UH Manoa Anthropology Professor Publishes Book on Japanese Genre of Enka

University of Hawaiʻi
Jim Manke, (808) 956-6099
External Affairs & University Relations
Kristen Cabral, (808) 956-5039
Public Information Officer
Posted: Jul 31, 2002

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Anthropology professor Christine Yano recently published her first book, Tears of Longing: Nostalgia and the Nation in Japanese Popular Song. Tears of Longing discusses the subject of enka, a sentimental ballad genre that is said to express the "heart and soul of Japanese." Yano analyzes enka as an emotion, gender, and cultural nationalism.

According to Yano, the completion of the book took approximately one year of writing and one year of revisions. She interviewed singers, composers, and producers in the Japanese popular music industry, attended concerts in Japan, joined fan clubs, and took singing lessons to gather material for the book.

"As an anthropologist, I needed to be as much a part of the enka scene as possible, so that meant being where enka fans might hang out and doing what they do," Yano said.

Yano, who teaches courses of Japanese culture and society and Japanese popular culture, plans to integrate the book into her teaching as early as the Spring 2003 semester. The book is a revision of Yano‘s doctoral dissertation, which was revised under a post-doctoral fellowship from Harvard University. The dissertation was originally written for her doctoral degree in anthropology, which she received from UH Mānoa in 1995.

Yano obtained bachelor‘s degrees in musicology from the University of Michigan and communications with an emphasis on film from Stanford University, and master‘s degrees in musicology and anthropology from UH Mānoa.

Tears of Longing: Nostalgia and the Nation in Japanese Popular Song is published by the East Asia Institute Monograph Series at Harvard University. To order a copy of this book, visit the Harvard University Asia Center‘s website at www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog/YANTEA.html. The book is also available at the UH bookstore and Borders.