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


Josef Kreiner
Umesao Tadao’s Civilization-Theory, Viewed in the Historical Context of Japanese Anthropological Science
Minoru Mio
Looking for Love and Miracles: Multivocal Composition and Conflicts among Believers in a Sufi Mausoleum Festival of Rajasthan, India
Hiroki Takakura
Gathering and Releasing Animals: Reindeer Herd Control Activities of the Indigenous Peoples of the Verkhoyansky Region, Siberia
Syoko Yoshida
Methods of Molding Japanese Buddhist Temple Bells

Umesao Tadao’s Civilization-Theory,
Viewed in the Historical Context of Japanese
Anthropological Science
Josef Kreiner*

In 1957, Umesao Tadao’s later famous paper “Prolegomena of an ecological view of the history of civilization” was first published in the journal Chûô-Kôron. The theory put forward in this article and evolved in several papers, monographs and symposia through the years implies Umesao’s conviction that Japanese civilization as a concrete existing system of people and institutions (and as such different from the intellectual abstract of this system, i.e. culture) resembles in many aspects that of Western Europe while at the same time is entirely different from the systems underlying East Asiatic cultures similar to Japan. Umasao’s scientific work brought about a deep and ongoing change of paradigm in Japanese ethnology, dominated since the times of Henry von Siebold and Edward S. Morse by questions of Japanese ethnogenesis, prehistory and the foundation of the early Japanese state, as can be seen for instance in the studies of scholars like Oka Masao, Egami Namio or Yanagita Kunio. It also meant that with the growing influence of Umesao’s thinking, the centre of gravity of Japanese ethnology moved gradually from Tokyo to Kyoto and finally to the National Museum of Ethnology founded by Umesao in the 1970s.
* University of Bonn, Japanologisches Seminar
Key Words: Japanese ethnology, theory building, history of research, civilization-theory, Japanese ethnogenesis

Looking for Love and Miracles:
Multivocal Composition and Conflicts among Believers in
a Sufi Mausoleum Festival of Rajasthan, India1)
Minoru Mio*

A large number of Muslims as well as Hindus pay homage to the Sufi mausoleum of Baba Diwana Shah (who was active in the Mewar region of Rajasthan, India in the first half of the 20th century), just as followers do in other Sufi saint mausoleums in South Asia, in their search for aid from the supernatural power of the saint’s tomb. Moreover, the core followers of this saint mausoleum cult consider personal love for the saint the basis of their faith, and express their deep love to the saint through ritual activities. The administration of the mausoleum is also carried out by these core followers. As the saint took many disciples without making distinctions between Muslims and Hindus, there are still Hindus among those who play a central role in the present saint mausoleum cult. However, since the saint ascended without appointing a formal successor, there has been an ongoing dispute over leadership of the core followers between the Hindu disciples and their descendants, the Muslim disciples, and the saint’s descendants. The process and the interpretation of the most important annual festival (‘urs) also reflects this dispute among the core followers.
This paper addresses the multivocal composition of the annual festival, and considers especially how rivalry among the core followers is reflected in the performance of the rituals. It also describes the competition and coexistence of the core groups that seek leadership of the cult. The authority of the cult is expressed in the festival by holding the executive right to the most important secret ritual as well as by being the ultimate gift giver in a sacred exchange in the mausoleum. Competing groups try to monopolize these rights and criticize each other, for trying to usurp authority in illegitimate ways. The axis of confrontation seems to be rooted, rather than in the communal identity difference between Hindus and Muslims, in the peculiar character of the Sufi saint faith in which the disciple’s personal devotion to the saint is regarded as being of ultimate importance. The relationship between a saint and a desciple can be understood in terms of personal and internal love, and the relationship is considered as unique and beyond conventional norms. The reason this unique internal love between a saint and his follower is expressed in a set, conventional ritual performance will also be considered in the conclusion.
* National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka
Key Words: India, Sufism, festival, faith, love affection

Gathering and Releasing Animals: Reindeer Herd
Control Activities of the Indigeneous Peoples of the
Verkhoyansky Region, Siberia
Hiroki Takakura*

Arctic Anthropologists have conducted theoretical studies in order to understand methods of reindeer herd control in Siberia. However, little is known about how herders actually manage herds of reindeer in pasture on a day-to-day basis. Based on data collected through fieldwork in Northern Yakutia, Siberia from 1994-1997, this paper examines the concrete processes and distinctive features of reindeer herding activities as a case study. The object of analysis is the professional herding brigade of a former State farm. The rhythms of the seasonal migrations and their relationship to husbandry activities are described quantitatively. I also outline the day-to-day herding activities. Herding involves human-animal interaction: the herders’ interventions are gathering, catching, placing and releasing. Animal behaviours corresponding to the human activities are moving-in, grazing, resting, and leaving. Taking into account the nature of the herd, I describe how the day-to-day herding pattern is related to the seasonal migrations. The general principle of herd control in this case study is that herders allow a part of the herd (riding reindeer) to supervise and lead (drive) the other animals.
The different human attitudes to animals in herding activities result in a dual structure of the herd, which appears to maintain a homeostatic spatial extension between animals and humans. It also corresponds to thte herders’ system of reindeer classification. Herders’ gathering and releasing are crucial herding activities which enable a space to be appropriated where livestock can be freely pastured.

* Center for Northeast Asian Studies, Tohoku University
Key Words: human-animal relationships, herd control, appropriation of space, dual structure of herd, reindeer, Even, Sakha (Yakut)

Methods of Molding Japanese Buddhist Temple Bells
Syoko Yoshida

The Japanese Buddhist temple bell is a wonderful bronze foundry product with a unique tone of solemnity. Deriving ultimately from China, it developed its final form in Japan. Today the Japanese foundry industry is proud of its world class techniques, and the majority of plants employ high technology in production. On the other hand, there remain a few foundries that continue to manufacture traditional products, temple bells among others, using classic, pre-modern techniques.
In this paper I firstly report in detail on the casting technique for temple bells employed at the Nishizawa foundry in Shiga prefecture. The same process has been filmed by the National Museum of Ethnology, and one of the aims of this paper is to provide a written accompaniment to the film in order to make a complete record. Secondly, this paper describes some other traditional foundry techniques in addition to the one used at the Nishizawa foundry, and furthermore considers the techniques recorded in the archives of the Edo era. In doing so, it shows that the pre-modern Japanese foundry had highly developed techniques for casting one of a kind product, and that there are similarities and differences among these techniques.
The mold of the Japanese temple bell is traditionally formed with a loam model rather than using a pattern made from wax or sand. Firstly the outer model is made by the sweeping mold technique, and then the core part is made, a method rarely seen in other parts of the world.
While the same method is basically always used for the outer molds, the core parts are made in various ways, which may be categorized into three as [1] the core sweeping method, [2] the core filling/whittling method, [3] a combination of core sweeping and core filling/whittling. Method [1] is the major one in use today, but it seems that method [2] was prevalent during the Edo era. The shift from method [2] to method [1] is explained as the result of an emphasis on standardizing the process to make it suitable for mass production. However, the shift was not unitary. In order to illuminate the whole story, further examinations of temple bells and multiple investigations into foundry techniques will be needed.

Key Words: Japan, Japanese Buddhist temple bell, traditional technique, casting mold, loam model, the core method


The history of the 20th century for the Northern native residents was depressing and complex. During this ear those originally rooted in this region experienced numerous hardships, and as a result some tribes among them are now in danger of extinction. In the 1930’s and 40’s they went through Starling’s purges, and from the 1950’s the full-scale development of Siberia led to ruin and pollution. Moreover, many of them were expelled from their inherited lands because of the formation of collective and national farms through Soviet policy. Today the drastic capitalization after the corruption of the Soviet regime has brought the chaos of black markets, driving the native residents into further difficulties. The policy of overcoming the backwardness of society and culture practiced during the Soviet era accelerated the decay and the oblivion of their traditional culture. This paper attempts to clarify their problems, and furthermore considers what should be done in order to resolve them.

Key Words: Russia, Soviet Union, Siberia, indigenous Peoples in the North, problems of indigenous minorities