The JAWS book series Editorial group has now recruited two new members, recommended to the existing Board and then to the general meeting held at the JAWS conference in Istanbul last September, where their choice was agreed unanimously. 

The first, Christoph Brumann, has already published both a monograph (Tradition, Democracy and the Townscape of Kyoto: Claiming a Right to the Past; 2012) and a collection jointly edited with Rupert Cox (Making Japanese Heritage, 2010) in the JAWS series, so we are pleased that he has agreed to join the Board. He introduced himself to the JAWS meeting as follows (slightly abridged):

After studying anthropology and Japanese studies at the universities of Cologne and Sophia University, Tokyo, I obtained my doctorate (1997) and habilitation degree (2005) from the University of Cologne where I held a number of consecutive teaching positions, interrupted by a JSPS-funded stint as Foreign Research Fellow at Minpaku, Osaka, in 1998/99. Since 2010, I have been Head of Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle, Germany, and since 2011, I have been Honorary Professor of Anthropology at the University of Halle-Wittenberg. I am a past president of the German Association for Social Science Research on Japan (VSJF) and a member of the Academia Europaea. My Japan-related publications deal with utopian communes, gift giving, and the debates and conflicts concerning the townscape and other public heritage of Kyoto. I have also written on utopian communes in general, globalisation, the anthropology of heritage, the anthropological concept of culture, and the debate about Captain Cook’s death, and my work has appeared in such journals as Current Anthropology, American Ethnologist, Comparative Studies in Society and History, and Social Anthropology. Currently, I am writing up the results of a multi-sited research project on the UNESCO World Heritage arena (with a significant Japan component), within the framework of the group “The Global Political Economy of Cultural Heritage” I am heading. My other Max Planck research group “Buddhist Temple Economies in Urban Asia” includes a project on Tokyo.

I have been committed to JAWS for a long time, and I value the JAWS series as a showcase for ethnographically grounded and theoretically and methodologically sophisticated work on contemporary Japan and would like to keep it that way. I bring to this task not only my research and publication experience on Japan but also a good sense of current debates and international trends in general anthropology, nurtured by working in an English-speaking environment with anthropologists from forty countries, a wide array of research areas and topics, and a strong commitment to comparison.

The second new member of the Board is Henry Johnson, professor in the Department of Music at the University of Otago, New Zealand. He and Erica Baffelli organised the JAWS conference held there in 2011, so again we are delighted that he has agreed to join the group, and particularly also because he can bring an Antipodean dimension to work on Japan. He introduces himself as follows:

I am an anthropologist of Japan with over 20 years’ experience. I have undertaken extended research in Japan, having lived there for several years and visiting there almost annually. My research has focused on the performing arts, especially in connection with music. I have written extensively about Japanese music, both traditional and popular, and have also published in island studies on Japan, museology, regionalism, nationalism, and disasters.

I have published a number of books on Japan, and edited several others, including Performing Japan, and have much experience editing books and journals, and refereeing for leading publishers (e.g., OUP) and journals (e.g., Journal of Japanese Studies; Asian Studies Review; New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies). I was Editor of New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies for four years.

Sadly, our long-term Australian Board member, Wendy Smith, has now resigned from the group due to ill-health and retirement from her position at Monash University in Melbourne. We would like to thank her for her many years of tireless service to the Board and wish that her retirement will enable her to recover some good health to enjoy it.

We have a couple of splendid books in preparation at the moment, both collections based on conferences and workshops organised by and with JAWS members, so I hope these will be available in a few months’ time. One is intriguingly entitled Escaping Japan: Reflections on Estrangement and Exile in the Twenty-first Century, edited by Paul Hansenand Blai Guarne. The other addresses the equally intriguing subject of happiness and is edited by Wolfram Manzenreiter and Barbara Holthus, entitled Happiness and the Good Life in JapanAs always, we are ready to receive your proposals if you would like your own work to be considered to join the illustrious list you will find below. We are very proud of our collection and we would like to encourage all JAWS members to think about contributing their research. The books my seem a little expensive at first sight, but there is a generous offer to all JAWS members to buy up to 15 copies of any book in the series at 30% of the hardback price, and all the books can be ordered in paperback after a maximum of 2 years in hardback. We publish monographs, collections and translations, and we are always open to consider new ideas for the series, so do please get in touch with me (jhendry@brookes.ac.uk) if you have something you would like to offer and I will send you the guidelines for submission of a proposal. All the books are available at a 70 percent discount for JAWS members; see the JAWS landing page at Routledge for further information.