Introduction to the Series “Social Movements in Japan”

Contributing Editors’ Note: We present our next Society for East Asian Anthropology (SEAA) article series on the social movements that are presently occurring in Japan, with David H Slater (Sophia U) as this series’ curator. What follows is his introduction to the context and content of the four forthcoming reports in this series. The triple […]

Two Anthropologists Look beyond Diplomacy for a Peace Framework in South Sudan

Sharon E Hutchinson (U Wisconsin–Madison) and Naomi R Pendle (London School of Economics and Political Science) have just published “Violence, legitimacy, and prophecy: Nuer struggles with uncertainty in South Sudan” in American Ethnologist. Their article is particularly timely because July 2015 marks the fourth anniversary of independence for South Sudan, which is the world’s newest […]

“Pro-Government” Is Not “Pro-Corruption” in the Aftermath of the Nepal Earthquakes

Since the April 25th earthquake in Nepal, as anthropologists, aid workers, Nepalis and outsiders, we have responded to our grief in both laudable and questionable ways. Many of us have thrown ourselves into action through the networks and organizations we are connected to in Nepal. In an environment rife with anguish and critique, we admire […]

Strength, Security, Resilience and Nepal’s Great Earthquake

Newars, one of Nepal’s many ethnic groups, have a traditional way of responding to earthquakes. When a quake comes, adult men are supposed to stand up and yell loudly, while women should place their hands on the ground and recite soothing mantras to comfort the earth in its agitation. In fact, none of my friends […]

Behind the Scenes

Ethnography in the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement On the wall are handwritten notes and posters, yellow ribbons are distributed and thousands of students from various Hong Kong universities listen to student speeches and calls for action. It is September 22, 2014, the first day of a weeklong student class boycott. The kick-off was held at […]

Buddhist and Christian Interpretations of the Hong Kong Protests

Socially Engaged Religion and the Umbrella Movement Even though the 2014 Hong Kong Umbrella Movement was mainly a political movement sparked by economic and political distress, religion played a significant factor in the event. The role of religious leaders and symbols has been discussed in different media channels throughout the duration of the protests, for […]

Earthquakes and Culture

What does culture have to do with earthquakes? Recently a major earthquake occurred in Nepal, with an epicenter in the rural area (Gorkha) where I conducted my doctoral research, and it got me thinking about the relationship between culture and earthquakes. In Nepal there are many cultural features which have led to the unpreparedness of […]