Edited by Roy Starrs, this collection of essays by an international group of leading experts on Japanese religion, anthropology, history, literature and music presents new research and thinking on the long and complex relationship between culture and disaster in Japan, one of the most “disaster-prone” countries in the world. Focusing first on responses to the triple disasters of March 2011, the book then puts the topic in a wider historical context by looking at responses to earlier disasters, both natural and man-made, including the great quakes of 1995 and 1923 and the atomic bombings of 1945. This wide-ranging “double structure” enables an in-depth understanding of the complexities of the issues involved that goes well beyond the clichés and the headlines.
'Tibetanness' Under Threat?, Adrian Zenz pioneers an analysis of significant recent developments in Qinghai's Tibetan education system. Presently, Tibetan students can receive native language education from primary to tertiary levels, while university minority departments offer Tibetan-medium majors from computer science to secretarial studies.
However, positive developments are threatened by the dire career prospects of Tibetan-medium graduates. Tibetans view marketisation as the greatest threat to ethnocultural survival, with their young generation being lured into a Chinese education by superior employment prospects. But Zenz questions the easy equation of Tibetan education as 'unselfish' ethnic preservation versus the Chinese route as egocentric careerism, arguing that the creative educational strategies of Tibetans in the Chinese education system are important for exploring and expressing new forms of 'Tibetanness' in modern China.
Evenki are modern hunter-gatherers who live in Central and Eastern Siberia, Russian Federation. They are known to scholarship for their animistic worldview, and because the word ‘shaman’ has been borrowed from their language. Despite such recognition contemporary Evenki everyday life rarely appears as a subject for anthropological monographs, mainly because access to Evenki communities for the purpose of extended fieldwork has only recently become possible. In this original study of the Evenki the authors describe a variety of events and situations they observed during fieldwork, and through these experiences document different strategies that Evenki use to retain their ethos as hunter-gatherers even in circumstances when hunting is prohibited. The authors adopt the vocabulary of cybernetics, proposed by anthropologist Gregory Bateson, in order to underline the circuit logic of events that happen in Evenki land.
Culture Contact in Evenki Land, therefore, will be welcomed by social anthropologists in general and specialists of Siberian and Inner Asian studies (Manchu-Tungus peoples) and hunter-gatherer peoples in particular, as well as those interested in the cybernetic approach.