Cultural History of PaleoAsia

Scientific Research on Innovative Areas,
a MEXT Grant-in-Aid Project
FY2016-2020

B01: Anthropological study on cultural and behavioral change through dispersal and contact of human populations

Research Organization

Team Leader
  • Atsushi Nobayashi, Professor
    Cultural Anthropology, Research Center for Cultural Resources, National Museum of Ethnology, Japan
Co-investigators
  • Kazunobu Ikeya, Professor
    Ecological anthropology, Department of Cultural Research, National Museum of Ethnology, Japan
  • Yoko Ueba, Associate Professor
    Ethno-artistic Study, Department of Cultural Research, National Museum of Ethnology, Japan
  • Toko Fujimoto, Assistant Professor
    Cultural Anthropology, Department of Cultural Research, National Museum of Ethnology, Japan
  • Yuriko Yamanaka, Associate Professor
    Studies of Cultural Representations, Department of Cultural Research, National Museum of Ethnology, Japan
  • Shuhei Uda, Associate Professor
    Environmental Folklore, Department of Cultural Research, National Museum of Ethnology, Japan
  • Hideyuki Onishi, Professor
    Ecological Anthropology, Historical Ecology, Faculty of Contemporary Social Studies, Doshisha Women’s College of Liberal Arts, Japan
  • Miwa Kanetani, Visiting Researcher
    Anthropology,Department of Social Research, National Museum of Ethnology, Japan
  • Haruka Kikuta, Assistant Professor
    Cultural Anthropology, Slavic-Eurasian Research Center, Hokkaido University, Japan
  • Ayami Nakatani, Professor
    Cultural anthropology, Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Okayama University, Japan
  • Yuzo Marukawa, Associate Professor
    Digital Anthropology, Department of Advanced Studies in Anthropology, National Museum of Ethnology, Japan
  • Setsuko Yoshida, Professor
    Cultural Anthropology, Department of Sociology, Shikoku Gakuin University, Japan

Research

Research Objectives

This study aims to elucidate the mechanism of change in material culture which has occurred through the interaction between human populations and how this change in material culture affect human behavior and society. We will focus on changes in human activities such as subsistence, manufacturing or production, symbolization, and social interaction to construct an ethnographical model of change in material culture and human society. Our research is based on the analysis of how various regional or ethnic groups that share common material cultures have intermingled in Asia, and how, in the process of production, utilisation, circulation, and transmission, material aspects consciously or unconsciously change. , This is achieved through anthropological field research, examination of materials in museum collections and investigation of historical documents.

Research Methods

We will collect basic data of ethnographic materials according to categories such as morphology, production methods, raw materials, context of use, value, symbolism, representation, transmission, and replacement. Based on this data, the analysis will be conducted along the following axes: 1) autonomous or accidental change within a population, 2) change which occurs through interaction with other populations. The dynamic process of how properties of things change through contact and why, and the mechanism of the effect of change on individual actions or group values will be explored, thus elucidating the interrelation between material things and human society. By focusing on the principal concerns of archaeology such as subsistence, manufacturing or production, symbolization, and social relations, out team will try to make the bridging argument between archaeology and ethnography.


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