Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Fellows

Robert James Simpkins

2019 - 2020

Ph.D School of Oriental and African studies (SOAS), University of London. 2018

Robert James Simpkins an anthropologist specialising in youth, creativity and precarity in Japan. His current focus centres upon the relationship between creative practices, irregular employment and isolation.

His work also concerns issues related to urban space and contemporary music cultures. His doctoral research investigates the lives of musicians seeking a career in the music industry after arriving in Tōkyō from prefectures across Japan, the adversities they face and the readjustments they make in order to keep going. He explores how a train station forms the centre of their performing lives, and challenges common categorisations such as the division between public and private space.