Globalization and Indigenous Culture
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This volume contains the accounts of the International Symposium on Globalization and Indigenous Culture sponsored by Kokugakuin University's Institute for Japanese Culture and Classics on January 10-12, 1996, as part of its activities undertaken to commemorate the Institute's fortieth anniversary. In addition to these accounts, one hour of excerpts from the Symposium were broadcast over NHK's satellite channel 1 on February 10, 1996.

Established in the fall of 1955, the Institute for Japanese Culture and Classics has undertaken a wide variety of research on Japanese culture, in areas extending from religious studies to Shinto, folklore, history, linguistics, literature, and jurisprudence. The Institute's system of engaging multiple staff members in joint projects has made it uniquely possible to undertake works like the compilation and publishing of dictionaries and bibliographical works, and the transliteration and translation of basic reference works. The success of such projects can be indicated by the recent completion of the monumental Shintô jiten (Encyclopedia of Shinto), a project five years in the making.

The International Symposium represents one of three commemorative projects undertaken in conjunction with the fortieth anniversary of the Institute (1995). We believe that the selection of the theme "Globalization and Indigenous Culture" was entirely appropriate for this Symposium, based both on the Institute's traditional dual emphasis on Japanese culture studies and international exchange, as well as on the fact that the theme focuses on crucial issues underlying recent and momentous global change.

After careful consideration, the project members decided on enlisting the cooperation of scholars and concerned people from outside Kokugakuin University, thus resulting in the formation of a Symposium Organizing Committee with the following members (titles are as of the time of the Symposium):

INOUE Nobutaka (Committee Chairman; professor, Kokugakuin University)

UEDA Kenji (President, Kokugakuin University)

ABE Yoshiya (Director, Institute for Japanese Culture and Classics, Kokugakuin University)

ISOMURA Hisanori (Professor, Kokugakuin University)

MISUMI Tetsuo (Director General, Asia/Pacific Cultural Center for UNESCO)

Oliver ANSART (Directeur Francais, Maison Franco-Japonaise)

Norman HAVENS (Permanent Lecturer, Kokugakuin University)

SASAO Michiyo (Junior Lecturer, University of Tsukuba, Adjunct Lecturer, Kokugakuin University)

KASHIO Naoki (Junior Lecturer, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Adjunct Lecturer, Kokugakuin University)

KAMACHI Ren'ichiro (Administrative Manager, Institute for Japanese Culture and Classics, Kokugakuin University)

SHIMOYAMA, Nobukatsu (Administrative Manager, International Exchange Program, Kokugakuin University)

The International Symposium was held after nearly one year of preparations, with the following schedule:

January 10: Public Lecturers
January 11-12: International Symposium
January 11: Asia Session (Moderator: ABE Yoshiya)
Theme Presentations
  • INOUE Nobutaka, The `Information Age' and the Globalization of Religion
  • TSAO Feng-Fu, Preserving Taiwan's Indigenous Languages and Cultures: A Review in Sociolinguistic Perspective
  • CHEU Hock-Tong, Global Culture and its Effect on the Malay Family and Community
Discussants: Leslie E. BAUZON and ONOZAWA Masaki
January 12: Europe Session (Moderator: CHIBA Akihiro)
Theme Presentations
  • Lilian VOYÉ, Religion in Modern Europe and the Pertinence of Globalization Theories
  • Jeanne PEIFFER, The Plurilingual European Tradition as a Challenge to Globalization
  • Olivier DOLLFUS, Globalization, Families and Communities in Europe
Discussants: Roland ROBERTSON and NISHIGAKI Tôru

The two public lectures were held in the Memorial Auditorium of Kokugakuin University's Hyakushunen Kinenkan before an audience of approximately four-hundred, and served as keynote speeches for the following two days of Symposium discussions. For the duration of the Symposium proceedings, the venue was shifted to the International House of Japan (Kokusai Bunka Kaikan) where presentations, commentary, and debate were undertaken by the Symposium members before approximately seventy scholars and other participants. While the sessions of open discussion resulted in enthusiastic debate, the use of simultaneous interpretation made it impossible to faithfully recreate the contents of the discussions in this work, with the result that the session discussions have been reduced to summaries here by members of the Committee. Further, Professor Olivier DOLLFUS was prevented by sudden illness from coming personally to the Symposium, and his paper was delivered in his place by the proxy reader ISOMURA Hisanori.

Through the full-fledged cooperation of Institute staff members, the January public lectures and International Symposium were carried to a highly successful conclusion. It goes without saying that this program would not have been possible without the full financial and other support of the trustees of Kokugakuin University, who were instrumental in recognizing the value and significance of the project. In conjunction with the television broadcast of Symposium excerpts, the staff of NHK's satellite broadcasting services provided simultaneous interpretation and other services, for which we wish to express our thanks, together with our gratitude for the work of the production company Mayson K.K. Finally, we also are deeply indebted to the representatives and staff of Meiji Shrine, Meiji Kinenkan Museum, and the National Museum of Japanese History, who were most kind in providing guide and introductory services during tours for participants held following the Symposium.

In closing, the compilation of the English version of the Symposium was undertaken with the particular assistance of Kashio Naoki, Sasao Michiyo, and Norman Havens, to whom I would like to express my personal gratitude. Mr. Havens was especially instrumental in the translation and editing of a number of the papers. We would also like to thank Ms. Catherine Tao and Mr. John Abbott for their assistance in preparing the English manuscript.

INOUE Nobutaka, Chairman, Organizing Committee for the 40th Aniversary Memorial Symposium on Globalization and Indigenous Culture

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