Features

Gramps and the Gangster visit the memory clinic

“Are you free tomorrow?”

“Sure, what’s going on?”

“It’s a big day for Gramps! I’m taking him to the doctor. I guess someone from the ward office said he ought to be checked for dementia.”

I could tell Ken was trying to make a joke about this ‘big day,’ but as he started slowly walking past me, he leaned his …

Features

Risk is Your Business: Citizen Science after Fukushima

I began to sweat profusely when my Geiger counter registered a radiation level of 13 microsieverts per hour—a number that indicated a high level of radioactivity. Worried, I glanced at my guide, Mr. Kan’no. The latter seems unperturbed, replying with a wry smile: “See? I told you the radiation level would be high near the gate!” Mr. Kan’no is not …

Books

Anne Allison’s Precarious Japan

Precarious Japan

by Anne Allison

Duke University Press, 2013. 246 pages

 

The March 11, 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent nuclear disaster in Northern Japan illuminated and deepened a sense of vulnerability for people across the nation that, as Anne Allison argues in Precarious Japan, significantly predated this “triple disaster.” Author of three other major books on the cultural …

Features

The Bananization of Nuclear Things

Fukushima: from the coasts of India’s Tamil Nadu to the halls of the German Bundestag, the word now stands for danger and deception, contamination and vulnerability. Every day brings new distress. Cesium-137 clings tenaciously to the soil and buildings of northeastern Japan. Radioactive fish promenade across the Pacific. Over 40% of children examined by the Fukushima Prefecture Health Management Survey …

Books

Karen Nakamura’s A Disability of the Soul

A Disability of the Soul:
An Ethnography of Schizophrenia and Mental Illness in Contemporary Japan

by Karen Nakamura

Cornell University Press, 2013

US $24.95, Paperback + DVD

 

It takes a strong heart and an open mind to study something like schizophrenia. No doubt many anthropologists have taken on this courageous task, many to be eventually rewarded with pieces of …