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

BULLETIN OF THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF ETHNOLOGY Vol. 31 No. 3 2007

Sugimoto, Yoshio
A Genealogical Study of St. Thomas in South India
305
CHEN, Tien-shi
Minorities “in between” China and Japan:
Complexity of legal status and identity
419




A Genealogical Study of St. Thomas in South India.
Yoshio Sugimoto
This is an anthropological genealogical study of the apostle St. Thomas in South India. The apostle Thomas has occupied an important place in the imagination of Indian Christianity, mainly in Kerala and Tamilnadu in South India. According to local narratives, Christianity was brought there in 52 A.D. by St. Thomas. The apostle founded the Syrian Christian Church, but was killed by fanatic local Brahmans in 72 A.D. This story was resurrected and embellished by Portuguese Jesuit missionaries in sixteenth century when they catholicized the local Syrian Nestorian tradition. Stephen Neill has warned us that “the story can only be called Thomas romances.” Whatever the historical truth may be, the tale attracted many medieval travelers such as Marco Polo, kings, missionaries and other travelers in the Age of Discovery. The legend of the “slain” Hindu Brahmans still has great impact in the context of recent Hindu religious nationalism in India. After the catastrophic “tsunami” disaster on 26th December, 2004, the combination of traumatic events and dramatic, “even melodramatic,” reporting helped create a new Age of Miracles. One of the most popular miracle stories is the one of how the miraculous pole of St Thomas kept the invading waves away, sparing the newly renovated San Thome Cathedral in Mylapore, Chennai. The Cathedral has an underground tomb chapel of St Thomas, its main attraction for many devotees and tourists. The story caused much controversy between Hindu and Christian nationalists. The apostle St. Thomas is still very much alive in the context of religious nationalism in India.
Key Words: St. Thomas, India, Christianity, Hindu nationalism, miracle, Tsunami


Minorities “in between” China and Japan:
Complexity of legal status and identity1)
CHEN, Tien-shi*
Nation states classify their nations and foreigners by nationality, and integrate people by unifying their languages and cultures. They also territorialize individual identity by granting nationality. The themes of nation state and nationality were rather a minor issue in anthropology until recently. This is because studies in anthropology mainly focus on primitive or tribal societies which existed much earlier before the birth of nation states. Therefore, the term minority is often used to describe aborigines or groups of people who share ethnic and cultural characteristics, and who often have a firm identity base on these. This article, rather, pays attention to nation states, and focuses on the minorities who cross borders or transfer their nationality due to political events occurring among the nation states related to them. In particular, I study three groups of people who have been affected by Sino-Japanese relations. These are stateless overseas Chinese, Taiwanese, and war orphans resident in Japan, whom I term “minorities in between China and Japan.” The historical transitions causing them to be minorities will be described, and the complexity of their nationalities and identities will be analyzed.
* National Museum of Ethnology, Department of Advanced Studies in Anthropology
Key Words: minorities “in between”, stateless overseas Chinese, imperial subjects, war orphans, subjective identity, perceived identity