Digital Video Archive

“Voices from Tohoku” Oral Narrative 東北からの声 Note: This project was supported by grants from Toyota Foundation, a Kaken grant from the Japanese Ministry of Education, and various sources from within Sophia University. A more detailed outline of the archive can be found here: Public Anthropology of Disaster and Recovery : “Archive of Hope”(希望ア–カイブ) Of all […]

Disasters Digitized

Participatory Archiving and Collaborative Commemoration Editors’ Note: This article is part of the series Digital Anthropologies in East Asia. [pquote]If the content of an archive matters deeply, then so does its medium.[/pquote] Although much has been said about the triple disaster—earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdowns—in Japan in March 2011 (hereafter, 3.11), the upsurge of digital records and efforts to archive them in […]

Devaluing Human Labor

Editors’ Note: This article is part of the series Digital Anthropologies in East Asia. The rise in economic inequality associated with technological displacement is one of the defining issues of our time. Last year the White House reported that recent advances in AI will result in the obsolescence of millions of low and medium-skill jobs and […]

SEAA Highlights from Cyberspace to Asia

The Society for East Asian Anthropology (SEAA) promotes discussion and shares information on diverse topics related to the anthropology of East Asia broadly conceived. We are committed to developing international channels of communication among anthropologists throughout the world who share an interest in East Asia both as a topic of academic inquiry and as a […]

Japanese Radiation Refugees in Malaysia

Editors’ note: This is the sixth and final piece of the series “In and Out of Japan.”   On March 11, 2011, the great Tohoku earthquake shook Japan. A few days later, nuclear reactors on the northeastern coast experienced meltdowns. Since then, a growing number of so-called houshanou nanmin (“radiation refugees”) have fled their homes […]

Making Money Visible

Digital Money and Financial Precarity amongst Chinese Migrant Workers In the summer of 2016, my students and I were in the industrial city of Shenzhen, South East China, conducting a small exploratory study aimed at gaining an overview of migrant factory workers’ attitudes towards digital money platforms. Over two weeks, we had spoken to many […]

Situated Digitalization

Introduction to the Series of “Digital Anthropologies in East Asia” In 2012, the Google policy analyst Andy Yee (2012) claimed that East Asia finally began a second digital revolution that was transforming the region from manufacturing digital hardware to creating digital content and services. According to Yee, this second stage of digitalization was more innovative and […]

Digital Outsourcing and Japanese Call Center Workers in Dalian, China

Editors’ note: This is the fifth piece of the series “In and Out of Japan.” In 2003, the first Japanese-staffed call center opened in Dalian, a north-eastern city of six million people dubbed China’s “Green Silicon Valley.” Thousands of Japanese workers have served consumers across Sino-Japanese borders, alongside their bilingual Chinese colleagues. They are recruited […]

Empire of Sound

A foundational moment in the historiographical study of Islam in China was marked by a light scorn. “You cannot alter the text at will and still claim it is from the original,” the prominent historian Chen Yuan thus expressed his frustration with Hui Muslim scholars in 1928. “Each generation had its own way of transcription. […]

English Teaching in, out, and through Japan

Editors’ note: This is the fourth piece of the series “In and Out of Japan.” Various life courses emerge from teaching English in Japan: short-term and long-term stays, transformation into other professions or increasing precarity among a cohort of mostly uncontracted freelance workers. In this piece, I highlight those who move in and (then) out of […]