Membres | Membres statutaires

Mary Picone

Maître de conférences EHESS
Institution(s) de rattachement : EHESS
Laboratoire(s) de rattachement : UMR 8173 Chine Corée Japon

Coordonnées professionnelles


Page personnelle

C.V. (abbreviated)

D. Phil (Ph. D.), Faculty of Anthropology and St. Antony's College, Oxford University, 1985.

Thesis title : Rites and Symbols of Death in Japan. Supervisor: Professor Rodney Needham.

1987-89: Research Fellow, St. Antony's College, Oxford .University

1997-2000 Chargée de cours, enseignement d'ouverture on Japanese society, Sciences Po (Sciences Politiques or IEP) Paris

1990  - present :   Maître de conférences (Associate Professor)  Ecole des Hautes Etudes en sciences sociales (EHESS)

2000-2001: (5 months) :Research Fellowship Nichibunken, kenkyûkai Prof. Komatsu Kazuhiko.

2004: ( 4 months) : Invited Professor ( by Pr. Ochiai Emiko ) Kyoto University, Graduate School, section Sociology and Anthropology

Member of the  Réseau-Asie-Pacifique and of the Association for Asian Studies

Member of the international research project 'Buddhism Business and Believers' (Danish council for Research 2015- ) directed by T. Brox, University of Copenhagen


Overview of more recent activities

Fieldwork and Affiliations to Japanese Universities

2006-2007: (3 months) Kyoto and Tokyo, new concepts of Hells and ritual change in  Enma-dô and research on muenji 

2008 (3 months) Kyoto and Osaka, the homeless and the poorest of the precariat in Kamagasaki and other urban slums

2011 (2 and a half months) Kyoto et Osaka, social welfare activities of temples and religious associations, changing religious concepts of suicide ( Pilot Erasmus Program) Graduate School of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Kyoto

2015 (October and November) Tokyo  Ochanomizu university (Institute for Gender Studies), Tokyo, Associate professor and organisation of a symposium

Seminars taught recently (EHESS)

Anthropology of suicide 2011-2012, 2012-2013

Anthropology of Japan 2013-2014, 2014-2015-

Visual Anthropology : the fantastique in Japanese cinema 2012-2013, 2013-2014, 2014-2015 (2013 -2015 co-organised with Matthias Hayek, Univ. Paris-Diderot)

Controversies in Anthropology (Obligatory doctoral formation seminar) 2013-2014, 2014-2015

Politiques des sciences (Governmental Policies of social science research and teaching, co-organisation) 2010-2015

Visual anthropology : les 'enquêteurs de l'étrange' dans le cinéma japonais 2015-2016

Conferences and workshops (organisation and/or papers presented) 

'Ethnographies of Suicide', Brunel University, West London, paper: 'Suicide in Japan: New Trends', July 2008

« Stigma in life, Stigma in death », session org. with T. Gill (Meiji Gakuin) at the triannual conference of the British Association for Japanese Studies (SOAS), and paper entitled: « The death of the destitute and the persistence of kegare in popular religion » September 2010

Brief Notes on Kappa and Otherworlds in the Taishô Period', paper given at 'Looking Through Monster Anomalies: Prodigies and Pandemonium in Japan', a conference org. by Matthias. Hayek, Univ. Paris-Denis Diderot, March 2011

'The making and un-making of problematic social groups in 20th century Japan' co-organisation, with  Anna Skarpelis (New York University), of a two-day workshop at the EHESS. Paper title: « Missing persons : The Hidden, Unidentified, Uncounted, Living or Dead : An Interstitial Category ? ' May 2011

'Invisible Deaths and Hidden Bodies in Japan and  Taiwan',  session  organized at the 4th   Congress of the  Reseau-Asie Pacifique, paper presented : 'Invisible in Life, Forgotten in Death the Bodies of the Poor in the  Muen shakai', September 2011

'Imaginary Insects in Japan and China', workshop organised at the EHESS, paper pres.:'Changes in the rites of exorcism and pacification of mushi : the return of unquiet souls' January 2012 

'How Japanese Religious Organisations are Attempting to Respond to Post Bubble Poverty and Suicides', unpublished paper presented at the Association for Asian Studies Conference, Toronto, March 2012

'Ruines :transpositions, scories, disparitions' (Ruins and disappearance), a workshop organised at the EHESS, paper given : Exploring ruins in Japan, June 2012 

'Aesthetics of Phantasmagoria: Ghosts in the Far East Yesterday and Today', president of the session 'Electric Shadows', paper pres. 'Visiting Ghosts in Japan, from premodern guide books to contemporary paranormal exploration',  INALCO, February 2013

'The Construction and Usage of Indicators', conference organized by the CURAPP, University of  Picardie, unpublished paper presented 'Missing Persons in Japan,  the poorest of the poor, unidentified bodies and solitary deaths', May 2013

'Contemporary Japanese reinterpretations of Buddhist Concepts of Poverty and Welfare', paper read in the panel org. par T. Brox ( Humbolt University) 'Buddhist Wealth,Accumulation and Distribution in the Global Economy',  Association for Asian Studies Conference, Philadelphia, March 2014 

'Natality Policies and Concern for Fetal Health, Japanese, Chinese and Transnational Views', workshop organised at the l'EHESS, paper pres. :'Fear of the fetus', March 2014 

'Memorialization of aborted/miscarried fetuses, a survey and updating of research', paper presented in panel 'The Dreadful Fetus in Buddhist Thought and Practice', of the 5th Congress of the RéseauAsie Pacifique, Paris, September 2015

Publications  (selected): 

Lineaments of Ungratified Desire : Rebirth in Snake Form in Japanese Popular Religion', Res 5, 1984 

'The Ghost in the Machine:Healing and representations of the Human Body in Japan', Fragments for a History of the Human body, M. Feher et al. ed, Zone Books , MIT Press 1989a 

'La double illusion : les représentations visuelles des revenants au Japon' '(Double Illusions : Visual Representations of Ghosts in Japan), Cahiers de littérature orale, 26 1989b 

'The Anthropology of Evil': review article, L'Homme 103 XXVII (3) 1990 

'Ombres japonaises : l'illusion dans les cotes de revenants (1685-1989)'  (Japanese Shadows : Illusion in Ghost Stories) L'Homme 117 XXXI (1) 1991 

'Possession par les renards (kitsune tsuki) et folie au Japon : du folklore à la psychiatrie contemporaine',  (Kitsune tsuki and Mental Illness in Japan: From Folklore to Contemporary Psychiatry), 'Dialogues Actuels Interpsychiatriques,' v.3, 1994a 

'Les thérapies religieuses et la médecine au Japon,  (Religious Healing and Medicine in Japan) in Médecine et Société au Japon, G. Siary ed, L'Harmattan 1994b 

'Etiology and Divination in Japan' in Beyond Textuality, G. Bibeau et al. ed., Mouton, 1995 

'Le cadavre icône' (The Corpse as Icon), in Le Corps tabou, introd.  J. Duvignaud, Internationale de l'imaginaire, Babel, 1997 

'Infanticide, the Spirits of Aborted Fetuses and the Making of Motherhood in Japan', in Small Wars:The Cultural Politics of Childhood, N. Scheper-Hughes et al. ed. University of California Press, 1998 

Les Attaques suicides des 'unités spéciales de combat' dites kamikaze', (Suicde Attacks by the tokkotai also called kamikaze) Etudes sur la Mort,130(2) 2006 

'Cremation in Japan: Bone Buddhas and surrogate Bodies', Etudes sur la Mort, 132 (2) 2007 

'Akutagawa saku 'kappa' to yôkai no gainen', Atti del Quarto Colloquio dell'Associazione Internazionale degli Studi su Akutagawa (Kokusai Akutagawa Ryûnosuke Gakkai), Istituto Giapponese di Cultura and University of Rome, La Sapienza, 2010 

'Overlooked in Life, Invisibile in Death, the Problem of Unclaimed Bodies in Japan', 4th Conference of the  Reseau Asie Pacifique, published online 2011 

'Suicide and the Afterlife: Popular Religion and the Standardisation of 'Culture' in Japan',  'Culture, Medecine and Psychiatry', 36(2) June 2012 

'Les fantômes japonais au fil des pages et de la vie' (Japanese Ghosts in literature and urban legends) in Histoires de Fantômes et de revenants, B. Dupaigne, ed, Société des Etudes Euroasiatiques, L'Harmattan, 2012 

'Marketing d'Enfers: les représentations contemporaines d'Enma-ô et la gestion de ses temples' (Marketing Hells: Contemporary Representations of Enma-ô and the Management of Temples Dedicated to Him), in Japon Pluriel, J-M. Butel et al. ed., Ph. Picquier 2012 

''L'amour de la nature' au Japon , mémoire culturelle ou stéréotype ?' (The Japanese Love of Nature, Cultural Memory or Stereotype?, in  Mémoire culturelle et transmission des legendes, Sociéte des Etudes Euroasiatiques,  L'Harmattan, 2014

"Haunted Sites: Where to Visit Ghosts According to Written or Filmed Collections of Personal Experiences", in Fantômes dans l'Extrême-Orient d'hier et d'aujourd'hui (tome 2), Marie Laureillard,  Vincent Durand-Dastès ed., Presses de l’Inalco
DOI : 10.4000/books.pressesinalco.2679

In Press:

'Narratives of Dignity and Sorrow' by Bardwell Smith and Current Debates on Abortion Rituals in Popular Buddhism', Journal of Buddhist Ethics 

To appear:

'Brief Notes on Kappa and Otherworlds in the Taishô Period', to appear in Looking Through Monster Anomalies: Prodigies and Pandemonium in Japan, ed. M. Hayek and C. Brisset

'Visiting Ghosts in Japan, haunted spaces in written and filmed collections of personal experences' in Une ésthetique de la fantasmagorie: fantômes d'extrême orient d'hier et d'aujourd'hui' ,Vincent Durand-Dastes and Marie Laureillard eds, l'Harmattan


Conference: 'La Mort au Japon, rites et esprits inquiets' (Death in Japan, Ritual and Unquiet Spirits) at the  Association culturelle pour la photographie Stimultania,  Strasbourg, June 2011 

Radio broadcast 'Anthropology of Suicide', Les Voix du crépuscule, Musée du Quai Branly, February 2014

Interview with Radio télévison suisse program  « 36.9 » special programme on suicide to be broadcast, 2015  


UMR 8173 Chine Corée Japon

flux rss  Actualités

La discrimination à l’encontre des burakumin dans le Japon contemporain

Conférence - Jeudi 05 avril 2018 - 11:00Conférence de Caroline Taïeb (EHESS) dans le cadre du séminaire colléctif du Centre de recherches sur le Japon, le 5 avril 2018.Depuis les années 1980, aucu (...)

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Les vassaux de la ville de Hagi

Conférence - Jeudi 01 mars 2018 - 11:00Morishita Tôru, Professeur à l'Université de Yamaguchi, donnera une conférence dans le cadre du sémainire collectif du Centre de recherches sur le Japon le 1 (...)

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La socialisation à l'amour et à la sexualité chez les écoliers japonais

Conférence - Jeudi 15 février 2018 - 11:00Conférence d'Aline Henninger (INALCO/CEJ) dans le cadre du séminaire collectif du Centre de recherches sur le Japon, le 15 février 2018.Malgré les travaux (...)

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