Convener(s): Professor Hugh Whittaker, Dr Natalia Doan and Dr Giulio Pugliese
Speaker(s): Dr. Chigusa Yamaura, Departmental Lecturer and Junior Research Fellow at the Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies and Wolfson College, University of Oxford
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Marriage and Marriageability: The Practices of Matchmaking between Men from Japan and Women from Northeast China
How do the Japanese men and Chinese women who participate in cross-border matchmaking—individuals whose only interaction is often just one brief meeting—come to see one another as potential marriage partners? Motivated by this question, Marriage and Marriageability draws upon multi-sited ethnography in Japan and northeast China, tracing the practices of Sino-Japanese matchmaking from transnational marriage agencies in Tokyo to branch offices and language schools in China, from initial meetings to marriage, visa application processes, and beyond to marital life in Japan. Engaging issues of colonial history, local norms, and the very ability to conceive of another or oneself as marriageable, the book rethinks cross-border marriage not only as a form of gendered migration, but also as a set of practices that constructs marriageable partners and imaginable marriages.
Chigusa Yamaura is a sociocultural anthropologist, specializing in contemporary Japanese and Chinese society. She received her PhD. in Anthropology from Rutgers University. She is currently a Departmental Lecturer and Junior Research Fellow at the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies (the Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies and the Contemporary China Studies Programme) and a Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College, the University of Oxford. Her publications include “The Cultural Politics of Childcare Provision in The Era of a Shrinking Japan (Critical Asian Studies 2020), "From Manchukuo to Marriage: Localizing Contemporary Cross-Border Marriages between Japan and Northeast China” (The Journal of Asian Studies 2015), and "Marrying Transnational, Desiring Local: Making" Marriageable Others" in Japanese–Chinese Cross-border Matchmaking” (Anthropological Quarterly 2015).