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Anthropology and I: My Time at the University of Paris Department of Ethnology

This source is an English translation by Stephanie M. Hohlios of a compelling 1971 memoir-essay by Japanese artist Okamoto Tarō—“Watashi to jinruigaku: pari daigaku minzoku gakka no koro (Anthropology and I: My Time at the University of Paris Department of Ethnology)".

Okamoto's essay "Anthropology and I" sheds light on a widely recognized but little understood chapter in Okamoto's life. He discusses his participation in the Abstraction-Création movement in Paris, and recalls his experiences at the Sorbonne and Musée de l’Homme, explaining his decision to study ethnology as pre-war hostilities intensified. The text describes his development of a theory of the “entire self”—an objective point of origin for identity that becomes clear in a collaborative environment—and how it bears on his theory of the object. In this shared space of creative-intellectual exploration, we learn, he sought to join other young “Others” in Paris in making a kind of alternative epistemology.

See the essay accompanying this translation here.

Author

Okamoto  kuukan  1934 and 1954

Okamoto Tarō

Artist Okamoto Tarō (1911-1996) was a Japanese artist noted for his abstract and avant-garde paintings and sculptures. Read more »
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Anthropology and I: My Time at the University of Paris Department of Ethnology

This source is an English translation by Stephanie M. Hohlios of a compelling 1971 memoir-essay by Japanese artist Okamoto Tarō—“Watashi to jinruigaku: pari daigaku minzoku gakka no koro (Anthropology and I: My Time at the University of Paris Department of Ethnology)".

Okamoto's essay "Anthropology and I" sheds light on a widely recognized but little understood chapter in Okamoto's life. He discusses his participation in the Abstraction-Création movement in Paris, and recalls his experiences at the Sorbonne and Musée de l’Homme, explaining his decision to study ethnology as pre-war hostilities intensified. The text describes his development of a theory of the “entire self”—an objective point of origin for identity that becomes clear in a collaborative environment—and how it bears on his theory of the object. In this shared space of creative-intellectual exploration, we learn, he sought to join other young “Others” in Paris in making a kind of alternative epistemology.

See the essay accompanying this translation here.

Show More

This source is an English translation by Stephanie M. Hohlios of a compelling 1971 memoir-essay by Japanese artist Okamoto Tarō—“Watashi to jinruigaku: pari daigaku minzoku gakka no koro (Anthropology and I: My Time at the University of Paris Department of Ethnology)".

Okamoto's essay "Anthropology and I" sheds light on a widely recognized but little understood chapter in Okamoto's life. He discusses his participation in the Abstraction-Création movement in Paris, and recalls his experiences at the Sorbonne and Musée de l’Homme, explaining his decision to study ethnology as pre-war hostilities intensified. The text describes his development of a theory of the “entire self”—an objective point of origin for identity that becomes clear in a collaborative environment—and how it bears on his theory of the object. In this shared space of creative-intellectual exploration, we learn, he sought to join other young “Others” in Paris in making a kind of alternative epistemology.

See the essay accompanying this translation here.

Source contents

Watashi to jinruigaku: pari daigaku minzoku gakka no koro (Anthropology and I: My Time at the University of Paris Department of Ethnology)

At the age of eighteen, I went to Paris. Precisely because I was in Paris, I had the freedom to express myself and was able to think that there is a splendid, promising future for the arts. At this time in Japan, a dark and bitter mode of expression had taken hold, and something that felt like a tune sung by a hoarse voice that only adults can hear came to be valued.

There was an attitude, one...

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