July 2010 Archives

Apparently, our little Photoethnography.com blog got into the Top 40 Anthropology Blog list.


Top Anthropology Blog
Online PhD


However, I'm entirely unclear as to whether this is spam or not.  Gentle readers, please advise.


In the last few months, I've now gotten letters from prospective graduate students with CVs  that suffer from what I would call "Areas of Interest" bloat.   One had twenty-five (25!) areas of interest and the other was also well over a dozen.

This is just too much. Yes, you are young and the whole world looks like a giant oyster -- but too many raw oyster can give you really bad indigestion.

As a general rule, try to keep your areas of interest to less than six or so.   Since I (rarely) try to practice what I preach, here are my "Areas of Interest:"

  • Region 1 (general world region): East Asia
  • Sub-region (country or local area): Japan
  • Topic 1: Disability Studies
  • Topic 2: Politics of Identity and social movements
  • Sub-discipline: Sociocultural and Visual Anthropology

OK, I cheated on the last two bullet points...... anyway, you get my point.

Try to go through your areas of interest with a very fine tooth comb and make sure it's as concise and focused as possible.  Use it as a way to find out which departments might be interested in what you study and vice versa.

I also tell my graduate students to perfect their elevator speech, but that's a topic for an entirely new blog entry.

Yikes! You've been out partying in Tokyo and missed the last train for the night. You need to crash, but where? Here's my list of cheap  ways to spend the night in Tokyo:


  1. Net cafe:  Many manga+net cafes are 24 hours and have private cubicles that you can crash in. They have "overnight" rates which are quite reasonable, coffee and soda machines, and of course manga comics and networked PCs. Some even have massage machines, tanning beds and foot spas! The "night pack" price for a random netcafe that I googled in Shinjuku is a measly Y1500...
  2. Super Sento Bathhouse: Many of the larger "super sento"-type bathhouses have relaxation rooms where you can spend the night. It might cost an additional Y1500 on top of the Y1000 admission fee, but still Y2500 for the night (and all the hot spa baths you can handle) isn't too bad.
  3. There is of course the capsule hotels. I'm claustrophobic so this isn't an option for me.
  4. Business hotels:  the cheapest business hotels like Super Hotel or Toyoko Inn have rates that start around Y4980 for a single for the night. The problem is that these cheapo hotels don't tend to be in front of popular train stations, so getting to one might be an issue. And the rooms tend to fill up quickly.

I was inspired to write this because of two random events that happened this summer:   one of my students almost got stuck herself stuck by herself in Osaka overnight .... and I went to the Oedo Onsen Monogatari bathhouse yesterday with my sweetie and noted that they had a very nice women's only "relaxation room" with full reclining chairs and individual TV sets -- and there appeared to be several patrons who were gearing up to spend the night there.

Oedo Onsen is quite expensive, Y2000 for general admission and another Y1700 for spending the night (in their lingo "extra late-night fee"), but other super sento in Japan are cheaper.

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This page is an archive of entries from July 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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