2016 Yenching Scholars
Riaki Tanaka

Riaki Tanaka

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Riaki Tanaka, a Japan based ethnographic documentary filmmaker, completed his M.A. at the University of Manchester in UK and his undergraduate studies at Waseda University in Japan. His research interests lie in the area of visual representation as a means of conveying anthropological knowledge, social connections between the giver and recipient of information, and memory and its vulnerability in the context of visualization.  At Waseda University, where he studied cultural anthropology, Riaki conducted and participated in a number of anthropological research projects related to Southeast Asian countries, including, conducting fieldwork in Laos. His bachelor thesis versed on the economic situation of Filipino immigrants in Japan. In Manchester, Riaki studied Visual Anthropology along with filmmaking techniques. He gained experience in producing several ethnographic documentaries filmed in various places, from residential areas in Manchester to forests in southern England. Riaki graduated from The University of Manchester with an ethnographic documentary project named “Tsukumai”, whose protagonists are performers of traditional acrobatic performance held in Ryugasaki, Japan, that analyses their sense of duty to succeed the tradition. While at the Yenching Academy, he hopes to apply his anthropological method to represent Chinese social lifestyle in the age of rapid transformation.