Due to the current restrictions, visits to the 2nd Garage Triennial are based on fixed-time tickets. Please purchase tickets online, where you will find information about free time slots.

How to Not Get Lost. The Past and the Present of Japanese Identity. A lecture by Alexander Meshcheryakov

Public program for the exhibition Takashi Murakami.Under the Radiation Falls
19 January 2018


The lecture is devoted to the construction of Japanese identity in the twentieth and twenty-first century. Alexander Meshcheryakov will talk about the historical, environmental, and aesthetic aspects of the transition from an aggressive identity to a peaceful one.

The search for the Japanese identity dates back to the mid-nineteenth century, when the country had to face the arrival of  Western civilization. In order to stay independent, the state introduced aggressive elements to its ideology. Japan became a totalitarian colonial empire. The ideal citizen was a xenophobic samurai, a warrior devoted to the Emperor and the country. However, after the Second World War, Japan was introduced to democratic values and began constructing a new type of identity of a laborious, peaceful citizen with a heightened sense of beauty and willing to look for a compromise.



Alexander Meshcheryakov (b. 1951) is a Doctor of History. He studied at the Japan Department of Moscow State University’s Institute of Oriental Languages, and has worked at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian State University for the Humanities and The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. He has published over 300 studies on Japanese history and culture, as well as three books of poems and seven volumes of fiction. He has been granted The Enlightener Prize for the book Emperor Meiji And His Japan and a diploma of Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for developing cultural ties between Russia and Japan. He features in Oleg Kolodnikov’s documentary The Shell (2017).


Free admission with advance registration


The lecture will be interpreted into Russian Sign Language and is accessible to deaf and hard of hearing visitors.

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