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An Affair with a Village


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About the Author

Joy Hendry was born in Birmingham, brought up within a Scottish community in Warwickshire, travelling back to the home country every summer to visit relatives and enjoy the wonderful opportunities for hiking and camping. She was also sometimes sent, alone from quite an early age, to visit her mother's relatives in Yorkshire, where her aunt introduced her to beachcombing and coastal walks and encouraged her ambition to become a writer. From the age of nine, Joy attended Penrhos College, a girls' boarding school by the sea in North Wales, advised (correctly) by the family doctor to help her recover from a long and quite debilitating attack of sinusitis. Travel, adventure and new experiences were thus woven into her upbringing, and possibly underpinned her eventual choice of social anthropology as a career. Joy went back to university to study social anthropology at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, in the autumn of that same year, and began the story that this volume recounts during that period of training. She went on to teach for many years at Oxford Brookes University and after retirement was made an emeritus professor. She also held a readership in the Scottish Centre for Japanese Studies at the University of Stirling from 1989-92, when she established a home in Tillicoultry, Clackmannanshire, where she would return most summers to write. Now released from teaching, this same activity has enabled her to spend the 2020 lockdown period in relative peace and comfort. Joy also founded a global professional organisation called the Japan Anthropology Workshop and another, the Europe Japan Research Centre, largely based at Oxford Brookes, where she helped to found one of the most successful departments of Japanese in the UK. She has been president of the British Association for Japanese Studies, vice president of the European Association for Japanese Studies, and in 2017, the Government of Japan bestowed on her the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the promotion of Japanese Studies in the UK and thus to deeper mutual understanding between Japan and the United Kingdom.

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