Kyushu University Academic Staff Educational and Research Activities Database
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Yoshinobu Ota Last modified date:2019.12.03

Professor / Department of Cultural Studies
Department of Cultural Studies
Faculty of Social and Cultural Studies

Graduate School
Undergraduate School
Other Organization

Academic Degree
Ph.D., M.A., B.A. with honors
Country of degree conferring institution (Overseas)
Field of Specialization
Total Priod of education and research career in the foreign country
Research Interests
  • Reinterpretations of Theories in Anthropology, Cultural Studies, and Postcolonialism through the lens of AFTERLIFE. Search for Possible Reconciliations among those divided by colonialism. Reinventions of the idea of decolonization in the form of indigeneity.
    keyword : Indigenous People, Afterlife, Colonialism, Decolonization
  • I have been investigating the role that the idea of "indigenous people" as political identity--the Maya Kaqchikel, in particular--might play in the reconstruction of Post-Peace Accord Guatemala; what does it mean to be political as indigenous people in a country that seeks to democratize itself through the redefition of the State power? I have also conducting an ethnographic research among the fishermen in the island of Ishigaki, the southern Ryukyus, since the early 1990's. From September 1, 2009 through MArch 26, 2010, I conducted an archival research, as a Fulbright Scholar, on the mural art projects created by Jean Charlot, at the University of Hawai'i.
    keyword : the Indigenous People, critical liberalism, the southern Ryukyus, cultural appropriation, political identity
    2004.04~2013.03Understanding the Role of Mayan Peoples play in the transformation of Guatemalan national polity .
Current and Past Project
  • During the first ten years of the twenty-first century the global spread of liberalism seems to have promised an emergence of more equitable social relations in many countries; however, also produced are ideas derived from liberalism itself, reproducing in the same locations the structural inequality: political stances based on color-blindness and reverse discrimination often support status quo rather than social change. These ideas would deprive the discriminated of the ground for political contestation. At this current historical conjuncture fraught with contradictions this collaborative project aims, drawing both historical sources and ethnographic data, to think critically through liberalism from the perspectives of the dominated. By turning the gaze of conventional anthropological investigation from the colonial Other to the dominant settlers, it seeks to problematize/visualize “whiteness,” a category of classification previously unproblematized/unseen, as political classification: “whiteness,” in its broadest sense, might include such local terms as “Wajin [Shamo]” of the Aynu, “Naichaa (Yamato’nchu)” of Okinawa, “Haole” of the Kanaka Maori, and “Kaxlan” of the Guatemalan Maya).
  • Executive Program Committee Member
  • What is "political identhity"?: Indigenous Mobilization as Liberation Movement
Academic Activities
1. Cultural Anthropology and Afterlife of The Chrysanthemum and the Sword: Toward A Dialogue between Liberalism and Culture Concept in the Twenty-Frist Century.
2. Mikagan: Spearfishermen in the Yaeyama Area of Okinawa Prefcture, Japan.
3. Anthropology of Political Identity: Struggle for Democract and Transformation of Power in the Twenty-First Century.
4. Anthropology and Decolonization.
5. Refashioning Culture under the Condition of Ethnographic Modernity.
6. Trasposition: A Reimagining of Anthropology.
1. Could Anthropology Become Postcolonial?.
2. Yoshinobu Ota, Comment, National Museum of Ethnology, 2011.03.
3. A Review of Nakaza Shin'ichi's The Anthropology of Art.
4. In search of a problematic appropriate for analyzing Gamio-Boas Correspondence.
1. Historicizing Identity Studies from the Perspective of Critical Anthropology.
2. Yoshinobu Ota, Strange Tales from the Road: A Lesson Learned in an Epistemology for Anthropology, Christina Toren and Joao Pina Cabral 2011 The Challenge of Epistemology: Anthropological Perspectives. Oxford: Berghahn., SIBN: 978-0857454355 , 191-206頁, 2011.10, Social Anaylsis, Volume 53 (2), 2009に掲載された内容と同一論文.
3. Yoshinobu Ota, Strange Tales from the Road: A Lesson Learned in an Epistemology for Anthropology, Social Analysis, 53, 2, 191-206, 2009.09.
4. What Does Ruth Benedict Teach Us Today about the Identity of Anthropology?.
1. OTA, Yoshinobu, Toward the Ethics of Listening to the Voice of the Other: Learning from Ainu Sturuggles for Repatriating Human Remains, American Anthropological Association and Canadian Anthropology Society, 2019.11.
2. The paper examines what might be termed as the second life of WRITING CULTURE, an influential text of the late twentieth century emanating from anthropology. Although influential, it is aslo a controvertial one; it is only in 2011 when Clifford's introduction was translated in French. The paper presents a new reading of the text, one that highlights an ethical dimension of ethnographic knowledge not fully developed in the original text edited in 1986..
3. A Primer on Reimaging the role of Humaniteis and Social Sciences for the Twenty-First Century.
4. Learning from the Politics of Identity.
5. Learning from the Politics of Identity.
6. Yoshinobu Ota, Unruly Globalization, IUAES/JASCA, 2014.05, An examination of how globalization creates what it strives to destroy; the paper examines in a dialectical fashion both monopoly that accompnaies the process of globalization and anti-monopoly that attempts to undo it..
7. Resurrecting Critical Anthropology: Vanishing Locality in Theorizzation of Culture During Cold War Era.
8. On a History of a Kaqchikel Family in Chimaltenago: Chaos and Narratives of Civil War Experience.
9. Maya as Political Identity.
10. “Identity Politics” and Anthropology:Some Thoughts on Unresolved Issues left by “Postmodern Anthropology” and the End of Cold War
11. Is There a Japanese Anthropological Tradition?.
12. 英語論文なので、上記の「発表題目」のタイトルを参照.
13. What Does Ruth Benedict Teach Us Today About the Identity of Anthropology?:Rerading The Chrysanthemum and the Sword and The Patterns of Culture
Against the Grain of History
14. Neoliberalism and “Ghostly Presence of Race”: Traces of Terror in the Future of Guatemala
15. The Maya People and their Language Rights:How To Think About Rights in a Place that Suffers from the Memory of Terror.
16. On (Cultrual ) Possession and Appropriation: An Attempt in the Age Ruled by Trace and Ghost of Terror.
Educational Activities
Graduate level courses taught include as follows: Theory and Practice in Antrhopology, Pro-Seminar in Anthropology, Anthropological Methods
Undergraduate level courses taught include as follows: Introduction to Anthropology