Nishikawa Kimitsu (1940–2015) was an eccentric Proletarian who lived (and died) in Yokohama, occupying the work-world of the docks and building sites as a day-laborer, and the thought-world of long, intoxicated Socratic conversations in pubs and lending libraries. His conversations with the anthropologist Tom Gill resulted in the book Mainichi Ahōdansu: Kotobuki-chō no Hiyatoi Tetsugakusha Nishikawa Kimitsu no Sekai (Everyday Affordance: The World of Kimitsu Nishikawa, the Day Labouring Philosopher of Kotobuki-cho) (Kyōtotto Press, 2013, which was later published in English as Yokohama Street Life: The Precarious Career of a Japanese Day Laborer [Asia World Series of Publications] (Lexington Books, 2015).
Thomas Paramor (‘Tom’) Gill is a social anthropologist and professor at the Faculty of International Studies of Meiji Gakuin University (Yokohama Campus). His research has focused mainly on marginal communities in Japanese society. He is the author of Men of Uncertainty: the Social Organization of Day Laborers in Contemporary Japan (State University of New York Press, 2001) and Mainichi Ahōdansu: Kotobuki-chō no Hiyatoi Tetsugakusha Nishikawa Kimitsu no Sekai (Everyday Affordance: The World of Kimitsu Nishikawa, the Day Labouring Philosopher of Kotobuki-cho) (Kyōtotto Press, 2013). Since 2011, Tom Gill has been researching the social impact of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster.
Hariprabha Basu-Mallik Takeda (1890–1972) was a Bengali woman who travelled from Dhaka in East Bengal (now Bangladesh) in 1912 with her Japanese husband Takeda Uemon (Japanese name: Kazuemon). Her memoir of life in Japan was written in Bengali, first published in Dhaka as Bongomohilar Japan Jatra (A Bengali Woman’s Voyage to Japan) in 1915, and reprinted by Sahitya Prakash Publishers, Dhaka in 1999. The English translation of this text by Debjani Sengupta has been especially commissioned by Raqs Media Collective for the Yokohama Triennale 2020.
Debjani Sengupta is the author of The Partition of Bengal: Fragile Borders and New Identities (Cambridge University Press, 2016). She has edited a volume of stories, Mapmaking: Partition Stories From Two Bengals (2004 rpt. 2011) and has co-edited another volume, Looking Back: The 1947 Partition of India 70 Years On (Orient Blackswan, 2017). She translates from the Bengali into English. Her translations have been anthologized in the Oxford Anthology of Bengali Literature (OUP, vol. 2) and in The Essential Tagore (Harvard University Press). Debjani Sengupta is Associate Professor of English at Indraprastha College for Women, University of Delhi.
Svetlana Boym (1959–2015) was the Curt Hugo Reisinger Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures and Comparative Literature at Harvard University, and a media artist, playwright and novelist. She was an associate of the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. Much of her work focused on developing the new theoretical concept of the off-modern. Another Freedom: The Alternative History of an Idea (University of Chicago Press, 2010) and The Future of Nostalgia (Basic Books, 2001), are among the books written by her. Svetlana Boym is remembered for her passionate intellectual and emotional commitment to the idea and ideals of friendship, between people of different genders, ages, cultures, convictions, generations and temperaments.
Ali Adil Shah (1558–1579) was the fifth Sultan of Bijapur Sultanate, a principality in peninsular India. He was an autodidact and an aesthete. Emma Flatt, an art historian, strongly believes that he was the author (or at least principal authorial hand) of the Nujūm al-‘ulūm.
Emma Flatt is Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research has focused on mentalities and practices in the courtly societies of the Indo-Islamicate Deccani Sultanates of South India. She has written The Courts of the Deccan Sultanates: Living Well in the Persian Cosmopolisis (Cambridge University Press, 2019) and is the editor (together with Daud Ali) of Garden and Landscape Practices in Precolonial India: Histories from the Deccan (Routledge, 2011).
Shimomura Osamu (1928–2018) was a Japanese organic chemist and marine biologist, and Professor Emeritus at Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts and Boston University School of Medicine. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2008 for the discovery and development of green fluorescent protein (GFP) with two American scientists: Martin Chalfie of Columbia University and Roger Tsien of the University of California-San Diego. He is the author of Bioluminiscence: Chemical Principles and Methods (World Scientific Publishing, 2006 and co-author (with Sachi Shimomura and John H. Bringer) of Luminous Pursuit: Jellyfish, GFP and the Uncertain Path to the Nobel Prize (World Scientific Publishing, 2017).
Shimomura Sachi is Associate Professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is the author of Odd Bodies and Visible Ends in Medieval Literature (Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2006) and co-author of Luminous Pursuit: Jellyfish, GFP and the Uncertain Path to the Nobel Prize (World Scientific Publishing, 2017).
John H Brinegar is Teaching Assistant Professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia. His scholarly and research interests lie in the History of the English Language, and Medieval & Renaissance English Literature.
The names are in order of appearance in this book.
The positions and affiliations of the contributors are current as of November 2019.