People and Culture in Oceania
Online ISSN : 2433-2194
Print ISSN : 1349-5380
A Regional History of Oceania Viewed through the Genealogy of Banana Cultivars of Japan and Palau
Odani ShingoTanaka KeisukeKitalong ChristopherYin Nwe YinKomatsu KaoriSato YasuakiKitanishi KoichiShikata-Yasuoka Kagari
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2023 Volume 38 Pages 17-33


This study revealed the historical interactions between various regions of Japan and Palau by comparing banana cultivars using DNA analysis. Since domesticated banana cultivars have vegetative reproduction characteristics, identifying these cultivars and constructing a phylogenetic tree would provide an understanding of human interactions. Consequently, morphological classification and interviews on local names, origins, and usage patterns were conducted by referring to historical documents to interpret the phylogenetic tree. From the 19th century onward, the results showed a close interaction among Ogasawara Islands, Hachijo, Ryukyu Islands, and Palau, which are historically included in/excluded from “Japan” and geographically considered as a part of Oceania. Therefore, the analysis of banana cultivars is an effective method for clarifying the regional history and exploring the origins of agriculture in Oceania and Asia.

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© 2023 Japanese Society for Oceanic Studies
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