Download A Companion to the Anthropology of Japan by Jennifer Robertson PDF

By Jennifer Robertson

This ebook is an extraordinary number of 29 unique essays via many of the world’s so much wonderful students of Japan.

  • Covers a huge diversity of concerns, together with the colonial roots of anthropology within the eastern academy; eugenics and kingdom construction; majority and minority cultures; genders and sexualities; and type and foodstuff cultures
  • Resists stale and deceptive stereotypes, via proposing new views on eastern tradition and society
  • Makes eastern society available to readers strange with the country

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Extra resources for A Companion to the Anthropology of Japan

Example text

Most were released if they declared that they had abandoned Marxism. These people were popularly referred to as tenko¯ or converts, and among them were several ethnologists and folklorists, including Yanagita Kunio. Although Yanagita founded the field of Japanese folklore studies, he did not have a university post, and folklore was established as an independent area of research. Yanagita organized private study groups and conducted folklore research on his own. Some university students and local intellectuals who were interested in ethnography and local history, and who joined Yanagita’s project were later arrested because of their activities in the socialist-leaning student movement (see Fukuda 1990; Tsurumi 1998).

He developed an interest in ethnology and decided that he wanted to major in that subject. In 1920 Oka registered for the sociology course in the Department of Literature at Tokyo Imperial University and attended the lectures on anthropology given by Torii Ryu¯zo ¯ . He read the ethnology ‘‘classics’’ – he was especially interested in Frazer’s work – and wrote his graduation thesis on the element of magic in archaic societies. At one point during his studies, Oka visited Yanagita Kunio and asked him to write the preface to the Japanese translation of Frazer’s books The Magic Art and The Evolution of Kings.

Taiwan was made a colony of Japan in 1895. In 1905 Japan extended its colonial reach to southern Sakhalin and the Liaodong peninsula in China. Korea was annexed in 1910, and nine years later, Micronesia was transferred from German to Japanese jurisdiction. The puppet state of Manchuria was established in 1932. By 1942, Japan controlled a vast Asian-Pacific region stretching from Indonesia to the Aleutian Islands, and Japanese ethnologists were dispatched to even the most remote islands. Japanese anthropologists trained in the postwar period were strongly influenced by structural functionalism and structuralism.

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