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The Intersections of the Sensory, Multimodal and Ba:「The Tachinomi Project」

Steven C. Fedorowicz

18:00-19:30, July 17, 2024

Room 402, 4F, Building 2, Sophia University

In person only / No registration necessary


「The Tachinomi Project」is a visual ethnography based upon the convergence of social science research and contemporary art. The project began with long-term participant-observation and a photographic exhibition featuring a 40-year-old tachinomiya (standing drink bar) in Osaka called Tenbun. The study sought to explore photography in public spaces, privacy and image ethics while showcasing a “grimy” (Farrer 2019) and stimulating atmosphere with colorful characters including the shop owner, employees and regular customers. The interactions with Tenbun collaborators and gallery audience at the exhibition became the first of several post-fieldwork encounters, leading to the re-positioning of the research into wider social and academic contexts during and after the COVID 19 pandemic. This present account utilizes reflexivity, autoethnographic vignettes (Stevens 2013) and photography to explore the intersections of the sensory (Pink 2013 [2009], multimodal (Collins et al. 2017), and ba (Kajimaru et al. 2021) of Tenbun and other eating and drinking establishments.


Steven C. Fedorowicz is a cultural anthropologist, visual anthropologist and Associate Professor of Anthropology in the Asian Studies Program at Kansai Gaidai University. His areas of interest include ethnographic photography, multimodality, performance, globalization, deaf communities and sign languages. He has lived, conducted research and taught in Osaka, Japan for over twenty-five years. Recent and representative works include “The Visual Anthropology of Japan: in and outside the classroom” (in Teaching Japan: A Handbook, Gaitanidis and Poole, eds. 2024 forthcoming), “The Embodiment of the Deaf in Japan: A Set of Heuristic Models for Identity, Belonging and Sign Language Use” (in Anthropology through the Experience of the Physical Body, Fushiki and Sakurada, eds. 2023), “Eat, Drink, and Stand in Japan” (Anthropology News, 61:6, 2021) and the photo exhibition Matsuri through Multi-sighted Photographies (with Lucile Druet, JARFO Art Square, Kyoto, February 9-13, 2024).

This event is organized by David H. Slater and James Farrer (professors, Sophia University).


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