By Mary Hawkins, The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication
 
PULLMAN – Robots, reporting and anime will be among the topics discussed by freelance reporter and CBS Tokyo correspondent Lucy Craft in two free public lectures.
 
“Reporting from Japan” will be at noon Thursday, Feb. 10, in CADD 218/220. “Anime Cool and Manga Chic: How and Why Japan Became a Pop-culture Oasis” will be at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11, in CUE 203.
Craft covers pop culture, politics and technology throughout Asia for public broadcasting, newspapers and television networks in Japan and the United States.
 
She produced the series “Robo Revolution” for the public broadcasting TV program “Nightly Business Report.” In it, she explores Japan’s latest efforts to build robots that could change the way the world works.
“The Japanese say that for robots to be commercially successful, they have to be like PCs: reliable, versatile and relatively cheap,” Craft said. “For the Japanese, the personal robot is no longer the stuff of science fiction, but a dream only a decade or so away from reality.”
 
Along with a passion for robots and other cutting-edge technology, anime and manga are ubiquitous in Japan. “Anime” refers to an animation style characterized by distinctive characters (often with exaggerated features) and backgrounds. The storylines are depicted in videos, television features and games.
 
“Manga” is Japanese for “comics.” It took its current form, a blending of Japanese and Western styles of drawing, shortly after WWII. Manga was the fastest growing segment of books in the U.S. in 2005, according to Wikipedia.
“To live in Japan is to be immersed in both fantasy and robots,” Craft said.
Originally from Washington, D.C., Craft holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Maryland, attended Cornell University and earned a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University.
 
Her lectures are sponsored by the WSU Asia Program and The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication.