Contending with Meian: A Public Conversation between John Nathan and Minae Mizumura (Sept. 21; 7 p.m.): Natsume Soseki’s “Meian” (“Light and Dark”) is widely acknowledged as his masterpiece even though it was incomplete at the time of his death in 1916. John Nathan, who is just finishing a new translation of this difficult and enigmatic work, and Minae Mizumura, who launched her career as a novelist in 1990 with “Light and Dark Continued,” will approach and discuss the novel from a number of angles, including its importance in 20th-century Japanese literature and as a work of world literature, the challenges it poses the reader and, particularly, the translator. Nathan is a university professor who specializes in 20th-century Japanese literature, Japanese cinema and the theory and practice of translation. Mizumura recently wrote “Newspaper Serialized Novel: Heritage of a Mother.” Translation in English and Japanese will be available. Admission is free.
“Japan’s Challenges and Prospects: A View from Southeast Asia” (Oct. 3; 1:30 p.m.): This lecture by Tommy Koh, Singaporean ambassador at large, is part of the “Japan in the World” program being held in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of International House Japan. It is one of a series of six symposiums inviting leading personalities from the United States, China, Korea and Southeast Asia to talk about how Japan has responded to international events historically and discuss the current role of Japan in the world. The lecture is in English with Japanese translation provided. Admission costs ¥1,000, but is free for students and International House of Japan members.
For more information about the events at International House of Japan (5-11-16, Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo), call (03) 3470-3212 or visit www.i-house.or.jp.