Accepted Paper:

About the Folklore Society of Japan (FSJ)  


Michiya Iwamoto (The University of Tokyo)

Paper short abstract:

This panel is organized by The Folklore Society of Japan (FSJ).We will discuss the future with/of anthropologies from the Japanese folkloristics perspective.

Paper long abstract:

This panel was organized by FSJ of which I am president with particular panelists in mind. Though the FSJ focuses on folklore, since its inception in 1935, major research themes have set folklife as their main object rather than folklore of oral literature. We have focused on the lives, customs and culture of ordinary people (folk), of which research on oral literature has been only part.

Unlike another Japanese academic society which concentrates on oral literature , and in contrast to the Japanese Society of Cultural Anthropology (JASCA, formerly Japanese Society of Ethnology), FSJ has developed to focus on ethnology done in our own culture, much like relationship of Volkskunde and Voelkerkunde (voelker is the plural form of volk) in Germany. Currently, JASCA and FSJ are societies of about 2,000 members each. Once, members of the two societies overlapped, but concurrent membership is now less than 10%.

Japanese folkloristics developed outside academia as a method of self-introspection by ordinary people to identify for themselves, problems of everyday life from the reality of a particular locality, in opposition to dominant discourse.

I have asked Dr. CHUN Kyung-soo (Korea) to act as discussant, as he has done detailed study of the history of East Asian anthropologies and folkloristics, in hopes he can critically relativize the papers presented. We hope that this panel on folkloristics in East Asia, which has been taken as its subject the cultures of civilized society, will be an opportunity to create or project the future with/of anthropologies.

Panel P130
Reinventing folkloristics as a study of modernity: Japanese perspectives (FSJ panel)