Work interests: research, editing, science communication
Affiliation/website: National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka
Preferred contact method: Any
Preferred contact language(s): English, German
Contact: email = researchcooperative-at-gmail-dot-com
Favourite publications: Various, and especially the open access versions of older journals with effective review systems
Affiliations: 1996-present: National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka. 1995: Freelance editor, Kyoto. 1994: JSPS Research Visitor, Kyoto University, Kyoto. 1993: Research Visitor, Australian National University, Canberra. 1991: Visiting Researcher, National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka.1990: STA Fellow, National Institute for Ornamental Plants, Vegetables, and Tea (NIVOT), Ano, Japan
Contact: National Museum of Ethnology, Senri Expo Park, Suita City, Osaka, Japan 565-8511
Biographical: Established the Research Cooperative in 2001
Favourite Publications: Various
Reading in 2022
Michael Wood (1996) The Smile of the Murugan: A South Indian Journal. Penguin Books: London, pp. 247.
Non-fiction. I found this book being given away by a recently-retired, museum staff member who has been clearing out his office. As a specialist on Indian culture, he had many good books about India. This was an excellent account of journeys taken by a former BBC journalist and film-maker over many years. It has many dimensions, as travelogue, as ethnography, and as remembrance of a long friendship with one family in Chidambaram, a small city in Tamil Nadu state. I enjoyed his attention to the sweaty details of landscape, climate, physical decay, biological regeneration, and the living conditions endured and enjoyed by people he lived and traveled with. The book is also about religion, human spirit, our attachments to history and tradition, and the allure of modernity.
John Berendt (2006) The City of Falling Angels. Penguin Books: London, 420 pp.
Non-fiction. A wonderful social history of modern Venice, based on the author's experiences and investigations in the city over many years. The author made patient efforts to meet many different kinds of people, and gain diverse perspectives on many aspects of city life and history. I admire his ability to follow many threads of study and bring them all together. Despite taking up some (locally) very controversial topics, he is able to state at the beginning: "All the people in [this book] are real, and are identified by their real names. There are no composite characters".
Geerat Vermeij (1997) Privileged Hands: A Remarkable Scientific Life. W. H. Freeman and Company: New York.
Non-fiction. The author is a biologist who became blind in childhood, in the Netherlands. After migrating to the USA with his family, at a young age, he became fascinated with seashells, ecology, palaeobiology, and the evolution of molluscs. His vivid descriptions of field work in many different countries transported me far from Kyoto at a time when travel for my own fieldwork has been greatly limited. I enjoyed this beautifully written book as much for the author's personal story as for the broad view of 20th century biology and evolutionary theory.