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Chikako Ozawa-de SilvaProfessor of Japanese Studies and Anthropology


I came to Emory after serving as a Visiting Research Fellow at Harvard University’s Department of Social Medicine and a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Chicago. I received my B.A. degree from Sophia University (上智大学) in Anthropology & Sociology, M.A. degree in Sociology of Cultural from the University of Essex, and D. Phil. in Social and Cultural Anthropology from Oxford University.

My academic vision is to contribute to cross-cultural understandings of health, illness and well-being by bringing Western and Asian perspectives on the mind-body, religion, medicine, and therapy into fruitful dialogue. My publications include two monographs, The Anatomy of Loneliness:Suicide, Social Connection and the Search for Relational Meaning in Contemporary Japan (University of California Press, 2021), which was awarded for the Victor Turner Prize (2022), the Francis L.K. Hsu Prize (2022), and the Stirling Award (2023), and Psychotherapy and Religion in Japan: The Japanese Introspection Practice of Naikan (Routledge, 2006), as well as a co-edited special issue “Toward an Anthropology of Loneliness” in Transcultural Psychiatry (57:5, 2020, co-edited with Michelle Parsons), and over twenty peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on psychotherapeutic practice, suicide, the mind-body relationship and Tibetan medicine. I am a NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) grant recipient and a Mind and Life Contemplative Studies Fellowship (The John Templeton Foundation) recipient.

For the past ten years my research has focused on loneliness, empathy, meaning-making, subjectivity and resilience, particularly among populations at risk for suicide, in situations of domestic violence, and in prison, in both Japan and the US. My new research project is on the globalization of anime and manga, in which I explore issues of belonging, intimacy, loneliness, and nakama (friends / companions / comrades) in these media and in the fandom, as well as the cross-cultural appeal of Japanese anime and manga internationally.


  • Japanese Studies
  • Psychological and Medical anthropology
  • Mental well-being
  • Subjectivity and Selfhood
  • Critical Empathy
  • Contemplative Practice
  • Therapies and Healing Practices
  • Mind-body
  • Loneliness, Intimacy and Suicide
  • Buddhism, Tibetan medicine


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