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By Jennifer Robertson

This publication is an unheard of choice of 29 unique essays by way of the various world’s so much unusual students of Japan.

  • Covers a extensive variety of concerns, together with the colonial roots of anthropology within the jap academy; eugenics and state development; majority and minority cultures; genders and sexualities; and style and meals cultures
  • Resists stale and deceptive stereotypes, by way of featuring new views on jap tradition and society
  • Makes jap society available to readers unexpected with the country

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Extra resources for A Companion to the Anthropology of Japan

Sample text

Ino¯ later researched Han Chinese social customs as well, and published the three-volume ethnography, Taiwan bunkashi (Taiwan Cultural History; 1928). He and his colleagues also wrote many articles on Taiwanese society and culture. I realized while perusing all of the articles published in The Journal of the Anthropological Society of Nippon (To¯kyo jinruigakkai zasshi), that 1895 – the year Japan won the SinoJapanese War and colonized Taiwan – vividly marked a turning point in the content and orientation of Japanese anthropology.

A N T H R O P O L O G Y A N D M A R X I S M , N AT U R A L H I S T O RY A N D RELIGIOUS STUDIES What motivated the study of cultural anthropology and ethnology in the interwar period? There were three basic influences particular to Japan in this regard, as T H E I M P E R I A L PA S T O F A N T H R O P O L O G Y 25 illustrated by the biographies of interwar anthropologists: Marxism, natural history, and religious studies. Marxism is concerned with direct political action. Even anthropologists not deeply concerned with political action such as Oka Masao and Mabuchi To ¯ ichi read the classic texts of Marxism as ethnology majors.

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). Ishida Eiichiro¯ became a famous anthropologist after World War II, and his biography is illustrative. He was born in Osaka in 1903 and participated in a study group on Marxism at his high school. In 1924, he entered the department of economics at Kyoto Imperial University and joined a social science study group that was part of a left-wing student organization.

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