Asian Ethnology 79-1 | article Editors’ Note

Benjamin Dorman and Frank J. Korom

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The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have devastating effects on lives and economies throughout the world. We wish to extend our heartfelt sympathies to colleagues and families who are suffering at this uncertain time. As far as the journal is concerned, at the time of writing, office staff at Nanzan University are not working, while teaching staff are working from home. Even though it is too early to judge the full impact this will have on the future production of the journal, we are fortunate that the bulk of the work related to this issue was completed before restrictions came into place in Japan. On the subject of staff, we wish to thank Ben Huffman, who worked with the journal as editorial assistant from the beginning of 2018 to the end of 2019. His enthusiasm and drive were a great support during a period of transition for the journal, particularly related to social media and podcast development. We congratulate him on joining the University of Maryland as an Assistant Clinical Professor, where he is teaching global development and design. He is also running a research lab under the same name in collaboration with the Center for International Development and Conflict Management. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors. Concerning the _Asian Ethnology Podcast_, two recent episodes may be of interest to listeners. The first is an interview with editorial board member Thomas David DuBois, who discusses studying food in China. His interview was published on Tuesday March 25, 2020. In addition to his research on the fascinating and growing field of food studies, Thomas also discusses life under lockdown in Beijing ( The second recently published episode is an interview with Mark Bookman on the topic of disability, accessibility, and COVID-19 in Japan ( bookman), which was published on Saturday April 4, 2020. While the _Asian Ethnology Podcast_ episodes have been hosted by either Benjamin Dorman or Frank Korom thus far, we are now also welcoming different guest hosts to conduct interviews with their own colleagues. Please check the _Asian Ethnology Podcast_ page ( or the journal's Facebook ( and Twitter pages ( for ongoing updates. We are pleased to present this current issue, which, as with all of the special issues we have published, is the result of a significant amount of work by the guest editors and contributors over an extended period of time. We would particularly like to thank the guest editors for their patience and understanding during this time. In closing, we wish to thank all of you sincerely for your support of the journal. As the current global situation unfolds, we look forward to providing our readers and listeners with interesting, informative material. Nagoya June 30, 2020