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ILCAA Joint Research Project

Reconsideration on Death: Anthropological Explorations on the Actuality of life (jrp000273)

Reconsideration on Death: Anthropological Explorations on the Actuality of life


  • death and life
  • affect
  • body
  • memory


  • Unspecified



About the Project

Project term: April, 2021–March, 2024

Employing anthropological field practices to study death, this research project aims to reconsider the actuality of life from new perspectives. Death—whether one's own death or someone else’s death—is an experience that is fundamental to our reality. In this research project, we approach the actuality of life by focusing on the boundary between life and death, and consider cases of death caused by events such as the Great East Japan Earthquake or new coronavirus infections. This study also examines the multi-death society, the field of nursing care, the medicalization of death, and the transformation of funeral rites amidst ongoing changes in everyday life.

Ryoko NISHII, Project Coordinator



  • Ryoko NISHII

Joint Researchers

  • Maho ISONO
  • Mari KAGAYA
  • Satbyul KIM
  • Suehisa KURODA
  • Tomoko NIWA
  • Daisuke TANAKA
  • Keiko TOSA



The 11th meeting Report (Japanese)

  • Date/Time: Sat 24 Feb 2024 13:30–18:30
  • Venue: 301
  • Language: Japanese
  • 13:30–15:30 Maho ISONO (ILCAA,Joint Researcher,Fellow)
    “When Meaning Disappears from Words - One Essay on Living with the Dead”
    15:45–18:30 Tomoko NIWA (ILCAA , Joint Researcher,Professional Institute of International Fashion)
    “Forms of Expression that Evoke Dialogue with the Dead: Anthropology of Death from the cases of contemporary art, documentary film and exhibition production that depict the experience of 3.11.”

The 10th meeting Report (Japanese)

  • Date/Time: Sat 2 Dec 2023 13:30–18:00
  • Venue: 306
  • Language: Japanese
  • 13:30–15:30 Satbyul KIM (ILCAA Joint Researcher,Research Institute for Humanity and Nature )
    “Toward Life Through Death: In the Footsteps of Sanyo and the Mourning Hut.”
    15:45–18:00 Ryoko NISHII (ILCAA)
    Discussions in preparation for the draft of “the Anthropology of Death”

A Screening for a Certain Spring - Portraying the Disaster from Ishinomaki: The 9th meeting Report (Japanese)

  • Date/Time: Sun 21 May 2023 14:00–16:50
  • Venue: 303, 306
  • Language: Japanese
  • <Message from Sonomi SATO>
    Since March 2011, spring has come every year, the first year and the second year.
    It is a break in our days and a time to face ourselves and look back at ourselves.
    I hope that by viewing this work, viewers will also have a time to face themselves.
    14:00 Opening
    Greeting Ryoko NISII
    14:15–15:30 Screening
    Fiction film “spring comes again and again” (2019 / 45 min)
    Documentary “If I could talk to your eyes” (2019 / 29 min)
    15:30–15:45 Break
    15:45–16:45 Talk + Q&A
    Sonomi SATO + Tomoko NIWA + all participants
    16:45–16:50 Closing
    Tomoko NIWA
    <Film director, talk>
    Sonomi SATO (filmmaker)
    Tomoko NIWA (National Institutes for the Humanities)
    Ryoko NISII (ILACAA)

The 8th meeting Report (Japanese)

  • Date/Time: Sat 17 Dec 2022 13:30–18:00
  • Venue: Hongo Satellite
  • Language: Japanese
  • 13:30–18:00 all participants
    Discussion on the presentations for the publication of the research project “Anthropology of Death”

The 7th meeting Report (Japanese)

  • Date/Time: Sat 5 Nov 2022 13:30–18:30
  • Venue: Online meeting
  • Language: Japanese
  • 13:30–15:30 Minori TAI (Tokyo Metropolitan University)
    “Mourning through Music Today: A Case Study of Contemporary Japanese Funerals”
    Discussion on research directions of “Anthropology of Death”

The 6th meeting Report (Japanese)

  • Date/Time: Sun 3 Jul 2022 13:30–19:00
  • Venue: Room 306
  • Language: Japanese
  • 13:30–15:30 Ryoko TAKAGI
    “A Study on the Manifestation of the Dead in Objects: A Case Study of Dolls in the Image of the Deceased”
    15:45–17:45 Daisuke URIU
    “Digital Media Connecting the Dead and the Living”
    general discussion

The 5th meeting Report (Japanese)

  • Date/Time: Sun 19 Jun 2022 13:30–19:00
  • Venue: Room 306
  • Language: Japanese
  • 13:30–16:00 Mari KAGAYA
    “The logic of one’s grave-A case study in Ikema island”
    Brainstorming for “Anthropological Encyclopedia of Death (tentative)”

The 4th meeting Report (Japanese)

  • Date/Time: Tue 29 Mar 2022 12:30–18:30, Wed 30 Mar 2022 9:00–12:00
  • Venue: Nigata Iroha Tei
  • Language: Japanese
  • 12:30-14:30 Keiko TOSA (ILCAA Joint Researcher, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies)
    “Thinking about Covid-19 in Myanmar : Violence, Governance, Death Knowing Through SNS”
    14:45-16:45 Sueju KURODA (ILCAA Joint Researcher, The University of Shiga Prefecture)
    “Living with Death: Periphery of Near-Death and Extreme Fetish”
    “Brainstorming about Death”

The 3rd meeting Report (Japanese)

  • Date/Time: Sun 17 Oct 2021 13:30–19:00
  • Venue: Room 306, ILCAA
  • Language: Japanese
  • 13:30–15:30 Daisuke TANAKA (ILCAA Joint Researcher, Jichi Medical University)
    “A Case Study of the lnitial Response of Funeral Industry to COVID-19 Outbreak”
    15:30–17:30 Maho ISONO (ILCAA Joint Researcher, Graduate school, Keio University)
    “How was death consumed in COVID-19 catastrophe in the spring of 2020?”

The 2nd meeting Report (Japanese)

  • Date/Time: Sun 1 Aug 2021 14:00–18:00
  • Venue: Online meeting
  • Language: Japanese
  • 14:00–15:00 Ryoko NISHII (ILCAA)
    “Reporting on “Contingency and Encounter” (2019) by Makiko Miyano (Horinouchi-shuppan)”
    15:00–18:00 Tomoko NIWA (ILCAA Joint Researcher, Professional Institute of International Fashion)
    “Reporting on “Suddenly Feeling Bad” (2019) by Makiko Miyano and Maho Isono (Shobunsha)”, General discussion

The 1st meeting Report (Japanese)

  • Date/Time: Sun 18 Apr 2021 14:00–18:00
  • Venue: Online meeting
  • Language: Japanese
  • 14:00–14:40 Ryoko NISHII (ILCAA)
    “Affective approach toward Anthropology of Death”
    14:40–17:30 Presentation by all members
    Research concepts inspired by “Affectus”

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