Evolving Funerals in Japan

Funeral hall in an Osaka suburb 
/Courtesy of Yohko Tsuji

By Yohko Tsuji (Cornell University)   In 2013, I attended a funeral of the Yamada family in an Osaka suburb. The deceased, age 89, was the widow of the family head whose funeral in 1992 provided the data for my article on Japanese mortuary rituals (Tsuji, “Mortuary Rituals in Japan: The Hegemony of Tradition and the Motivations of Individuals” Ethos 34(3), 2006). … [Read more...]

Interview with Junko Kitanaka, 2013 Hsu Book Prize Recipient

Junko Kitanaka (Keio University). Photo courtesy of Junko Kitanaka

Junko Kitanaka was awarded the 2013 Frances L.K. Hsu Book Prize for her book Depression in Japan: Psychiatric Cures for a Society in Distress. Heidi Lam: What drew you to the issue of how depression has been defined in Japan? Junko Kitanaka: Since my undergraduate days, I have always been interested in how people placed in extreme situations can still find meaning in … [Read more...]

2013 David Plath Media Award: 农家乐 Peasant Family Happiness

Video still from 农家乐 Peasant Family Happiness (2013). Courtesy of Jenny Chio.

By Jenny Chio (Emory University)  Whenever I have been lucky enough to discuss my film, 农家乐 Peasant Family Happiness, after it has been screened, I’m usually asked a series of questions about my motivation for making a film, the relationship of the film to my larger research project, whether or not life in the two villages depicted has changed, and how village residents … [Read more...]

Letter from the SEAA President

The New SEAA President Li Zhang

Greetings from warm California! It is a privilege and an honor to serve as the SEAA president. First, I want to thank all the past presidents and board members for their hard work. I am really looking forward to working with all the members of this dynamic section that I care about deeply. I would like to take this opportunity to briefly introduce myself and the new columnists … [Read more...]

AAA 2013 Invited Session Spotlight

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Reflections on "Precarious Time: Discussions on the Un/Doing of East Asia" By Timothy Gitzen (University of Minnesota)  The aim of this panel was to follow the renewed attention to the precarious in anthropology by focusing on the dependencies that create relationships while simultaneously threaten to destroy them.  Our site was East Asia—from Jenny Chio’s discussion … [Read more...]

CfP Asian Highlands Perspectives by 2014-02-20

Asian Highlands Perspectives (AHP) is seeking articles and book reviews for its sixth annual collection of essays. AHP is a peer reviewed, open access, trans-disciplinary journal focusing on the Tibetan Plateau and surrounding regions, including the Southeast Asian Massif, Himalayan Massif, the Extended Eastern Himalayas, the Mongolian Plateau, and other contiguous areas. … [Read more...]

2013 AAA Meeting Highlights

2013 Francis L.K. Hsu book prize recipients Junko Kitanaka (left) and Judith Farquhar (right) with Vanessa Fong (middle)

By Heidi Lam (Yale University) and Yi Zhou (University of California, Davis)  SEAA-Sponsored Panels The Society for East Asian Anthropology (SEAA) sponsored 23 panels at the 112th AAA Annual Meeting in Chicago. Of these panels, 12 explored topics across East Asia, 7 were China-related, 3 examined issues in Japan, and 1 engaged with scholars working in the U.S. Identity and … [Read more...]

Asian Highlands Perspectives 28 published

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The editors of Asian Highlands Perspectives are pleased to announce the publication of AHP 28, our annual essay collection for 2013. This volume contains: five original research articles from Cambodia, China (Tibetan and Pumi), and Vietnam; a selection of Tibetan folklore and original fiction; and twenty reviews of new books. The entire volume of AHP 28 is available as a … [Read more...]