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Faculty (details)

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

IWAMOTO, Michiya   岩本 通弥
Research on the processes of change in the modern family and folk culture accompanying urbanization. Research regions include Japan and Korea.
◇ Main research themes are: assessing parent and child deaths (mainly parent-child suicides) through a comparative study of Korea and Japan from a contemporary folkloristics stance.  Parent-child suicides in Japan rose sharply in the 1920s following the end of World War I (prior to which singular suicide of a parent or the abandonment of children was more frequent).  Taking this as phenomena born of urbanization and modernization, my work seeks to conceive of processes of change in folk culture and the "family" historically and shed light on it as a problem of the restrictiveness inherent in the intermingling of society and culture.
◇ In addition to this, I am interested in problems of "histories of everyday life", how the lifestyle, attitudes and consciousness of "ordinary people" shifted along with the urbanization starting in the 1920s and then came to be taken for granted.
◇ Additionally, I critically assess political folklorism (superficial "traditionalization") and cultural nationalism of modern and postwar Japanese cultural policy and the history and theory of the discipline of folklore studies that was in conjugate relationship with those cultural policies.   [Researchmap]   Faculty List

FUKUSHIMA, Masato   福島 真人
Anthropological and sociological approach to science and technology (STS), social anthropology of contemporary institutions(laboratories, hospitals and organizations), cognition and learning theory, comparative religious studies.
◇ My main research theme in recent years is the ongoing social formation among such various actors as laboratories, scientific communities, policy makers and the state, with the particular focus on post-genomic biology.
I have also been interested in the interface between the design process and social formation, represented by the various issues related to design and architectural technologies and ideologies. 
◇ Past research includes research on emergency medical centers, risk management in nuclear safety issues, and organizational practices in mental institutions. These issues are related to the problems of risk, safety, cognitive and learning processes in a variety of socio-cultural contexts.
 ◇My recent engagement in the issue of Asian biotechnology and society has revitalized my previous interest in Southeast Asian religion and politics, in the renewed form of entanglements among science, politics, religion and art in Asian countries.    
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YANAI, Tadashi   箭内 匡

Anthropology of media and image, proposed here not as a subfield of sociocultural anthropology but as a new kind of anthropology of Nature, which embraces classic and contemporary anthropologies, text and image-based medias, everyday life and ontological concerns.
◇ My first field sites were indigenous societies in Peru and Chile, and rural Spain. My ideas have been inspired, among other things, by these field experiences (especially, the oral culture of the Mapuche of Chile), by philosophical thinking of Deleuze and Spinoza, by "cinéma direct" of Jean Rouch and Pierre Perrault, and by the Brazilian "Video in the Villages" movement. In recent years I have given graduate courses related with Media and Image, South American Indigenous Societies, Frederick Wiseman's films, Michel Foucault's writings, Anthropology of Art, Anthropology of Place, Ethnographic Fieldwork, etc.
◇ In terms of advising at the graduate level, my basic attitude is to be open to any region and any theme (as long as I consider myself capable), but I hope my students take some aspect of my perspective into consideration in her or his own research
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TANABE, Akio  田辺 明生
Photo by Tomas Svab

Anthropological and historical research of South Asia, with an emphasis on caste and religion; democratization and social change; and south Asian paths of development. 

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WATANABE, Hibi   渡邉 日日
Theoretical research related to culture, society and civil society, social anthropological research related to knowledge, economy, group classifications and language.  Research areas include the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe (in particular the Buryatskayan Republic in the Russian Federation).
◇ Speaking widely, I carry out theoretical research on knowledge (the relationship between education and scholarly society, economics (rural agricultural villages, minor economies, neoliberalism, also related to governance that acts as regulatory mechanism), group classifications (clan, ethnicity, nationality, citizenship), social anthropology research on language (self presentation and discourse in multilingual settings, media), concepts of (civil) society.
My research area is the former socialist bloc (in particular the Buryatskayan Republic in the Russian Federation) where I have been carrying out intermittent fieldwork since the 1990s (recent research themes include regional government and social movements, education).
◇ Additionally, I place importance on research on the doctrinal and philosophical history of cultural and social anthropology, maintaining an interest in the pre-Russian Revolution history of Siberian ethnic groups including the relationship between ethnography and revolutionary thought.
◇ Recently, due to my interest in Perth semiotics and linguistic communication, I am investigating risk management and organizational accidents, particularly aviation accidents. It is a link between theoretical examination of observation and search.
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SEKIYA, Yuichi   関谷 雄一
Development Anthropology and Human Security Studies. My expertise is in social development research and agricultural villages in developing nations, beginning with social research done in Africa. My interest is in social system engineering, and would like to invoke that knowledge in debates about "human security".
◇ While carrying out fieldwork to capture the dynamic social and cultural conditions in West Africa, I am expanding my fieldsites to include East and southern Africa to conduct onsite investigations into the practices surrounding the development of the next generation of agricultural villages.
◇ In addition, I am carrying out analytic research focusing on the methods of strategic communication for the purposes of social development and seeking the possibility of applications of strategic communication for various societal problems.  I am interested in BOP business product marketing strategies for similar applicable methods.
◇ Within the framework of "human security", I am interested in research that develops a relative outlook that can be used for a well balanced debate that includes qualitative and quantitative data about the various particular and universal themes surrounding independence and collaboration in society as well as the life skills and survival of human groups with some sort of problem.
◇ Last, I have begun action-based research in troubled Fukushima Prefecture, following the nuclear accident due to the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake.  I hope to think together with students about creative reconstructive development in the Prefecture.
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TSUDA, Koji   津田 浩司
Anthropology of Southeast Asia and East Asia.  Interests include phenomena related to ethnicity and religion.  My expertise is in ethnography of contemporary Chinese society in the Southeast Asian Archipelago.
◇ My work continually focuses on a micro-level, local study of how people experience, have awareness of and assert "ethnicity" in the midst of socio-political change. I am also interested in considering how some research objects (people) are best to be sorted out, to be researched, then to be represented in ethnographic writings.
◇ In recent years, I am also interested in the problems pertaining to the reorganization of domains of "culture" and "religion" following the changes of people's belief system amidst increased globalization and strengthened national policies.
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MIYACHI, Takahiro   宮地 隆廣
Politics and development of Latin American countries.
◇ My primary interest is in political participation of so-called “marginalized people”. I have focused in particular on their agency observed in the construction of collective interests and claims through interactions with political actors, improvised uses of authoritative discourses, and reflections on their own experiences. The groups examined in my works include rural communities, labor unions, and Indigenous organizations.
◇ My current research centers on the consequences of social movements with special attention to the realm of government. (e.g. policy-making, state building, quality of democracy)

◇ I am also intrigued by the development of Latin American studies in Japan and other Asian countries. Tracing the long trajectory of Asian people interested in Latin America will offer, I hope, deeper understanding about why we research people far away from us.

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MORIYAMA, Takumi   森山 工
Anthropological research on Madagascar society,French colonialist history.
◇ Main research topics are ethnographic research related to society and culture of Madagascar, located in the Indian Ocean.  Based on the research particular to Madagascar, I specifically consider peoples lifestyle practices.  In particular, I focus on the changes to concepts of and actions surrounding graves, corpses, deceased persons and ancestors.
◇ Hoping to capture anthropological research on the people of Madagascar in the context of their modern and contemporary history,  I have tried to consider new ways to develop the field of historical anthropology, and continue to consider its connection to French colonialist history.  Moreover, I am interested in the reciprocal relationship between subsumption and opposition of French (French linguistic culture) and Madagascan (linguistic) culture.
◇ Motivated to research inclined to a more theoretical approach, I also conduct research on "cultural self portraiture", the "culture-as-resource" making process and examine fieldwork as a methodology in an attempt to develop a research stance grounded in method.  [Web page]   [Researchmap]   Faculty List
[Prof. Takumi MORIYAMA is affiliated with the Department of Area Studies, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.]   

Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia

NAWA, Katsuo   名和 克郎
Sociocultural Anthropology, Nepali and Himalayan ethnography; inter-ethnic and inter-caste relations; ritual; language use and language ideologies.
◇  Based on my anthropological fieldwork in Byans and adjacent regions of Far Western Nepal, I have carried out ethnographic and theoretical research on social categorization (especially on "ethnicity" and "caste"), the sociocultural transformation and ritual process, and language use and language ideology.
◇ Themes I have been working on in recent years include:
  • Time-space construction in Byans and its transformation.
  • How to do things with “rituals” in Byans, Far Western Nepal.
  • Ethno-historical reconstruction of socioeconomical and cultural changes in Byans and surrounding region.
  • The use and translation of "globally" circulated concepts (like "human rights", "inclusion" and "democracy") by various actors within and outside of Nepal after the 1990s.
  • Politics and poetics of ethnic movements in Nepal .
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KURAMOTO, Ryosuke   藏本 龍介

Anthropological and sociological approach to institutional religions, Theravāda Buddhism in Myanmar(Burma).
◇  My main research theme is the management of religious organizations. The set of rules in religions tends to restrict the follower's way to acquire, own and use personal possessions because observing these rules is thought to be the optimum approach toward salvation. However, even living as follower requires personal possessions, such as various goods and money. Therefore, strict observation of the rules could prevent them from managing to live as followers. How can they then live according to the rules? I have studied this problem from the viwpoint of the management of religous organizations, taking Theravāda Buddhist monasteries in Myanmar.

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