Oil Shock

Throughout most of the 1970s, the industrial world including Japan was responding to the "Oil Shock," a worldwide dilemma that would reshape trade practices in the coming decades. Change was also continuing in Japanese scholarship. Those in the vanguard of postwar scholarship had begun to turn over Center reins to a new generation of Japan faculty specialists. By the fall term of 1973, there were 19 U-M faculty members associated with the Center, and 63 active graduate students. Positions in psychology, public health, law, music, sociology, and business administration, to name a few, had been added. The Center had become the locus for the widest range of disciplinary study of Japan anywhere in the United States, and since its inception, had awarded 227 Masters of Arts and 109 departmental PhDs. In recognition of its achievements, in 1973, the Center received a one million dollar grant from the Japanese government. This would augment the generous donations that had been awarded to the Center over the years by the Ford and Carnegie Foundations.

In 1972, the Center began the Project on Asian Studies in Education (PASE). One of many outreach programs, PASE, through conferences, workshops, and extension courses, was designed to assist secondary and college-level instructors of Asian studies in developing curricula. By 1974, the Center, along with the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, was also deeply involved in planning a symposium and a traveling exhibit of rare cultural treasures titled: "Image and Life: 50,000 Years of Japanese Prehistory."

Image and Life teaching kit.

Image and Life teaching kit.

While the exhibit, high-level docent, and accompanying teaching kit and slide collection traveled the U.S. late in the decade, an international symposium was held in Ann Arbor in October, 1979. It attracted considerable attention and calls for a major publication. The resulting volume: Windows on the Japanese Past: Studies in Archaeology and Prehistory was seven years in the making. It required the close cooperation of scholars from four countries, and was highlighted by the inclusion of 17 translated articles. It was the largest project attempted by the Center for Japanese Studies Publications Program to date, and one that allowed the rare opportunity for scholars from Japan to present their work directly to readers in the West.

After 25 years of work, the Center found itself with much more to learn and teach about Japan. In 1973, CJS Director Roger Hackett compared Japanese-American awareness to opposite ends of a telescope.

"THE JAPANESE TEND TO VIEW AMERICAN DEVELOPMENTS THROUGH THE SMALL END, MAGNIFYING EVERYTHING WHICH HAPPENS, WHILE GENERAL AMERICAN AWARENESS OF JAPAN IS THAT OF A PERSON LOOKING THROUGH THE LARGE END AND REALLY BEING UNAWARE OF THE IMPORTANCE OF EVENTS."