The National Museum of Ethnology (Minpaku) is a research center for ethnology and cultural anthropology.
japan site

Staff Members

SASAKI Shiro
SASAKI ShiroSASAKI Shiro
Department of Advanced Studies in Anthropology・Professor
Research Specialization
  • Socioeconomic history of reindeer-breeders and forest hunters; Northern Asia, Siberia
Individual Research Projects
  • From Pre-Modern to Modern in Far East Russia and Northern Japan
Personal website

Academic Qualifications

  • B.A. Univ. of Tokyo 1981
  • M.A. Univ. of Tokyo 1983
  • Ph.D. Univ. of Tokyo 1989

Research Interests

  • A Study of Trade Activities of the Indigenous Peoples in the Lower Amur Basin and Sakhalin in the 18th and 19th Centuries
  • Analysis of the Management of Privatized Hunting or Reindeer Breeding Companies of the Indigenous Peoples in Siberia and the Russian Far East and Their Adaptation Process to the Post-Socialist Society

Current Research Topics

  1. Analyzing various historical documents written in Japanese, Chinese, Manchurian, and Russian languages, I will reconstruct the historical ethnography of the people living in the Lower Amur Basin and Sakhalin in the 18th and 19th centuries. I am now focusing on the "Santan Trade", which was done by ancestors of the present indigenous (minority) peoples like the Nanais, Ul'chi, Nivkhi, Uilta, and Ainu. The study of the trade will show that their ancestors were not primitive foragers, but that they actively participated in the political and economic history of the northeastern Asia. And it will also indicate that the "modern" socio-economic system, which was brought to them by the Imperial Russia and the modernized Japan, played a decisive role to destroy their economic and social prosperity and to get them out of the history.
  2. The collapse of the former Soviet Union gave much influence on the socio-economic life and ethnic consciousness of the indigenous hunters and reindeer breeders in Siberia and the Russian Far East. They cannot live on the fur animal hunting and reindeer breeding which were the main productive sections in the socialist economic system, because the fur and reindeer meat lost their value as a commodity. Though they reorganized the former state farms to reconstruct these sections just after the collapse of the Soviet Union, most of them were unsuccessful. However, some privatized indigenous enterprises have survived under the severe conditions since 1992. I would like to analyze the management of such enterprises and discuss the adaptation of the indigenous peoples in Siberia and the Russian Far East to the post-socialist society. For this purpose I will pick up, as good examples, an ethnic hunting company of the Udehe in the Primor'e region and a reindeer breeding company of the Evens in the Sakha Republic.

Research Keywords

Northeast Asia, Siberia, Russian Far East, Northern Europe, Russian Far East: Nanai, Udehe, Ul'chi, Nivkhi, Uilta, Ainu, Siberia: Evens, Evenks, Yakuts, Nenets, Saami, Cultural Anthropology, History

Publications (English publications only)

2011
Sacred Places and Masters of Hunting Luck in the Forest Worlds of the Udege people of the Russian Far East. Jordan, Peter (ed.)Landscape and Culture in Northern Eurasia, pp257-278. Walnut Creek, California: Left Coast Press.
2010
Voices of Hunters on the Socialist Modernization: From a Case Study of the Udehe in the Russian Far East. Inner Asia 12 (1): 177–197 (Special issue: Oral History of Socialist Modernities in Central and Inner Asia).
2010
Establishment of Large Scale Reindeer Herding in the European and West Siberian Tundra. In F. Stammler and H. Takakura (eds.) Good to Eat, Good to Live with: Nomads and Animals in Northern Eurasia and Africa (Northeast Asian Study Series 11), pp.77–99. Sendai: Center for Northeast Asian Studies Tohoku University.
2009
Historical Background of the Distribution of Hunting Techniques and Equipment of the Peoples in the Lower Amur and Primorye Regions: Focusing on the Traps Used by the Udehe to Catch Fur-bearing Animals. In S.Sasaki (ed.) Human-Nature Relations and the Historical Backgrounds of Hunter-Gatherer Cultures in Northeast Asian Forests. Russian Far East and Northeast Japan. (Senri Ethnological Studies 72), pp.75-99 Osaka: National Museum of Ethnology.
2007
Fur Trapping and Selective Usage of Ecological Resources by the Udehe in Far East Russia. MINPAKU Anthropological Newsletter 24: 3–5.
2004
Juridical Status of the Indigenous Peoples in Khabarovsk Region in Russian Federation. In H. Kakizawa, et al. (eds.) Russia Country Report 2002/2003: 109–119. Hayama: Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES).
2004
Anthropological Studies of the Indigenous People in Sakhalin in Pre-Wartime and Wartime Japan. In A. Shimizu and Jan van Bremen (eds.) Wartime Japanese Anthropology in Asia and Oceania (Senri Ethnological Studies 65), pp.151–168. Osaka: National Museum of Ethnology.
2003
Review of Anthropological Studies on Ethnic Minorities in Siberia and the Russian Far East by Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Japanese Anthropologists and Ethnologists. Japanese Review of Cultural Anthropology 4: 107–132. Tokyo: Japanese Society of Ethnology.
2003
Forest Utilization by Indigenous People in Terms of Hunting in the Russian Far East: From the Case of the Udeghe People on the Bikin River. In I. Inoue and H. Isozaki (eds.) People and Forest: Policy and Local Reality in Southeast Asia, the Russian Far East, and Japan, pp. 299–319. Dordrecht, Boston, and London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
2003
Changes of Hunting Systems and Strategis in Post-Soviet Yakutia: A Case Study of Eveno-Bytantai District. In H. Takakura (ed.) Indigenous Ecological Practices and Cultural Traditions in Yakutia: History, Ethnography and Politics, pp.89–119. Sendai: Center for North Eastern Asian Studies, Tohoku University.
2002
Hunting Activities and Forest Management of the Udeghe People in Krasnyi Yar in Russian Far East. In M. Inoue, H. Kakizawa, and S. Tachibana (eds.) Russia Country Report 2001: IGES Forest Conservation Project, pp. 83–103. Hayama: Institute for Grobal Environmental Strategies (IGES).
2000
Comparative Study of Hunting Techniques of the Native People of the Lower Amur Basin and the Primor'e Region: With Forcusing on Traps for Fur Game Animals. In The Hokkaido Museum of Northern Peoples (ed.) The Ainu and Northern Peopels: with Special Reference to the Subsistence Strategy, (The Proceedings for the 14th International Abashiri Shimposium, 2000), pp.11–21. Abashiri: The Association for the Promotion of Northern Culture.
2000
Fur Animal Hunting of the Indigenous People in the Russian Far East: Fistory, Technology, and Economic Effects. In M. Inoue and H. Isozaki (eds.) A Step toward Forest Conservation Strategy (1) (Current status on forests in the Asia-Pacific region, Interim Report 1998), pp.495–513. Hayama: Forest Conservation Project, The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES).
1999
Trading Brokers and Partners with China, Russia, and Japan. In W. W. Fitzhugh and C. O. Dubreuil (eds.) Ainu: Spirit of the a Northern People, pp. 86–91. Washington D.C. : Arctic Study Center, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Instition.
1998
Segmentary Hierarchy of Identity: The Case of Yakuts and Evens in Northern Yakutia. In K. Inoue and T. Uyama (ed.) Quest for Models of Coexistence: National and Ethnic Dimensions of Changes in the Slavic Eurasian World (Proceedings of Conferences No.5), pp. 317–337. Sapporo: Slavic Research Center, Hokkaido University.
1997
Crisis of the Fur Animal Hunting of the Indigenous Peoples in Sibria and Russian Far East. People and Culture vol. 5 (9): 173–191. Ansan: The Institute for Ethnological Studies, Hanyang University.
1995
Two Types of Large-Scale Reindeer Breeding in North Eurasian Tundra: The Nenets and the Chukchi. In The Hokkaido Museum of Northern Peoples (ed.) People and Culture of the Tundra (The proceedings of the 9th International Abashiri Symposium), pp.15–22. Abashiri: Association for the Promotion of Northern Cultures.
1994
Economic-Cultural Types and Historical-Ethnographic Regions in the Lower Amur River Basin and Sakhalin Island. In T. Irimoto and T. Yamada (ed.) Circumpolar Religion and Ecology: An anthropology of the North, pp.403–414. Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press.
1992
Santan koeki: torgovlya narodov Nizhnego Amura i Sakhalina v XVIII i XIX vv. B.O.Pilsudskii -issledovatel' narodov Sakhalina (Materialy mezhdunarodnoi nauchnoi konferentsii. 31 oktyabrya--2 noyabrya 1991g. Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk), pp.119–127 Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk: Sakhaliskii oblasnoi kraevedcheskii muzei.
1986
Reexamination of the Social History of the Nentsy. The Journal of Intercultural studies, ExtraSeries 1: 78–85. Osaka: Kansai University of Foreign Studies Publication.