The Japan Society
Events Past Events

Past Events

ARCHIVED Being a Young Migrant in Japan: Anthropological Perspectives - with Jamie Coates

Monday 18 May 2020 / 6:45pm
Being a Young Migrant in Japan: Anthropological Perspectives - with Jamie Coates

Monday 18 May 2020
6.45pm (BST)

Booking Details
Free of charge - all welcome

Booking deadline: Monday 18 May  - 5.00pm (BST)

Book online here

We are taking our monthly Japan Society lecture online in May, and are delighted to welcome Dr Jamie Coates to discuss his film Tokyo Pengyou and his research into a migrant community in Tokyo. Please join us as we travel virtually to Japan!

Jamie Coates’ ethnographic film Tokyo Pengyou follows a young Chinese musician’s struggles in Tokyo’s unofficial Chinatown, Ikebukuro. It explores how desire, disappointment and creativity shape young Chinese people's social bonds while living abroad, revealing the complicated nature of friendship in migration contexts.

Based on long-term fieldwork over a period of some four years, the film also serves as a reflection on the role of friendship in anthropological research.

Watch Tokyo Pengyou online in advance, then join us on Monday 18 May for a presentation and Q&A with the director of the film Dr Jamie Coates, as he explores how we can understand young Chinese mobilities beyond frameworks such as community and migrant identity. He will also discuss the role visual research can play in deconstructing the taken for granted analytical categories we use in migration research.


Jamie Coates is Lecturer in East Asian Studies at the University of Sheffield. He works on the relationship between technology, mobility and imagination in the Sino-Japanese context. In particular, he is interested in the role migration, media, and future imaginaries play in young Chinese efforts to re-imagine co-ethnic and regional ideas of commonality. More broadly, he is interested in generative theories of social becoming and digital methodological innovations in ethnographic approaches.

If you have any questions, please call the Japan Society office on 020 3075 1996 or email us at: