Sustainable Artisanship: Mapping Alternative Lifeways in Contemporary Japan

A landscape photograph of Japan.
Seed Grant Semester Awarded
Seed Grant Award Year

This project explores and maps extra-capitalist forms of self, community and political building among younger Japanese shokunin ‘artisans’ using the transdisciplinary lens of ethnography, linguistic anthropology and digital humanities.

Shokunin ‘artisan’ work is closely tied to Japanese imaginaries and offers a re-formulation of the relationship between identity and work— to be a shokunin is to actively produce (through craft) and perform (through self-identification) shokunin selfhood.

This project seeks to understand shokunin responses to the social and ecological challenges facing Japan and asks what possibilities these alternative ways of living hold for (re)-shaping corporatist ideologies of extraction, destructive growth and political alienation.

Principal Investigator(s)

Judit Kroo | Assistant Professor, School of International Letters and Cultures