The National Museum of Ethnology (Minpaku) is a research center for ethnology and cultural anthropology.
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Staff Members

KAWASE Itsushi
KAWASE ItsushiKAWASE Itsushi
Department of Advanced Human Sciences・Associate Professor
Research Specialization
  • Visual anthropology
Individual Research Projects
  • Exploring Anthropological Films that Mediate and Promote Communication
Personal website http://www.itsushikawase.com/japanese/index.html

Academic Qualifications

  • BA, Literature, Faculty of Letters, Ritsumeikan University 2001
  • MA. Area Studies, Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies, Kyoto University 2007
  • Ph.D. Area Studies, Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies, Kyoto University 2010

Research Interests

  • Anthropological Filmmaking
  • Ethiopian Music

Current Research Topics

  • Creating the Audio-visual Narrative in Conjunction with Anthropology, Cinema and Contemporary Art
  • Intangible Cultural Heritage and Filmmaking: the investigation of knowledge, method and politics based on case studies from Africa

Research Keywords

Visual Anthropology, Film, Africa, Ethiopia, Intangible Cultural Heritage

Selected Publications

2017
ETHNOGRAPHIC FILMMAKING IN ETHIOPIA, the Approach and the Film Reception, In S. Dinslage and S. Thubauville (eds.), Seeking out wise old men. Six decades of Ethiopian Studies at the Frobenius Institute revisited,Studien zur Kulturkunde 131, pp. 75-86,Berlin:Reimer-Verlag.
2016
Exploring the Old Town Lijiang or Re-visualising Myself?, Visual Anthropology Forum Vol.11 影视人类学论坛 总第十一期, pp.166-197.
2015
An Analysis of Lawaği Oral Poetry in Ethiopia, CULTURES SONORES D'AFRIQUE Ⅵ, publié sous la direction de Junzo Kawada, Universite Kanagawa, Yokohama, pp. 55-76.
2014
The Amharic Oral Poetry by Lalibäločč, Japanese Review of Cultural Anthropology Vol15. pp. 185-198.
2014
Prospects and Challenges of Ethnographic Filmmaking in Ethiopia. In H. Kim and Y. Park (eds.) Audiovisual augmentation of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, Jeonju: Kim Geon, pp. 74-85.
2014
Visual Anthropology and Ethiopia, Encyclopaedia Aethiopica Vol.5, Wiesbaden: Harrassiwitz Verlag, ed. Siegbelt Uhlig, pp 326-327.
2014
Documentary Films in Japan -Critically Engaging with the Society, The 8th IRAN International Documentary Film Festival "CINEMA VERITE" Catalogue, Tehran: Documentary and Experimental Film Center, pp. 112.
2012
The Azmari Performance During Zar Ceremonies in Northern Gondar, Ethiopia -Challenges and Prospects for the Documentation-, CULTURES SONORES D'AFRIQUE V publie sous la direction de Junzo Kawada, Institut de Recherches sur les Cultures Populaires du Japon, 65-80.
2010
Intercultural Dialogue on the Visualization of Local Knowledge: Films on Hereditary Singers in Ethiopia. African Study Monographs Supplementary Issue 41, 101-109.
2010
Area Studies on the Interactive Visual-representation in Africa, 1-184, Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies, Kyoto University. (Ph.D. thesis with 3 ethnographic films, in Japanese)
2009
The Challenge of Ethnographic Filmmaking in 21st Century, Visual Folklore Vol.7, 71-77. (Article in Japanese)
2008
The Transformation of Musical Activities and Self-imposed Group Markers of Azmari in Ethiopia, CULTURES SONORES D'AFRIQUE 4, Institut de Recherches sur les Cultures Populaires du Japon, 11-31.
2007
Filming Itinerant Musicians in Ethiopia: Azmari and Lalibalocc: Camera as Evidence of Communication, Nilo-Ethiopian Studies Vol. 11, 39-49.
2007
Lalibalocc, Encyclopaedia Aethiopica Vol.3, Wiesbaden: Harrassiwitz Verlag, ed. Siegbelt Uhlig, 492-493.
2006
The New Horizon of Visual Anthropology Shinjyuku-Shobo. (Jointly edited book with M.Kitamura and K. Arai, in Japanese)
2005
Musical Performance and Self-designation of Ethiopian Minstrels: Azmari, African Study Monographs Supplementary Issue 29, 137-142.
2005
Enzata, Encyclopaedia Aethiopica Vol.2, Wiesbaden: Harrassiwitz Verlag, ed. Siegbelt Uhlig, 325-326.

Selected Conference Papers (in English only)

2007
"Filmmaking Project for Inventorying Intangible Cultural Heritage Program: The Case from Ethiopian Traditional Music/Dance Scene in Addis Ababa" RAI Film Festival Conference 'BEYOND TEXT: SYNAESTHETIC & SENSORY PRACTICES IN ANTHROPOLOGY' (Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology,Manchester University)
2006
"The Creative Aspect of the Code of Communication Shared by Ethiopian Minorities" Positive Relationships between Culture and Development in East Africa: Analysis of Multi-Ethnic Context, International Workshop of 21st Century COE Program (Addis Ababa)
2005
"Rhetoric of the Ethiopian Minstrel: The Interaction of Lalibalocc with the Audience" The Society for Ethnomusicology, 50th Annual Conference (Emory University, Atlanta)
2005
"Sociolinguistic Aspect of Azmari and Lalibalocc: the Argot as a Self-imposed Group Marker", International Conference on Endangered Language of Ethiopia, (Addis Ababa University)
2003
"Musical Performance and Self-designation of Ethiopian Minstrels: Azmari", International Workshop of 21st Century COE Program, (Addis Ababa University)
2003
"Some Aspects of Azmari Performance in Several Social Occasions in North Gondar", 15th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies, (Hamburg University)

Films and Screenings (Selected)

When Spirits Ride Their Horses
2012 / Hi-Vision / 28min / Directed by Itsushi Kawase
  • The 13th RAI(Royal Anthropological Institute) International Festival of Ethnographic Film
  • VI MOSCOW INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF VISUAL ANTHROPOLOGY
  • The 32nd Nordic Anthropological Film Association (NAFA) Film Festival.
  • The 9th International Film Festival - The Heart of Slavonia
  • The 18th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies
  • The 4th Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions Leiden University, Department of Cultural Anthropology Free University of Brussels
DANCING ADDIS ABABA -The Introduction to Ethnic Dance Performance Scene in Urban Ethiopia-
2007 / Hi-Vision / 39min / Directed by Itsushi Kawase (UNESCO/Norway Funds-in-trust)
  • Library of Congress, African & Middle Eastern Division, Washington D.C.
  • Skyway Library, Seattle
  • Portland Community College, Portland.
Room 11, Ethiopia Hotel
2007 / DV / 24min / Directed by Itsushi Kawase
  • "Premio per il film piu innovativo (Prize for the Most Innovative film)", Sardinia International Ethnographic Film Festival
  • The 10th RAI Festival of Ethnographic Film, Manchester University
  • The 9th Gottingen International Ethnographic Film Festival
  • XXI Parnu International Documentary Film Festival, Republic of Estonia
  • The 9th Astra International Festival of Documentary Film and Visual Anthropology, Romania
  • The 5th annual International Ethnographic Film Festival of Quebec
  • IV Moscow international festival of visual anthropology
  • Mostra Internacional do Filme Etnografico, Rio de janeiro
  • NAFA Conference "Sound and Image", Film Screening Program, Trondheim
  • Ethnocineca, Vienna
  • The 16th Conference of IUAES, Kunming
  • The M.A. Visual and Media Anthropology Program, Freie Universitat Berlin
Lalibalocc -Living in the Endless Blessing-
2005 (reedited 2007) / DV / 24min / Directed by Itsushi Kawase
  • The 16th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies, Trondheim
  • UNESCO Meeting on Inventorying Intangible Cultural Heritage, Addis Ababa
  • The Society for Ethnomusicology 50th Annual Conference, Atlanta
  • The 16th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies, Trondheim
  • 10th Berlin Ethno Film Fest, Ethnological Museum, Berlin
  • Days of Ethnographic Cinema" Russian Institute for Cultural Research, Moscow
  • Leiden University Department of Languages and Cultures of Africa
  • Harvard University Department of Music
  • Hamburg University Asia-Africa-Institute
  • Cologne University Institute of African Linguistics
  • Visual Anthropology Seminar, Institute of Ethiopian Studies, Addis Ababa University
  • Ethiopian Music Festival VI Alliance Ethio-Francais, Addis Ababa
Kids got a song to sing
2006 / DV / 37min / Directed by Itsushi Kawase
  • Corvallis-Gondar Sister Cities Association, Corvallis, Oregon
  • Visual Anthropology Symposium "Japanische Blicke auf Asien und Afrika", Hamburg University
  • Visual Anthropology Seminar, Institute of Ethiopian Studies, Addis Ababa University
  • Ethiopian Music Festival VI Alliance Ethio-Francais, Addis Ababa
  • BusBoys and Poets, Washington DC
The 50 years History of African Area Studies in Kyoto University
2008 / 60min (edited by Itsushi Kawase / Daisuke Bundo under the direction of Prof. Motoji Matsuda)
  • Permanent Installation, Inamori Foundation Memorial Hall, Kyoto University/li>