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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The History and Current Situation of Anthropological Studies on Africa in Japan
Author:Ichikawa, M.
Periodical:African Anthropologist (ISSN 1024-0969)
Geographic terms:Africa
Subjects:African studies
Education and Oral Traditions
History and Exploration
Abstract:Japanese writings on Africa began to appear shortly after the Meiji Restoration, when Japan transformed itself into a modern State, but these were all based on Western sources. It was not until the early 20th century that Japanese began to write about Africa on the basis of their own encounters with the continent. Most of the early travels were planned with some utilitarian purpose in mind. When African Studies as such emerged in Japan around 1960, there were two centres for this new discipline: Kyoto University and the University of Tokyo. The two groups were so different in terms of research interests, methodology and research financing, that a 'contrast between East and West' (Kyoto versus Tokyo) was often referred to as a hallmark of African Studies in Japan. The development of African Studies in Japan created the need for organizations and research institutions, such as the Japan Association for African Studies and the Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, both established in 1964. A prominent feature of African Studies in Japan is its ecological methodology, derived from the academic tradition of the Kyoto group. Academic and educational exchange between Japan and Africa leaves much to be desired. Bibliogr. [ASC Leiden abstract]