This last weekend I found myself at an academic presentation held by the Japan Society for Laughter and Humor Studies. Although I was a member of the organization for two years while in school I was never able to attend any of their events because they were either held too far away or on Saturdays when I almost always had to work. Because of these factors, I let my membership lapse. I was however still on their mailing list apparently and that's how I found out about this event, which was right in my wheelhouse. The first speaker, Ishida Mami (from Doshisha University in Kyoto), presented how women have been represented in Japanese comedy skit programs, both by men wearing women's clothes and by women. It was interesting to me because my Master's thesis addressed women in manzai. It was also interesting to see the old shows that I had only really heard of (like the legendarily popular "Hachiji Dayo! Zenin Shugo!"). Although the presentation ran a little long for some of the attendees it was certainly something to think about. The next presenter, Prof. Ibaraki of Tokyo Information University gave a presentation on political satire comics that appear in newspapers. He covered many of the concerns I have with the lack of political satire in mainstream comedy in Japan and added some interesting observations. My only regret was that I had to run home to pick-up the kids from day-care and was not able to discuss these issues with the presenters in more detail. Perhaps I will renew my membership with the organization if they have more informative events such as this.