Amy Walker Kuroki

Amy Walker Kuroki

Ms

  • AMA

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Personal profile

Biography

Amy is undertaking a PhD in the History of Art, funded by the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation. Her research looks at the processes by which cultural forms become heritage. It focuses mainly on kagura - a form of ritualised dance - which enacts the mythological narratives of the Japanese gods. Kyushu kagura is currently applying for UNESCO intangible cultural heritage status, and this research will be a multi-site analysis, investigating the competing narratives and hoped-for benefits of various stakeholders in the process of applying for world heritage. 

This research builds upon an MPhil which looked at the contemporary social realities of local households intimately connected to the neighbourhood Pure Land Buddhist temple historically. It was informed by an extended period of ethnographic fieldwork undertaken while Amy was a visiting fellow at Kagoshima University. This resulted in two research outcomes, ‘Ancestors in Transition: Negotiating Contemporary Identities within the Japanese Ie Household System’ (2018), and 'Global connections in the Local Sphere: Innovation and Change in a Pure Land Buddhist Temple' (2015) (published in Japanese). 

It also builds upon her interest in arts and heritage, the subject of her MA dissertation at the Sainsbury Research Unit, entitled: 'From Rock Galleries to Crocodile Dundee: The Role of Aboriginal Arts in the Promotion of Australia' for which she was awarded a distinction. 

Amy is supervised by Professor Simon Kaner, Executive Director of the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures, and Dr Chris Wingfield, Associate Professor in the Arts of Africa, Sainsbury Research Unit for the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. 

Her academic network in Japan includes membership of the West Japan Religious Studies Association, where she gave an online presentation in 2022 concerning the complexities of research during COVID (publication forthcoming).