Japanese Journal of Cultural Anthropology
Online ISSN : 2424-0516
Print ISSN : 1349-0648
ISSN-L : 1349-0648
Current issue
Showing 1-26 articles out of 26 articles from the selected issue
front matter
Original Articles
  • An Analysis of Political Struggles and the Invention of a Social System in the Gadaa Revival Movements among the Arsi-Oromo, Ethiopia
    Chikage Oba-Smidt
    Type: Original Articles
    2021 Volume 86 Issue 1 Pages 005-024
    Published: June 30, 2021
    Released: September 23, 2021
    JOURNAL RESTRICTED ACCESS

    This paper examines how people reconstructed a socio-political system called the gadaa system, which has been declining for several generations, by focusing on cases of gadaa revival movements among the Arsi-Oromo. First, I describe the gadaa system of the Arsi based on observations of the gadaa practices, historical knowledge, and memories of gadaa collected from Arsi elders. Second, I show how the gadaa revival movements have been progressing in Baale and Western Arsi region. Third, I analyze a case of the gadaa revival movements in the Western Arsi region. This paper considers the dilemma faced by the Arsi people—oscillating between the clan and gadaa system—which is becoming stronger through the spread of the gadaa revival movements. As the “Arsi dilemma” amplifies in various places, the gadaa, which should have created regional communality and realised governance beyond clans, has been reconstructed as a clan-oriented social group, creating a fragmented social system.

    Download PDF (641K)
  • Chinese Tourists' Study Tours to Japan and the Reinvention of Tradition
    Feifei Zhou
    Type: Original Articles
    2021 Volume 86 Issue 1 Pages 025-043
    Published: June 30, 2021
    Released: September 23, 2021
    JOURNAL RESTRICTED ACCESS

    In the diversified online and offline consumption practices of Chinese tourists, which have been greatly transformed by the spread of the Internet, Japan is newly emerging as a country characterized by the artisan spirit. To elucidate the reality of this phenomenon, this article refers to the actor-network theory and contains an analysis of various individual trips, such as trip shoots (tours focusing on making travel photos and videos) and study tours, through participant observation and interviews to understand, in detail, the artisan spirit, which constitutes a closed black box. Moreover, in terms of methodology, this article aims to achieve a hybrid ethnography of tourism, organically combining noninterventionist verification through online surveys, including quantitative research. Furthermore, the results demonstrate that the artisan spirit in Chinese tourists' study tours is recursively linked to the reinvention of lost traditions in China.

    Download PDF (1175K)
Special Theme: A View of Multispecies Ethnography: The World as Seen through the Entanglement of Many Species
  • Katsumi Okuno
    Type: Special Theme
    2021 Volume 86 Issue 1 Pages 044-056
    Published: June 30, 2021
    Released: September 23, 2021
    JOURNAL RESTRICTED ACCESS
    The proposal of the new “Anthropocene” geological age in the beginning of the 21st century has led to humans being seen as the primary agents driving the large-scale destruction of our planet. This has led to the development of multispecies ethnographies focusing on the situated relatedness that binds humans into multispecies communities. There has been a shift in perspective from the behavior of humans as a single species to the entanglement of many species. In turn, multispecies ethnography has helped amplify the discipline through research on the entanglement of multiple species, interactions between art and performance geared at speculation and experiment, collaborations with other disciplines and practitioners, and conducting multi-sited research. This special issue features three multispecies ethnographies: one that focuses on how non-humans, as agents who have escaped human control, have entangled with many other species to survive and thrive, and two that argue that it is not always humans who have harmed the planet and destroyed nature everywhere.
    Download PDF (493K)
  • An Inquiry into the Functions of Ontology from a Comparative Analysis of Inuit and Modern Ontologies
    Keiichi Omura
    Type: Special Theme
    2021 Volume 86 Issue 1 Pages 057-075
    Published: June 30, 2021
    Released: September 23, 2021
    JOURNAL RESTRICTED ACCESS

    This paper explores the potential of an anthropological perspective in which modern and indigenous ontologies are symmetrically understood under the conditions of the actual world where human and non-human activities are inseparably entangled. For this purpose, I compare the ontology of the Inuit with the modern dualistic ontology, scrutinizing how each works in people's everyday activities and contributes to the continuous generation and maintenance of their life-world composed of humans and non-humans. Based on this analysis, I demonstrate that ontology is indispensable to human beings, not because it delivers a genuine account of how the world really works but because it functions as the engine of the worlding systems through the cyclic operation of which people's life-worlds are multifariously generated. Then, I propose that anthropological studies should devote effort to elucidate how diverse ontologies function as the engines of various worlding systems and explore the potential of multiple worlds generated thereby.

    Download PDF (508K)
  • From Human-Bee Relations to the Anthropology of Pollination
    Takanori Oishi
    Type: Special Theme
    2021 Volume 86 Issue 1 Pages 076-095
    Published: June 30, 2021
    Released: September 23, 2021
    JOURNAL RESTRICTED ACCESS

    Animals that carry out pollination are called pollinators. A bundle of relationships connected by pollination is called a pollination system in modern ecology. This paper explores how this system emerges as agency and produces inter- and intra-species interactions in the more-than-human world. In Japan, both the native Japanese honeybee and the European honeybee that was introduced during the Meiji period are distributed and used for both beekeeping and pollination business. A multi-site study in the different contexts of central Tokyo, Tsushima island, and northern Hokkaido showed that the relationship between humans and honeybees is just one part of cross-species associations involving nectar plants, wildlife, various humans (farmers, foresters, hunters, scientists, and bureaucrats), and potentially invisible others that share the landscape. Negotiations take place among them, forming “kinds.” Whereas previous studies on beekeeping in the humanities tended to limit the analysis on human-bee relations, the author proposes an anthropology of pollination that extends the scope to dynamic pollination systems.

    Download PDF (616K)
  • Multispecies Ethnography as Naturalcultural Criticism in the Anthropocene
    Shiaki Kondo
    Type: Special Theme
    2021 Volume 86 Issue 1 Pages 096-114
    Published: June 30, 2021
    Released: September 23, 2021
    JOURNAL RESTRICTED ACCESS

    In this paper, I discuss the concept of "ephemeral entanglement" by examining the Upper Kuskokwim Athabascan's practices of rescuing wild birds and fish in danger. Ephemeral entanglements emerge from the Upper Kuskokwim people's concern regarding other species' survival, while they simultaneously refrain from turning their relationship into those of restraints and domination (i.e. domestication). Prior studies in Northern Athabascan ethnography frequently adopted the "human and animal" framework, whereas I aim to analyze this concept from the "human-domus-animal" viewpoint. I argue that the Upper Kuskokwim people's relationship with other species should be characterized, not just as an entanglement with the connotation of immobility and fixation, but as an ephemeral entanglement where the mobility of human and non-human persons is highly respected. Multispecies ethnographers are tasked with participating in the interdisciplinary dialogue on the Anthropocene. In this paper, I discuss the concept of hyperkeystone species, which has been claimed to show humans' status in the Anthropocene.

    Download PDF (3781K)
Overview Articles
  • "Anthropology of Christianity" and Modernity
    Yuko Tobinai
    Type: Overview Articles
    2021 Volume 86 Issue 1 Pages 115-126
    Published: June 30, 2021
    Released: September 23, 2021
    JOURNAL RESTRICTED ACCESS

    In the past, Christianity was viewed by some as a "Repugnant Cultural Other" in anthropology studies, while others believed it should fall within this field. Against the background of the self-reflection of anthropologists, the number of anthropological studies of Christianity increased rapidly around the 1990s; however, these studies essentially objectified Western Christianity, classifying non-Western Christianity as "Other". The "Anthropology of Christianity" began around 2000 by reflecting critically on the attitude of these studies, but is yet in a nascent stage and faces problems. Nevertheless, it has a certain significance in that it enables us to rethink modernity—even anthropology itself—because there remain certain dichotomies such as modernity and non-modernity, Western and non-Western, and secular and religious. As they also confuse these dichotomies, non-Western anthropologists could contribute to this process of rethinking by joining the "Anthropology of Christianity".

    Download PDF (443K)
  • Sayaka Takano, Moe Nakazora
    Type: Overview Articles
    2021 Volume 86 Issue 1 Pages 127-138
    Published: June 30, 2021
    Released: September 23, 2021
    JOURNAL RESTRICTED ACCESS

    Legal anthropology has produced numerous studies on law and society, mainly focusing on the significance of customs and social norms other than state law. Represented by legal pluralism in the 1980s, which claimed the coexistence of multiple legal systems in a society, it has successfully relativized the power of state law. However, its uneven emphasis on customary law may have narrowed and limited its research subjects. This article attempts to revitalize the original broader question of legal anthropology on law and society by reviewing recent ethnographies targeting professional and technical legal practice. It elucidates that the study of "making of law" as professional practice mediated by physical/technical devices suggests the new critical understanding of "what law is" or the relationship between state law and customs, as well as opening interdisciplinary dialogues with the studies of "law and development" and "nudges".

    Download PDF (471K)
Reviews
Information
back matter
feedback
Top