A View from Japan’s and Tohoku’s 2011 Disasters’ 10th Anniversary: Past, Present, Future; by Millie Creighton

This piece is part of the JAWS online series of Reflections from Tōhoku. Introduction: “Useless Things” In her work on Genkaijima’s earlier earthquake and 3.11’s effects on Onagawa in Tohoku’s Miyagi Prefecture, Nakano (2014, 2016) emphasized communities engaging in what government and economic interests considered “useless things”: storytelling, festivals, local customs. Tohoku communities experiencing the … Read more

Ted Bestor (1951-2021) Remembrance

Theodore C. Bestor, Reischauer Institute Professor of Social Anthropology and Japanese Studies, Harvard University Theodore Charles Bestor, cultural anthropologist and widely recognized ethnographer of contemporary urban Japan, passed away in Cambridge, Massachusetts on July 1, 2021, just shy of his seventieth birthday. Ted, as he was fondly known to friends, colleagues, and students, was the … Read more

Significance of the Nomaoi Festival after 3.11 in Fukushima: Enactment and Reenactment by Nobuko Adachi

This piece is part of the JAWS online series of Reflections from Tōhoku. How have the residents of the Hamadōri coastal area of Fukushima normalized their daily lives after the 3.11 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster?  I consider this by examining an “intangible cultural asset,” an annual traditional ceremony called the Soma Nomaoi Cavalry Festival, … Read more

Rethinking Community?: Alternative Housing as a Response to Alienation in Contemporary Japan

Caitlin MEAGHER meagherc[@]wit.edu Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston (JAWS 2019 Report) At this year’s annual meeting, I presented a paper entitled ‘Rethinking community?: alternative housing as a response to alienation in contemporary Japan’ adapted from the final chapter of my doctoral thesis. The paper emerged out of the apparent gap between the rhetorical uses of … Read more

In memoriam, Theodore C. Bestor

Dear JAWS members, I write with the sad news that our colleague Ted Bestor passed away last week — apparently peacefully at home with his family. Ted was one of the first Americans to join JAWS, maybe the first, because he and Vickey attended our second meeting as part of the EAJS in Paris in … Read more


UPDATE: 23rd January 2021 *The upcoming 30th JAWS conference is concurrent with section 5 of the 16th EAJS conference.* The second Call for Panels and Papers for the 16th EAJS International Conference, which will be held as a virtual conference from 25 to 28 August 2021, is now open. Further information on how to submit … Read more

Jane Cobbi – Obituary

Jane Cobbi, a founding member of JAWS, passed away in Paris on August 6, 2020. An obituary was put in Le Monde on Tuesday, 15 September, as follows: Jane Cobbi, docteur etnologue, chargée de recherche émérite au CNRS, directrice du programme Japon á la FMSH, présidente de l’asssociation Maison de Kiso She learned Japanese language, … Read more

Urban Migrants in Rural Japan

Urban Migrants in Rural Japan: Between Agency and Anomie in a Post-growth Society By Susanne Klien **Awarded 2020 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title in the US** Summary Offers an in-depth ethnography of paradigm shifts in the lifestyles and values of youth in post-growth Japan. Urban Migrants in Rural Japan provides a fresh perspective on theoretical notions … Read more