When I talk or write about anthropology, works by American, British, and sometimes French, anthropologists instantly come to mind. Like, I suspect, most of us here, I have huge blind spots when it comes to anthropologists from other places.
I was reminded of this recently when The Word Works, Ltd., the the translation and copywriting company that Ruth and I run in Japan, was asked to do some work for the National Museum of Ethnology in Osaka, generally referred to in Japanese as Minpaku. As preparation for this job, I found myself examining the Minpaku website and stumbled upon its English-language newsletter, now published twice each year.
Now I wonder how many of us are even aware that Japan has more anthropologists than any other country outside of North America. As we debate the purpose and future of anthropology on OAC, that might be worth thinking about—along with how little we know about local anthropologies in, for example, China or India.
I know, for example, that my friends at the Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica, in Taiwan now participate in meetings and engage in joint research with colleagues in the PRC.
For the moment, though, consider Japan. There's a lot going on here that does not get past the parochial blinkers imposed by training that focuses too exclusively on work in our own "local" tradition.