Monday, October 3, 2022

Announcement and Preview: “What the Future of Anthropological Research Should Look/Sound/Feel Like: A Visual Ethnography of a Standing Drink Bar in Japan”

SouthWest Conference on Asian Studies
University of Central Arkansas, USA
Session 7.1 (Virtual)
October 8, 2022
9:30-10:45 AM (Central Daylight Time)
11:30 PM-12:45 AM (Japan Standard Time)

Abstract: Boyer et al. (2016) ask “What should the anthropological research article of the future look and sound and feel like (emphasis mine)?” This research project is a visual ethnography of a forty-year-old tachinomiya (standing drink bar) in Osaka called Tenbun. Tenbun features many kinds of food and drink, a lively and relaxed atmosphere and plenty of colorful characters. The study is based upon long-term patronage, focused participant-observation and photography, a photo exhibition and other post-fieldwork encounters. My current analysis re-positions the research in wider social and academic contexts including multimodality, sensory ethnography, food anthropology and media studies. My work is informed by, first, Collins et al. who reflect on the “changes in the media ecologies” (2017), and, second, Pink’s multisensoriality (2009). I explore how to use new technologies, engagements and collaborations in methodology and dissemination of findings to create a new sensory narrative about the standing drink bar, Tenbun.

For more information and full conference schedule:

Monday, September 19, 2022

New Gyoza Vending Machine In My Neighborhood!

This bright red machine suddenly appeared in my neighborhood, so I had to try it! I was hoping the gyoza would come out cooked, but alas it was frozen...
Official Gyoza Ichiryudo website (in Japanese):

Link to more gyoza vending machines, click here.

Bonus! Meat vending machines! (photos courtesy of M.H. on his walk to the train station from work)

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Announcement: "Electric Yen Zone - Kyoto: Can Tamura Solo Exhibition"


An exhibition of works by Can Tamura (John Wells)


September 23, 2022 (Thursday, National Holiday) ~ September 25, 2022 (Sunday), 11am to 5pm

Studio-P / ギャラリー幸楓
〒605-0005 京都市東山区三町目35-3

Studio-P / Gallery Kohfu
35-3 Sanchome, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto 605-0005, Japan

Google Maps Link:

Can Tamura カン・タムラ

Friday, August 19, 2022

"Japanese government worried young adults aren’t drinking enough alcohol"

Photo and text from Japan Today, 8/19/22.

The National Tax Agency (NTA) has a problem with the youth of today: They simply aren’t drinking enough alcohol anymore. According to an independent study, roughly half of young adults in Japan do not — I repeat NOT — even have a daily drinking habit.

Some people might consider this a good thing in that it results in healthier and more productive people less likely to yell at me on a train station platform for no reason. But these are all matters handled by other government agencies. The NTA is all about getting those taxes, of which alcoholic product sales are a rich source.

However, “Drink more, so we can get your money!” is not a great promotional slogan, so the NTA has opened up marketing ideas to the general public in their Sake Viva! contest. Until 9 September anyone between the ages of 20 and 39 can participate alone or in groups of two or three to come up with new sales strategies that would appeal to young adults. Anything is open for consideration, but the NTA mentioned that they’re expecting an emphasis on home drinking and utilizing the metaverse for sales among the ideas.


And do check out the reader comments. Some of them are mucy more enlightening that the news story...

Thursday, August 11, 2022

New Resource: Behind the Camera

Introduction (from the source):

Behind the Camera is an open-source website that creates new critical directions on the history of photography, feminist art history, and the history of modern Japan. It is a pedagogical tool for the growing global investment in diverse and expanded histories of photography and gender studies.

Part database, part teaching module, the website’s primary resource is a series of short lecture videos created by experts in the field, each re-examining an aspect of the history of photography from a feminist lens. The videos are a part of exploration modules that include translated primary source materials, annotated bibliographies, and high-resolution images that make research opportunities available to a wider audience. These resources are linked to an interactive timeline that charts the activities and accomplishments of women photographers alongside major events in Japanese and photo history. The result of five years of collaborative information gathering from libraries around the world, these resources bring together disparate information on women and photography in Japan, so that scholars and students can use it to draw connections and produce new scholarship on this important, understudied subject.

Cushman, Carrie and Kelly McCormick, eds. Behind the Camera 1.0: Gender, Power, and Politics in the History of Japanese Photography. 2022. Accessed August 11, 2022.


See also (less academic): Rare Historical Photos - Photographs that document the Japan’s transformation in the 1950s


Monday, August 1, 2022

"第14回国際手話言語学会 - Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research 14: 2022, Osaka, Japan" - September 26- October 1, 2022 - National Museum of Ethnology (Minpaku)

TISLR14 will be held at the National Museum of Ethnology (Minpaku). TISLR will be held for the 14th time, but this is the first time it will be held in Asia. For this reason, we have also incorporated a project (panel discussion) that will serve as an opportunity to build a network for sign language linguistics research in Asia. This conference will be held online and onsite in parallel, with consideration given to preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus. We look forward to your active participation and submission of research presentations. 

Date: September 26 (Mon), 2022 - October 1 (Sat), 2022

Venue: Hall at the National Museum of Ethnology
Online and onsite sessions will be held in parallel
National Museum of Ethnology
10-1 Senri Expo Park, Suita, Osaka
565-8511, Japan

Main organizer: National Museum of Ethnology

September 25 (Sun) – 26 (Mon) : Pre-event (Japanese sign language class, Asian sign language workshop, welcome drink [tentative], meeting with interpreters [Presenters are required to attend])
September 27 (Tue) - September 30 (Friday): Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research (TISLR14)

Official languages: Japanese Sign Language, American Sign Language, International Sign Language, English

Sunday, July 31, 2022

"Homō loquēns ‘talking human’ Wonders of Language and Languages" - Special Exhibition at the National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka / 1 Sep 2022 – 23 Nov 2022

Dealing with “language”, which is too familiar for most people to think about, over 50 researchers inside and outside Japan, specializing not only in linguistics but also in anthropology, engineering, education, brain science and cognitive psychology, collaborate and show the wonders of language. As part of the exhibition, an installation that is inspired by language will be displayed. It was created by video artist YAMASHIRO Daisuke.

Thursday, September 1st 2022 – Wednesday, November 23, 2022
The Special Exhibition Hall, National Museum of Ethnology
Language: Japanese, Japanese Sign Language, English
Tickets: ¥880 (Adults), ¥450 (College and University Students), Free (High School Students and Younger)