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10

WEDNESDAY

“For a long time the Japanese have shown an attitude of ambivalence, if not indifference, toward the cultural importance of Elvis,” writes Ayako Maeda, visiting professor of English and Japanese studies at Washington College and professor of American studies at Ferris University in Yokohama, where she taught a course in the King—Elvis being “a perfect window through which we could see American culture vividly.” But the King’s power has proved inescapable, to the point where he has been “Japananized,” says Maeda, who will present her case in the illustrated lecture, “Elvis Presley à la Japonaise: A Japanese Tribute to the King.” Alan Tansman, professor of East Asian Languages and Culture at Georgetown University, will add to the chin-scratching, but this will not be a scholarly snoozefest. Maeda is at heart a fan—the first album she bought was an Elvis record—and video clips are promised, including many of Japanese interpreters, among them the female Elvis impersonators who won the 1997 International Impersonator Contest in Memphis. Okindakara! At 4 p.m. at the Woodrow Wilson Center Library, 1000 Jefferson St. SW. Free. (202) 357-1937. (Dave Nuttycombe)