This book takes the reader on a sensory ethnographic tour in Japan and describes the many ways sounds seep into everyday experiences. So many ethnographies describe local worlds with a deep attention to what is seen and what people say, but with a limited understanding of the broader sonic environments that enrich and inform everyday life. Through a focus on sounds, both real and imagined, the volume employs a critical ear to engage with a range of sonically enriched encounters, including crosswalk melodies in streetscapes, announcements and jingles at train stations, water features in gardens, dosimeters in nuclear affected zones, sounds of training in music and martial arts halls and celebrations under blossoming cherry trees. The authors use various analytic frames to understand the communicative and symbolic aspects of sounds and to sense the layers of historical meaning, embodied action and affect associated with sonic environments.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Introduction: Sounding out Japan
Chapter 2. Sonic Japan
Chapter 3. Sound as Control
Chapter 4. Sound in Embodied Practice
Chapter 5. Silence and Transformation
Chapter 6. Sonic Bloom
Chapter 7. Conclusion: Listening Well into the Future
Richard Chenhall is Professor of Medical Anthropology in the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health at the University of Melbourne, Australia.
Tamara Kohn is Professor of Anthropology in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne, Australia.
Carolyn S. Stevens is Professor and Director of the Japanese Studies Centre at Monash University, Australia.