The National Museum of Ethnology (Minpaku) is a research center for ethnology and cultural anthropology.

Bulletin of the National Museum of Ethnology

2019-Vol. 43, No. 4

March 13, 2019 Publication

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Cormorant Fisher Breeding Techniques and Motivation for Reproductive Intervention:
A Case Study of Artificial Breeding Techniques Maintained by Cormorant Fishers on Erhai Lake, Yunnan Province, China

Shuhei Uda

  This article examined cormorant breeding practices on Erhai Lake in Yunnan Province, China, to elucidate great cormorant breeding techniques and to consider fishers’ motivations for continuing to breed cormorants because cormorant fishing on Erhai Lake was prohibited several years ago by city regulations. A field survey and a comparative case study were undertaken to elucidate breeding processes, revealing the following details: fisher collect eggs from cormorant nests and store them in a temporary container; incubation is synchronized so that all parent birds commence incubation simultaneously; the parent birds are then made to raise the cormorant chicks for seven days after hatching.
  Results demonstrate that cormorant breeding at Erhai Lake entails shorter working hours and smaller workloads than at other areas. Therefore, a fisher at Erhai Lake might continue to breed cormorants while simultaneously subsisting during that season. Based on earlier findings, this study explored fishers’ motivations for continuing to breed cormorants. At Erhai Lake, wild cormorants prove difficult to capture. Therefore, fishers were reluctant to release cormorants while cormorant fishing was prohibited because they would later be faced with the challenge of catching and taming wild cormorants if the prohibition were to be lifted at a later date. Therefore, an attractive option is apparently that a fisher keeps and breeds cormorants in a controlled environment.
  This study also investigated why Japanese cormorant fishers, except cormorant fishers of Kyoto Uji River, have never bred cormorants, although Chinese cormorant fishers breed the birds for fishing. The author pointed out in an earlier report that these attitudes about breeding cormorants are explainable by the relative ease of capturing wild cormorants in Japan. This study’s findings validated this working hypothesis with respect to controlled cormorant reproduction in the artificial environment of Erhai Lake.

Key Words:cormorant fishing, artificial breeding, domestication, Erhai Lake, Great cormorant


Supporting Fair Trade:
Cultural Anthropological Study and Critique

Motoi Suzuki

  This paper presents an examination of how cultural anthropology can support fair trade. First, the author demonstrates that the main contribution of cultural anthropological research is exploration of the discrepancy between the discourse and practice of fair trade. Secondly, the author argues that, considering the sense of solidarity that Northern consumers hold for Southern producers, researchers should be mindful of the manner in which they publish research results so that criticisms against fair trade produce a constructive result. To develop these arguments, this paper refers mainly to discussions of two international symposiums on fair trade conducted at the National Museum of Ethnology, “Fair Trade as Global Communication: Commodities Carry Stories” and “Global Ethical Consumption: New Dimensions of Fair Trade”, as well as the author’s study of cacao producers of Belize.

Key Words:fair trade, support, discourse, practice, solidarity, commodity fetishism


Volunteers in the Age of Global Support:
A Case Study of Community Development Volunteers of JOCV

Chihiro Shirakawa

  This article presents discussion of characteristic features and merits of international cooperation activities of Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) engagement in community development. The JOCV case is compared with supporting activities of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) experts and Japanese cultural anthropologists. Based on that comparison, the article points out that although JOCV community development volunteers are “amateurs” compared to JICA experts because of their lack of professional knowledge and international cooperation experience, this amateurishness might be beneficial when conducting support activities, particularly community-based participatory activities.

Key Words:volunteer, JOCV, community development, JICA expert, cultural anthropologist


Multiple Self-awareness and Ethnicity of Urban Banabans in Fiji
Kazuhiro Kazama

  This paper describes an investigation of multiple self-awareness with a cognitive perspective in ethnic studies, of ‘invisible’ minority migrants, the Banabans, in an urban district in Fiji. Banabans were forced to migrate from their home island, Banaba, in the central Pacific to Rabi Island in Fiji at the end of WWII. Most of them now reside on Rabi Island, but more than one thousand people have emigrated in search of higher education or employment to the urban area of Fiji. Although they have been separated from their homeland by national borders since the independence of Fiji and Kiribati nations in the 1970s, they have insisted on their land rights to Banaba continually. Banaban intellectuals often assert and advocate nationalistic discourses emphasizing cultural, ethnic, and physical differences between I-Kiribati and themselves, using oral traditions and ‘scientific’ evidence, to justify their claims on their homeland. Their arguments severely oppose the opinions of the Kiribati government, who have denied the specific ethnicity of Banabans, and who have designated them merely as Kiribati citizens living abroad. In contrast to intellectuals, ordinary Banabans living in the urban area do not necessarily recognize themselves as belonging to a specific ethnic group. However, they find themselves as relational, being within the kinship network, or as having regional ties in daily life together with I-Kiribati kin and spouses. Because they are an ethnic minority in the urban area in Fiji, contrasting themselves not with I-Kiribati but with two ethnic majorities (Fiji-Fijian and Indo-Fijian), they have flexible and multiple self-awareness of Banabans, Rabi islanders, Kiribati language speakers, and Fiji citizens, and vary their relative positions to suit daily occasions.

Key Words:urban area, forced migration, ethnicity, Banaban, Fiji


Risk of Decompression Sickness and Dive Computer:
Enlargement of Body Sensation and Physical Ability and Risk Perception among Recreational Divers

Jumpei Ichinosawa

  Recreational diving has become an extremely popular form of marine leisure. Although it is estimated that there are more than a million worldwide, the global market for scuba diving has continued to grow. Diving shops can be found at every popular tropical beach resort. Watching tropical fish in the sea or simply floating underwater is a typical pleasure of recreational diving.
  Because it requires that human beings remain underwater for long periods, scuba diving is also an inherently dangerous activity. Scuba equipment and a sufficient supply of compressed air during diving enable divers to breathe comfortably underwater for more than an hour. Nevertheless, using such equipment can pose various hazards including fatal accidents related to pressure changes or drowning.
  This paper presents consideration of recreational diving as an activity to advance into underwater worlds that humans cannot inhabit. Because the human body is not well adapted to underwater environments, various technologies must be used to augment or extend basic human physical abilities such as breathing, watching, and swimming. This study specifically examines one such technology: the dive computer that a diver uses to measure the time and depth of a dive to avoid decompression sickness. This paper describes how the diffusion of dive computers has changed recreational divers’ risk perception related to decompression sickness.

Key Words:recreational diving, dive computer, decompression sickness, risk perception