Permanent Fellow, Nanzan Institute for Religion & Culture
Dr. Saitō specialized in religious studies at Tōhoku University, where he received his doctorate in 2013. After graduation, he spent three years at the Nanzan Institute as a Junior Research Fellow and joined the staff of the Nanzan Institute as a Senior Research Fellow in 2019.
His research focuses on the experience of fear that occurs within theatrical spaces. He is particularly interested in the relationship between traditional religiosity and modern psychiatry found in Japanese ghost stories (怪談噺 kaidan-banashi) and French horror plays (Grand-Guignol).
His recent research considers how dramatized fear of ghosts problematizes the category of mental illness by applying the religious studies concept of “possession.”