Saturday, September 19, 2020

Happy Birthday Dad!

My father would have been 74 today. He passed away 30 years ago. I wonder what kind of old man he would have been. I regret that my daughter couldn't know her Grandpa. My father was a photographer. He shot all kinds of stuff. But his true talent was his photo stories. He took time to build relationships and get to know the people he was photographing. He cared. And this led to the success of his representations. I grew up with with his work, trapped in his darkroom, sometimes being an unwilling model and helping him carry his heavy equipment on assignments. Little did I know then how he would influence my work as anthropologist. I miss him.

Friday, July 17, 2020

JAPAN CUTS 2020 Festival of New Japanese Film

Festival of New Japanese Film

North America’s largest festival of contemporary Japanese cinema returns for its unprecedented 14th edition as an entirely online experience! Featuring a diverse slate of 30 features and 12 shorts—including studio blockbusters, independent productions, documentaries, restored classics, animation and avant-garde works—JAPAN CUTS 2020 offers 14 days of unique access to the best new films from Japan with filmmaker video introductions, live virtual Q&As and panel discussions for audiences across the entire United States.

Organized by K. F. Watanabe, Amber Noé and Joel Neville Anderson.

Founded in 2007, JAPAN CUTS is an annual film festival dedicated to screening the best of contemporary Japanese cinema. Organized by Japan Society in New York City, the festival presents an exclusive slate of premiere film screenings, free talk events, and access to guest filmmakers and stars through post-screening Q&As and parties. Since its inception, the festival has attracted over 60,000 filmgoers, screened over 350 films and invited over 100 guests from Japan and beyond.

July 17-30, 2020


Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Tanabata: Japan's New Summer Valentine's Day

I saw this sign at a local sweets shop on my way from home last night. July 7 is Tanabata in Japan and celebrates a romantic tale of two star-crossed lovers who can only meet once a year. So the Valentine's Day connection kinda makes sense (although Valentine's Day in Japan is more about giri choco and reciprocity than romantic love). At first I thought that the photo was of tako yaki and I wondered why a sweets shop would be selling tako yaki? But then I remembered an article from last year about a study that suggests being able to make tako yaki gives one an advantage in being attractive and more successful in the game of love.

"Want to be popular with the ladies/men? Be good at making takoyaki, study says"


However, a closer inspection of the of the product in the photo shows that it is a sweet egg tart. Oh well. Another lesson about rushing into assumptions in anthropological research...

For more on the celebration of Tanabata in Japan, see "七夕 @ 機物神社 (Tanabata Festival at Hatamono Shrine)" @ VAOJ.