Japanese Journal of Cultural Anthropology
Online ISSN : 2424-0516
Print ISSN : 1349-0648
ISSN-L : 1349-0648
Current issue
Displaying 1-26 of 26 articles from this issue
front matter
Original Articles
  • Betting Practices and Discourses of the Lottery Players in Philippines
    Fumiko Morota
    2021 Volume 86 Issue 3 Pages 365-383
    Published: December 31, 2021
    Released on J-STAGE: April 14, 2022

    This paper analyzes how the world of play is imagined and constructed by people who repeatedly immerse themselves in betting through an examination of betting practices, using a case study of a Philippine numerical lottery, and an interpretation of the results. In play theory, numerical lottery, which is a simple game of pure chance, is classified as a “boring” game in which the player has no autonomous involvement. But in this case study, it is transformed into an “interesting” game, similar to the process of solving a mystery through the imagination of the gamblers. The gamblers examined in this study would often evaluate the numbers they perceive in all the things and events of the everyday world in order to predict numbers, and they understand the outcome of their bets by retrospectively referring to the past and history of the circumstances that surround themselves. The process of betting on numbers functions as an opportunity to check the present level of one's own efficacy. The fun of the number lottery is fostered by playing with luck and hunting for it.

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  • From the Viewpoints of Keiji Iwata's New Animism, C. S. Peirce's Semiotics, and Nobuo Sato's Rhetorical Theory
    Tatsushi Nemoto
    2021 Volume 86 Issue 3 Pages 384-403
    Published: December 31, 2021
    Released on J-STAGE: April 14, 2022

    If we consider that religious leaders have explored “living” in a salvific manner, anthropologists have continuously explored it academically with others. This study aimed to provide an academic understanding of the path of a great religious person's “salvific knowing.” This paper incorporated Iwata's new animism, Peirce's semiotics, and Sato's rhetorical theory into an anthropological discussion of animism and shamanism, presenting a new perspective for understanding the expressions of religious leaders. Further, this paper used this perspective to consider the religious expressions of Shurei Sasai, who led the Dalit liberation movement in India. Through his experiences, Sasai rediscovered eventfulness and the omen of death and went from Thirdness to Secondness, finally arriving at intuiting Firstness. Sasai drew the contours of the Firstness that he personally intuited and shaped kokū (often translated as emptiness) by synonym accumulation such as “Om” and “one life as the origin” to express his religious experiences in diverse words. Consequently, this is an anthropological attempt to study with others.

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Special Theme
  • Makoto Nishi
    2021 Volume 86 Issue 3 Pages 404-416
    Published: December 31, 2021
    Released on J-STAGE: April 14, 2022

    This special issue, “the Biopolitics of the Multispecies Collectives,” aims to explore possible modes of ethnographic engagements with those who strive to survive the COVID-19 pandemic. It brings together the works of anthropologists with different research backgrounds: multispecies, gender, and biopolitics. Authors agree that no single theoretical framework is enough to produce a sensible investigation of the pandemic. In this introduction to the special issue, three interrelated research fields are identified to guide inquiries over the epidemic's impacts on the more–than–human socialities: biopolitics, multispecies, and science and technology studies (STS). Furthermore, it argues, drawing on feminist ethics of care, that concerns for the vulnerability of our bodies and fragility of the world are essential features of contemporary ethnographic engagements. Guided by such concerns, the authors demonstrate how human and non–human actors are involved in rearranging troubled relationships during the pandemic in Alaska's terrains, Korean hospitals, and Japanese museums.

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  • On Alaskan Athabascan Discourses of “Going Back to the Old Days”
    Shiaki Kondo
    2021 Volume 86 Issue 3 Pages 417-436
    Published: December 31, 2021
    Released on J-STAGE: April 14, 2022

    In this paper, I analyze Alaskan Athabascan discourses and practices of “going back to the old days” as a survival strategy of prophesy through a comparison to preparedness, which is often adopted by risk management experts. To do so, I discuss an Upper Kuskokwim (Dichinanek Hwt'ana) family's history spanning three generations. This history includes dependence on trade items, Christianization, and outbreak of contagious diseases, all of which affect the emergence of the discourse of “going back to the old days.” After the passage of the Alaska Native Land Claim Settlement Act (ANCSA) in 1971, such a discourse brought about hunting guide businesses in the Alaska range as well as “culture camps.” Those practices are based on the cultivation of multispecies assemblages that were continuously enacted through organic connections among humans, animals, spirits, and machines. In contrast to preparedness, which emphasizes “simulations” based on the sharing of detailed “scenarios” among various actors, prophesy as an Alaskan Athabascan survival strategy is characterized by a productive ambiguity that can be exploited by individuals to craft their own practices.

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  • Disordering and Reorganizing Affect in South Korean COVID-19 Hospital Wards
    Michiko Sawano
    2021 Volume 86 Issue 3 Pages 437-456
    Published: December 31, 2021
    Released on J-STAGE: April 14, 2022

    This paper considers interactions between actors that occur in the medical field during the pandemic using the affect theory. I pay attention to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and nurses in South Korean COVID-19 hospital wards. PPEs, nurses, and other actors all have their own materiality and contexts. When they meet and interact in the ward, the order of affect is disrupted, loosening continuity. PPEs attempt to tame nurses to act to suit PPEs. On the other hand, to carry out their work, nurses try to catch stimulus from outside of PPEs, and tame PPEs by interposing a “third actor” between their bodies and PPEs. Under the circumstances where PPEs and nurses have no choice but to maintain contact, the order of affect changes while the conflict continues.

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  • Body, Government, and Velocity under Pandemic Japan
    Akinori Hamada
    2021 Volume 86 Issue 3 Pages 457-476
    Published: December 31, 2021
    Released on J-STAGE: April 14, 2022

    Based on insights from anthropological studies of infectious diseases and Tadanori Yokoo's artwork series of “WITH CORONA,” this paper examines the idea of “With Corona,” which was adopted as a fundamental strategy to slow down the spread of infectious disease in Japan from February 2020 to March 2021. Theoretically, this paper emphasizes the vulnerability of bodily becoming and the importance of the milieu as both directing and restyled by human action. It concludes that (1) a shift from the politics of “who” to the politics of “what,” as proposed by Annemarie Mol, is essential to understand the experience of the pandemic; (2) the idea of the milieu from Michel Foucault is helpful as a strategy for description; and (3) the question of how to slow down rapid changes of economic situation, which Karl Polanyi highlighted, has emerged as critical for both policymakers and anthropologists.

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Exploratory Article
  • The “Gypsy Pilgrimage” in France
    Ryoko Sachi
    2021 Volume 86 Issue 3 Pages 477-487
    Published: December 31, 2021
    Released on J-STAGE: April 14, 2022

    Every May, thousands of European Romanies gather in the southern French town of Saintes–Maries–de–la–Mer for the annual pilgrimage of carrying the statue of Sainte Sara from the church's crypt to the sea. During this festival's day–and–night party atmosphere, streets and squares are filled with gypsy music, and a diverse crowd – Romany pilgrims, performers, local residents, and tourists – gather and communicate with each other. In France, where the Romany population has been marginalized, such co–presence is unusual. To explore the political potential of bodies that appear together during the “Gypsy Pilgrimage,” this paper reconsiders Arendt's notion of politics and of “spaces of appearance,” along with Butler's concept of “body politics” and Rancière's understanding of “politics of the sensible.” By describing how bodies of Romanies and non–Romanies appear in distinctiveness and relatedness, the paper illustrates the politics that appearing bodies exercise by interrupting the existing boundaries of the “community of citizens.”

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