Asako Takano

Professor Asako Takano
Professor Asako Takano

Visiting Professor, Meiji Pharmaceutical University, Tokyo, Japan (August 2018 - March 2019)


My research theme in Japan is the history of biometrics, especially the use of fingerprinting in Manchuria, China under Japanese colonial rule and in post-World War II Japanese society. I published my book in Japan in 2016, Fingerprints and Modernity, based on my doctoral dissertation. The goal of my research at the SSC is to examine narratives surrounding the identification of individuals and to decipher the historical changes to the management of individual bodies through movement. This will have two parts: the world history of fingerprinting from the late 19th century to the early 20th century and from government by settlement to controlling of mobilities.

Midori Ogasawara

Dr. Midori Ogasawara
Dr. Midori Ogasawara

Banting Post-doctoral Fellow, Department of Criminology, University of Ottawa, Canada (PhD completed 2018)

2018- Midori Ogasawara completed her PhD in the Department of Sociology at Queen’s University in 2018. Her PhD dissertation “Bodies as Risky Resources: The Japanese Identification Systems as Surveillance, Population Control and Colonial Violence in Occupied Northeast China” explores a historical trajectory of today’s biometric technologies. Japan implemented fingerprinting, the forerunner of biometrics, when it occupied Northeast China in 1931-1945. Biometric ID systems became a powerful means of population control, which help the colonizers to classify the colonized to ‘desirable’ and ‘undesirable’. Ogasawara conducted archival and ethnographical research in China in 2016 and interviewed the colonial survivors and their family members who faced violent consequences of Japan’s intensive policing and surveillance.

Dr. Ogasawara is currently a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Ottawa. Her research proposal for the 2018-2019 Banting competition was ranked second out of the 181 applications reviewed by SSHRC. The project investigates collaborative relationship between security intelligence agencies and big data corporations, and analyzes how the collaboration has been altering the legal boundary of mass surveillance in Canada, by legalizing previously illegal surveillance.

Obtaining her first degree in law, Dr. Ogasawara was a staff writer for Japan’s national newspaper The Asahi Shimbun, and was engaged in investigative journalism on surveillance technologies, Japan’s sex slavery during the Second World War, and the US bases in Okinawa. She was awarded the Fulbright Journalist Scholarship and John S. Knight Professional Journalism Fellowships at Stanford University in 2004-2005. During her doctoral studies, she also became a recipient of the highly competitive Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship. In 2016, she was the first Japanese researcher/journalist to interview the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden via a video channel, and as a result published two books (2016, 2019) on the NSA’s secret activities in Japan and Japan’s involvement in global surveillance systems. She also translated Dr. David Lyon’s book Surveillance Studies into Japanese (published in 2011).


Post SSC- Dr. Midori Ogasawara, Assistant Professor, Sociology, University of Victoria, Canada.

SSC Seminar Series: Kiyoshi Abe

Mac-Corry Room D-411 (Sociology Lounge)
12:30 - 2:00 pm

Kiyoshi Abe (Professor, visiting from the Graduate School of Sociology, Kwansei Gakuin University)

De/Reconstructing Surveillance Studies? Comparative views of the Sapporo Olympics in 1972

In this presentation I will clarify the significance of comparative research in surveillance studies in three dimensions. Firstly, it is indispensable to engage in international comparative research so that we...

Congrats to David Murakami Wood and Kiyoshi Abe

On being awarded a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Invitation Fellowship.

Congratulations to NewT members Kiyoshi Abe of Kwansei Gakuin University and David Murakami Wood of the SSC at Queen’s University who have just been awarded a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Invitation Fellowship for David for his project, 'Surveillance in the...