[Updated on Apr. 18] Integration of CiNii Articles into CiNii Research

Walking, Cleaning, and "Kinning"

DOI Open Access

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Other Title
  • Material Practice of Grave-Caring among Russian-Speaking Migrants in Japan


<p> This study draws on ethnographic data obtained in Japan to investigate an affective, material practice of grave-caring by Russian-speaking migrants. Grave-caring is a small-scale but regular communal event, made visible through online migrant groups. To explicate the constitutive role of materiality in people's lives, I describe the practice in concrete terms, paying attention to material qualities of cemeteries and graves and to the material interactions between people and things. I argue that bringing strangers' graves into one's material image-scape denotes a need to render death in a foreign land conceivable. Migrants may perform this act as part of imagining the conclusion of their journey in the context of migration. Simultaneously, the act serves as an affective practice of "kinning" (creating kinship). It encompasses the material image-scape of the past and future and helps to stabilize one's place within one's own life cycle and in the continuity of generations of migrants in Japan.</p>


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