Religion in Modern Asia Newsletter


Personal Data

Research Field: Religions among chinese people
Country: Japan


(Apr 1, 1995)

I am a professor of social anthropology in the social science & humanities department of Tokyo Metropolitan University. I graduated from cultural studies department of Saitama University, where I studied cultural geography and gradually developed an interest in cultural anthropology. I also engaged in community studies, presenting my graduation thesis in both cultural anthropology (my major subject) and geography (my minor subject).

From 1969 to 1975, I studied in the graduate program of Tokyo Metropolitan University's department of Social Science, majoring in social anthropology. During that period, I undertook research both on Okinawan society and on the kinship and cosmology. While in graduate school I coauthored (with Ito Kanji) the work Utage [the Feast] (Kobundo, 1975); following graduation, I edited and publisId the work Shinzoku no shakai jinruigaku [Social anthropology of the kinship] (Shibundo, 1982).

In 1976, I was appointed full-time lecturer at Atomi Gakuen Women's College, and continued my research on Okinawan social organization and cosmology. From 1978 I also began research into Taiwan Han-Chinese especially southern Hakka people's folk religion. In 1980, I transferred to Musashi University, where I held posts as associate professor and professor. There, I continued my research into Okinawan and Taiwan Chinese society, and also began research into the societies of Hong Kong and Malaysian Chinese. My research during the fifteen years from 1969 were compiled in the work Okinawa no shakai soshiki to sekaikan [Social organization and cosmology in Okinawan society], publisId by Shinsensha in 1985. The same year, I was presented with the Iha Fuyu Prize by the Okinawa Times Company. In 1987, I published the ethnographic work Okinawa no sairei [Festivals in Okinawa] (Daiichi Shobo).

In 1988, I moved to Tokyo Metropolitan University, continuing my study of Okinawan society. Over a twenty-year period, I has engaged in a total of two years of field work in Okinawa; I published the results of that research in Minzoku chishikiron no kadai: Okinawa no chishiki jinruigaku [Issues in the theory of folk knowledge: anthropology of knowledge in Okinawa] (Gaifusha, 1990). Also in 1990, I was awarded the Higashi-Son Service Prize by the village of Higashi in Okinawa, where I had performed most of my field works. My ten years of research into Chinese folk society resulted in the publication of Kanminzoku no shuko: shakai jinruigaku-teki kenkyu [Folk religions in Han-Chinese society: an anthropological view] (Daiichi Shobo, 1991). In 1993, I was awarded the Okinawa Research Promotion Prize by the Okinawa Kyokai Foundation.

From 1985, I has engaged in research into feng shui (geomancy) in East Asia, and in 1989 I edited the work Sosen saishi [Ancestor cults] (publisId from Gaifusha) which was a collection of comparative researches into ancestral cults among the East Asia societies. Between 1989 and 1993 I organized and served as president of the Japan Association of Geomancy Research.

In 1993-1994, I studied in Mainland China under the auspices of the Tokyo-Beijing exchange program and the Japan Foundation. During that period I studied Chinese folk geomancy and folk religion. In China I lectured at numerous institutions, including the Chinese National Department of Construction, the Chinese Folklore Association, the Social Science Agency's Institute of Ethnology, Institute for Sociology and Anthropology in Beijing University, Institute for Folk Culture in Beijing Normal University, and Institute for Historical Documents in Central China Normal University.

I published the result of my research into geomantic practices in Fusui shiso to higashi Ajia [Geomancy thought in East Asia] (Jinbunshoin, 1990], and Fusui: ki no keikan chirigaku [Feng-shui: Landscape geography of the vital force] (Jinbunshoin, 1994). In 1994, I co-edited the work Fusui ronsho [Collected essays on geomancy], with Miura Kunio (published by Gaifuha). My current research focuses on the social-anthropological study of Feng-shui (geomancy) in East Asia.

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Last updated: 2001/11/28 14:37:35

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