Lecture: When Modern Japan was Young




On February 4th 2016, the Embassy of Japan hosted the lecture ‘When Modern Japan was Young: A Historical Journey through Meiji and Taishō’, in association with the photography exhibit ‘Eye on the Enlightenment - John Cooper Robinson: Photographs from Meiji-Taisho Japan’.

Over 100 guests attended the lecture by Associate-Professor Jacob Kovalio of Carleton University’s Department of History and Jill Cooper Robinson, great-granddaughter of the photographer.

Deputy Head of Mission, Minister Karube gave opening remarks for the event.

Dr. Kovalio gave a broad overview of the period leading up to the Meiji restoration, as well as historical context for the photographs taken by John Cooper Robinson in the Meiji and Taisho eras. Jill Cooper Robinson spoke about her great-grandfather’s work and the challenges she has faced in preserving the collection of 5000-8000 negatives for future generations and public access.

Following the two talks, there was a short question and answer session.

Guests also had the opportunity to view the photo exhibition before and after the lecture.



Minister Karube giving opening remarks




Dr Kovalio presenting




Jill Cooper Robinson presenting




Dr. Kovalio and Jill Cooper Robinson answering questions from the audience




Guests viewing the photographs of John Cooper Robinson




Minister Karube, Jill Cooper Robinson, and Dr. Kovalio