Book Launch: Animism in Contemporary Japan by Shoko Yoneyama

Book Launch: Animism in Contemporary Japan by Shoko Yoneyama

Join us to celebrate the launch of Animism in Contemporary Japan: Voices for the Anthropocene from post-Fukushima Japan by Shoko Yoneyama.

Dr Yoneyama’s new book will be officially launched by Professor Jennie Shaw, with Adjunct Professor Carol Johnson as MC (University of Adelaide).

Formalities conclude at 6 pm for networking opportunities until 7 pm.

Refreshments will be provided.

For any enquiries, please contact

About the book:

In the age of the Anthropocene, it is widely felt that human-nature relationships need to be fundamentally reconsidered. Animism in Contemporary Japan addresses this question and proposes the concept of 'postmodern animism' that emerged initially as a grassroots response to Minamata disease, which was caused by industrial pollution in the 1950s, and more recently, to the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima in 2011. Combining critiques of modernity with the intangible cultural heritage of Japan, postmodern animism represents a philosophy of the life-world, where nature is seen as a manifestation of a dynamic life force where all types of life are interconnected. This new animism addresses two gaps in social science: nature and spirituality, and thus inspires a fundamental rethink of the human-nature relationship.

Animism in Contemporary Japan explores animism through the lens of four prominent intellectuals in Japan: animation film director Hayao Miyazaki, sociologist Kazuko Tsurumi, ecocritical writer Michiko Ishimure, and Minamata fisherman-philosopher Masato Ogata. Drawing upon Lyotard’s narrative approach, the book illustrates how these individuals reached the conclusion that animism can help humanity survive modernity. The book contributes to the Anthropocene discourse from a transcultural and transdisciplinary perspective, while, at the same time, engaging with arguments from mainstream social sciences.

Presenting a new perspective for a post-anthropocentric paradigm, Animism in Contemporary Japan will be useful to students and scholars of sociology, anthropology, philosophy and Japanese Studies.

Animism in Contemporary Japan is published by Routledge, as part of the Routledge Contemporary Japan Series (2019).


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