Andrea Gevurtz Arai

Andrea Arai


Andrea Gevurtz Arai teaches Japan and East Asia anthropology and society courses at the University of Washington. Arai’s new book, The Strange Child: Education and the Psychology of Patriotism in Recessionary Japan (Stanford U. Press, March, 2016) is a long-term fieldwork study of how, under the conditions of long term recession, education and psychology came together to produce ideas of child and nation strangeness, shift cultural ideologies, and bring about what Arai theorizes as “neoliberal patriotic” solutions. The Strange Child uncovers the effects on and creative responses by the recessionary generation to a dramatically altered educational, labor and discursive environment. Arai co-edited (with Clark Sorensen, UW Korea Studies), Spaces of Possibility: In, Between and Beyond Korea and Japan, (University of Washington Press, Fall, 2016.) The Spaces of Possibility volume is the result of cross-national, collaborative fieldwork in South Korea and Japan. Arai’s chapter is concerned with the conversion of a former colonial prison in Seoul into a history museum, Japanese tourists, and the “dehorrifying” of exhibits.” The chapter juxtaposes the struggles over how to (re) present the colonial period and postcolonial landscape at this prison history hall in Seoul and the Japan Folk Art Museum in Tokyo. (A related fieldsite is the Korean popular culture town in Shin Okubo, Tokyo.)

Arai’s new projects include: “Alternative Spaces, Livelihoods and Post-Fukushima Awareness in Japan,” fieldwork research on reverse migration (the U-turn/I-turn phenomena), sustainability, creativity and counter-culture in post-bubble Japan. “Online and Off-Center” focuses on online communities and their offline relays in Japan and South Korea. “Japanese Narratives of Legibility,” explores the way narratives of the environment open up possibilities for re-imagining spatial and temporal connections.


  • Columbia University, Ph.D. Anthropology, 2004
  • Columbia University, MPhil, Anthropology, 1999
  • Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel, M.A. Communications and Translation Studies, 1986
  • Portland State University, Portland, Oregon, TESL Post-Bac Certificate, 1984
  • Occidental College, Los Angeles, California, B.A. Sociology and French, 1978