Wednesday, March 31, 2021

"Be a Ninja: Cough etiquette is ninja knowledge"

This poster, as seen at train stations and inside trains, is from a current joint manner campaign by 19 railway companies in the Kansai area. The poster has the theme of "Consideration for the surroundings of coughing and sneezing." Good timing as cases in Osaka are again on the rise.

What else is written on the poster?

"How to cover your mouth"

"Prevention of spread of new coronavirus infection"

"Cooperate in wearing a mask in the car"

List of the 19 participating railway companies

Press release about the campaign (in Japanese):

The cute little ninja looks kinda sick under his mask if you ask me... When can we expect vaccines?

Monday, March 29, 2021

「Tenbun Closing」One Year Anniversary, pt. 2: Tenbun People See the Photo Essay (the subjects become the audience once again)

The gang got together for the first time in months. Some have gone through hardships and losses. But it was good to get together at this Italian restaurant. Everyone was happy and thrilled with the photo essay!
For more information on Tenbun and the project: 「Behind the Scenes:「Tenbun Closing」Presentation @ Anthropology of Japan in Japan Annual Meeting 2020」

「Eat, Drink, and Stand in Japan」at Anthropology News (oneline version)

Sunday, March 28, 2021

「Tenbun Closing」One Year Anniversary, pt. 1: Empty Space

March 28, 2020 was Tenbun's last day of business. One year later the location of Tenbun is empty space. The red circles on the floor guide for エルくずは (Elle Kuzuha) show where Tenbun was (lot 5) and that no new shop has opened there.

The Norengai is no more (only two shops seem to have a small noren now). This shot was taken at 5:30 PM last Thursday. The renamed エルくずは is no longer a busy and popular corridor like it once was. The demise was likely caused by the refurbishment/gentrification of the area by Keihan Densha, higher rents, more chain restauraunts, the close of the pachinko parlour and finally the close of Tenbun. COVID-19 was the last nail in the coffin. In all, three shops have gone out of business and remain vacant. At least one shop seems to be at least temporarily closed.
Shuttered and closed. But not forgotten...

For more information on Tenbun and the project: 「Behind the Scenes:「Tenbun Closing」Presentation @ Anthropology of Japan in Japan Annual Meeting 2020」

「Eat, Drink, and Stand in Japan」at Anthropology News (oneline version)

Thursday, March 25, 2021

"Sakura Drone Project provides free sakura backgrounds, virtual hanami and more"

Photo and text from Japan Today, 3/24/21.

While some people may try to find socially distant ways of enjoying cherry blossoms this year, the pandemic has put the kibosh on the typically crowded hanami (flower-viewing, often while picnicking under the cherry blossoms).

Online Cherry Blossom Broadcast: March 27

But thankfully, technology now provides the means to enjoy hanami virtually.

On Saturday, Drone Entertainment Inc will hold an "Online Cherry Blossom Viewing" event on YouTube, which can be enjoyed anywhere in the world. The broadcast will weave together 4K aerial footage from the Cherry Blossom Drone Project 2020, which was featured on Japanese TV last year and became a hot topic on social media, and expertly-piloted live 4K drone views of this year's cherry blossoms.

In fact, it's already started! In preparation for March 27, the company has begun a 1,000 hours continuous live streaming of hanami videos from all over Japan, featuring beautiful images of cherry blossoms shot in 2020 at 50 locations in 40 prefectures with the cooperation of many local governments.


Wednesday, March 17, 2021

「Deaf-World in Japan」Presentation and Webinar at University of Findlay - Valuable Feedback and Corrections

Thanks to all at the University of Findlay and all of the webinar participants.

My friend and colleague, Mark Bookman, a Ph.D. Candidate in East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania, also zoomed in to the presentation. He is close to finishing his dissertation on the history and politics of disability in Japanese and global contexts. Mark is an expert on the kinds of things I was talking about in Part Two of my lecture. He gave me some valuable feedback and I want to share it with the participants.

Click here to download Mark's comments.

Again, I really appreciate Mark's feedback. It is this kind of collaboration and dialogue (and frankly, good anthropology) that is important and valuable.

I welcome more feedback from anyone who is willing.

For more of this kind of collaboration and research, check out the Asian Ethnology "Disability and Japan in the Digital Age."

Transcript available here:

You can also check out Mark Bookman's work here:

Friday, March 12, 2021

「Deaf-World in Japan」Presentation and Webinar at University of Findlay

This happens on March 17, 2021 @ 8:30 AM Japan time.

BONUS! Click here for additional resources about deaf communities and sign language in Japan.

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Vintage Japanese Sign Language Photos (circa 2011 & 2012)

I have been preparing for two presentations about my research with Japanese deaf communities I will be giving in March and May (stay tuned for upcoming details). I came across a couple of collages I crafted for photo exhibitions several years ago featuring facial expression use in JSL. 懐かしい!
手話の顔 日本映像人類学 写真展 (Sign Language Faces: A Visual Anthropology of Japan Photo Exhibition) (2011)


Visual Anthropology of Japan Photo Exhibition: NPO Deaf Support Osaka GALAXY (2012)