Consul for Japan in Arizona for his collaboration on the event. Pictured below... Kelly (left) and Professor Gordon at the event!