Martinez, D.P. 1957- (Dolores P. Martinez, Lola Martinez)
Martinez, D.P. 1957- (Dolores P. Martinez, Lola Martinez)
Born March 10, 1957. Education: University of Chicago, B.A.; University of Oxford, Ph.D.
University of London, London, England, School of Oriental and African Studies, senior lecturer in anthropology, associate dean of research, faculty of arts and humanities.
(Editor, with Jan van Bremen) Ceremony and Ritual in Japan: Religious Practices in an Industrialized Society, Routledge (New York, NY), 1995.
Identity and Ritual in a Japanese Diving Village: The Making and Becoming of Person and Place, University of Hawaii Press (Honolulu, HI), 2004.
(Editor) Modern Japanese Culture and Society, four volumes, Routledge (New York, NY), 2007.
(Editor, with Maria Rodriguez del Alisal and Peter Ackermann) Pilgrimages and Spiritual Quests in Japan, Routledge (New York, NY), 2007.
D.P. Martinez was born in 1957. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago where she studied social anthropology, and then went on to earn her doctorate at the University of Oxford in England. As a member of the faculty at the University of London, Martinez teaches in the School of Oriental and African Studies, where she is a senior lecturer in anthropology, with a particular focus on Japan. In addition, she is the associate dean of research in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, and an associate member of the university's Centre for Media and Film Studies. Her academic and research interests cover a broad range of topics, including Japan, maritime anthropology, the anthropology of tourism, mass media, and film traditions on both a local and a global scale. Her interest in film and in Japan has led her to research the works of famed Japanese director Akira Kurosawa, and to compare his style and his approach to filmmaking to the efforts of directors working in the West. In particular, she has focused on Hollywood's recent interest in the Japanese style of filmmaking, and the sudden wave of U.S.-made films that have copied the Japanese techniques, as well as American remakes of Japanese films. Much of her work has echoed her early interests in mass media and popular culture, on which she wrote her doctoral dissertation.
In addition to her academic pursuits, Martinez has written or edited a number of books on culture and social structures, particularly pertaining to Japan. She served as editor of the volume The Worlds of Japanese Popular Culture: Gender, Shifting Boundaries and Global Cultures, which was published in 1998. Popular culture has long played an important role in Japanese culture as a whole, in particular since the 1980s and 1990s, when film and television comics and manga became even more prevalent than they had been in previous years. Japanese young people especially have found pop culture entertainment to play a vital role in their lives, serving as an escape from the high pressures and expectations of success that are a major component of the Japanese educational system. This period in time has also been highlighted by shifting roles of women in Japanese society, something that is heavily reflected in Japanese popular culture as well, with more female role models in Japanese entertainment, particularly in female-centric manga series. Likewise, more traditional cultural icons, such as the monsters and superheroes of earlier forms of Japanese pop cultural entertainment, have continued to thrive, often morphing and being reinvented for a modern audience, and changing to allow the inclusion of outside influences that make them more universal.
The Worlds of Japanese Popular Culture consists of a series of ten essays by different writers, each tackling a separate area of Japanese popular culture, ranging from the role of cyberpunk films, to the shifting of gender roles that has led to an increased interest in horseracing among women, to karaoke, to women's magazines, to sumo wrestling. They are led off by an introduction by Martinez, who attempts to unify these disparate areas of popular culture by explaining how Japan's diversity plays off of the common themes that are reflected in its cultural interests. Jerry Eades, in a review for the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, suggested that the ever-moving and morphing nature of popular culture makes it nearly impossible to pin down the current trends in a static book. He remarked that "the individual papers in this collection should probably be seen as parts of an ongoing collective project, rather than a free-standing whole." Writing for Arena Magazine, Kayoko Hashimoto found fault with the organizational construct of the volume, commenting on its failure to "go very far in fulfilling the editor's aim of questioning ‘the assumptions made about the proper domain of anthropologists’, because this theme is not explicitly addressed in the way the chapters are conceived." She concluded, however, that the work "provides us with some pertinent background to the seemingly rapid changes in Japanese society today."
Martinez's Identity and Ritual in a Japanese Diving Village: The Making and Becoming of Person andPlace is based on more than a year's research that she did in Kuzakicho, Mie prefecture, where the famed female divers are known to live and work. Her approach was to look into the structure of the region, as well as its economy, and the ways in which diving, fishing, and the tourism that results are balanced with the inner life of the people who make this area their home. Martinez focuses primarily on the rituals that comprise the year in the village, noting their basis in patriarchal ties, despite the vital role of women in their economy. The primary criticism of the work appears to be that, though Martinez initially spent time in the field doing her research in the 1980s, she failed to return prior to writing the book, which was published in 2004, in order to determine if time had wrought any changes to the region and its way of life. Robin O'Day, writing for Pacific Affairs, concluded: "It would be worthwhile to read this work in conjunction with more recent ethnographies on Japan focusing on women, gender and identity to get a balanced perspective on these issues. Nonetheless, Martinez's deep reflection is an invaluable and insightful contribution."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Arena Magazine, October, 1999, Kayoko Hashimoto, review of The Worlds of Japanese Popular Culture: Gender, Shifting Boundaries and Global Cultures, p. 51.
Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, November, 1995, J.H. Bailey, review of Ceremony and Ritual in Japan: Religious Practices in an Industrialized Society, p. 504; January, 2005, M.Y. Runn, review of Identity and Ritual in a Japanese Diving Village: The Making and Becoming of Person and Place, p. 896.
Japan Quarterly, July 1, 1999, Mark Schilling, review of The Worlds of Japanese Popular Culture, p. 93.
Journal of Asian Studies, August, 1999, Christine R. Yano, review of The Worlds of Japanese Popular Culture, p. 848.
Journal of Intercultural Studies, December, 2001, Johnnie D. Spraggins, review of The Worlds of Japanese Popular Culture, p. 335.
Journal of Popular Culture, fall, 2000, Michael Schoenecke, review of The Worlds of Japanese Popular Culture, p. 187.
Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, December, 1999, Jerry Eades, review of The Worlds of Japanese Popular Culture, p. 680.
Pacific Affairs, spring, 2006, Robin O'Day, review of Identity and Ritual in a Japanese Diving Village, p. 133.
Reference & Research Book News, August, 2004, review of Identity and Ritual in a Japanese Diving Village, p. 84.
Times Literary Supplement, August 6, 1999, review of The Worlds of Japanese Popular Culture, p. 33.
Intersections,http://wwwsshe.murdoch.edu.au/ (January 3, 2000), Todd Joseph Miles Holden, review of The Worlds of Japanese Popular Culture.
University of Hawaii Press Web site,http://www.uhpress.hawaii.edu/ (March 17, 2008), author profile.
University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies Web site,http://www.soas.ac.uk/ (March 17, 2008), faculty profile.