Fwd: Anthropology of Japan Fall Workshop

Aaron Gerow gerow
Tue Nov 13 01:09:17 EST 2001

---------------- Begin Forwarded Message ----------------

From: "David H. Slater" <d-slater at hoffman.cc.sophia.ac.jp>

Hello All,
	Due to some computer confusion, the full program for the AJJ Workshop was
not able to be seen by all near and far. For those interested, I have put
the program in the body of this email.
	Sorry about the confusion and thank you very much,

David Slater

Anthropology of Japan in Japan
Saturday, November 17th, 2001

Sophia University, Ichigaya Campus, Tokyo

We are happy to announce the AJJ Fall Workshop 2001. The workshop will be
divided into two parts, a General Session and a Special Session.  The
General Session will have two presentations, while the Special Session,
entitled "Message, Medium, Milieu: Semiologies of Japan," will be divided
into three ninety-minute sessions (as explained below).

First Part: General Session
(10:00-11:30 am)

(1)   Erick Laurent, Gifu Keizai University

"Male Homosexualities in Contemporary Japan"

This research, based on participant observation in gay scenes, analysis of
interviews and the gay press, unmasks Japanese specificities concerning 
homosexuality, as well as features that participate in the building of
"homosexual identities".

Negative visions of homosexuality refers to genetic disorders and
perversity. One witnesses few clear-cut homophobic acts, but also few
"coming outs", and there is little information and nearly no prevention
policies against aids; bars and meeting places are hidden, many gays marry
and activism is weak. The meeting places define a heterogenic "gay
spatiality" that bears also a definite temporality. A gay bar is a warm
place where friends meet in order to gain information about the community,
rather than a place to pick up sexual partners. In guidebooks, bars are
classified according to their dominant mood, the age of the customers and
the type of encounter.  One cannot escape such a logic of categorization,
which draws a "typology of fantasms".

Lifestyle particularities, meeting places, marriage help to construct
Japanese male homosexuality's specificities, more than sexual behaviours,
are thus part of an identity, often blurred and silent. One witnesses
tendencies to openness among the youngest homosexual activists, in
opposition to the traditional gloomy image of the milieu.

(2)Katalin Ferber, Comparative Economic History, Shizuoka University of 
and Culture

"Whose Money? Constructing a nation via the new currency system in Japan

This paper explores a rarely challenged question among scholars, that is 
various roles of money in Japanese society.  Since the Meiji-period, when
the government introduced the first national currency, the Yen, currency
played a crucial role in creating a unified nation.  Although it took more
than two decades until the new currency became the accepted one among the
commoners, the state-created currencies and banknotes represented 
social interactions where "moneys" functioned differently.  This research
sheds light on two social interactions of Japanese money.  The first is 
state-introduced saving system in which commoners' behaviour and attitude
toward spending and thrift had to be altered.  The second function of the
modern currency is a role in the domestic and in the foreign market.  The
"domestic" money and the "foreign" money in the Japanese case were
deliberately isolated from each other, in order to maintain and to protect
"national economic interests".

Second Part: Special Session:
"Medium, Message, Milieu: Semiologies of Japan"
(1:00-6:00 pm)

Session Abstract

This session focuses on semiology as a means for developing an 
of Japan. Semiology (also known as "semiotics") relies on the systematic
analysis of symbolic content to decode the deeper ideational and 
structures of a society. In most social worlds this symbolic content is
often loaded in and flows through cultural forms-everything from myths to
language to educational institutions to popular songs to public 
Thus mediated, its reception in concrete contexts works to re/produce
cultural values and practices and, in this way, societal structure.

In piecing together the semiologies that might reveal the logic, contours
and rhythms of Japanese society, this session is divided into three
substantive parts: communication forms (medium), their content (message) 
the symbolic context (milieu) in which media are situated and content
operates. Presentations focus on: film, amateur singing contests, and folk
narratives (medium); images of nationhood, gender, and emotions (message);
and (3) "gaijin" bars, a world heritage site, and urban public spaces

The format for our gathering is as follows:

?        3 ninety-minute sessions; comprised of:

1.        three, twenty-minute presentations per session;
2.        ten minutes of analysis and commentary by a discussant;

The remainder of the session devoted to:

u      critique by fellow panelists (who have already read the
pre-circulated papers), and
u      discussion directed from the audience

T.J.M. Holden, Tohoku University, Navigator


I. Medium

(1)   Mariko Hara, Keio; Tokyo Keizai Universities
"The Creation of a Japanese National Identity in the Greater East Asia
Co-Prosperity Sphere as Portrayed in the Japanese Wartime Newsreels"

(2) Shuhei Hosokawa, Tokyo Institute of Technology
"Nodojiman and the Mediated Grassroots Nationalism"

(3) Scott Davis, Miyazaki International College
"Transformational Fields in Japanese Folk Narratives"

II. Message

(4) Debra J. Occhi, Miyazaki International College
"The Nature of Sentiment in Japanese Enka Music"

(5) Tsuneo Ayabe and Hiroko Ayabe, Josai International University
"Globalization and Changing Japanese Images Seen from the Outside: A
Historical analysis"

(6) Anka Veronika Badurina Haemmerle, Kyoto University
"Venus Under Construction: Creating Female Characters for Japanese TV

III. Milieu

(7) James Farrer, Sophia University
"Drinking with Foreigners: A Semiotic Analysis of Tokyo Gaijin Bars"

(8) Nakashima Narihisa, Hosei University
"A Reading of the Folk Environmental View of Yakushima, a Site of World

(9) Brian J. McVeigh, Toyo Gakuen University
"Productive Spaces and Non-Places: Public Space in Urban Japan"


For further information, please contact:

David Slater (d-slater at hoffman.cc.sophia.ac.jp)
Brian J. McVeigh (bmcveigh at gol.com)
Takami Kuwayama (bzp01465 at nifty.ne.jp)
Todd J.M. Holden (holden at langc.tohoku.ac.jp)


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