Theodore C. Bestor, 1951-2021

From the Reischauer Institute:


We note with great sadness the passing of Professor Theodore Bestor on July 1, following a long battle with cancer. Professor Bestor was the Reischauer Institute Professor of Social Anthropology and Japanese Studies at Harvard, having previously taught at Columbia University (1986-1993) and Cornell University (1993-2001). He served as Chair of the Department of Anthropology from 2007 to 2012 and as Director of the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies from 2012 to 2018. Ted Bestor is widely known for his scholarship on Japanese urban life, markets, and food culture, including his award-winning books, Neighborhood Tokyo (1989) and Tsukiji: The Fish Market at the Center of the World (2004). He served as President of the Association for Asian Studies (2012-13) and was the founding president of the Society for East Asian Anthropology.


We mourn Ted Bestor’s passing and extend our deepest condolences to his family.




Mary C. Brinton

Reischauer Institute Professor of Sociology, Harvard University

Director, Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies