European Association for Japanese Studies

An Anthropologist in Changing Japan: 45 years working with one Village

2019-20 | 45’ | Japan (filming), Spain and Scotland (editing)
Joy Hendry

An educational film documenting an anthropologist’s return to the village she has worked with over a 45 year period. She brings back each household’s family tree and a village-wide chart of relationships that she made during her first fieldwork, and as she revisits homes and village locations, a picture emerges of the changes that have occurred. The film is introduced by the anthropologist (myself, Joy Hendry) and explains the nature of ethnographic research, focusing on the advantages of long-term fieldwork in one place. The location and economy of the village are illustrated by the film, and the original neighbours of the anthropologist and other villagers are introduced, with conversations explained in English. An interesting aspect of the change shown is the way the wider city around the village builds on prior activities of everyday life now presented as tourist attractions.