Monday, September 28, 2009

Fall 2009 Visual Anthropology Student "Two Frame Story" Photo Blogs

Sanjūsangendō (三十三間堂), Kyoto, Japan, on Autumnal Equinox Day (September 23) 2009; sign in the lower right hand corner prohibits photography/video of sacred Buddhist statues and interiors of buildings.

A new semester has begun and Visual Anthropology of Japan students from all over the world are already out there in Osaka, Kyoto and beyond shooting and blogging. Their first set of posts with the theme of "Early Impressions" can be found and accessed by scrolling down to the Fall 2009 Student "Two-Frame Story" Photo Blogs section on the left. I am especially impressed and pleased with my students' early impressions of Japan and how they challenge long-held stereotypes and frame them ethno-photographically with their cameras. They are already discovering aesthetics, cultural values and diversity in their new found research settings. Of special concern this semester is the ethics involved in taking photographs of Japanese people in public.

Visitors leave Toyokuni-jinja (豊国神社) where Toyotomi Hideyoshi, powerful warlord of the 16th century is enshrined; the view of Kyoto City can be seen in the background.

Please tune in every week to see how students grapple with complex issues of cultural representation while researching and presenting on such themes as Japanese neighborhoods, traditions, pop culture, religion, sports, gender and globalization among others. How will students represent these themes via photos and text within the "two-frame story" format? Please leave comments, feedback and advice for individual students' blogs. Our project here is a collaborative one and we appreciate all the cooperation we can get. よろしくお願いします!

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