Asian Ethnology Podcast

Interview with Benjamin Dorman: Meet the Co-editors (part 2 of 2)

Interviewer: Frank J. Korom, co-editor Asian Ethnology

Recorded 24 November 2017, Nagoya, Japan

This is the second of two episodes featuring interviews with the co-editors. Benjamin Dorman discusses his research interest in Japanese new religions and media, and his experiences working as the associate editor for Asian Folklore Studies and Asian Ethnology.

Episode Summary

Intro :29

Background, interest in Japan, and academic study 4:25

Work at Nanzan University (associate editor, Asian Folklore Studies and Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 6:27

Research into new religious movements of Japan and media during the Allied Occupation and beyond 11:58

Study on Hosoki Kazuko (fortune teller); terminology surrounding new religions; media representation 14:45

Retirement of Peter Knecht and the change from Asian Folklore Studies to Asian Ethnology; future of the journal 18:15

Role of different media (online media, audio) as opposed to traditional media (print) in relation to a journal 23:30

Outro 23:45

Publications discussed in this episode (Author: Benjamin Dorman)


1. Pana Wave The New Aum Shinrikyo or Another Moral Panic?. Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions. 8. 83-103. doi:10.1525/nr.2005.8.3.83 (2005)

2. Sheets, Seals and Sensation: Pana Wave and the Media. Asian Studies Review, Vol. 29: 19-34. doi:10.1080/10357820500139497 (2005)

3. Representing Ancestor Worship as "Non-Religious": Hosoki Kazuko's Divination in the Post-Aum Era. Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions, Vol. 10 No. 3: 32-53. doi: 10.1525/nr.2007.10.3.32 (2007)


Celebrity Gods: New Religions, Media, and Authority in Occupied Japan, University of Hawai’i Press (February 2012)

Music used with kind permission of the performer, shamisen master Koji Yamaguchi.

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