Wednesday, December 28, 2016

[“Multicultural Hong Kong in Celebration” Series] Africans and Football in Hong Kong

"Just as how football is a means of celebrating a pan-African identity and brotherhood, it can bridge cultural divide in Hong Kong. As a global sport, it transcends language barriers, skin colour, and cultural background. Football helps people to become “one”, in Johnny’s words, however transiently."
—Sealing Cheng

Extract from the article:

Johnny arrived in Hong Kong in 2003 from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Having been in Hong Kong for 12 years as an asylum-seeker and therefore without an HKID, Johnny has been prohibited from work, study, and volunteering. He has devoted himself to church, football, and his family (who joined him recently in Hong Kong). Approaching 40, Johnny has given up the dream of becoming a professional footballer in Hong Kong. Instead, he has led teams of African asylum-seekers and refugees to play and sometimes win in local charity games. “You must be ONE when you play football.” This is the spirit he looks for in football. 

“Why is football so important in your lives in Hong Kong?” I asked.

“It’s fun. It’s part of our life. It takes the stress away. Our community here is affected by constant mobility - people come and go all the time, We also live with a lot of uncertainty. Football takes our minds off these things. It is also good for our health!”

(Cheng 2015:56)


Want to know more about the role that football plays in the lives of African asylum-seekers and refugees in Hong Kong? Click here to read the full text article (first published in Hong Kong Discovery Vol. 90 in Sep 2015). 

Friday, December 2, 2016

[HKAS seminar] When the Sun Sets in the Land of the Rising Sun: Psychoanalytic Theory and Sexual Behavior in Japan

Title: When the Sun Sets in the Land of the Rising Sun: Psychoanalytic Theory and Sexual Behavior in Japan
Speaker: Jermaine R. Gordon-Mizusawa (PhD candidate, Department of Anthropology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Date and time: 8 Dec 2016, 7:00 p.m.
Venue: Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, Hong Kong Museum of History, 100 Chatham Road, Tsim Sha Tsui


Information on sex in Japan especially in the media is conflicting and contradictory. One image is sexualized with soaplands, enjo-kosai or compensated dating, and erotic manga; while another is of sexual repression. In 2008, Japan Today reported the lowest in frequency of weekly sex (34%) and sexual satisfaction (15%). The Guardian's Abigail Haworth in 2013 alarmingly claimed that young people in Japan have stopped having sex altogether, and Business Insider (2015) characterized Japan as experiencing “celebacy syndrome”. However, a BBC “Sex in Japan” documentary in 2008, and in 2015 a series of “special reports” on JK (Josei Culture or compensated dating with adolescent girls) by VICE News and reports in the Japan Times about “high school walking” say otherwise. 

Mr. Gordon-Mizusawa provides an anthropological and psychological analysis of sexual behavior in Japan by examining over 10 years of ethnographic interview data collected by the speaker, focusing particularly on first sexual experiences and subsequent behavior. He also looks at how Western media and academia portray sexual behavior in Japan and explores the meaning of “virginity” as a culture-bound phenomenon. Audience members will also participate in interactive activities during the talk. 

Jermaine R. Gordon-Mizusawa is a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. His reseach interests include first-sexual experience and sexual behavior in Japan and East Asia using person-centered ethnography, psychoanalytic interview techniques and psychoanalytic theory. He is also interested in child and human development. 

Following the talk, you are invited to a self-paying dinner with the speaker. For more information, please contact Stan Dyer on 9746 9537 or,,

Thursday, December 1, 2016

[Upcoming Seminar] The Price of Belief: Money, Effort, and Reciprocity in Japanese New Religions

Title: The Price of Belief: Money, Effort, and Reciprocity in Japanese New Religions
Speaker: Isaac GAGNE (The University of Hong Kong)
Date and time: 2 December 2016, 1:00 – 2:30 pm
Venue: Room 11 Humanities Building, New Asia College, CUHK


This talk draws on fieldwork with new religious movements in Japan. Through a case study of two groups I look at the “price of belief” in terms of the monetary, social, and emotional efforts of members. I examine how new socioeconomic pressures on religious organizations have pushed new demands onto members to "materialize" their belief, which has also produced creative and unintended responses by members. In this process, the transvaluation of monetary and personal commitment via a materialization of belief underlies and reinforces members’ commitment while creating new webs of obligation and reciprocity. 

Isaac Gagné is a Visiting Assistant Professor at The University of Hong Kong's Department of Japanese Studies. He works on religion, morality, mental health, gender and identity in Japan.


(A light lunch will be served at 12:30 pm. First come first served.)