Okinawan Studies in Japan, 1879-2007 Okinawan Studies in Japan, 1879-2007

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The purposes of this paper are to track the main trends of Okinawan studies by Japanese scholars from the Meiji period to the present and to discuss the prospects for future studies. Before the Asian-Pacific War, most scholars embraced and attempted to verify the hypothesis called Nichiryu dosoron in which the Okinawan and Yamato peoples were thought to have a common racial and ethnic ancestry. After the war, however, interest in the origins of the Okinawan and Japanese peoples declined while interest in the socio-religious aspects of Okinawan culture increased. In the last two decades, Okinawan studies have become more diversified and specialized than ever before under the influence of postmodernism and postcolonialism. There are still, however, important subjects that remain almost untouched in Okinawan studies. Along with exploring subjects that have been ignored in the past, practitioners of Okinawan studies should strive to provide a common platform for promoting dialogue among themselves.


  • Japanese Review of Cultural Anthropology

    Japanese Review of Cultural Anthropology 8(0), 101-136, 2007

    Japanese Society of Cultural Anthropology


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