Events - Event View
This is the "Event Detail" view, showing all available information for this event.
If registration is required or recommended, click the 'Register Now' button to start the process.
If the event has passed, click the "Event Report" button to read a report and view photos that were uploaded.
Travel Talk: Elephants in Pre-Modern Japan, 7:00PM
Thursday, January 21, 2021, 7:00 PM until 8:30 PM
This is a virtual event using Zoom
Registration cancellations will be accepted
Martha Chaiklin, daughter of TVIH member Sharon Chaiklin, will tell the story of elephants in pre-modern Japan. She spent over 15 years in Japan. 1980-1981, 1983-1996, 2018-2019, and a number of stays for a month or two or a few weeks in between.
Japan has a long and complicated history with elephants. Humans and proboscidea co-existed only briefly but pachyderms have left a large footprint on the history of Japan. From food to medicine to personal ornamentation, a relationship with elephants impacted the lives of all segments of society. This talk will trace the importance of elephants to Edo period (1603-1868) Japan when Japan was theoretically “closed” to the outside world and when its citizens were forbidden from traveling abroad. During the Edo period commercial arrangements with the Dutch East India Company and the later involvement of Chinese traders brought ivory to Japan in larger quantities than ever before. Over the same period, live elephants were brought to Japan, which combined with ideas and beliefs imported from the Asian continent populated the Japanese mental landscape with elephants. East India Company documents will be supplemented by primary source and visual documents to show how elephants connected a geographically and politically isolated Japan to a much wider world.
Martha Chaiklin received her PhD at Leiden University, Netherlands. She specializes in material culture, the East India Companies, and Edo and Meiji Japan. She authored Ivory and the Aesthetics of Modernity in Meiji Japan (2014) and Cultural Commerce and Dutch Commercial Culture: The Impact of European Material Culture on Japan (2003) as well as numerous shorter works, only one of which is on elephants: “Elephants in the Making of Early Modern India” in Pius Malekandathil, ed. The Indian Ocean in the Making of Early Modern India (2016). She is currently working on a book on ivory in the early modern world and another one on shoes in modernizing Japan.
Zoom link will be provided upon registration.