European Association for Japanese Studies

Andrea De Antoni

Associate Professor of socio-cultural anthropology at Kyoto University, Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies


I am an anthropologist born in Venice, but I have lived in Kyoto for more than twelve years. In the picture, I am the one on the left.

I have been an EAJS Member since 2008, when I took part in my first EAJS Conference and in the TIFO Recipients Meeting. These were my first experiences in the international academic community and, because of this, I developed an affective connection with the EAJS, which is one of the main reasons why I would be honoured to continue my service.

I have been a Council Member since 2017, when I also convened the Anthropology and Sociology Section. I have also served as an Officer of the “Japan Anthropology Workshop (JAWS)” since 2008, as a member of the “Anthropology of Japan in Japan (AJJ)” Executive Committee since 2017, and I have been involved in the Japanese Society of Cultural Anthropology (JASCA) since 2022. Thus, I have somehow become the ‘missing link’ between anthropology and Japanese studies, as well as between anthropologists of Japan in Europe and in Japan.

During my two terms as an EAJS Council member, I have been in charge of EAJS-JAWS relations, I promoted ideas such as the conference section for ethnographic films, while also supporting diversity-oriented initiatives. I would be honoured to be able to serve as a Council member for the next term, in order to continue working towards innovation, to support the creation of new relationships and international research projects with Japan, as well as to help with the EAJS Japan Conference. In short, I would be glad of continuing building bridges, as a ‘proper’ Venetian might be expected to do.


In 2021, I became an Associate Professor of socio-cultural anthropology at Kyoto University, Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies, where I teach BA, MA and PhD level courses in anthropology both in English and in Japanese. Previously, I had been an Associate Professor at Ritsumeikan University, Graduate School of International Relations since 2014. There I taught courses and supervised students (in English and Japanese) from BA to PhD level on topics related to anthropology and religious studies, contemporary Japanese society, and Religions in contemporary Japan. I was also an Adjunct Lecturer (2013-2022) at the University of Vienna (Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology), where I taught Anthropology of Religion, and in Venice (2010) (Department of East Asian Studies), where I taught Japanese language and Religions in Contemporary Japan.

From a theoretical perspective, my research focuses on the anthropology of the body, the perception of the environment, affect and emotions. My research topics have included experiences with spirits and social suffering, especially in relation to the perception of space and place (particularly places related to death and the afterlife, as well as haunted places), rumors and discrimination against outcaste (burakumin) and Koreans, construction of social memory and “tradition”, tourism and commodification. My present project focuses on spirit/demonic possession and exorcism in contemporary Japan, Italy and Austria from a comparative perspective, and I recently started a project on spiritual healing in contemporary Okinawa. I have collaborated with specialists in philosophy, psychology and cognitive sciences, and I am elaborating a phenomenological approach to processes of (religious) healing. I am also the coordinator of the international research network “Skills of Feeling with the World: Anthropological Research on the Senses, Affect and Materiality,” based at Kyoto University and PI of a KAKEN-funded research project on the anthropology of religious healing and affect.


I published articles and edited works in Italian, English and Japanese on the aforementioned topics, including

“The Ghosts that Haunt Me: Feeling with Affective Technologies and Doing Ethnography about Spirit Possession in Contemporary Japan.” In Pierini, E., A. Groisman, and D. Espírito Santo (eds.). Other Worlds, Other Bodies: Embodied Epistemologies and Ethnographies of Healing. London and Oxford: Berghahn, 2023.

『<特集>世界と共に感じる能力-情動、想像力、記憶の人類学』『文化人類学』第86巻4号, 2022 (Special Issue co-edited with Ran Muratsu).

「正体不明な霊でも祓われる―現代日本の憑依を通した治癒経験における記憶・想像力・エンスキルメントの役割」『文化人類学』第86巻4号, 2022.

“She Talks to Angels: Spirit Becomings, Embodied Memories, and Affective Imagination Skills in Catholic Exorcism in Contemporary Italy.” In Gellner, D. and D.P. Martinez (eds.). Re-Creating Anthropology: Sociality, Matter, and the Imagination, London: Routledge, 2022.

Feeling (with) Japan: Affective, Sensory and Material Entanglements in the Field. Special Issue of Asian Anthropology 18(3), 2019 (co-edited with Emma Cook).