Click and Touch

South Korean Missions in the IT Age Editors’ Note: This article is part of the series Digital Anthropologies in East Asia. As I walked through the corridor at Onnuri Church in Seoul, South Korea, I nearly passed by a bespectacled man holding a sign that read, “IT Missions School, 2nd floor” (IT sŏn-kyo-hak-kyo). Seeing the sign, I […]

Not Just Another Gangnam Style

Framing politics and internet celebrity in East Asia Editors’ Note: This article is part of the series Digital Anthropologies in East Asia. In August 2016, a minute-long video of a middle-aged man flamboyantly singing and dancing to an upbeat number known as “PPAP” or “Pen Pineapple Apple Pen” went viral globally on YouTube. Singing in Japanese-accented […]

Hopeless Online and Yingyeo Culture in South Korea

Editors’ Note: This article is part of the series Digital Anthropologies in East Asia. It was around the late 2000s and early 2010s that young people of South Korea started to talk about the quasi-mythical story of online Yingyeo humans. It is said, “In the online world, many Yingyeo humans can be found.” Yingyeo humans live […]

Deterritorializing Chinatown in Digital Tokyo

Editors’ Note: This article is part of the series Digital Anthropologies in East Asia. [pquote]The growth in digital forms of sociality and their intersection with new mobilities has ensured that many Chinese community-forming practices in Tokyo have taken on less territory oriented dynamics.[/pquote]In 2008 a small group of Chinese business owners gathered together to propose the […]

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 […]