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

Engendering the Representation of “Tradition”

Joint Research Coordinator IKEDA Shinobu (Special Guest Researcher)

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Within the postcolonial world, or the tide referred to as globalism, reevaluation of tradition is proceeding in various regions. However, assertions about tradition are always ambiguous. This in turn sometimes actually provides an effective method for opposing unilateral imposition of values by strong countries or powers. At the same time this also serves to maintain and bolster the structure of discrimination in terms of status and gender which existed in the past (and continues today).
Advocacy and representations of traditions then trap people living in such a region within the structure of discrimination of tradition. This research will be implemented with the aim of dissecting this kind of structure, while at the same time attempting to answer the pressing question at present of whether tradition can serve as a method for resisting homogenization of values. While examining in detail the expressions of tradition in various regions, we will also consider gender questions which thereby arise and search for solutions to these problems.