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Naomi Osaka: Defining the Activist Athlete in Twenty-First Century Japan
Tennis star Naomi Osaka has used her athletic talent, influence, and marketability to both boldly speak up and defiantly stay quiet to initiate change. During tennis matches, interviews, commercials, and other public appearances, she has made statements about being half Japanese in Japan and a half Asian, half black woman during a global rise of hate crimes and has raised awareness of athletes’ mental health. This talk explores Osaka’s media events and their backlash to show how she has disrupted notions of nation and sport from within the system, creating a new kind of activist athlete in twenty-first century Japan.

Jan 27, 2022 06:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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Alisa Freedman
Professor, Japanese Literature, Cultural Studies, and Gender @University of Oregon
Alisa Freedman is a Professor of Japanese Literature, Cultural Studies, and Gender at the University of Oregon and the Editor-in-Chief of the U.S.–Japan Women’s Journal. Her books include "Japan on American TV: Screaming Samurai Form Anime Clubs in the Land of the Lost," "Tokyo in Transit: Japanese Culture on the Rails and Road, an annotated translation of Kawabata Yasunari’s The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa", and co-edited volumes on "Modern Girls on the Go: Gender, Mobility, and Labor in Japan and Introducing Japanese Popular Culture."