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

“History” as a Resource: through the Analysis of Ethnic Groups in South China.

Joint Research Coordinator HASEGAWA Kiyoshi

Reserch Theme List


history, resource, South China


The phenomenon of expressing, depicting, and organizing "history", and its subsequent transformation into a resource, exists in every human society. The recently increased influence of China has had a worldwide impact. It has heightened interest in China and made the nation an urgent topic for study. In contemporary China, the homogeneity of the Chinese nation is being emphasized. Different fragments of "history" are often melded to construct "resources" for material gain. Several types of entities transform "history" into a resource. These include the different levels of government, researchers, intellectuals, mass media, and ordinary citizens; opposing entities that negotiate and compromise to form currents for transforming history into a resource. At the same time, the transformation of "history" into a "resource" produces a form of practical value. In addition it serves to legitimize and uphold the identities of these entities, each with its own perception of history. Based on the assumption that history is transformed within an ethno-local sociopolitical space, this study seeks to analyze critically the kind of "history" that is transformed into a "resource", and how various entities do this to secure material gain and maintenance of their identity.