Although her main field site is Japan, she is most interested in its transnational encounters with what are broadly referred to as “Asia” and the “West.” Her research concerns the ways in which “imagined Japan” is constructed through online media, especially focusing on tourists as the particular agents who participate in the circulation of these images. Her current project looks at online travel blogs and photo albums as the main platforms where tourists upload bits and pieces of Japan in the form of text and images, thus allowing certain memories of Japan to be archived and discovered. These are significant loci to observe practices that contribute to perpetuating “imagined Japan” within the cyberspace.
Hailing from Fukuoka, Japan, Ryoko graduated from Shuyukan high school and attended Stanford University where she developed a strong interest in Chinese; she studied for a summer at Princeton in Beijing, a quarter at Peking University, and participated in various cultural programs in Taiwan. She received her B.A. (’08), double majoring in Cultural and Social Anthropology with honors, and Film Studies. After graduation, she taught English in Surin, Thailand. She holds an M.A. (’12) in Anthropology from UCLA; her master’s thesis discussed the dilemma tourists often face in rejecting the derogatory connotation of a “tourist” as consumerist dupes, and striving instead to become a true “traveler” as noble, erudite, and adventurous explorer.
Fields of Study
Grants and Awards
Conference Travel Grant
Department of Anthropology, UCLA 2014
The George and Sakaye Aratani Field Experience Scholarship
Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies, UCLA. 2013-2014
St. Gallen Wings of Excellence Award Top 56 Contribution
St. Gallen Symposium. 2013
Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies, UCLA. 2012-2013
Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies, UCLA. 2010-2012
St. Gallen Wings of Excellence Award Top 50 Contribution
St. Gallen Symposium. 2011
Department of Anthropology, UCLA. 2010
Major Grant Undergraduate Research Program
Stanford University. 2007
Language Study Fellowship
Stanford Center of East Asian Studies. 2006
Association for Asian Studies 2015 Annual Conference
Chicago, IL March 26-29, 2015
Japan’s Encounters with the Discourse of Civilization and Imperialism at the Turn of the Twentieth Century
Paper: Omotenashi in Late Meiji and Taishō Japan: From the “Welcome Society” to “Japan Tourist Bureau”
113th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association: “Producing Anthropology.”
Washington, D.C. December 3-7th, 2014
Producing Anthropology in/of the “New Globe”: Transnational Human and Cultural Mobility in Japan and Beyond
Paper: Visiting ‘Riben’ (Japan): Disjunction and Bifurcation of ‘Chinese Tourists’ in Tokyo
IUAES 2014 with JASCA: The Future with/of Anthropologies
Chiba, Japan. May 15-18th, 2014
Global cities: digital urbanisation in the 21st century
Paper: Lost in Transmission: Searching Bits of Japan across (Cyber)Space
Japan Studies Graduate Conference@UCLA,
"Critical Frameworks of Transmission in Japan and East Asia"
UC Los Angeles, CA. October 2012
"Lost in Transmission: Searching Bits of Japan across (Cyber)Space"
UCSB-Japan Foundation Summer Institute,
"Modes of Japanese Multiculturalism: Coexistence and Marginality"
UC Santa Barbara, CA. June 2012
"Comfortable Outsiders: "Western" and "Chinese" Tourist Consumption and Digital Imagining of Japan as Other"
Mariko Tamanoi (chair)
M.A. Anthropology, UCLA (2012)
B.A. Anthropology and Film Studies, Stanford University (2008)