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Public Seminar: INEMURI: The Art of Napping in Japan new
Public Seminar: STEMming the Gender Gap: A New Era for Japanese Women in Science and Engineering? new

Public Seminar: INEMURI: The Art of Napping in Japan   org

Japan is known for long working hours and a strong work ethic, and recent polls have shown that Japanese workers enjoy less sleep at night than workers in any other country. Yet, one thing that surprises many foreign visitors to Japan is the number of people in public that can be seen napping during the day, whether in the train or in a restaurant, in the classroom or in the office, or even in a TV broadcast from parliament.

This practice of sleeping in a situation not meant for sleep is known as inemuri in Japanese, which literally translates as ‘to be asleep while present’.

In a society that prizes dedication to hard work, and where many people seem to sacrifice nocturnal sleep for work and study, why is sleeping on the job tolerated?

This is a question that puzzled Dr Brigitte Steger, Senior Lecturer in Modern Japanese Studies at the University of Cambridge, which led her to write a book on the topic which entered the bestseller charts in Japan.

In this seminar Dr Steger will explore the phenomenon of inemuri  in Japanese society, as well as the unwritten  social rules that govern the practice. Far from being a sign of laziness, inemuri  has even been linked to better productivity. Dr Steger will be joined in discussion with sleep expert Dr Robert Meadows (University of Surrey) to compare attitudes to sleep in the UK and Japan and discuss whether anything can be learned from the custom in the UK where the demands of modern life have led to an increase in sleep deprivation.

Image: Stéphane Bidouze


Date: 4 June 2015 from 6.30pm
Venue:

Nunn Hall, Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London,  WC1H 0AL


Booking: The event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please send an email to event@jpf.org.uk.

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Public Seminar: STEMming the Gender Gap: A New Era for Japanese Women in Science and Engineering?   org

In January 2014, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stated that ‘Japan should be the place that gives women the opportunity to shine. Thirty per cent of leadership positions should be occupied by women by 2020’. This promise seemed to herald a new era for women in the workplace in Japan.

30 years ago, the Equal Employment Opportunity Law was introduced in Japan which was intended to enable companies to fully utilise human resources regardless of gender. Despite this, even in 2013, the proportion of female leaders in large corporations was only 10.2 per cent. The situation in academia is similar, as the proportion of female researchers is still one of the lowest (14.4 per cent) among OECD countries.

Although the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) does vary greatly from country to country, the number of Japanese women in these fields remains particularly low.

Why so few? In this seminar, Dr Naonori Kodate (University College Dublin) will try to answer this question, by shedding light on historical developments and the current gender equality situation in Japan through the lens of women in STEM. He will explore how gender equality policy in science has been intertwined with social norms, family and individual life decisions and other policies. He will also look into measures the government, universities and research institutes are taking to address this issue, and explore whether these measures have led to an increase in female representation in these fields.

During this special seminar, we are also delighted to welcome Dr Ekaterina Hertog (University of Oxford), an expert on Japanese family trends, who will join Dr Kodate in conversation to explore the effect of changes in Japanese family structure on the position of Japanese women in STEM. 

Contributers:

Dr Naonori Kodate is a Lecturer in Social Policy at University College Dublin, Ireland. His main research area is comparative social policy, particularly in health care. His book, Japanese Women in Science and Engineering: History and Policy Change (co-authored by Professor Emeritus Kashiko Kodate) will be published in July 2015 by Routledge.

Dr Ekaterina Hertog is a family sociologist in the Department of Sociology and the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies at Oxford. Her current research interests include contemporary Japanese society, marriage in childbearing trends in industrialised countries, and marriage partner selection. 


Date: 1 July 2015 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Swedenborg Society, 20-21 Bloomsbury Way, London, WC1A 2TH


Booking: The event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please send an email to event@jpf.org.uk.

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