Dr Kenichi Tani

Sasakawa Research Fellow, Oxford School of Global and Area Studies



Dr Kenichi Tani holds a PhD (2022) in Social Science (Social Anthropology) from Hitotsubashi University, Japan. He has an MA from Hitotsubashi University (2013) and an MA from the University of Tehran (2017). He has spent a total of 44 months conducting anthropological fieldwork in Iran, focussing especially on Shi’i rituals in southern Tehran. He has a book published by Hosei University Press titled: Āshūrā as Submission and Rebellion: An Ethnography on Religious Rituals in Contemporary Iran in Japanese, which is based on his doctoral dissertation. The work offered an ethnographic description of Hossein’s mourning rituals in contemporary Iran, including pilgrimage to Karbala, elegy, procession, chest beating, chain beating and other forms of self-flagellation, which sheds light on ambiguous aspects of the rituals themselves. Dr Tani is now preparing an English monograph of this work for publication. He also conducts scholarly investigations of aspects of Iranian popular culture such as water pipe smoking and hip-hop music, and undertakes comparative research on various elements of Iranian and Azerbaijani society. Dr Tani is interested in anthropology as a mode of relativising Western knowledge production, and has published in the Q1 journal Anthropological Theory. He collaborated with a small group of colleagues to translate Audit Cultures (ed. M. Strathern) into Japanese (2022, Suiseisha), and is working on several other anthropology monograph translation projects.