Overseas Death, Burial Practices, and Ancestral Worship: An Interpretation for Cremation Practices among Diasporic Chinese in the Philippines


Speaker: Prof. Gyo Miyahara (宮原曉), Osaka University

Date: 22nd Oct 2015 (Thursday)

Time: 3:00pm – 4:30pm

Venue: 406B, Wong Foo Yuan Building, Chung Chi College, CUHK




Anthropological studies on Diasporic Chinese usually describe the migrant’s social world in the actuality of their lifetime experiences. Most of researchers assume that Chinese overseas are living in a space, which is given a form by nation-states involved, and tend to describe migrants’ actuality just focusing on their lifetime experiences. However, the social world is formed based not only on their lifetime experiences but also their views on the world after death. What is turning geographical space into “lived space” is migrants’ actuality acquired through their experiences, which is formed both through individual lifetime movements, productions, consumptions, reproductions and imagination on the world after death. This presentation will illustrate various burial practices among Diasporic Chinese in the Philippines, and discuss how deterritorialized and reterritorialized migrants have formed and managed “lived space” around them in the continuum of before and after death.


Gyo Miyahara, a social anthropologist, is the Deputy Director and Professor in Global Collaboration Center at Osaka University. He is the Chair of the Steering Committee of the Japan Consortium for Area Studies. His current research topic include social anthropology on law and legal culture, and the impacts of migration and displacement on human life and culture, with specialization in Southeast Asia, Fujian, and Japan. His recent publication includes the edited volume Pain, Sadness, and Others: A Reflection on Fieldwork (Global Collaboration Center, 2015).