SHAKUTO Shiori - Tokyo College


Research Field Social and Cultural Anthropology, Gender, Transnationalism, Ageing, Environment Website
01 Description of Research

My research addresses gender and environment in contemporary Japan through the lens of mobilities of people and things between Japan and Southeast Asia. I apply emerging insights in feminist anthropology to longstanding debates about how global political economy and the state’s economic policies affect the most intimate domains of our lives in transnational arena. I have explored these themes through long-term ethnographic research on the rise of companionate marriage ideals among Japanese retirement community in Malaysia and, more recently, on the gendered response to an environmental disaster by female Japanese transnational evacuees in Southeast Asia. My current research documents how women, in different roles as homemakers, career professionals and workers, migrant domestic workers and environmental activists, are shaping the management of household plastic waste in plastic sending countries in Asia Pacific. In the coming years, I plan to track the transnational lives of plastic waste from Japan, Singapore and Australia to Southeast Asian countries to address the unequal global distribution of wealth and waste. For more on this project, please see here:

02 Short Biography

2022 –    Lecturer, Department of Anthropology, The University of Sydney
2020-2022  Project Assistant Professor, Tokyo College, The University of Tokyo
2018-2020      Postdoctoral Fellow, Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore
2017-2018       Catalyst, teamLab Kids, Tokyo
2017                 PhD in Social and Cultural Anthropology, Australian National University
2015-2016       Australian Government Endeavour Research Fellow
2012                 MSc in Social Anthropology, University of Oxford
2010-2011       Yoshida Scholarship Foundation Intern, Carter Center

2010                 LLB with First Class Honours, Australian National University

2006                 Mahindra United World College of India

03 Publications and Other Research Activities

Special Issue

Special issue of Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies, “Gender, migration and digital communication in Asia.” Edited with Brenda Yeoh. (in press, 2023).

Refereed Journal Articles

Shakuto, Shiori and Yeoh, Brenda (in press) ‘Introduction to the special issue: Gender, migration and digital communication in Asia’ Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies DOI: 10.1080/15562948.2021.1955174.

Shakuto, Shiori (2019) ‘Post-work intimacy: Negotiating romantic partnerships among Japanese retired couples in Malaysia’. American Ethnologist 46(3): 302-312.

Shakuto, Shiori (2018) ‘An independent and mutually supportive retirement as a moral ideal in contemporary Japan’. The Australian Journal of Anthropology 20(2): 184-194.

Shakuto, Shiori (2017) ‘Ageing with bad-boy charm: An affective analysis of Japanese retirement migration in Malaysia’. Japan Review of Cultural Anthropology 18(1): 159-172.

Zuckerman, Ghil’ad, Shakuto, Shiori and Quer, Giovanni Matteo (2014) ‘Native tongue title: Compensation for the loss of Aboriginal languages’. Australian Aboriginal Studies 1: 55-71.

Book Review

Shakuto, Shiori (2017) Book review of ‘Japanese tree burial: ecology, kinship and culture of death’ by Sebastien Boret. The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology 18(1): 95-97.


Shakuto, Shiori (2011) Translation of the appeal against a ruling to dismiss an application for unfair competition temporary measure. 54 Japanese Yearbook of International Law.

Public Media

Shakuto, Shiori (2020-2021) ‘Ethnographies and graphic recordings of work and life: Researchers’ Tokyo College.

Shakuto, Shiori and Baldari, Flavia (2020) ‘Japan’s migrants are not allowed to go home’. Open Democracy.

Shakuto, Shiori (2019) ‘Radiation migration: Motherhood and 3.11 evacuees in Malaysia’. Teach 311.

Shakuto, Shiori (2017) ‘Japanese radiation refugees in Malaysia’. American Anthropological Association News.

Shakuto, Shiori (2014) ‘Japan’s elderly in Malaysia, like shooting stars in the twilight’. East Asia Forum.

04 Projects and Grants


2021-2023      “Beyond Work-life Balance: A Feminist Anthropological Approach to Gender Equality.” JSPS Grants-in-Aid for Early-Career Scientists 2021-2023. Role: Principal Investigator. 

2020-2022       “Plastic Japan: The Social Life of Plastics from Consumption to Disposal in Contemporary Japan.” JSPS Start-Up Grant 2020-2021. Role: Principal Investigator. 

In Teams

2022-2025       “Plastic Waste and Women’s Household Practices in Asia and Australia” Singapore Government Ministry of Education (MOE) Academic Research Fund Tier 2 (EP4) 2022-2025. PI: Brenda Yeoh and Natalie Pang (NUS). Role: External Collaborator. 

2020-2023      “Risks and Solutions: Marine Plastics in South East Asia (RaSP-SEA)” National Research Foundation (Singapore) and Natural Environment Research Council (UK) Grant 2020-2023. PIs: Brendan Godley (University of Exeter) and Suresh Valiyaveettil (NUS). Role: Collaborator.