Omura, Yusuke [English version]


Doctor, 1st

 Contact Address
omura.yusuke[at]  (please change [at] to @)

 Research Theme

Anthropological exploration on youths' perceptions of gender/sexuality and the relationship of desire and media image in Vientiane, Laos(Lao PDR)

 Research Interest(Keywords)

Keywords: sexuality, sensation, desire, body and perceptions of self, image and media

  Planned Subject Area of Research

Vientiane, Laos(Lao PDR)

Research Projects

<Past Research>
  In master course, I examined various ethnographic descriptions on homosexual people and became interested in the relationships between human sexuality and various forms of media. The central theme of my master thesis is the theoretical explorations on anthropology of sexuality.  I tried to present the theoretical frameworks for creatively dealing with desire and bodily sensations in sexuality studies.

<Present and Future Research Projects>

◆Intersection of Three Themes: Sexuality, Desire, Sensation
  At present, my interest is in media studies, performance studies, queer studies and (geographical) theory of space. I'm now tries to use these theoretical arguments and to establish sexuality studies focusing on human bodily sensation and corporeality(embodiment of everyday experiences).
  My research is situated within sexuality studies or queer studies, but my approach is different from some studies labelled as sociology of sexuality or queer theory(though my research owes a lot to these studies). 
  In brief, my research project can be located at the intersection of three themes: anthropology of sexuality, anthropology of desire, anthropology of sensation
  For example, by thinking with the keyword, "desire," we encounter the difficult task of describing the entanglements of desires with various forms, directions and intensity (desire to eat, to own something, to prosper financially, desire for fashion or style to become otherwise, sexual or romantic desire, desire to live in specific way ,etc. ). 
  From the perspectives focusing on sensual aspects of people's everyday lives, sexual experiences are conceptualized as a matrix of multiple modes of perceptions(ex. looking, touching, listening directly/via media).

◆On the Concept of "Sexuality"
  Based on the discussion in master thesis, I wrote a paper on the concept of "sexuality." (now in peer review)
  My attitude toward this concept is briefly described as below. "Anthropology of sexuality" is the work to explore and extend the meaning of the concept of "sexuality"(i.e. something sexual) continuously and creatively.
  I stress that we should not consider "what are sexual" in terms of collective level such as "culture," "society," "norm" and that we should grasp them in each single moment. Sexuality(sexual phenomena) manifests within individual bodies,  highly intimate interactions, relations via media technologies, daily conversation of limited number of persons, or virtual connections imagined as "communities." 
  I want to pay attention to and describe different forms of sexuality from the perspectives focusing on (mediated) image or bodily sensations.

◆Long Term Field Research in Vientiane , Laos(2018-)
  I'm planning to start my fieldwork in Vientiane, the capital city of Lao PDR in 2018 Autumn. 
  As an anthropologist, I want to be conscious and reflexive of my own sensual/mental experiences in field site. 
  Also, in the non-Western setting, while I aim to reexamine the framework of queer study(mainly based on Western ethnographic materials), I'll attempt to observe and engage in the intermingling of knowledge from different origins.

<Long Term Research Objectives>

◆Anthropological Explorations on Human Vulnerability, Anxiety, Weakness
  I have a project of anthropology of sensation(sense) struggling to describe the micro processes of perception and movement (reception of stimuli→cognition→movement→learning).
  It also can be called the anthropology of affectio/affectus in Spinozian sense. Everyday lives repleted with relations with other beings are not always comfortable for us and become painful moments. I argue that stress, Anxiety, vulnerability experienced in everyday lives can be center issues in anthropology as a study of human life(survival).

◆Contributions to "Anthropology of Sexuality" and "Queer Anthropology"
  Also, I want to go beyond the direct import of discussions of (often Western-based) queer theory into the work on non-Western, non-normative sexuality. I aim to explore the possibilities or the limit of the concept/approach "queer," especially for anthropological knowledge production.  
  The concept of "queer" has been variously used: as a way to reconsider the hetero-normativity, "queer readings" in literary studies and art criticism, an umbrella term for multiple forms of desire and so on. Inspired by these usage of "queer," I'll try to elaborate anthropological ways of creatively using the concept. It may be a framework for considering the possibility and the restrictions of relations between different beings(not limited to human beings, and not necessarily sexual) and may also be a tool to sensitively engage in the diversity of lived experiences and vulnerability

Publications and Presentations


2018/3/17 "Seksyuaritii no Jinruigaku wo Kumikaeru: Shintai, Kankaku, Media no Kousa kara". ("Reorganizing the Anthropology of Sexuality: From  the Intersection of Bodies, Sensations, and Media".), The Japanese Society of Cultural Anthropology's Kanto District Conference, Presentation of    Doctoral and Master Theses, Tokyo University. (in Japanese)

(Peer Reviewed)
2019 "'Seksyuaritii' gainen wo/totomoni kangaeru." ("Thinking of/with the concept of 'sexuality.'") Gender & Sexuality: Journal of Center for Gender Studies, ICU, 14:81-100. (in Japanese)

(Without Peer Review)

Book Review                       

2018 "Yoko Kumada. 2017  Seifuzoku wo Ikiru 'Onnanoko' no Esunogurafi SM・Kankeisei・'Jiko' ga Tsumugu Mono." ( "Book Review: Yoko Kumada   2017 Ethnography of 'Onnanoko(girls)' Living within Sex Entertainment World: What SM/Relationality/ 'Self' Crafts."Bunkajinruigaku, 83(2):297-
 299.  (in Japanese)

Brief Report                     

2015 "Ibunka, Tasya tono Sintai wo Tsuujita Deai: Nihon no Kambojia Buyo Kyositsu deno Kansatsu kara." ("Encountering with Other Cultures and  Others through Bodies: From the Observations at a Cambodian Dance Class in Japan."), <Tsukurukoto> no Jinruigaku 2014 Nendo Fiirudo Ensyu  Tou Tyosa Houkokusyo. (Anthropology of <making>: Brief Reports of 2014-2015 year 'Field Seminars.' ), Anthropology Department of Tokyo 
 University, pp.3-18. (in Japanese)

Thesis for a Degree                 

2016 Kazoku no Jizoku to Rinkai: Amerika ni okeru Dousei Kappuru no Kazoku Keisei no Jirei kara. (Continuity and the Critical Point of Family: 
 From the Examples of Family-making Practices by Same-sex Couples in United States.)(Graduation Thesis submitted to Tokyo University, Collage  of Arts and Sciences in 2016) (in Japanese)
2018 Seksyuaritii no Jinruigaku wo Kumikaeru: Shintai, Kankaku, Media no Kousa kara. (Reorganizing the Anthropology of Sexuality: From the 
 Intersection of Bodies, Sensations, and Media.) (Master Thesis submitted to Tokyo University, Graduate Schools of Arts and Sciences in 2018) (in  Japanese)

Other Publications                    

2016  (Coauthor with Elliot Silverberg) "The Other End of the Spectrum: The Outlook for the Younger Generation." EURObiZ JAPAN.  January. pp.10-
 13. pdf(whole magazine) (in English)


2018. 9 Short-term Preliminary Fieldwork (Vientiane, Lao PDR)
2018.11~ 2019. 1 Preliminary Fieldwork (Vientiane, Lao PDR)
2019.3~ Long-term Fieldwork(Vientiane, Lao PDR)


2016.7~2017.3 Tutor for Students Abroad(Tokyo University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)
2016.10~12 Innovative Teaching Assistant(Tokyo University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)


2016.3 B.A. Tokyo University(College of Arts and Sciences: Anthropology course)
2018.3 M.A. Tokyo University(Graduate School of Arts and Sciences:Anthropology course)
2018.4~present Doctoral Course, Tokyo University(Graduate School of Arts and Sciences: Anthropology course) 

Research Grants

2019.2-2021.1  The Konosuke Matsusita Memorial Foundation's scholarship for Japanese students studying abroad


The Japanese Society of Cultural Anthropology(2018-)