Reframing understandings of the sonic environment in Okinawa, Japan

Impact: Political impacts, Societal impacts


Anthropological research undertaken since 2015 at The University of Manchester (UoM) has reframed understandings of the sonic environment in Okinawa, Japan. The research introduced multimodal methods of sound playback, changing the way people listen to and perceive the soundscape. It broadened the focus from how aircraft noise affects public health to how a broader ‘soundscape’ has an effect on historical and traumatic memories. Impacts of the research are evident in three areas:

1. increasing public understanding of the effects of environmental sound in producing acoustic trauma in Okinawa;
2. re-focusing the complex political issue of the effects of US bases in Okinawa around a broader concept of the sonic environment in policy and legal spheres in Japan;
3. curating cultural heritage in Okinawa, using the preservation and interpretation of sound as an integral component.
Impact date20152020
Category of impactPolitical impacts, Societal impacts