Suma Ikeuchi

Suma Ikeuchi
Ph.D. Emory University

Assistant Professor

Pronoun: she/her

Specialization: Migration & Diaspora Studies, Anthropology, Religious Studies, Ethnic Diversity in Transnational Japan

Office: HSSB 2254

Office Hours: By appointment via email
Personal Website:

Suma Ikeuchi (池内須摩) is an interdisciplinary scholar of Transnational Japanese Studies, whose scholarship engages cultural anthropology, migration studies, ethnic studies, religious studies, Asian studies, and science & technology studies.

She is the author of Jesus Loves Japan: Return Migration and Global Pentecostalism in a Brazilian Diaspora (Stanford University Press 2019), which explores the interplay of ethnic, national, and religious identities among the Nikkeis (i.e. Japanese Brazilians) who return-migrated to their ancestral homeland, Japan. The monograph won two book awards in 2020, the Francis L.K. Hsu Book Prize from the Society for East Asian Anthropology and the Clifford Geertz Prize from the Society for the Anthropology of Religion.

Her current project, funded by the National Science Foundation, examines the politics of eldercare in aging Japan by comparing the Filipino migrant caregivers and robotic care technologies in the country.

Before joining the faculty at UCSB in 2020, she taught in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, and the Department of Liberal Arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC).

The link to her current CV is here.


Jesus Loves Japan: Return Migration and Global Pentecostalism in a Brazilian Diaspora. Stanford University Press. 2019.

Selected Articles

“Saudade: A Story of Japanese Brazilian Diaspora.” In Anthropology and Humanism. Early Online View (2021).

“From Slaves to Agents: Pentecostal Ethic and Precarious Labor among Brazilian Migrants in Toyota, Japan.” In Journal of the American Academy of Religion. 87.3 (2019): 791-823.

“Accompanied Self: Debating Pentecostal Individual and Japanese Relational Selves in Transnational Japan.” Ethos: Journal of the Society for Psychological Anthropology. 45.1 (2017): 3-23.

“From Ethnic Religion to Generative Selves: Pentecostalism among Nikkei Brazilian Migrants in Japan.” Contemporary Japan. 2.29 (2017): 214-229. 

“Back to the Present: The ‘Temporal Tandem’ of Migration and Conversion among Pentecostal Nikkei Brazilians in Japan.” Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology. 82.4 (2017): 758-783.

Courses Taught

JAPAN 138: Japanese Diasporas (Undergraduate)

JAPAN 180DL Death, Love & Money in Modern Japan (Undergraduate)

EACS 181GL: Global East Asia (Undergraduate)

JAPAN 236: Transnational Japanese Studies (Graduate)