Anthropology of Japan in Japan Annual Meeting

AJJ Annual conference is organized under the auspices of The Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies (ICAS) at Temple University, Japan Campus.

Saturday, November 6, 2010
9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
TUJ Mita Hall 5F (Access)
Keynote Speaker
Iwabuchi Koichi, Waseda University
Executive Committee
President Emeritus: Harumi Befu
President: Hirochika Nakamaki
Vice Presidents: Michael Shackleton and John Mock
Kyle Cleveland (Temple University, Japan Campus)
John Mock (Temple University, Japan Campus)
Sachiko Horiguchi (Temple University, Japan Campus)
David Slater (Sophia University)

Anthropological research methodology in Japan has traditionally been circumscribed by the locality of place, as researchers have focused on the village, community or intensive social network with whom they interact. Yet increasingly, the centrality of specific sites and regional locales, which had defined a previous generation of research, has been supplemented (if not dislocated) by cyber communities, transglobal networks and digital technologies, where identity is amorphous and transitory. For scholars who are bridging the divides between cultural, language and ethnic domains, this transition raises important questions about how research agendas are to be calibrated as we plow the waters of post-modern culture and attempt to negotiate self/other and uchi/soto relations when the cultural domain is so ill-defined and rapidly evolving.

This conference invites scholars to address questions and issues related to the production/construction, flow (consumption), and re-configuration of 'knowledge' on Japan at the individual, institutional and structural levels.

  • How are emerging discourses on globalization affecting the status of ethnographic research in localized contexts?
  • What defines the (often ill-defined) practice of fieldwork?
  • Negotiating identity/ identities in the field, and the impact of the identity/identities on the data gained
  • The readership of research publications: who are you writing for, and how does that matter? How does that affect our fieldwork?
  • By focusing on social relations rather than decision-making, does anthropology risk being merely “bad sociology”(e.g. sociology without the quantitative rigor)?
  • What is the relation between particular research projects and their desired outcomes?
  • The challenges of 'conducting' research as a 'native' anthropologist / conducting field research 'at home'
  • Ethics in anthropological fieldwork (the impact of personal information protection law, IRB)
  • New methods of fieldwork - use of technology, working in teams, gathering data through mediated network

Conference Schedule

9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Registration and Coffee
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Concurrent Session
A) Rural Communities and Aging Populations
Chair: John Mock (Temple University)
  • Iza Kavedžija, (Oxford / Osaka University)
    "Aging and Community Welfare"
  • David Sprague (MAFF)
    “Internationalizing the Satoyama: a New Countryside Paradigm for the World?
  • Susanne Klien, (DIJ)
    “Tokyo‘Urban in-migrants on Ama Island – Urbanite Ghetto or Urban-rural exchange?'"
  • David Chapman (The University of South Australia)
    “Identifying Difference: Space, Place and Chichijima”
  • Chien-cheng James Wu (National Taiwan/Durham University)
    “The Tensions in Everyday Foods-cape of the Elderly in Modern Taipei”
B) Media and Technical Interfaces
Chair: Kyle Cleveland (Temple University, Japan Campus)
  • James Strohmaier (Pukyong National University)
    “Cyberwars in Northeast Asia”
  • William Kelly (Tama University)
    “Playing Games in Japan: Methodological Reflections”
  • Natalie Close (Australian National University)
    “Man with a Movie Camera: A Discussion of the Issues Relating to Visual Anthropology in the Field”
  • Mariko Jitsukawa (Tamagawa University)
    “Small secrets shared - and Explored - Through Internet Keiji-ban”
  • Ichiro Numazaki (Tohoku University)
    “Tactics and Ethics in the Use of Digital Camera in the Field”
  • John McCreery (The Word Works, Ltd.)
    “Ethnography Extended: Using Available Data and Social Network Analysis to Expand the Reach of Anthropological Research”
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Lunch (Executive Committee Meeting)
1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
AJJ Business Meeting
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Concurrent Session
C) Bilingual Roundtable: Doing anthropology of Japan in Japan
Chairs: Sachiko Horiguchi (Temple University, Japan Campus), Yuki Imoto (Keio University)
Discussant: John McCreery (The WordWorks)
  • 市瀬 博基(Hiroki Ichinose) (Digital Hollywood University)
  • Gregory Poole (Doshisha University)
    "Reconstructing the Tradition of Anthropological Work: Reflecting on the Careers and Multiple Identities of Transnational Ethnographers”
  • 大戸 朋子(Tomoko Oto) (Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology)
  • Mario Ivan Lopez (Kyoto University)
    “Working Through Dialogues in and Out of the Field: On the Difficulties of Representing Others as an Other”
  • 笹川 あゆみ (Ayumi Sasagawa)(Musashino University)
D) Local Communities and Contexts
  • Andrea De Antoni (Kyoto University)
    “‘Roll up for the Mystery Tour’: Negotiating Haunted Places through Locality and Translocal Flows in Contemporary Kyoto”
  • Jane Bachnik (NIME)
    “Not together but not separate: An Ethnographic Focus for Rethinking ‘Blurred Boundary’ Families in Japan”
  • Noriko Sato (Pukyong National University)
    “Conducting Ethnographic Research as a Course Instructor:Teaching and Learning about Japanese Colonial Rule over Korea among Koreans”
  • Kazunori Oshima, (Independent Scholar)
    “Town meeting in New England: What does it Mean for Democracy?”
  • Thomas Hardy (Keio University)
    “Doing Fieldwork at Work: Sites, Researchers, and Issues”
  • Christopher Bondy (DePauw/Tokyo)
    “Different norms in Different Sites: The Ethics of Conducting Fieldwork on a Contentious Topic”
E) Gender and Ethnicity
  • Gagne, Nana Okura (Waseda University)
    “Salarymen at Leisure: Self “Recreation” through Hobbies and Community”
  • Elisa Montiel (Doshisha University)
    “Performativity and National Identity: Contemporary Gender Theory Applied to Japan’s Identity studies”
  • Kaori Okano (La Trobe University)
    “Women’s Agency in Charting Life Trajectories in Japan: A longitudinal Ethnography”
  • Hasegawa Yuka (University of Hawaii at Manoa)
4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Keynote Address
Koichi Iwabuchi, Waseda University
Title: "East Asian Media Cultures and the Global Governance of Cultural Connectivity"

Introduction: Kyle Cleveland (Temple University, Japan Campus)
Discussant: David Slater (Sophia University)
6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Keynote Lecture: Koichi Iwabuchi, Waseda University

Keynote Address Abstract

"East Asian Media Cultures and the Global Governance of Cultural Connectivity"
In the last two decades, we have witnessed the drastic development of the production of media cultures and their transnational circulation in non-Western region. East Asia is one of the most prominent regions in which new cultural expressions flourish, cultural mixing intensifies, and intra-regional consumption sets in motion. While the rise of East Asian media culture circulation and consumption has considerably facilitated mediated conversations among people in the region, it is questionable if these developments have eventually challenged uneven transnational media cultural circulations and have truthfully promoted dialogic connections among people of various places. Referring to cases in the Japanese context, this presentation will critically review the ways in which the development of East Asian media culture production and connections fails to serve wider public interests by looking at the interplay of three interrelated forces in the global governance of media culture connectivity—the marketization of media cultures, the institutionalization of banal inter-nationalism and the states’ growing interest in branding the nation.

About Koichi Iwabuchi

Koichi Iwabuchi is Professor of media and cultural studies at the School of International Liberal Studies of Waseda University. He has been worked on the issues of media and cultural globalization; cultural connections in East Asia; multicultural questions and transnationalism in the Japanese context; cultural citizenship and an inclusive reconstruction of the nation. His English publications include: Recentering Globalization: Popular culture and Japanese transnationalism, Duke University Press, 2002; East Asian Pop Culture: Analyzing the Korean Wave, co-eds with Chua Beng Huat, Hong Kong University Press, 2008. He, together with Chris Berry, is an editor of a Hong Kong University Press book series, TransAsia: Screen Cultures.

About ICAS
The Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies (ICAS) is an organization dedicated to fostering study and research on various topics related to contemporary Japan and Asia.

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