Saturday, October 22, 2016

Monday in Washington, October 24, 2016

CULTURAL HERITAGE: A TARGET IN WAR, AN ENGINE OF PEACE. 10/24, 8:45am-5:30pm. Sponsors: U.S. Institute of Peace; Smithsonian Institution; Turquoise Mountain. Speakers: Hila Alam, Minister Counsellor, Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan; William Hammink, Assistant to the Administrator, Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs, USAID; Mark Taplin, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State; Molly Fannon (Moderator), Director, Office of International Relations and Global Programs, Smithsonian Institution; Dr. Julian Raby, Dame Jillian Sackler Director, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and the Freer Gallery of Art; Dr. Derek Gillman, Distinguished Teaching Professor, Art History and Museum Leadership, Drexel University; Barmak Pazhwak (Moderator), Senior Program Officer, Asia Center, USIP; Dr. Tommy Wide, Assistant Director of Special Projects, Freer and Sackler Galleries; Majeed Qarar, Cultural Attaché, Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan; Jolyon Leslie, Architect; Laura Tedesco, Cultural Heritage Program Manager, U.S. Department of State; Scott Liddle (Moderator), Country Director, Turquoise Mountain Afghanistan; Amar Bakshi, Founder and CEO, Shared_Studios; Adam Lowe, Director, Factum Arte; Dr. Bastien Varoutsikos, Research Fellow, Centre national de la recherché scientifique (CNRS), Paris; Lina Rozbih, Managing  Editor, Ashna TV, Voice of America; Katherine Wood (Moderator), Senior Arts Adviser, USIP; Harry Wardill, Director, Turquoise Mountain Myanmar; Corine Wegener, Cultural Heritage Preservation Office, Smithsonian Institution; Tess Davis, Executive Director, The Antiquities Coalition; Joanna Sherman, Founder and Artistic Director, Bond Street Theater; Richard Kurin, Acting Provost and Under Secretary for Museums and Research, Smithsonian Institution.

A CONVERSATION WITH THE SERVICE SECRETARIES. 10/24, 9:00-10:30am. Sponsor: Center for a New American Security (CNAS). Speakers: Eric Fanning, United States Secretary of the Army; Deborah Lee James, United States Secretary of the Air Force; Ray Mabus, United States Secretary of the Navy; Barbara Starr, Pentagon Correspondent, CNN; Michèle Flournoy, Co-Founder and CEO, CNAS. 

NUCLEAR ENERGY AT A CROSSROADS. 10/24, 11:30am-6:00pm. Sponsor: CSIS. Speakers: Hon. Ernest Moniz, Secretary of Energy, US Department of Energy; John Hamre, President, CEO, CSIS; Laszlo Varro, Chief Economist, International Energy Agency; Frank Graves, Principal and Utility Practice Area Leader, Brattle Group; Tina Taylor, Director, Nuclear Sector, Electric Power Research Institute; Jonathan Hinze, Executive Vice President, International, UxC; Shoichi Itoh, Senior Analyst, Global Energy, Institute for Energy Economics – Japan; Whitney Herndon, Research Analyst, Rhodium Group; Hon. Allison Macfarlane, Director, Center for International Science and Technology Policy, Elliott School, GWU.

TAIWAN’S NEW SOUTHBOUND POLICY. 10/24, Noon-1:00pm. Sponsor: Heritage. Speakers: Lai I-chung, Executive Director, Prospect Foundation, Taiwan; Prashanth Parameswaran, Associate Editor, The Diplomat; Jeff M. Smith, Director, Asian Security Programs, Kraemer Strategy Fellow, American Foreign Policy Council (AFPC); Moderator: Walter Lohman, Director, Asian Studies Center. 

MIDDLE EAST AND REGIONAL TRANSITION, TERRORISM, AND CVE: WHAT THE NEXT PRESIDENT WILL FACE. 10/24, Noon-1:30pm. Sponsors: Middle East Institute; American Academy of Political and Social Science. Speakers: Rand Beers, Former Deputy Homeland Security Advisor to the President; Richard A. Clarke, Former U.S. National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection and Counter-terrorism; Emilian Papadopoulos, President, Good Harbor Security Risk Management; Paul Salem, Vice President for Policy and Research, Middle East Institute; Mary Louise Kelley, National Security Correspondent, NPR. 
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TWO ROADS, ONE JOURNEY-EDUCATION IN CHINA AND THE U.S. 10/24, Noon-2:00pm. Sponsor: Woman’s National Democratic Club. Speaker: Greta Nagel, Former Professor of Education, California State University.

ELECTIONS IN HARD TIMES: BUILDING STRONGER DEMOCRACIES IN THE 21ST CENTURY. 10/24, 3:00-4:00pm. Sponsor: Mortara Center for International Studies, Georgetown University. Speakers: Irfan Nooruddin, Professor, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University; Thomas Flores, Associate Professor of Conflict Resolution and Political Science, School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University. 

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THE WORLD REIMAGINED: AMERICANS AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY. 10/24, 4:00-5:30pm. Sponsor: Wilson Center. Speaker: author Mark Philip Bradley, Bernadotte E. Schmidt Professor of History, University of Chicago. 

COPING WITH THE REFUGEE CRISIS AND VIOLENT CONFLICT: BOLD IDEAS FOR THE NEXT US PRESIDENT AND UN SECRETARY-GENERAL. 10/24, 4:30-6:00pm. Sponsors: Stimson Center; Center for American Progress. Speakers: Vikram Singh, Vice-President for National Security and International Policy, Center for American Progress; Ibrahim Gambari, former Nigerian Foreign Minister, U.N. Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs; Melanie Greenberg, President and CEO, Alliance for Peacebuilding; Cindy Huang, Co-convenor of Idealists4Hillary, Visiting Policy Fellow, Center for Global Development; William Durch, Distinguished Fellow, Stimson Center; Hardin Lang, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress.

VICTOR CHA ON THE U.S. ALLIANCE SYSTEM IN ASIA. 10/24, 6:30-9:00pm. Sponsors: US-Korea Institute, Johns Hopkins, SAIS; Sejong Society. Speaker: Author Victor Cha, CSIS. Powerplay

Friday, October 21, 2016

What is a Masakaki Offering?

a masakaki offering
On October 17, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a Masakaki offering to the Yasukuni Shrine to celebrate its autumn festival. Although widely reported to be a small tree, it is, as pictured to the right, not a tree. 

masakaki offering includes elements of the sakaki tree, often in plastic, but not the entire tree.

Masakaki (真榊 also まさかき) is a ceremonial article that is placed on both sides of an altar at Shinto rituals. Masakaki is usually decorated with a silk/Nylon flag that has five colors: green, yellow, red, white, and blue — these five colors are about the Theory of Yin-Yang and the Five Elements (陰陽五行説), which represent wood, fire, earth, metal, and water.

There are three Sacred Treasures with the pair of Masakaki (真榊): The rectangle shape represents Shinken (神剣, Sacred Sword), is interpreted as ‘Valor’, the disk-shaped item represents Shinkyo (神鏡, Sacred Mirror), is interpreted as ‘Wisdom’, and the comma-shaped beads represents Magatama (勾玉, Sacred jewels), is interpreted as ‘Benevolence’. [It is said that Emperor Hirohito's worries about what conquering Americans would do with the originals of these sacred objects of Imperial divinity delayed surrender in August 1945.]

The rectangle Shinken (神剣, Sacred Sword) is placed on the left hand side, and the Shinkyo (神鏡, Sacred Mirror) and the Magatama (勾玉, Sacred jewels) are placed on the right-hand side when facing from the front of the Kamidana (神棚).

Sakaki  (榊, also さかき, Cleyera Japonica) is a flowering evergreen tree or bush native to warm areas of Japan, Taiwan, China, Myanmar, Nepal, and northern India. It is a common tree planted in gardens, parks, and shrines. Sakaki is considered a sacred tree in the Shinto religion.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Monday in Washington, October 17, 2016

ENERGY AND THE NEXT U.S. PRESIDENTIAL ADMINISTRATION. 10/17, 10:00-11:30am. Sponsor: Center for a New American Security (CNAS). Speakers: Kevin Book, Managing Director, ClearView Energy Partners, LLC; Elgie Holstein, Former Chief of Staff, Department of Energy; Hon. David Goldwyn, Chairman, Atlantic Council’s Energy Advisory Group, Former Assistant Secretary, Energy for International Affairs; Hon. Robert McNally, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Center on Global Energy Policy, Columbia University, Former Senior Director, International Energy, National Security Council; Elizabeth Rosenberg, Senior Fellow and Director, Energy, Economics and Security Program, Center for a New American Security.

US ARCTIC COUNCIL CHAIRMANSHIP: ACHIEVEMENTS & REMAINING PRIORITIES. 10/17, Noon. Sponsor: Atlantic Council. Speakers: Ambassador Mark Brzezinski, Executive Director, U.S. Government Arctic Executive Steering Committee; Melanie Nakagawa, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Transformation, Bureau of Energy Resources, Department of State; Cathleen Kelly, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress; Moderator: Ambassador Paula J. Dobriansky, Senior Fellow, The Future of Diplomacy Project, Harvard University JFK Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Former Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs; Introducer: Ambassador Richard Morningstar, Founding Director and Chairman, Global Energy Center Atlantic Council.

FUKUSHIMA AFTER 2047 DAYS: CURRENT REVITALIZATION ON THE GROUND. 10/17, 3:00-4:00pm. Sponsor: CSIS Proliferation Prevention Program. Speakers: The Honorable Masao Uchibori, Governor of Fukushima Prefecture, Japan; Sharon Squassoni (Moderator), Director and Senior Fellow, Proliferation Prevention Program, CSIS.

WEAPONS OF MATH DESTRUCTION. 10/17, Noon-1:30pm, Washington, DC. Sponsor: Open Technology Institute. Speakers: Cathy O’Neil, Data Scientist and Activist; David Robinson, Co-founder, Upturn; Rachel Levinson-Waldman, Senior Counsel, Liberty and National Security Program, Brennan Center for Justice; Daniel Castro, Vice President, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF); K. Sabeel Rahman, Assistant Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School.

ECONOMIC DISRUPTION, POLITICAL UPHEAVAL, AND SOCIAL STRIFE IN THE 21ST CENTURY. 10/17, 2:00-3:00pm. Sponsor: Governance Studies, Brookings. Speakers: Darrell M. West, Vice President and Director, Governance Studies, Brookings; Ed Luce, Washington Columnist and Commentator, Financial Times; David Corn, Washington Bureau Chief, Mother Jones; Jill Lawrence, Commentary Editor, USA Today.

LEADERSHIP AND SPACE: A CONVERSATION WITH SIMONETTA DI PIPPO. 10/17, 4:30-5:30pm. Sponsor: Women in Public Service Project, Wilson Center. Speakers: Simonetta Di Pippo, Director, United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs; Gwen Young, Director, Women in Public Service Project; Federiga Bindi, Director, Foreign Policy Initiative at the Institute for Women's Policy Research.