Itsushi Kwase is a filmmaker and anthropologist born in Gifu, Japan.
In 2001, he initiated the long-term anthropological research on hereditary singers known as Azmari and Lalibala in northern Ethiopia under the Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies, Kyoto University where he did his MA and PhD. He has produced several documentary films, including ‘When Spirits Ride Their Horses’(2012), the award-winning 'Room 11, Ethiopia Hotel' (2007) and published articles on the social roles and performances of these singers in transition. He has also investigated the prospects and challenges of imparting anthropological knowledge by actively communicating on-screen, and occasionally, debating with people through his films.
From 2010 to 2012, he has spent 2 years at Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology, the University of Manchester as a postdoctoral fellow.
He is currently the assistant professor of Visual Anthropology at the National Museum of Ethnology, Japan and a board member of the Commission on Visual Anthropology (IUAES). He has taught as a visitor at the University of Hamburg, University of Bremen, Free University of Berlin, SoundImageCulture(SIC) in Belgium, Mekelle University in Ethiopia, Northwest University for Nationalities in China, etc.