Shiho Satsuka

Associate Professor; Associate Chair, Undergraduate (St. George)
AP 336
(416) 978-7787


Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

Areas of Interest / Research keywords: politics of knowledge, cultural translation, nature, science, environment, capitalism, tourism, work, commons, subjectivity

Research Region: Japan, North America

On Leave from July 2023 to December 2023.


Shiho Satsuka is interested in the politics of knowledge, environment, nature, science, and capitalism. She examines how divergent understandings of nature are produced, circulated, encountered, contested, and transformed in relation to the global expansion of capitalism. Her first book, Nature in Translation: Japanese Tourism Encounters the Canadian Rockies (2015), analyzes the ways Japanese local tour guides translate Canadian national parks’ ecological knowledge to tourists from Japan. The book examines how the translation of nature is closely tied to the construction of subjectivity, competing labour practices, and contestation over “freedom.” She is currently working on her second book project, tentatively entitled The Charisma of Mushrooms: Undoing the Long Twentieth Century. The project explores the possibilities of mushroom science to realize interspecies entanglements, dissolve the twentieth-century style state-science-industrial complex, and explore the possibility of co-habitation of various human and nonhuman beings on the earth. In particular, the project traces interspecies encounters in satoyama forest revitalization movements inspired by the charisma of matsutake, the politics of translation between various scientific and other forms of knowledge, as well as the emergence of “new commons.” This research is funded by a SSHRC Insight Grant and is a part of the collaborative, multi-sited ethnographic project, “Matsutake Worlds.” Satsuka was a Carson Fellow at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society in Germany in 2012.


Ph.D. (University of California, Santa Cruz, 2004)


SSHRC Insight Grant (2016-22)



2019. The World Multiple: The Quotidian Politics of Knowing and Generating Entangled Worlds. Co-edited with Keiichi Omura, Grant Jun Otsuki and Atsuro Morita. New York: Routledge.

2015.   Nature in Translation: Japanese Tourism Encounters the Canadian Rockies. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Articles and Book Chapters

2019. “Rhapsody in the Forest: Wild Mushrooms and the Multispecies Multitude”.  In How Nature Works: Rethinking Labor on a Troubled Planet, edited by Sarah Besky and Alex Blanchette,191–209. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press.

2019. Grant Jun Otsuki, Shiho Satsuka, Keiichi Omura and Atsuro Morita. “Introduction”. In The World Multiple: The Quotidian Politics of Knowing and Generating Entangled Worlds, 1–17. New York: Routledge.

2019. “Translation in the World Multiple”. In The World Multiple: The Quotidian Politics of Knowing and Generating Entangled Worlds, 219–232. New York: Routledge.

2018. “Sensing Multispecies Entanglements: Koto as an ‘Ontology’ of Living”. Special Issue, Matsutake Worlds. Social Analysis 62(4): 78–101.

2016. Grant Jun Otsuki and Shiho Satsuka. “Hikaku towa nanika: Kanada no tabunkashugi to nihon no kyosei no hikaku o toshite.” (“What is Comparison? : Translating Canadian Multiculturalism and Japanese Kyōsei). Mirai Kyosei: Journal of Multicultural Innovation 3: 151-176.

2014   “The Satoyama Movement: Envisioning Multispecies Commons in Post-industrial Japan.” Rachel Carson Center Perspectives 3: 87–93.

2014. “Hospitality and Detachment: Japanese Tour Guides’ Affective Labor in Canada.” In The Political Economy of Affect and Emotion in Contemporary East Asia, edited by Jie Yang, 82-96. New York and London: Routledge.

2013. “The Charisma of the Wild Mushroom.” Rachel Carson Center Perspectives 5: 49-54.

2012. “Biodiversity in Satoyama Conservation: Aesthetics, Science and the Politics of Knowledge.” Rachel Carson Center Perspectives 9: 79-82.

2011. “Eating Others Well/ Eating Well with Others.” in “Poaching at the Multispecies Salon,” Kroeber Anthropological Society Journal (Special 100th issue) 99/100: 134-138.

2009. “Populist Cosmopolitanism: the Predicament of Subjectivity and the Japanese Fascination with Overseas.” Inter-Asia Cultural Studies 10(1): 67-81.

2009. Matsutake Worlds Research Group (Timothy Choy, Lieba Fair, Michael Hathaway, Miyako Inoue, Shiho Satsuka and Anna Tsing.) “A New Form of Collaboration in Cultural Anthropology: Matsutake Worlds.” American Ethnologist 36(2): 380-403.

2009. Matsutake Worlds Research Group (Timothy Choy, Lieba Faier, Michael Hathaway, Miyako Inoue Shiho Satsuka and Anna Tsing). “Strong Collaboration as a Method for Multi-sited Ethnography: on Mycorrhizal Relations.” In Multi-Sited Ethnography: Theory, Praxis and Locality in Contemporary Research, edited by Mark-Anthony Falzon, 197-214. Surrey, UK: Ashgate Publishing.

2008. Anna Tsing and Shiho Satsuka. “Diverging Understandings of Forest Management in Matsutake Science.” Economic Botany 62(3): 244-256.

Book Reviews

2017.  Review of Tourist Imaginaries: Anthropological Approaches, edited by Noel Salazar and Nelson Graburn. American Ethnologist 44(1); 146-148.

2013.  Book Forum Article, “Politics of Environmental Knowledge Translation.” (Review of Ecologies of Comparison: An Ethnography of Endangerment in Hong Kong by Tim Choy, Forest Guardians, Forest Destroyers: The Politics of Environmental Knowledge in Northern Thailand by Tim Forsyth and Andrew Walker, and Instituting Nature: Authority, Expertise, and Power in Mexican Forests by Andrew Mathews). BioSocieties 8: 374–379.

Graduate Students

Administrative Service

Associate Chair, Undergraduate