What is JASCA?

Renewed on Apr. 1, 2004

Since April 1, 2004, these following official names have been changed:

Japanese Society of Ethnology --> Japanese Society of Cultural Anthropology


Japanese Journal of Ethnology --> Japanese Journal of Cultural Anthropology

http://wwwsoc.nii.ac.jp/jse/ --> http://wwwsoc.nii.ac.jp/jasca/ (Now http://www.jasca.org)

The following is the extract from the column "Global Colleagues" in Anthropology News Vol.43, no.8, p.10 (November 2002). AN is the Newsletter of the American Anthropological Association.

With a membership of approximately 2,000 scholars and students, the Japanese Society of Ethnology (JSE; Nihon Minzoku Gakkai) is one of the largest anthropological organizations in the world. The JSE's main purpose is to promote research on human culture(s) in ethnology, cultural anthropology and social anthropology.

Concerning its history, the academic society referred to as the Nihon Minzoku Gakkai first was established in 1934; it later was converted into a foundation through a donation obtained from Keizo Shibusawa, a banker, scholar and patron of ethnological studies. In 1942, it was reorganized as the Association of Ethnology (Minzokugaku Kyokai).

After World War II, postgraduate courses in cultural and social anthropology began to be offered in several universities, and the Association of Ethnology flourished through its interdisciplinary cooperation with other fields. In 1964, the Japanese Society of Ethnology was established as an academic wing of the Association, and it took over some of the academic functions, including the publication of the Japanese Journal of Ethnology (JJE; Minzokugaku Kenkyu). Soon after, the Association of Ethnology as a foundation was renamed the Shibusawa Foundation far Ethnological Studies (Minzokugaku Shinkokai), and it ran its own Program in cooperation with the JSE. The Shibusawa Foundation was reorganized in 2000 as a charitable trust, namely the Shibusawa Fund for Ethnological Studies (Shibusawa Minzokugaku Shinko Kikin). One of the Fund's activities is to award the Shibusawa Prize each year for the best work in ethnological and anthropological studies by a scholar under 39 years of age.

In 1968, the JSE hosted the Eighth International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences in Tokyo and Kyoto in cooperation with the Anthropological Society of Nippon, whose members mostly were physical anthropologists. The two societies also hosted the Inter-Congress of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences in Tokyo in Sept 2002.

In order to promote ethnological and sociocu1tural anthropological research in Japan, the JSE presently undertakes a number of activities, some principal features of which are described below.

The JSE has been publishing the JJE four times a year in Japanese, with a summary in European languages attached to each article. The 67th volume (four issues) was published in 2002. In 1998, the publication of a new English journa1, namely the Japanese Review of Cultural Anthropology (JRCA), was started with the purpose of reviewing the works of the members written mostly in Japanese, for the benefit of the international academic world. The JRCA has now become the official English journal of the Society, and it has been integrated into the JJE as a supplementary issue.

The JSE holds its annual meeting in spring. The 36th annual meeting was held in Kanazawa from June 1-2, 2002. A total of 130 papers were presented as a part of three group sessions and as individual papers, and a symposium was organized in cooperation with the Anthropological Society of Nippon. The JSE also sponsors workshops held in several regional blocks that provide opportunities for the presentation of new ideas, reports on the results of fieldwork and the exchange of information. The JSE regards international cooperation with the ethnological and anthropological societies in other countries as important. Accordingly, it has forged a partnership with "Anthropology of Japan in Japan," an association made up mainly of Western anthropologists residing in Japan.

Furder information concerning the JSE is available in Japanese and English on its website (http://wwwsoc.nii.ac.jp/jse).

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