Sounding Out Japan: A Sensory Ethnographic Tour

Richard Chenhall, Tamara Kohn, Carolyn Stevens

Research output: Book/ReportBookResearchpeer-review


This book takes the reader on a sensory ethnographic tour in Japan and describes the many ways sounds seep into everyday experiences. So many ethnographies describe local worlds with a deep attention to what is seen and what people say, but with a limited understanding of the broader sonic environments that enrich and inform everyday life. Through a focus on sounds, both real and imagined, the volume employs a critical ear to engage with a range of sonically enriched encounters, including crosswalk melodies in streetscapes, announcements and jingles at train stations, water features in gardens, dosimeters in nuclear affected zones, sounds of training in music and martial arts halls and celebrations under blossoming cherry trees. The authors use various analytic frames to understand the communicative and symbolic aspects of sounds and to sense the layers of historical meaning, embodied action and affect associated with sonic environments.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAbingdon Oxon UK
Number of pages114
ISBN (Electronic)9781003086741
ISBN (Print)9781350090590
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameSensory Studies


  • Sensory anthropology
  • Japanese Studies
  • sound studies

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