Japanese Journal of Cultural Anthropology
Online ISSN : 2424-0516
Print ISSN : 1349-0648
ISSN-L : 1349-0648
Volume 82, Issue 4
Displaying 1-32 of 32 articles from this issue
front matter
JASCA Award Lecture 2017
  • Listening to “Love Trip” in a Giant Morgue
    Masakazu Tanaka
    2018 Volume 82 Issue 4 Pages 425-445
    Published: 2018
    Released on J-STAGE: October 18, 2018

    This paper is based on a public lecture of the same title presented by the auther on May 29, 2017, at the 51st General Meeting of the Japanese Association of Cultural Anthropology at the Rokko Campus of Kobe University. It aims to consider two different modes of sociality—the so-called “Grid” and “Wave” modes—in relation to nationalism.

    Most cases of the “Grid” mode are found in the disciplinary system of the state. The auther first introduces a criminal identification system called the Bertillon system, invented in Paris in the late 19th century. The system, developed by Alphonse Bertillon, was an anthropometric system of the physical measurement of body parts with full-facial and profile photos. Each case was catalogued.

    Second, the auther explains another case of anthropometric practice found in the Andaman Islands when it still was a British colony, with M. V. Portman and his associate collecting data on the measurements of physical parts of Andamanese peoples, along with basic ethnographic descriptions. In one case, a woman named Niari stood in front of a wall with Lamprey’s grid. In the archive system a sample is “bisected” into small grids, and its card is then put into a filing box. Its data, along with other samples, are documented and tabled. Here we can see the triple practice of gridding.

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  • Transformation of Place through Peoples’ Migration in the Two Sudans
    Yuko Tobinai
    2018 Volume 82 Issue 4 Pages 446-463
    Published: 2018
    Released on J-STAGE: October 18, 2018

    Following the end of the second Sudanese Civil War(1985-2003), those living as refugees both inside and outside Sudan have become aware of the imminent approach of their repatriation. However, it is not simply a matter of returning home, as both the people and the place have been changed by the war.

    Anthropologists have shown that the relationship between humans and a place—especially ‘home’ —has the qualities of plurality and flexibility. At the same time, they have established that ‘the home’ is ultimately important for people. The question of how that situation has developed, though, has not been answered. How is a homeland defined? How can it be ‘the place of return’ for people who have experienced migration?

    This paper explains the process by which the Kuku, an ethnic group in South Sudan, have come to recognize Kajo-keji as their home. The author sheds light on that process by citing the experience of the Kuku’s repeated migrations. She then presents several cases in which people who have repatriated to Kajokeji from elsewhere have renewed their view of Kajo-keji, finding their home through their lives there. The author attempts to answer the aforementioned questions through the case studies.

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  • The Case of Kakeuta in Akita Prefecture, Japan
    Gaku Kajimaru
    2018 Volume 82 Issue 4 Pages 464-481
    Published: 2018
    Released on J-STAGE: October 18, 2018

    The term “society” is often used to designate some abstract existence, but it also has a more concrete meaning in terms of the social interactions between people. According to Giddens, the term currently has two main senses: a unity of people, and the generalized connotation of social interaction. Both of those meanings are distinguished in the Japanese language: the former, namely, society in the narrow sense, is shakai, and the latter, social association, is shakō. Though cultural anthropology and ethnomusicology often focus on shakai, the social phenomena that are directly observable are not shakai (the abstract unity of people) but rather shakō (concrete human interactions). As Simmel discussed, social associations are of essential importance when discussing society. The methodology for the analysis of social interaction has long been sophisticated in both ethnomethodology and conversation analysis. This paper, adapting the methodology of disciplines analyzing video data, combining its results with an ethnographical description of society (in the narrow sense), aims to clarify how kakeuta, a reciprocal style of singing in Akita Prefecture, Japan, has been organized into the kind of society referred to by Oakeshott as societas, which is sustained by the preservation society visible in Oakeshott’s universitas, and which is what drives the society of kakeuta.

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Special Theme: Comparative Ethnographies on the Indigenous Conflict Resolutions: Towards the "Emergent Potential for Peace"
  • Shinichi Fujii
    2018 Volume 82 Issue 4 Pages 482-487
    Published: 2018
    Released on J-STAGE: October 18, 2018
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  • Issues toward Establishing the Bangsamoro Autonomous Government in the Southern Philippines
    Masako Ishii
    2018 Volume 82 Issue 4 Pages 488-508
    Published: 2018
    Released on J-STAGE: October 18, 2018

    In the southern Philippines, armed conflict has been waged between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Moro separatist groups for more than forty-five years. Having been economically deprived and politically marginalized, the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) was formed mainly by the discontented Moro (mainly composed of Muslims) around 1970. In 1984 (also substantially in the late 1970’s), the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), a splinter group from the MNLF, was organized. Both Moro separatist groups have been separately engaged in an armed struggle and peace negotiations with the Philippine Government to attain the right to self-determination via the establishment of an autonomous government.

    As both the MNLF and MILF are mainly composed of the Moro, the armed conflict tends to be portrayed as one between the Moro and the Philippines Government. However, there are additionally non-Moro indigenous peoples (collectively known as the Lumad) in the same region who themselves have also been marginalized in the process of state formation. Those peoples have been engaged in their own political struggle to gain rights by forming a nationwide alliance with other indigenous peoples, leading to the enactment of the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act (IPRA) in 1997. In other words, both the Moro and non-Moro indigenous peoples have been engaged in separate vertical struggles with the Philippine Government.

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  • Strained Relations between Global and Local Norms Relating to the Statement-Taking of Experiences under the Conflict
    Shinichi Fujii
    2018 Volume 82 Issue 4 Pages 509-525
    Published: 2018
    Released on J-STAGE: October 18, 2018

    This paper deals with statement-taking activities carried out by the Solomon Islands Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the indigenous conflict resolution in the Solomon Islands. Especially, it focuses on the conflict between the statement-taking and local cultural norms there.

    The Solomon Islands experienced armed conflict from 1998 to 2003, in what is commonly referred to as “ethnic tension.” Attempts to resolve the conflict—which caused about two hundred deaths and a number of internally displaced persons—were made internationally, regionally and locally. The conflict finally ended in July 2003 thanks to the Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands. However, social relations that had deteriorated due to the ethnic tension have not yet been fully repaired, with many problems having accumulated.

    The Australian-led mission immediately disarmed the militias, and arrested and prosecuted the perpetrators of the conflict in cooperation with the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force. Meanwhile, reconciliation—one of the most important tasks in post-conflict societies—was addressed by multiple agents, including the Ministry of National Unity, Reconciliation and Peace, the Solomon Islands Christian Association, and the Solomon Islands Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

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  • A Case Study of Tsaka Valley, Enga Province, New Guinea Highlands
    Hiroki Fukagawa
    2018 Volume 82 Issue 4 Pages 526-546
    Published: 2018
    Released on J-STAGE: October 18, 2018

    This paper describes and analyzes the process of conflict resolution in a village in Tsaka Valley, located in Enga Province in the New Guinea Highlands, which lies at the interface of “top-down” and “bottom-up” peace. The creation of peace maintenance methods that cannot be reduced to either of those two types is also discussed. In anthropology, when dealing with that theme, we must ask, “What is peace?” However, the question is temporarily shelved in this paper. Instead, the aim of the paper is to examine the interconstitutive relationship between the court system introduced during the colonial and independence periods, on the one hand, and “customary” conflict resolution methods, on the other. When investigating such places as the New Guinea Highlands, which have not experienced large-scale conflict with thousands or tens of thousands of casualties, anthropology must comprehend the totality of social life containing the possibility of small-scale conflict as “peace,” and capture people’s creativity and logic in conflict resolution.

    Originally, when studying conflict, anthropology suggested a form of society permanently in conflict without the binary of “pre-conflict and post-conflict.” That type of research is abundant. Typically, those studies are conducted from an ecological approach to the analysis of social structure and legal anthropology. However, previous studies do not sufficiently address the question of emotion, which cannot be fully explained by analyzing structure and norms. In conflict studies, the investigation of how anger is triggered and subsides in conflict has long been regarded as the most important research question. However, in reality, research on that is not sufficient.

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Notes on Research
  • With Recourse to the Ontological Turn of Anthropology
    Katsuhiko Masaki
    2018 Volume 82 Issue 4 Pages 547-556
    Published: 2018
    Released on J-STAGE: October 18, 2018

    Bhutan has recently garnered international praise for its policy of Gross National Happiness (GNH), which seeks to strike a balance between the pursuit of economic growth and that of cultural and spiritual contentment. At the same time, GNH has been criticized by some anthropologists who say that it serves as an “anti-politics machine” that fabricates reality in such a manner as to privilege the standpoint of policy elites, while suppressing the voices of ordinary people.

    Those engaged in that anti-political critique propose to take the side of ordinary people and reconstruct reality from their hidden voices. That assertion, while potentially helping broaden the debate on GNH, is flawed in that it simplistically assumes that ordinary people merely resent elite control. The anti-political critique resultantly diverts attention from the multiplicity of realities that supersedes the anti-politics machine.

    One clue that allows us to redress that drawback can be traced to the ontological turn that problematizes our common-sense divide between human societies and non-human objects. Instead of lapsing into the human/nonhuman divide, which leads anthropologists to focus on representations of non-human objects by particular human groups (in this paper, the praise of GNH spearheaded by policy elites, or ordinary people’s alternative representations), the ontological turn focuses attention on the various connections among human and non-human entities. Both are positioned as agents to call into being the multiplicity of reality.

    This paper looks at the case of a village in central Bhutan, whose residents are immersed in close ties with nonhuman and divine beings, while practicing Buddhism on a daily basis.

    The anti-political nature of GNH praise surfaced when a businessperson called off a plan to build a golf course in the village, partly in response to a web-based campaign launched by a member of the urban-based elite. That elite member sought to stress, in a media interview, the role of his GNH-inspired campaign in warning against the possible negative environmental, cultural, and spiritual consequences of the plan, and urged the government not to approve it. On the other hand, the following initiative, made by the residents, was sidelined in his story: the residents had also said ‘no’ in a public hearing, despite the lucrative prospects of landing new jobs, on the grounds that the plan would disturb their domestic animals and local deities.

    The anti-political critique mistakenly posits a simplistic dichotomy of the ‘powerful’ elite versus the ‘powerless’ residents. The ontological turn, on the other hand, takes into account the latter’s active engagement with non-human and divine beings, which empowers them to assess the pros and cons of the plan in their own terms. In that way, the ontological turn enables us to engage in a more balanced debate on GNH than does the anti-political critique, which is plagued by its dwelling on the ‘powerful-powerless’ divide.

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  • The “Blackness” of Indigenous and Sudanese Peoples in Australia
    Ritsuko Kurita
    2018 Volume 82 Issue 4 Pages 557-566
    Published: 2018
    Released on J-STAGE: October 18, 2018

    Ever since social sciences rejected the validity of “race” as a biological concept, the old notion of racism has been replaced with a new one that targets cultural differences as grounds for exclusion. However, earlier studies indicate the continuity of both forms of racism, in terms of essentializing incompatible differences to divide humans. Studies on racism in Australia share that perspective on the connection between race and ethnicity. In particular, those targeting Indigenous people argue that the construction and maintenance of a homogeneous “Aboriginal” racial category constitutes part of racism. Based on that premise, this paper aims to examine the coexistence of old and new forms of racism toward Indigenous and Sudanese peoples in Adelaide, Australia.

    Indigenous and Sudanese Australians in Adelaide find themselves in a similar socioeconomic situation, in terms of higher unemployment rates and lower incomes than white Australians. In addition, mainstream media perceive youth from both groups as more likely to be associated with gangs, violence and crime. There have even been cases where physical and mental attributes associated with biological differences, such as skin color and IQ, were explicitly mentioned as grounds for negative stereotyping, thereby revealing the persistence of old racism.

    In the media representation, both groups are viewed as “uncontrollable others,” or those who threaten the authority of whites, who remain in charge of maintaining the order in multicultural Australian society. Both groups experience “blackness,” a construct of the media, in their daily lives, and perceive it as a reason for their social exclusion. Thus, the epistemological category of “blackness” has appeared, encompassing both groups, in contrast to “whiteness,” in the process of social exclusion through racism.

    Indigenous and Sudanese peoples respond differently to the concept of “blackness.” There are cases in which Indigenous people feel a sense of racial commonality—that is, the experience of “being black” or “not being white”—in their interactions with Sudanese people. That has its basis on the common experience of social exclusion.

    Meanwhile, some Sudanese consider themselves outside of a black racial identity, and prefer to focus on their high degree of social integration through their English language ability and social contributions to Australian society. They thus consider being “black” as a hindrance to social integration. Such a perception conversely shows that biological differences, especially skin color, constitute significant barriers to gaining complete “whiteness.” They continue to be a non-erasable difference in Australian mainstream society, where racism without “race” prevails.

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Book Reviews
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